Having just finished Marc Eliot’s highly enjoyable book, Michael Douglas: A Biography, I had the thought that in the arts, we are all more or less in the same boat. Even an iconic actor/producer like Douglas, I learned, dealt with countless setbacks during his amazing career. For example, it took him years, when he was still unknown and languishing in the great shadow of his father, Kirk, to bring One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to the screen. Were it not for first his father’s, then his own unshakable belief in the material, and the perseverence to weather many obstacles, the movie would have never even made it to the screen.
It got me thinking how a film, while it is usually the product of hundreds or thousands of people in the end, starts with a vision–one person has a belief… a burning desire to see that idea be manifested in the real world. No matter how many people think the idea is dumb, impractical or otherwise ill-coneived, nothing can sway that person from taking the steps to see the project to completion. It’s the same with writing a book, recording a CD, or anything else artistic in nature. These types of endeavors take not only an original vision, but then the persistence and stamina to survive the invariable hurdles that lay in the creator’s path.
Anyway, I loved this book, and recommend it to not only fans of Michael Douglas (of which I am certainly one), but also anyone who loves film, and anyone who braves the creative arts, and might be empowered to read the tale of a fellow artist, who dealt with continued challenges throughout the course of his storied career. It is never easy, even for those whose work enjoys the sheen of commercial success and universal validation.