This is my favorite shirt. It’s called “the Three-Act Structure” from the Scriptnotes podcast, designed by Taino Soba. It’s super comfortable. And truth be told, I’m wearing that shirt right now. (And chances are, when you read this post sometime in the future, I’ll probably be wearing it then too).
It’s motivational to me. Every time I pull this shirt out of my drawer, I look at the blueprint of the screenplay and I get inspired, like my shirt is telling me, “it’s this easy. Just sit down and pound out the pages. You got this, my dude.” When I slide that comfy shirt on, I’m feeling like a million bucks.
I’m gonna get some shit done. It’s gonna be a great day.
Sadly, I haven’t done a lot of screenwriting lately. I haven’t really had the time. I have, however, still been wearing my favorite shirt while tackling my other creative tasks. It seems as though my perhaps unreasonable faith and trust in that single article of cotton clothing has bled into the other important areas of my life. Have an important phone call with a game company? Wear the shirt! Appearing in court to fight a speeding ticket? Wear the shirt under your button up shirt! Going to the gym for the first time since the late 2000s? Rock. The. Shirt.
[Sidebar: When I attended Empire College School of Law, I wore a suit to every single class and I wore three-piece suits to my oral arguments and exams. “If you dress well, you test well” some teacher once told me. The same concept applies to my favorite t-shirt.]
The problem is, sometimes I don’t always “test” well. Or, to realign my argument, sometimes I don’t accomplish a whole lot while I’m wearing my favorite t-shirt. I’ve put so much faith into the act of just wearing the damn thing, yet occasionally I just forget to show up in the first place. Instead of spending the day updating spreadsheets or writing podcast show proposals, I put that shirt on and spend seven hours playing Fallout 4. (I regret nothing.)
Nevertheless, like President Obama, my favorite shirt can do no harm. Every time I see my favorite fucking shirt, and I know I have the day off the next day, I get inspired to achieve greatness. I visualize myself waking up early, throwing on the shirt, making some coffee and sitting down to write the greatest story ever told. I kid you not. I think this every single time I see that neatly folded favorite shirt, lying in wait in my dresser drawer.
Maybe it’s delusional. Whatever. Maybe it’s unrealistically optimistic. Who cares? We all have that one thing we’re attached to. That one, strange thing, that motivates us to perform in a way nothing else possibly can. Our superhero cape.
Mine is a blue t-shirt. What’s yours?