Pitch It Again: A Supernatural Underdog Story
Examining your creative commitment through long-running CW show, Supernatural
April 2, 2018. On this date, The CW renewed long-running TV series Supernatural for its fourteenth season. Let that beautiful fact sink in as you realize Supernatural will achieve its sought after 300th episode benchmark. Already the longest running American fantasy live-action series since its eleventh season, Supernatural is poised to take the underdog crown of television alongside the great Gunsmoke. Who would’ve guessed? Certainly not series creator Eric Kripke who spent ten years of his life trying to make this show a reality. How terrible it must feel as a network to have turned down such a colossal success as this. Every time news of a renewal hits the media, a phantasmal knife must twist a little deeper. I’m staring at a Supernatural version of Clue on my shelf right now, writing this. Oh, the pure unadulterated agony! But why Supernatural at all? I’ll tell you why. Eric Kripke had an idea he cared about, pitched it bravely, and was met with rejection. Then, he pitched it again.
The Creative Lesson
There is no greater lesson to teach an aspiring novelist, blogger, freelancer, artist, or jack/jill-of-all-trades. People say it all the time. “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.” Or some other clichéd quote that just generally expects you to fight the good fight, whatever it may be. That’s not all there is to it, though. You see, the people that say these things, don’t generally know what hardcore failure feels like. Most of these people, like Mr. Kripke, were talented beyond reason. All they had to do was get the right person to notice. The reality for most creative types is that they probably aren’t the next J.K. Rowling or Klaus Ebeling.
They probably aren’t even in a class below those greats. So, you need to make a choice. Are you in this for the long haul because you want to be, or because you need to be? Personally, I need to be. I’ve tried working in well over eleven different industries trying to make myself want money more than passion. It didn’t pan out. It left me feeling depressed and empty. So, I ask you to reach deep within yourself and find out your truth. Then, move forward appropriately.
The sickening mire of reality is that you’ll probably never make it. Hell, if you want to bring up numbers alone, there are seven billion people on this planet and you probably only know a few hundred to a thousand in any real way. Half of those are probably celebrities that reached your goals and succeeded doing what you dream of doing. You don’t have to be good at math to realize the odds of your mass appeal being terribly low.
Commitment to Your Craft
That’s not why you do what you do, though, is it? No, you do it, whatever it is, because you might explode in a fit of rage if you didn’t. You might scream and cry and forget yourself if you did anything else. That’s the burden of creation. Add to that the despair and longing brought to life by never being recognized for it? That, too, is pure unadulterated agony. It may sound like I’m talking you down or trying to convince you into a life of 9-5 customer service (not that there’s anything wrong with that if you’re happy!), but I’m not.
Instead, I’m weeding out the weak right here. So is Kripke. We’re challenging you, a no-name writer and a television legend. Actually, any person that you aspire to be like, any hero you may have, any person you respect; they’re all challenging you by just being the very thing you want to be. Life is telling you the standard, the benchmark of 300 episodes. It’s calling you to meet it head-on or to die never realizing your dreams. What will you do? Will you give up when your manuscript is tossed out of the window? Will you pursue a career in accounting because someone said they hated your game design? Will you stop painting because your high school studio art teacher told you it was bad? If your answer is no, then you’re on the right path. Sadly, the simple conviction of never backing down just isn’t enough. You can’t stand before a tidal wave and simply refuse to move. No. You’ll be crushed and drowned where you stand. You must innovate your work and inspire yourself beyond the sea. Build a submarine. Survive it first. Plan for the future.
Dig Deep, Accept Error
You can cry, you can wail all night long about your failings if you want, but you must improve. People in my life told me I could never be a freelance writer. They told me there was no money in it and that I’d be wasting my life. Then, some said I had the power to do it, that my talent was real. At the end of the day, I’m here writing this post because I decided I could do it.
The opinions of others in your life matter very little in the ways of fulfillment. They cannot hope to understand your asinine belief in something greater than the tried-and-true existence of an already established workplace model - because they are not you. It doesn’t make anyone right or wrong, it just makes everyone different. Understand this life, creative one, know that it will be the hardest thing you have ever done. Success may not come in the form that you want it to. You may try for years and never find a shred of support in the dream that is your way of life.
When that happens, look to the cult of Supernatural for your inspiration. Ten years in the making, a show nobody believed in became king of the American live-action fantasy world. When you fail, and you will - improve, innovate, believe, and... Pitch. It. Again.
Also, check out that gag reel, everyone struggles sometimes.