Friends and weirdness

So, I have to admit I am addicted to Britain’s Got Talent–and I have been ever since Paul Potts two years ago. It’s kind of odd since I don’t even watch American television, but it’s a neat combination of drama, talent, weirdness, and laughter, that I always get a kick out of it.  (And my real problem with television and movies–that I have extremely poor facial recognition skills–doesn’t matter, because I don’t need to remember anyone’s name!) In any event, there’s a clip from BGT last week that hasn’t gotten a lot of play in the last few weeks. It’s not a demonstration that yes, women with unibrows can sing, or another utterly precocious child. It’s a video in which you can see a friendship being destroyed.

[Okay embedding has been disabled on the video I want to show, so click here.]

I said earlier that all your friends can get published. But I have also seen publication tear apart friendships. And, heck, I know that I have more than my share of irrationality and weirdness and jealousy, and this is an industry where someone is always going to have more brass rings than you are.  I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, the best person in the world in this regard. But I hope to high hell that if I ever had that chance–if it were me sitting back stage, and someone I counted as a dear friend standing in front of the judges, torn between loyalty to me and the opportunity of a lifetime–I hope to high hell I would march back out on stage and tell the judges she would grab the opportunity or I would kick her ass.

Courtney Milan writes historical romances, which might lead people to think that she could be cool. In reality, she's about four different kinds of geeky. At present, this blog is where Courtney applies semi-dormant geek skills to publishing.

4 thoughts on “Friends and weirdness

  1. I try my damndest to remember that only I can tell the stories I want to tell, and only [insert name] can tell the story they want to tell. Yes, it can get hairy when a friend/acquaintance sells, particularly if you think you are a stronger writer (which isn’t necessarily true!), but life’s too short to waste on such negative emotions as jealousy, envy, anger, or resentment. I’ve found that more energy is expended in being envious of what someone else has accomplished than on being excited for them and feeling inspired to keep plugging on with my own work. On that note, I do think that bottling up or ignoring envy does more to feed the sentiments. The more we accept and deal with these emotions, as well as speaking out about it and keeping the channels of communication open, we remain emotionally and mentally healthy.

  2. This is a really interesting post, because jealousy is such an intricate part of any business that’s highly competitive. Technically, writers may not be in direct competition with one another, since advances/deals/etc can be similar, but there is always that person who’s one step ahead of you – getting an agent first, getting published, making the NYT list – and it’s going to be rough if that person is one of your close friends.

    Personally, I think jealousy is a natural emotion in such a situation. There’s no law that says you can’t be completely thrilled for someone and jealous of him/her at the same time. What counts is what you do with that emotion. If it makes you more focused and gets you working harder on your own goals, it’s not a bad thing. It’s only when it becomes petty or malicious that it becomes an issue. And if that’s the case? Well, you have a bigger problem than a lack of friendship – you have a lack of morals.

    And all that being said, I’m with you – if it had been my best friend, I like to think I would have been yelling “SAY YES!” from backstage with all my heart.

  3. Oh, ouch. When I was guessing at where this would go, I didn’t think it would be that clear of a choice.

    At first, I understood the pianist’s total disappointment & probably embarassment, and I was highly sympathetic.

    But when if a friend was standing there, agonizing about whether to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and was dithering BECAUSE OF HER LOYALTY TO ME, I couldn’t imagine not shouting out, “Yes! Yes, she will!” from the backstage.

    The pianist’s life was in no way worse if the violinist got a 2nd chance. I think that’s what made it so clear. Oh, and the violinist’s struggle about the value that should predominate: follow a dream, or be loyal to a friend.

    But seriously, loyalty didn’t come into this. It’s not as if they said, “But you’ll have to throw your friend under the bus to have this opportunity.”

    Ouch. So hard. And you’re right…jealousy is so easy to fall into. There’s always another level up, and somehow, we always think that one’s better.

  4. Oh gosh. Just rip my heart out, why don’t you. Did Sue make it on? … Did they do a follow up to see if they were still friends? O_o
    Tragic. I like to think I’d be behind stage screaming “SAY YES, YOU FOOL!” I’m pretty certain I’d be going it too – for that, at least. 😛
    It seemed like the pianist was more “in charge” of the group – she was the composer, and always spoke first, etc – don’t know if anyone else noticed that.
    What other reason than loyalty would Sue have hesitated? Hopefully her friend was a big enough person to get over it. (Not that it really takes being a big person. Hello.) But… yeah.

Comments are closed.