Monday, April 19, 2010
 universal truth from buster bluth.
As many of you probably saw on my Facebook, last week Kyo and I had the honor of seeing Tony Hale speak at Vanguard. If you're unfamiliar with the name, that's Buster Bluth from the EPIC TV show, Arrested Development. If you're unfamiliar with that name, please open Netflix in a new tab - after all, I wouldn't want you to abandon my blog completely - and add it to your queue immediately, if not sooner. If you don't have Netflix, I'll send you a postcard from the 21st century sometime.
Tony Hale is a bit wary of bloggers, as they've gotten him into trouble before. I'm pretty sure that I'm not breaking any confidence, however, in relating to you all a particularly profound insight he shared. I don't mean profound in the sense that you've never heard anything like it before. You probably have. But I think it takes on a new life coming from someone who is, by all accounts, a successful person who is living his dream.
The insight was simply this: Be content with where you are in your life.
Seems pretty straightforward, right? And maybe you think, well, gee, that's easy for him to say. He's married, successful, well-connected, etc., etc., etc. That's what makes it all the more interesting to me, though. Like most of us youngsters, just getting our starts in the world, he had this idea that once he attained his dream, everything would be perfect. He thought that landing that sitcom would fulfill him, and he'd be content. When he got there, he found that success did not equal contentment. Not only was there an emptiness within himself, but he told us how he talked to other celebrities who really seemed to have everything, and all they could do was talk about something that they had not yet achieved - being cast in a serious role, being cast in a comedic role, getting to do Broadway, and on and on. There's always something more that you can achieve, sure. But what Tony Hale realized was that, if he couldn't be content with what he had, he was never going to be content with all the other things he thought he wanted or needed.
That's not to say that you should become complacent, of course. Kickin' around and doing the same ol' thing isn't going to get you anywhere anymore than making a lot of money is going to make you truly happy. The point is that if you try really hard and fail, but you're content with what you've got, failure is not a soul-crushing event. More than that, not achieving some goal doesn't have to be a failure. Failure is an attitude, and you could be the richest, most successful, and most famous person on the planet and still be a total failure.
I've been reading Dianna Agron's Tumblr lately. She's on the show Glee, and damned if she isn't about as content as they come. I love reading her blog. Here is a girl who has looks, talent, and success, and is taking it all as an unbelievable blessing. Her incredulity at her own good fortune is apparent in everything she writes. Maybe it's because she's young and new to the business. Maybe she hasn't had time to realize that she's supposed to crave more. I hope, though, that she has what it took Tony Hale - and most of the rest of us - years to find. Contentment.