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WHY 2020 WHY?

By: Jess Canty

We have spent a lot of time since the pandemic began focusing on the "what" of things. And the "how" of things. And it makes sense. What is very practical. How gets things done.

What gets to the bottom of things. What do I need to do? What steps do I need to take? What am I going to do to get through this pandemic? What kind of self-tape equipment do I need?

How do I do that? How do I approach this new reality? How do I use Zoom? How do I connect with casting now? The answers to these questions are all very specific and practical.

But a year of what and how is also pretty dry.

It doesn't leave a lot of room for reflection. And we were ostensibly supposed to be using this time to do that, right? Isn't that supposed to have been the great "gift" of Covid? The supposed silver lining. That we would all slow down? Take stock? Re-connect?

I know for myself, I don't know that I have truly felt the space to do that - and I was already working from home and I don't have kids.

But boy, have I definitely felt the "what's" and "how's" coming fast and furious.

What am I going to do if there is no toilet paper? What the hell am I going to cook tonite? What is tomorrow going to bring? What are things going to look like in one month / three months / six months? What happened in the news? What am I going to do inside all day? How do I say sane? How do I stay healthy?

What is Cinterra going to do if there is no work for actors? What can we provide for our actors on our roster? How are we going to help our clients if we can't see them in person? How do we stay connected? How do we need to adapt?

But the other day I found myself suddenly drifting into a space I hadn't drifted to in a long time. A space that all of the insane what's and how's have been occupying since March 13th.

A space usually reserved for inquisitive two year olds.


Why am I still doing this?


Why am I still working in this crazy industry?


Why continue to put myself through this?

And the answers came bubbling up just as fast and just as furious as all of those what's and how's - as if they had been waiting there the whole time, patiently, until they were asked.


  • Because I believe to the core of my core in the power of a great story well told.

  • Because this is the most creative business in the world.

  • Because I like the challenge.

  • Because there is nothing better than the rare moments where art and commerce meet.

  • Because hard work and creativity DO pay off - I have seen it enough times to know its true.

  • Because those rare moments of true artistic channeling are a better feeling than anything else in the world.

  • Because it is fun.

  • Because in this business I am in charge of my destiny.

  • Because I have something to say - both by the stories I believe need to be told and who is telling them.

  • Because I have a voice, and this industry, unlike most, depends on my using it.

  • Because there is no place better than a stage or a set.

  • Because I love filling the blank page.

  • Because I love collaboration.

  • Because I want to be surrounded by other creative talented curious hard working courageous interesting fun funny crazy people.

  • Because I get to see people do things every day that surprise and inspire me.

  • Because those of us who stick with it are a rare breed.

  • Because

  • Because

  • Because

The ultimate "what" for you for 2020? What are your "why's"?

You are going to need them.

You have always needed them in this business - but right now I actually think they are much more important than they have ever been before.

There have been so many changes, and there are only going to be lot more changes coming. New challenges both immediate and more long-term. With change comes opportunity, but also disruption. Change that will make you ask the same thing I did a couple of days ago.

Your why's will defend you against that. Your why's will remind you that you are on solid ground. Your why's will help you push through, break through. Your why's are your best friend. Hold onto them. Harness that inner two year old. Let their voice bubble to the top of your consciousness. Take a break from the what's for a moment. Put aside the how's. Get in touch with your why.

Why is your cause.

Why is your belief.


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