My husband (and co-writer) writes a science column for non-scientists and is always looking for fresh material to report about. He was surprised to learn from one of his colleagues that lots of healthy, straight-laced, white sock wearing scientists routinely use the drugs originally developed to combat ADD. But they don't have ADD. They use the drugs as 'productivity-enhancers'. We're talking about forms of the drug we used to call *speed*.
Seriously? And this is old news! Apparently the New Yorker did a big profile years ago on the widespread student use of mind-enhancing drugs. So my active mind instantly goes into extrapolation mode: if the scientists and students are into this, how about the rest of the population?
I won't beat around the bush about why this topic is so fascinating to me: first of all, being in the business of guerilla filmmaking, where the money is minimal to non-existent and the work of five to eight people is on one person's shoulders, stamina and energy are the currency of the realm. Secondly, I'm well aware of my own problem with 'Too Much Ain't Enough'. Would I like to be twice as productive? Uhh... YEAH. So this should be good news.
I think it's terrible news. And it seems like it might explain a lot of what's wrong with the country, maybe the world: have we become a nation disconnected from ourselves in a mad scramble for More?
It's making me question just what I'm trying to do with this 'Go Big or Go Bust'. The fact is that a significantly bigger audience is necessary if I'm to keep doing what I'm doing and actually pay my collaborators and get paid. To accomplish this, the main job seems to be to dare to reveal myself more than I ever have. But this would not mean revealing myself as a drug-crazed action figure, foaming at the mouth and cackling at my efficiency.
I've spent the last thirty-five-plus years fighting my way out of the self-inflicted prisons of trying to be 'liked' and of trying to pretend I feel confident. Suppressing, denying, and ignoring my emotional problems has never helped. What headway I've made has been through not tampering with my body chemistry but through learning to be more vulnerable, through feeling more. As an artist, your being is your instrument, the vessel you're given to use to do your life's work. I want to keep mine clear.