So, I’ve been in America for like, almost three months and this blog has in no way reflected that. For that I apologise.
I realise that this move of social opaqueness might seem uncharateristic for a man who spends more time looking at a computer screen than at human beings, but I’m sorry to say that the entire experience has been somewhat distracting. So distracting in fact that I don’t think I’ve actually sat down and really thought about that question until now. So.
How is America?
Or more specifically, how is New York? For those that just want the concentrated version.
Well, let me give you a bit of an update of the last three and a half months and maybe you’ll get an idea.
So, I arrived in New York in January to much internal fanfare. I was finally working in the industry I had studied and surveilled from a distance for over 4 years and I was ready to go. I was ready to walk in, shout my name and DEMAND that someone gave me an interesting creative media question, a puzzle of somehow being the loudest pop and whizzle of the internet and I was ready to effortlessly tell people what was the poppiest and whizziest, and if it just so happened that it was me, so much the better.
I was working for a Digital Production company called “Digital Kitchen”, a legendary hothouse of awesomeness.I managed to source an internship there past their absolutely amazing reputation and after much to-ing and fro-ing, waiting and tentative questioning. I was going to be a “Creative Producer”. To those of you who don’t know what this means, meet me when I started my internship.
I knew it was assumedly something about producing creativity, but that was kind of it, in a practical sense at least. I walked in the door full of something and something, but with both somethings in question being some declaration that I was there and I was a fucking “Creative Producer” so no-one should ask me what it meant.
The office was small, 5 excellent people who were so good at their jobs, you want to put the fact you know them on a card and show it to potential life-mates at bars to proved testament of your genetic viability. I worked with them in a kind of awed blur for a few weeks on some amazing projects, every day practically running in the door so that I could do absolutely anything anyone asked me about anything before the head office rang. I was sitting next door in an edit-suite going through endless awesome footage of Jack White when I found out that the home office in LA had decided to close the NYC office and then, rather suddenly, my job changed.
Suddenly I wasn’t a “Creative Producer”, I was in fact a “Office-Chair Counter”. And thus, my internship entered the two month period of semi-hopeless repetetiveness that surrounds a group of people being told that they had to find a new job, regardless of their circumstances. It’s odd being around people who are really good at their job when everyone’s been let go due to no shortcoming of their own, it’s not a sad time, it’s just a time where people know exactly how much more money they are going to be paid and when their health insurance will run out. Everyone knew that they were still awesome at their job, but also knew that they had reached a point where they had been gifted. They knew they had a few weeks to find a new job at the height of their abilities with a perfect out in terms of explaining why they were looking for a job and that is something that the vast majority of people who lose their jobs don’t have. It was a gift.
My gift was a bit different however, I was never looking for a new job, I was more looking for a time where I had the opportunity to play, so for me this was a moment of impatience. I wanted to get working, to push boundaries, to find the mystical “edge”. I was so ready for something awesome after a largely theoretical Sweden. I needed to be pushed and pulled and asked and mentioned and seen and hidden and told and advised and requested and wanted and prayed for, I needed to become something so I could say “I am xxxx” and feel that I did that.
Or at least so I thought at the time*.
So, I looked around. I tried to get an idea of what I could learn from my time at Digital Kitchen, and I came up with this list:
A) Trust your gut.
B) When you are just starting your career in a given field, don’t go anywhere where you don’t work with the head boss on a daily basis.
C) Minecraft is awesome.
I applied this list to a bigger list. One I had been working off since I quit Google.
A) What do you want to do?
B) What are you good at?
C) What’s the best compromise between A and B?
I think I’m lucky that I’m in a situation where my C is a lot higher on A and B’s individual metrics than for a lot of people. So really, any decision I make is pretty good, but the decision I made to go work at my new agency, Mssng Peces, really makes the whole idea of expression on an individual metric seem trite. So far I’ve enjoyed every single day. We work with awesome clients and I feel that really, whatever else is going I have the potential to really be a part of the cool stuff. I don’t worry about whether I have the right internship anymore, I worry about whether I have enough time to do all of the things in work AND all the things it inspires me to do when I get home.
It’s solid. I know for absolute sure you’re gonna see some of our work real soon.
So, the answer to your question, America is exactly what I wanted. Challenging, interesting, stimulating, worrying. New York is wrapping me up in it’s blankety grimy grasp and filling me full of hope and dreams and creativity. And Burritos.
Otherwise, I’m still livin’ in Williamsberg in Brooklyn. I’m still pretty much the same fast-talking neurotic mess of awesome, the only real difference is, I’m happy.
I mean, I realise that I’m leaving 90% of what’s going on out of this but frankly, I don’t have 7 arms and I should know as I tried to get into a party last night where they wouldn’t let me in unless I had them. Bastards.
*And probably still think.