Week 7 - The Craft

Last week in our summer book study we introduced the concept of Ikigai. Dharma. Purpose.
We discussed how to find it.

Once you have found it there are a few vital things to understand about it:

1. “It may involve a paycheck and it may not”

2. “There is a chance that putting the weight and pressure of a paycheck on that thing you love might burden it with a load it can’t bear”

3. “There is a good chance it will change over time”

4. “It regularly takes discipline and focus”

5. “Your Ikigai is exhausting and exhilarating, draining and invigorating, all at the same time”

6. “Embracing your ikagai will always require tremendous faith and courage”

These are where a great number of us artists are going WAY WRONG. We are putting pressure on our dreams.


We are not being adaptable or listening to its needs
We are not giving it the attention and discipline it requires

We lose our faith.

We prioritize success over being in the craft of it.

Rob says,
“You either love the work or you don’t.
It’s one thing to do it because you want to be known or liked or famous or respected or make lot’s of money. And some people do their work for those reasons. But those reasons get old and lose their power. You can only run on that kind of fuel for so long. And you very rarely see someone who’s motivated by those reasons thrive and enjoy this work over a long period of time”

Do you want to make it or do you want to make something?

It would be a good moment to stop reading and really breathe that in.
You don’t have to judge yourself or your intentions but you do have to be honest and accept them or they will unconsciously run your life and your dreams into the ground.

“There is a difference between craft and success.”

Rob goes on to say:
“Craft is when you have a profound sense of gratitude that you even get to do this. Craft is when you relish the details.
Craft is your awareness that all the hours you’re putting in are adding up to something, that they’re producing in you skill and character and substance.
Craft is when you meet up with someone else who’s serious about craft and you can talk for hours about the subtle nuances and acquired wisdom of the work.
Craft is when you realize you are building habits and muscles that are helping you do better what you do.
Craft is when you have a deep respect for the form and the shape and the content of what you’re doing.
Craft is when you see yourself part of a long line of people who have done this particular work.
Craft is when you’re humbled because you know that no matter how many years you get to do this, there will always be room to learn and grow.”

Success is just success.

I remember being at a friends house in LA - her and her husband collectively had 5 Emmys and all of them needed to be dusted.

Success is cheap. And it’s never satisfied.

“Success is when you’re seduced
into thinking that your joy and satisfaction are not here but there — somewhere in the future, at some moment when you accomplish X or you win Y. Success can never get enough.”

Success is when you finally book your 100th audition and instead of feeling so present and grateful you are already thinking how this might propel you into getting another.

If you ever get to audition for Law and Order you will be in one of the coolest rooms in the television world. You sit in the waiting hallway area and you are seated in front of stacks of old VHS tapes with the names of every actor that has basically ever auditioned for the show. You see the tape labeled “Ellen Burstyn” and “John Karinski” and “Samuel Jackson” and “Phillip Seamour Hoffman” and the tapes go on before your eyes like an endless buffet and you think, “oh my god.....THEY SAT IN THIS VERY CHAIR WAITING TO AUDITION FOR THIS SHOW JUST LIKE I AM!!!!!!!!!!!”

You suddenly feel so in aligence with mastery that booking the job is so irrelevent. You are just grateful. You are in the arena.

Our JOB is craft. We are artists.
Make something. Play. Explore. Ask questions. Get curious.

Get so interested in your ACTIONS that the fruits of your actions become silly and meaningless.

It is the greatest gift to be able to create. You are in a league of giants.

Do not let the distant glitter of fame and fortune make dull the magic in front of you. The magic is why you are here, and you don’t need permission or anything other than your own willingness to do it.

How are you honoring the gift of craft this week?

- Natalie 

Jen Rudolph