The Director’s Cut

So I’ve just gone over 12,000 overall views on my YouTube channel!! Blimey! Therefore I wanted to say a huge thank you!

Thanks so much for putting up with my ridiculous amounts of videos and silly requests to always watch and share them. You do put up with a load from me you lot, but if it’s any consolation, it really does make me smile and gives me a warm sense of getting somewhere, despite knowing full well that they are *only* videos. They are more than that to me.

My videos are an expression of myself, of how I feel. They are the result of an idea. Always an idea. A sentence that remains unsaid until it is seen by whoever ends up seeing it. I get a huge release of endorphins when someone pops online and says “hey, I saw that video you did!” or when someone has liked or shared my video without me even knowing… It’s like winning at bingo or something! I guess it’s similar to that feeling that you *might* be on the telly because Local News are filming down your street, I mean, *who* might see it!? I’ll call it the “Hi Mum!” factor. That is genuinely how I feel whenever I’m in a photo or a video. I can never believe I’m in it!

I’ve always been the same. I get excited. You should see me open Christmas presents! As a man who gets just as excited after his 50th video as he did over his first ever video, maybe you can begin to understand why it means so much to me when someone shares something little old me did, or when someone is thoughtful enough to put a comment to say that they appreciate something I did. It makes me feel a million dollars.

I’ve never been one for taking compliments well, and for me the hit of satisfaction has never come from showing-off or having some kind of ego, although I know full well that many would assume or think as such. Why wouldn’t they? I mean, all musicians are a type of show-off in one form or another, as we have to show-off to be able to perform at all. If we didn’t, we would merely stay in our bedrooms and never share music with anyone else.

As musicians we learn to show-off in a rather unique way.

We ‘take the hit’ for having to show-off so that the point of getting the song ‘sung’ can actually happen. That way even the most timid of people can end up biting the bullet and finally get the courage it takes to actually show someone something that they do, because they realise that sometimes you have to do something for an idea, for an expression, which is bigger than the desire for attention. The desire is to get the song out at all costs, because once the idea is sewn it *needs* to happen or else a soul rendering sense of in-completion transpires and we can’t be having that can we? Nothing can ever stop that initial idea from becoming a real thing. It’s about objectifying your thoughts and feelings, DESPITE the attention it might get you. It’s about the journey.

I don’t do what I do to be better than anyone else at it. Whatever lands in my in-tray, I try to do a better job of it than the version of me who attempted it the last time. If I haven’t tried it before, then I try to set a benchmark for myself that seems appropriate, but the priority always, is that the *task* gets done as well as it can get done.

I’m just not competitive in the normal way. If I am in competition with someone who is not myself, then in my opinion it is not a competition, it is simply more than one person doing a task at the same time. Even positive competition isn’t really competition to me, it is just a different sort of “linear teamwork” in my experience, and is pretty much the only “competition” that does exist in my everyday life. If someone completes a task more satisfactorily than someone else then I’m genuinely delighted, because the *task* or objective was mutually advanced because of it. I’m a believer in the sum of the parts making a better whole as a way of life. It is Ant culture I suppose.

Ants don’t point at losers.

I think an Ant might deliberately compete to get the heaviest leaf back to the hill, but the Ant is only bothered really that the leaf makes it back at all. It doesn’t matter which Ant achieved it. It only matters to the Ant that it got the leaf there, not that it beat the other Ant to do so.

I can often see myself as an Ant. It doesn’t matter that it is Ryan Mitchell-Smith who has sung a song or played a thing. It only matters to me, that the song was played at all, or that the thing was attempted in the first place, because to me, all that matters is that I get the things out of my head that are in there. That is my *task*.

Making things exist that used to be in my head.

Because that is my focus I never feel the need to have a pat on the back for anything really. I’m not doing any of this for a well done. I’m doing it for a “I’m glad that idea you had is now a thing”. The idea being the point and task, whilst the person behind it a conduit and nothing more.

“Hey, nice solo!”

Cheers! I wasn’t playing it so you’d say that to me afterwards, just so you know. I played it because it’s what seemed right to me to play for the benefit of the song, but if you happened to be moved enough to want to say so to me then brilliant! People should be praised when they do something well… I just don’t always know what else to do with that when people say it to *me*, because I only did what the song told me to do, really. I’m an Ant. I will always automatically try my best for the good of the bigger picture, not for the good of my ego. If I am ever lucky enough to get a pat on the back for trying my best, then brilliant, that is something different and something that at least I can say thank you for and appreciate properly.

You’ve probably noticed, that I *love* praising people… a lot… and I do it, when they have done their bestest. I do that to encourage everyone else to get what is inside their heads and turn it into real things as much as possible too.

Life’s too short not to be creative, right?

So I continue, and will do so for the rest of time… making things that used to be in my head into things that are not in my head anymore and are real.

So what happens when you hit like? What happens when you share something? What happens when you tell someone else about an idea or a moment that has been captured or written about in some way?

What happens is we get a tick in our heart. A smiley face in our life exercise book if you will, that affirms to us that the idea was understood, the idea was made real, and that the idea actually happened at all.

It makes us feel real.

So thank you.

Thank you for sharing the videos and music and ideas that I’ve been involved with.

Thank you for making me feel real.

You’re all absolutely brilliant. ;)

Ryan xx