Derek Sivers

from the book “”:

Be an extreme character.

2018-02-28

This is both fun and considerate.

When people say that a movie has a great character, they mean it was someone especially shocking, funny, or honest. To be a great entertainer, you need to be larger than life.

Push your outer boundaries. Show your weirdness. Bring out all your quirks. The world needs that.

Your public persona — the image you show the world — should be an extreme character. It can be a version of yourself, or it can be a mask. (It’s easier to be honest behind a mask.)

Some of the biggest musicians of the last few decades have admitted they were playing a character. Eminem, for example, said he wrote lyrics with the goal of shocking a passive listener into paying attention. Then he built his public persona to match the lyrics.

Are you concerned that maybe you should play it safe, because your music isn’t so extreme? Well… Think of the conservative, old-fashioned performers that your great-grandmother probably liked. Frank Sinatra. Judy Garland. Miles Davis. Billie Holiday. Even these old legends were rather extreme.

It’s more interesting for the audience if you’re the opposite of normal. So be an extreme character. The spotlight is the excuse. You can get away with anything in the name of entertainment.