Right off the bat, I want you to know that I did not conduct this interview in person.
Nor over the telephone.
I sent a batch of questions over to my self-proclaimed ‘Catfish Friend’, Marshall. Marshall is, to put it in his words (literally), an aspiring television writer from wine country who doesn’t know nearly enough about either. We know each other through our mutual friend, “the inimitable Jennie, and because you went out on a creepy limb and decided to start creepily creep-stalking me on Creepbook. Which I found flattering, and so now here we are.”
Here we are INDEED.
Welp, I am the one who decided to “creep-stalk” him a few years back (to learn about him and his infinite wisdom and continuing success in the City of Angels. And to make a new friend), so I instigated this ‘interview’ because I am curious as to what one’s happiness gauge might be in Los Angeles, in the industry he has chosen to pursue a career in. It is fascinating. Good thing he is fascinating too. As are his answers. Check out our interaction (and maybe find some of the answers to life’s burning questions) below!
RoaminTwin: What is YOUR definition of ‘Happiness’?
Marshall: I don’t think I’ve ever been asked to define happiness before. For me, as I imagine it is with most people, it’s sort of a “know it when you feel it” phenomenon. But…I guess it’s a sense that you’re moving in the right direction. Where you can feel your life or the world or whatever it is you’re thinking about at that moment, coming in line with your ideal version of what it should be.
Although that can’t be a complete definition, because happiness also comes from surprising places.
R: What makes YOU happy?
M: I would say success (in creative pursuits, career stuff, etc) is high on the list, although surprisingly, recognition for success does not. Except maybe the first time. Learning, being amazed by the exploits of others, by science and art… although, for me, those feelings tend to come with a dose of anxiety, because I find myself realizing there’s only so much you can accomplish or put your name to in a lifetime, and how the hell am I supposed to choose which little slice to pursue? Being loved, too, is important to my happiness, although I tend to fight back against it for reasons I can’t totally explain.
R: What are some negative forces in your life, and how do you overcome those forces?
M: Some of the negative forces in my life include: intolerance, ignorance, and the sort of people who deal in absolutes; the sort of indecision that comes from not wanting to deal in absolutes myself; competition at the expense of relationships; laziness; and my tendency to misread and overreact to other people
Most of them I can counter by relaxing or trying to take the long view, or in some cases, convincing myself that my life is somehow charmed and that I’m on the right side of history. But indecision and laziness are cancerous and I haven’t quite figured out how to combat them — particularly because they feed into each other.
R: Do you see yourself as a negative or positive thinker?
M: I’d like to think I’m a positive thinker, but I’m not sure that’s exactly true. I’m a little naive. But for the most part, I’m pretty neutral in my thinking. I’m sort of an empiricist, and until I have experienced something for myself, I try not to make judgments as far as good and bad are concerned. When it comes to reaching goals, I try to be thoughtful and methodical — what needs to be accomplished, in what order, to succeed? Nothing
seems IS insurmountable.
R: What is your BIGGEST dream?
M: My biggest dream is to create and run my own TV show. Achieving it doesn’t seem particularly far fetched (although it does at times seem far off). I just need to keep doing what I’ve been doing — working hard and letting the work speak for itself; writing all the time, even when it sucks; surrounding myself with the right people; and not being an asshole because I haven’t accomplished much of anything yet, and people remember that stuff.
Thank you, Marshall, for answering some of life’s burning questions for us! I hope that anyone who reads this takes these questions into consideration for themselves, as well as ponders the answers given by this bright, achieving, friend-o-mine. Until next time…
M: Wait, I have my parting advice! And that is… do what you want. Seriously. There’s no good reason not to. Pack it all in. Sleep when you’re dead. You only get one shot at this.
And that, my friends, is all we wrote.