Steven Soderbergh and the Artist’s Journey
In 2007, Steven Soderbergh won the Academy Award as Best Director for Traffic. I remember his acceptance speech almost word for word. Here’s the link to the video. (It’s better to watch it than to read it [even better to do both] because he delivered his message in such a humble and heartfelt manner):
Suddenly, going to work tomorrow doesn’t seem like such a good idea. My daughter Sarah’s asleep in London. She’s missing this, unfortunately. There are a lot of people to thank. Rather than thank some of them publicly, I think I’ll thank all of them privately. What I want to say is — I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating. I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music . . . Anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us. I think this world would be unlivable without art, and I thank you. That includes the Academy. That includes my fellow nominees here tonight. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for this.
Steven Soderbergh could have bounded onto that stage and offered any number of charming, funny, even egomaniacal pronouncements about himself, his movie, his hard times, everybody that helped him, his wife, his kids, his mom, his dad.
Instead he took those two minutes to speak to you and me.
The artist’s journey can be pursued on an hour a day. I can do it. You can do it. We don’t have to quit our day jobs. We don’t have to move to a fourth-floor walkup in Williamsburgh or a garret in Montmarte.
The journey is the journey.
If you’re on it, you’re an artist.