Finding a Balance

Last night was nice. We’ve developed a bit of tradition during Tony’s visits to St Louis of watching whatever the newest DC animated movie is of the moment. We watched Batman Ninja, enjoyed some Thai food, and unplugged for a while. It was refreshing.

I’m writing this at the end of a production block. We do these week-long shooting marathons a half dozen times a year. Tony has been here in St Louis for nearly a week now and we’ve been recording more podcasts and shooting new episodes of Cocktail Moment, while trying to catch up on movies, video games, and just life in general. Sometimes it feels like all we talk about is the channel. I don’t mean that negatively. It’s something we both care about and both want to see grow and be successful. But we’ve got to break it up sometimes with distractions. We went to a ball game on Saturday and had a great time, but it wasn’t long before we were talking about the channel and then shooting some video for the channel.

Nowadays our production team has doubled and we are producing original content at least once a week. It’s very fulfilling to have so much great work to show for our efforts, but it’s also very overwhelming at times. I have to remember to take the time to maintain the friendships that led to this wonderful team.

Looking back on the last two years of TSD, things have certainly changed a lot. In the beginning it was just Tony and myself producing a handful of episodes here and there. We got to hang out and do something we love a few times a year and the stress of it was pretty minimal. Jake and I were pretty casual friends at the beginning of all of this, but through no small part of our work together on TSD we’ve grown incredibly close and I count him among my closest friends and confidants. Joey is a somewhat recent addition to my life, but we’ve become steadfast friends so quickly through creative collaboration “in the trenches.”

Tony and I have been friends for going on twenty years now. He’s talked about it in a previous week, so I won’t go into a lot of detail on that. Suffice it to say, our bond of friendship is strong and producing creative projects together just strengthens it. TSD has been, overall, wonderful of us. It gives us ‘an excuse’ to spend time together doing things we love. It’s easy, however, to fall into the trap of making every interaction we have ‘about work.’

The greatest joy of working on this channel is getting to work alongside some of my favorite people-Tony, Jake, and Joey are hard-working creatives and we all do an incredible job of making each other better. In the chaos of production, I’m so grateful to be surrounded by friends. It would be so easy to get burnt out on each other after gruelling shoots and long weeks of production but we still find ourselves wanting to grab a drink or have a soak in the hot tub after it’s all done. The affection for each other is genuine, the bond we’re sharing is strong. Production weeks, like the one we’re finishing now, can be so overwhelming and anxiety-inducing for me, but I’m so glad to have these guys with me to get through it all. Work is something that’s tying us all together right now. Friendship is what’s making it worth doing.

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