What drives creative people to do what they do? [To view Chris Mann’s photo feature, click on the mini gallery below.]
I’m sitting at my desk, as I have been for some time now, trying to think of the best way to describe Reason Enough. In many ways, it’s quite simple: It’s about what drives creative people to do what they do. But what makes it more complicated, and so fascinating to work on, is that as a writer I’m in the fairly unique position of having no idea how my book will end.
The idea for Reason Enough first came to me in January 2013, when I suddenly realized I wasn’t really sure what was driving me to do what I do (I was referring to my other career in acting). How could I have made such a big choice, namely how to spend my life, and yet not really understand fundamentally why?
I mean, I enjoy acting, but is that enough of a reason to dedicate my life to it? Perhaps, by asking other people what drives them, I might be able to draw my own conclusions.
And with that, the journey began. But not alone.
Can reasons explain a passion or a need? I don’t know yet. Until I do know I’m not giving anything away; not our subjects’ answers or faces. Just a few silhouettes.
Chris Mann is more than just a little bit inimitable. He too is an actor, but he is also an exceptionally gifted photographer. What makes his work so profound, especially when photographing creatives, is how deeply he understands his subjects. He has experienced all their fears, concerns and aspirations, and from this level of consideration for those in front of his lens comes his honest, and somewhat ethereal portraits. One glance at his work and it was obvious to me this was a story best told in both words and images.
The idea firmly thought out, the next thing we needed to do was decide who we should speak to. We thought about who our ideal candidates would be: committed, driven actors who pursue their dreams no matter what. It didn’t take us long to see that our criteria included many people outside of those working in the acting profession, and so we cast our net wider.
What has ensued has been one of the most fascinating projects I have been involved in as a writer and actor. Some people are incredibly articulate on the subject of what drives them, knowing exactly where they are heading and what they want from their life and work, whilst others are far less so. More interesting still is their level of articulation has no bearing on their success: some of the most successful people we have spoken to have no idea what drives them.
Maybe that’s the heart of it. Can reasons explain a passion or a need? I don’t know yet. Until I do know I’m not giving anything away; not our subjects’ answers or faces. Just a few silhouettes.
*[ The images used in the photo feature are the property of Chris Mann. Copyright © All Rights Reserved.]
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.