Letter from the Editor
I was cleaning my room when I chanced on an old with Drake on the cover. It was a 2013 issue; the rapper and songwriter was then only 26. The writer wrote, “He vowed he’d bank pain, one most likely caused by a cocktail of envy, self-doubt, and defeat. I just turned 25. dollars! I did a mental calculation of how much that converts to pesos. I thought about how I could spend that amount, how many parties a week I could throw, that I could now afford a proper linen duvet for my apartment, and how hideously bourgeois my idea of money is.
While constructing my vivid daydream of new money, I also got to thinking about our ideas of success. Apart from his impressive savings account, I don’t really know anything about Drake. I don’t know if he has an average IQ or if he cries himself to sleep. But our culture believes that wealth is an achievement. Old CEOs aren’t news but young overachievers are. We are more fascinated and tend to quickly obsess over emerging geniuses, than those who have a track record of being reliably consistent over a long period. (To be fair to Drake, he has so far proven to be that, too.)
In his memoir Haruki Murakami compares the discipline of being a writer to long-distance running. He said that in marathons, those who make an early eager sprint will most likely fall victim to rapid collapse midway. Similarly, in writing novels, he said he can’t rely on an inexhaustible wellspring of talent and churn out a masterpiece in a few sittings—or a fabulous eight chapters in eight hours and be so burnt out that the novel has to sit untouched for weeks. Pacing is key.
I recently came to a better understanding of this when I met Joseph Marco. He arrived at our shoot wearing all black, a plain T-shirt and sweatpants. I was told he just came from an all-nighter taping for a TV show. Despite that, he exuded not exactly weariness but calm. doubt he’d wear a turtleneck sweater and retro-style high-waist pleated pants while leaning pensively against a door for a picture. But being the professional that he is, he posed for the shot anyway.
Joseph was never the breakout star of his generation. That’s just not his thing. From commercial modelling to acting in TV and movies, Joseph’s achievements are consistent and not exactly few. Those who aspire to be serious actors (or singers or athletes or other professions) will have to rely on a lot more than youth to remain relevant. Teen superstars have a short shelf-life. Joseph knows this and he’s moving at his pace.
I can imagine how one may falter from pressure after being deemed the promising, next big thing. When you start comparing yourself to others, adapting to an unnatural pace that’s not yours, you’ll inevitably stumble. But those who are in it for the long haul will take their time.