Let me start off by breaking my rule which I seem to have been breaking a lot these days. My rule: No disclaimers. Don't give fucking disclaimers. Don't get up on stage and start telling everyone that you haven't practiced or this is usually funnier or whatever kind of bullshit excuse you have to let people know why you are about to suck. Sometimes you've got to say "Fuck it" and just go for it. Most of the time people don't know the difference and anyways the reason something doesn't suck is usually because you deliver it with some sort of balls.
Man I really forgot about this rule of mine. I'm going on a tangent already but what the hell. I turn on the microphone and just start letting my brain take over. The brain that wants to self sabotage and say "You suck Duke!". I guess you've got to be honest sometimes and that kind of expression has it's place but you can't live there.
So what was the disclaimer I was about to start with? Oh yes I remember. Most of my ideas, probably all of them are unoriginal. Most of my thoughts are stuff that I heard from people I thought were smart at the time and then I just regurgitate them and repeat them as my own. I recently read the book "The Art of War" and it was inspirational and eye opening to say the least. So any opinions that I now claim as my own that might have came from this book I'm freely admitting that I steal outright. But come on, is the stuff this guy wrote really original? He even claims himself that inspiration is a universal thing and open to everyone who pursues creativity in a persistent and honest way. He basically says the genius he has is not him but it's angels whispering to him when he is in the creative zone. They want to whisper to everyone and are available for everyone but only if you have balls. I'm attempting to use my balls more and more these days.
The thing a professional knows that an amateur doesn't is the difference between what's urgent and what's important. A while back I was asked to host a fund raising auction. People donated goods and services, I talked into a wireless microphone, and money was made. One lady donated photography. It was labeled as a "$500" value. Right off the bat I've got to say that if I'm spending $500 bucks the picture should have a somewhat decent result and the photographer should at least show up on time.
This fucking bitch could not have been more of a headache. I hosted this auction maybe over 6 months ago. At first I asked her to come photograph me at Club M when I was hosting the Duke Fightmaster show at a night club. She's supposed to show up at 630pm. She keeps texting me that she's running late. I'm stressing out on setting up the show as I did every week by myself with out the help of all my freeloader friends but that's another story. 7 pm text, "I'm almost there." 730 pm text ,"Where is it?" 8 pm text "I can't find it." 805pm she's ringing me.
Hey lady I can't answer your stupid call because I'm delivering a fucking monologue right now! Why don't you walk to the fucking address? Why don't you ask somebody where Club M is? Why are you so incompetent yet you claim your services are worth $500?
She just gave up. We tried to set up schedules for more shoots in over the next few months with the same results and I finally just said, "Fuck this lady I will never deal with her again." If someone is consistently upsetting you and letting you down, drop them. That is a lesson that I seem to have had to repeat often. Meanwhile, just enough time has passed for me to let her rope me into her little world of dysfunction.
I want to tell the rest of the story but I have to pick up my youngest son Stone and although I am in the middle of the question "Is it urgent or is it important?" It is urgent to pick up Stone and it's important to write but I guess it's also important to be a dad. So here I go being an important dad and I'll be back for the finish maybe.
Ok I'm back 7 hours later. I've had crazy kids in your face energy for for 7 hours straight and I'm completely burnt. We just had dinner. Mom's gone. I'm empty. Got a text from Lesley asking the last time we had sex and I couldn't remember. It was actually pretty recent for us but I still couldn't remember. She's uses an "IUD", is that the name? Or maybe it's an "AUD"? Anyways it's something they shove up into the you know where and then you can have all the sex you want with your partner without the worries and stresses that parenthood can bring. I can't even imagine having another one. Three kids would be a nightmare and I would like to save this discussion for another day. Let's get back to the topic which I believe was "Fuck you you amateur bitch!" or something along those lines.
So this lazy photographer feels guilty because she donated her services and knows that deep down she is a loser and hasn't lived up to what she said she was going to do. I'm hard on this lady but it's probably because I'm hard on myself and I see myself pull shit like this. I know what it's like to have a voice at the core of your being which says "You are a loser." I have that voice and I've hit the bottom of my core one time and started crying but that is another story in itself. Every now and then the photographer lady has this thought that says she has not done what she said she was going to do. It crosses her mind and so she wants to reach out to me so I can get my picture taken and cure her guilt.
So we go back and forth for a few weeks with her ambiguous talk and unreliable words. I sent her a text Sunday night and asked if we could meet tuesday morning. She said yes. More red flags arose as she was telling me she wanted to take the picture in Laguna beach on the sand or on the top of the world which is a cliche scenic spot for terrible family portraits. I tell her I just want a comedy headshot. Now she has the ideas for comedy shots that start to scare me. I tell her I just want a shot in front of my van with the Indian and the curtains. She says that's not funny and that she knows funny because she used to write comedy. I say text me your email. She never does.
------- OK kids just went crazy again. I told them to take a bath as I was writing and they got in a fight in the tub. I ran up and got mad. Finished the bath , read stories and now they're in bed. With that I continue.
The next day is Monday. Our meeting is scheduled for tuesday. She calls Monday morning and asks if I want to meet at 10am. I said I thought we were meeting at 8am. She says 8am passed. I say we are scheduled to meet tomorrow. She says she has it in her calendar for today. I say the text message clearly says tuesday. This chick is so amateur on so many levels and so am I because somehow I am still dealing with her. I tell her I have to pick up my son in an hour and a half. Long story short I convince her to come to my place after arguing with her on what would be a funny location. I don't even care about funny anymore I just want her out of my hair. I just want her to take the picture get her guilt relieved and get out of my life. I give her directions to my place and she's on her way. She tried to come up with another excuse about how she wanted to go to her farmers bank but I convinced her to just come now and get it over with.
I immediately go into "Duke is going to get stuff done mode" and create a set on the street in front of our house. I get all the talk show stuff down from the attic. I put the van in the street hang the Indian and the curtains down the side of the van. Hung the applause sign, hung my suit on the van and lined up my old school skateboards. Then I ran an extension chord to make the applause sign light up.
As I was running in and out of the house Lesley made some remark about how she was waiting for me to do the dishes and laid some bullshit martyr like comment while she did the dishes. I quickly snapped back,"I clean the house everyday after I drop off the kids! I have a photo shoot right now so back off!"I keep the a clean house and do more than my part to keep the place in order so I don't have too much of a bad feeling about our exchange. If she wants to lunge out and bite me don't get mad if I bite back. But that too is another story.
This photography lady shows up. It's 858 am and she tells me she has a call from Britain at 9am.
"You have a fucking what?!"
So right when she begins the shoot the phone rings. I can hear the person on the other line asking if she needs to go.
"No I'm a professional. I've been doing this for 30 years. I'm a multi tasker."
This lady is so ridiculous and so am I. She continues to take the pictures while talking on the phone for about 5 minutes and then says she thinks she's got it. I make her take a few more and then she's gone.
Don't you love it when people go out of their way to tell you they're a professional. It's always the people that have to constantly tell you how good they are that you need to watch out for.
I'm sorry but you're not a fucking professional you are an amateur. You don't know the difference between what's urgent and what's important. And by the way you are not a multi tasker. You are a lady that takes bad pictures while talking on the phone and you are a lady that has annoyingly inattentive phone calls because you try to take pictures while you talk. Your life is a mess. Your mind is a mess and your sphere of people you come into contact with are annoyed and a mess.
So to you I say "Fuck you amateur!"
I hope I get a good picture out of this.