I’m listening to filmmaker Mark Duplass discuss his life and career on Marc Maron’s podcast. I like Duplass a lot. I suspect that in terms of our sense of narrative and humor, we have a great deal in common. I’d like to think that my books and his films share a similar tone, and that if we ever sat down together, we’d find great commonality in our belief in how a story should be told.
Then Duplass described how his father supported him for most of his early-mid twenties by giving him $1,000 a month in order to “avoid having to wait tables” and focus on the art. His father also provided the seed money for at least one of his first films.
Just like that, I didn’t like Duplass nearly as much. Why is this?
Am I envious of Duplass for having the kind of emotional and financial support from his family that I never had? I don’t think so, but maybe I’m just fooling myself.
Am I jealous of him for the father I never had?
Am I more inclined to respect the self-made man, and if so, is this only because I had to find my own way in life?
Am I merely judging people by comparing them to myself?
Is creativity more worthy of admiration when the artist must struggle mightily to make it?
I’m not sure.
The only thing I am certain of is that my opinion of Mark Duplass plummeted upon learning of his father’s investment in his career.
I also strongly suspect that this doesn’t say very much about me as a person.