Happy New Year! Let’s talk about self-esteem!
Bo Burnham’s film Eighth Grade is, in his own words, ‘a story about a shy girl making YouTube videos.’ He wanted to ‘tell a story about someone on the internet that nobody’s watching.’ Hey Bo, make a film about me! Make a film about the films that I make that no is watching! Bo…?
I was speaking with a friend recently about pursuing passions as not just a means to make the daily grind more bearable, but also to restore a sense of self. Kurt Vonnegut phrased what I was trying to say much better than I ever could, though replace ‘an art’ with ‘a hobby you are tremendously keen on yet have been postponing for years’:
‘Practising an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward…’
As Burnham has said, 99.9% of videos posted on YouTube don’t get spoken about, they don’t become viral like his did. There are millions of people creating videos and doing things they enjoy without the promise of mass acclaim. I think they’re simply being honest with themselves. So, don’t be shy, dance like no one’s watching…and film it if you want to.