An Audience of One
‘It’s not about fabric, it’s about dreams’ ― Ralph Lauren
Prologue: The Hunger of One Soul
SS Rajamouli is one of the most prolific directors and screenwriters in Indian cinema. His movie Bahubali 2: The Conclusion netted USD 278 million worldwide making it the second highest grossing Indian movie of all time. What is more impressive is that Rajamouli makes Telugu movies which isn't mainstream cinema in India. Bollywood (the Indian film industry which is the equivalent of Hollywood and which primarily makes movies in Hindi) rules the roost. In other words, Rajamouli’s creations cross over language barriers in India as well as globally. Rajamouli once made a movie where the hero is reincarnated as a common house fly. When a journalist inquired about the process by which Rajamouli decides whether a particular movie script will result in a hit movie, Rajamouli replied — ‘if I am interested in the script, I am convinced the audience will be interested in the movie’
Many people create art or even a fashion empire (in case of Ralph Lauren) because they can’t find the art or fashion that meets the needs of one person — their own self. There is a deeper meaning to this creation and that meaning is that success that comes from creating things that meet your own need or feed your own soul cannot be intentionally repeated. Success of the nature that comes from things created straight from the heart without caring about anyone else’s opinions or about what the consumer wants is very powerful because it arises from the necessity of your own soul. There is more power from having an audience of one as opposed to an audience of millions. That power stems from the fact that a creation that feeds your own souls depicts mastery over your own self and not the futile pursuit of mastery over millions. Of course, life isn’t always that binary as my essay below reveals.
Every artist, including writers on Medium, face a classic dilemma — a difficult choice between creating art that feeds their own soul or art that pays the bills and/or art that attracts a high payout. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to write on Medium without having to worry about money or popularity. I write on medium…