So last week we looked at Ninja Brian, the YouTube comedy rock dude who has a PhD in theoretical physics and would rather play the piano along to dick jokes than teach. (Go Brian!) But I also promised that this week we’d look at Dan Avidan/Danny Sexbang, the other half of the band.
Now, I have absolutely zero doubt that Dan’s made amazing amount of sacrifice to get where he is. The difference is that Dan’s goal has been music the whole time, at least as far as we really have the story. He didn’t start out somewhere else and then turn to music–this is what Dan wants to do. He’s had more “serious” music projects that never quite panned out. He’s lived all over the place. Arin (from Game Grumps) and Brian have both said that when Dan came into their worlds, he was a broke-as-hell dude really hoping his lucky break would find him. Dan’s persistence in all of this–culminating thus far in a fantastic music career (I may use that term a bit lightly, but hey, he’s paying the bills with it) along with his work with Arin and the others on Game Grumps. But it’s not that piece of him I’d like to talk about for this post.
It’s something he said in an episode of Grumps I was watching the other day.
I’m relatively new to watching the Grumps, so I’ve been playing a lot of catch-up on series that they did in the past of games I’d enjoy. Being someone who struggles with depression, it’s good to have something playing around me that I know can make me laugh–and Arin and Dan are immensely good at that. So being the 90s kid that I am, I was watching the Pokémon Fire Red playthrough. (Which they have yet to finish. Please, guys? Finish? *puppy eyes*)
Arin was talking about how he’d fallen away from animation–his roots on the Internet are there, after all–but had taken some advice from Dan to get started again, using something called “don’t break the chain.” Dan explained for the audience that this was a technique attributed to Jerry Seinfeld, and was how the comedian managed to write as many jokes as he did, in as tight of a window of time as it was.
Arin commented that some days it’s really hard to get yourself motivated to do anything, especially when you know that at your current mood/energy level, it’s just going to be crap. “Just draw something every day,” was Dan’s response. “Even if you just pull out your sketchbook and draw a smiley face–you drew something that day. You didn’t break the chain.”
(I’m paraphrasing, but I’m capturing the spirit at least.)
I’d never really thought about that. I completely understand what Arin means. I struggle with writing every day. Forcing myself to keep up with the blog helps, but in terms of creative writing…outside of the Tales from the Café, I don’t know when the last time I really worked on anything was. Probably November. I haven’t figured out anyway to break myself out of the rut, and it’s very easy to say “oh, I’m so busy with work that I haven’t been able to sit down and write anything recently.”
I haven’t been that busy. I’ve been watching the gorram Game Grumps.
Dan’s right–all you need is to sit down and draw a smiley face. All I need to do is each and every day, is sit down, write a sentence…and that’s it. If I can’t do anymore, than at least I got that sentence down. I’ve done something every day. I haven’t broken the chain.
I’m thinking of implementing this into my life sometime soon. I may give myself until April, just to get any residual laziness out of my system, but I might start it sooner. I’ve got the calendar that sits right next to me (in fact, you probably see it in my videos) that tracks when all my posts and vlogs go live. I don’t write them on there until they’re scheduled. It keeps me aware of how far behind or ahead I am. It gives me a visual.
So maybe I’ll start keeping a red dot or checkmark on the days as well, for each time I write. Each day I make a new link in the chain.
Because if Dan Avidan, man of myriad talents and exceptionally busy person that he is, can keep the chain going with his music, I should be able to do the same with my writing. And in the back of my mind, I can pretend that as long as I keep the chain going, somewhere…Dan is proud of me for it. Even if I never meet him, that’s a win in my book.
So thank you, Dan. For helping me smile, for helping me keep accountable…for helping me remember that my dreams are worth fighting for–and that sometimes it takes time, and a lot of that time spent falling down. But I’ll have my moment, as long as I keep fighting for it.
Who would have thought that my biggest piece of inspiration would come from a band who sings about their junk? Huh. No matter.
I love ya, Ninja Sex Party. You keep on doing you, and I’ll do me. …or I suppose you can do whomever you’d like. Or both! Or…ah, never mind.
I’ll leave a light on for ya.