Personal Misery Equals Artistic Success?


(Disclaimer: The material that follows is bit more personal than my usual dreck, but that’s really why you’re here isn’t it? Anyway, rest assured I am most certainly not curled up in a fetal position in a corner somewhere… I’m fine, really, and thanks for asking!)

Way back in high school I read a fantastic novel called Sister Carrie, and was a bit surprised to hear in a classmate’s book report that its author had led a pretty miserable existence.

Now me, I’ve had a pretty damn good run, both personally and professionally. And yet it seems that personal drama has repeatedly reared its ugly head along with milestones in my career.

Consider that I apparently did my best, Dora-nominated work at The Second City while recovering from a bit of a broken heart. And just today I’ve been offered the director’s chair of their National Touring Company in the midst of my girlfriend of three years walking out on me.

Like I said, I’m not looking for pity here. Rather, I look to the long, not-so-proud lineage of brilliant comedians—and artists for that matter—who’ve ended up dead of a drug overdose in their underwear on some hotel bathroom floor. Not to suggest, of course, that I think of myself as the former or will end up like the latter!

Yet I wonder… Is there some inverse and perverse ratio between personal happiness and artistic success? Or am I just making a big deal out of a coincidence? Come on you showbiz-types, here’s your chance to dish!


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4 responses to “Personal Misery Equals Artistic Success?”

  1. There absolutely is a correlation, and that is distraction. All the passion that went into the previous relationship need to find an outlet. Any mentally sane person will do the right thing in the midst of misery and throw themselves into their work.
    I’ve done my most creative and best work mid-heartbreak.
    So I say, good for you, and COURAGE. 🙂

  2. Sting once said the he used to think that he could only write music while depressed; then he discovered, about 10 years into his solo career, that he could make music from a place of joy and happiness, as well.

    Of course, all his “joy and happiness” music has been crap, so go figure.

  3. Hello Andrew,
    I’m v. sorry to hear this news, but v. glad to see that you are taking it all in stride. For what it’s worth, I’ve always found that the break-up is really a favour in disguise, even when the benefit was not immediately obvious. So best of luck with your new freedom and remember that what goes on the road show, stays on the road show!!
    Take care,

    PS the Tim Tomecko thing was hilarious.

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