Here at No Film School we're massive fans of the folks at Film Courage, and we share their fantastic videos frequently. Recently, our fearless leader, Ryan Koo, sat down with them to discuss various filmmaking tools and how he grew this site into what it is today. This time we've got comedian Jason Horton, who bills himself as the "world's only white male comedian." In the video, Horton talks about a subject that many of us have on our minds these days: how to quit your day job and make a living doing what you love. Check out what he had to say below.
For a little bit of background on Jason Horton, he's a comedian and actor who has managed to turn internet sketch comedy on YouTube into a bona fide living. Through creating an absolutely absurd amount of content (seriously, check out his YouTube channel), Horton has been able to define his comedic niche and carve out a solid audience for himself, therefore making it possible to monetize his comedy through the interwebs. Here's one of his funnier videos, "Phone Sex Girlfriend" which, needless to say, is definitely a bit on the NSFW side of things.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4ARjpVxwPs
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get to the nitty-gritty of quitting your day job and making a career for yourself doing what you love. Here's the Film Courage interview with Jason Horton:
Horton drops some absolute truth bombs in this interview, the most pertinent of which is the fact that making a living like this is really hard work. And it's not just a matter of working hard, it's a matter of working harder than all of the other people who are trying to do the exact same thing that you are. As he points out in the video, there certainly isn't a shortage of creative people looking to monetize their creative skill sets, and if you're not out working them, then chances are that they will be the ones getting the breaks and getting paid.
It's also a matter of doing top-notch work, Horton says. If you're constantly producing work that's legitimately good, and you're putting this work out into the world where it can be seen, then people will notice you. It may take time, and it may require that you stick with your day job for a little while longer while you build your portfolio to the point where it's ready to get you some freelance jobs. Ultimately though, the combination of working extremely hard and producing quality content will pay off.
His last tip, and one that I have personally taken to heart, is that you should do something related to your craft every single day. It's far too easy to become complacent and put your passions on the back-burner when you have a soul-sucking 9-5 job. Even if all you've got time for is to read a few NFS articles or watch some tutorials about filmmaking (or even just watch films that you find creatively inspiring), you're still engaging your brain in your creative passions, and you're keeping yourself on the right track for one day making a living doing what you love.
What do you guys think? Have any of you quit your day jobs and successfully pursued filmmaking as a career? How did you do it, and what advice could you share with the rest of the community? Share you stories with us in the comments!