This was pointed out by Chuck Wendig on Twitter — Comedian (and Writer / Director / Editor / Actor / Etc.) Louis C.K. has done an interview with The Onion’s AV Club which is well worth reading for any Insurgent Creative.
For those few who aren’t aware, Louis CK is a comedian, who has been a staff writer for Letterman, Conan O’Brian, and Chris Rock. He’s done stand-up, television, etc — and stars in a critically-acclaimed comedy on FX, Louie, which he also writes, directs and edits. In 2011, he took the full leap into creative insurgency, producing his own comedy special, Louis C.K. Live At The Beacon Theater, and selling it directly via his own website. He made over a million dollars — direct, with no distributor or broadcaster –and has now decided to sell tickets to his new comedy tour the same way. No Ticketmaster or other processing middle man, and he’s bringing in millions and expanding the tour as a result.
The interview discusses his approach to the constant pressure of having so much on his plate, as well as his business model, both of which should be of interest to any Creative looking to carve out a living independently.
Regarding his method of business, he says:
“Yeah, well, I like to try stuff. I like to try to see if something can work. It’s really satisfying to figure out, “What if we try it this way? What if we made it way more pleasurable and cheaper to come see me? Or to watch my show online? And if we do this right, how much benefit were we getting from the giant companies?”
” I like pressure. Pressure doesn’t make me crack. It’s enabling. I eat pressure, and there might be times when I get a bad feeling in my gut that this might be too much, but you feel pressure when you’re not doing something, you know? When you’re getting ready for something, you feel pressure—when you’re anticipating. But when you’re constantly in activity, there’s no time for pressure to just sit there and make you crack.”
The more interviews like this that I read, I continually see those common traits among those that I identify as Insurgent Creatives — a relentless activity, a drive to try things for the sake of trying them, etc. These are, really, the same traits that have always driven people to creative pursuits — the main difference is that now, the same sort of mind can also apply itself to questions of production, distribution and marketing; areas which had traditionally been handled by the media companies. In a way, this independent entrepreneurial method becomes another form of artistic performance — applying divergent thinking to a traditional method to see what results.