While I enjoy some of the glitz and glam of awards shows, what particularly jazzes me these days are the little glimpses we get into the genesis of an artist’s career. At last night’s Golden Globes, while accepting the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement award, Steven Spielberg told the story of how he first became intrigued with film when he was six years old and his father took him to see Demille’s Greatest Show.
He tried to recreate the epic train crash scene with his model trains and finally his parents told him to stop, so he captured the crash on 8mm film. He found the result so satisfying that it proved to be the foundation of his storied career:
“I think what was on my mind when I was risking losing my Lionel train set was me thinking, ‘Am I going to get away with this?’ That anxiety has been haunting me throughout my entire movie career. Whenever I’ve tried to tell a risky story, whether it’s about sharks or dinosaurs or about aliens or about history, I’ll always be thinking, ‘Am I going to get away with this?'”
He then added that if he doesn’t have that anxiety about a project, he won’t do it.
And therein lies the difference between a man who is good at what he does and man who has achieved a level of greatness. Feel the fear and do it anyway.