Bang Your Drum

26 Jan

One of my favorite shows went off the air last month: The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

The final show opened with the above video. if you haven’t seen it, take a look, even if you don’t know the show.

The song is “Bang your Drum” by Dead Men Fall, a Scottish group. I was crying by the end of it. I just found the whole thing so inspiring. Craig kind of stands for success in my head; I’d always hoped to be famous enough to be on his show someday. Now that won’t happen, since the show is off the air, and I doubt Craig will do a talk show again.

A few years ago, this video and song would have sent me into a tizzy for weeks. I’d’ve been full of inspiration, but would have nowhere to use it. I’d feel the call, but didn’t know how to answer. Bang your drum, they say, but how?

I used to be an actor. I had pretty good instincts, and that’s what I was going to do to become famous. I wasn’t successful for many reasons: it’s bloody hard, I wasn’t really motivated, and the lifestyle didn’t suit (I liked standup comedy, but I go to bed at 9:00, am allergic to cigarette smoke, and don’t like being away from home for long periods of time). It all boils down to me not working very hard at it, but that’s sort of a circular logic: I didn’t work hard because I didn’t like it because I wasn’t good at it and around and around.

Happy ending, though: I found writing and dedicated myself to it about ten years ago or so. I’ve written two novels and piles of short stories. I’m pursuing an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. I can work at home, early in the morning. Although I’m not published yet, I know I will be eventually, and in the meantime, I just keep getting up in the morning, pouring myself a cup of chai, and banging my drum.

Anyway, the point of this story is that you should, indeed, bang your drum. But make sure it’s your drum, and don’t worry if your drum is good enough or not.

The banging is what’s important.

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One Response to “Bang Your Drum”

  1. Allan January 26, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    I couldn’t have said it better Mary. My own journey has been similar, only instead of acting it was ten years of the Air Force. Not that I regret any of that time, it taught me a lot, but now I can wake up every day knowing that I’m actively pursuing what I really want. And I know that we’ll both keep banging away until we make it.

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