The Big Asterisk

My friend Gino has a saying about falling, or feeling, short of the mark and having to preface the inadequacies; “that’s a pretty big asterisk”.  You work on a project, perhaps it becomes a calling card for future work.  It must stand alone, no explanations, no excuses. Put it all on the screen, get it right, leave nothing, have nothing, to qualify. Let your work do the talking.

The Big Asterisk says “could a…should a…would a…”.  Make no excuses for your work, let it rip.  If there is doubt, leave it out.  That’s my modus operandi now, whether it’s my demo reel or a client piece; the most fleeting concern about a shot or sequence, say no more, it’s gone.

The litmus test of the Big Asterisk can be liberating.  Simple to implement, easy to follow with minimal practice.  What the Big Asterisk also teaches us is that our doubts are often based on self imposed standards, but as we know, the beauty of standards is that there are so many to choose from, so go easy on yourself.

I will repeat a useful experience from my tender youth as a newly minted garage band member.  Upon relating my concern to the lead guitarist regarding a few missed notes of mine, he pointed out, quite poignantly, that the other band members were too concerned with their own performances to notice.

Live unabashedly, I say.

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