The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Man of the Moment

I was going through and organizing some of the magazines that I had written articles for the other day. I got to the 1993 section and there were two magazines, next to each other, that I was on the cover of. Obviously, I’ve written tons and tons of articles about the martial arts but it was right around this time period that I began receiving a lot of requests for articles from the editors of the magazines so my output truly increased.

I’d only previously written a couple of articles for the magazine I was on the cover of. Nonetheless, they brought me in and had their photographer do the cover shoot. I was excited.

Additionally, I was newly entered into the movie game. I had some minor success in the A-market but it was at the point that I got into the indie game that my career notoriety really took off. At that time, there were a lot of upstart magazines dedicated to the B-Market. This one editor liked some of my films so I sent him a few 8 X 10 photos for my just released Zen Film, Samurai Vampire Bikers from Hell. One of the photos I sent him was of this very classic movie star style looking woman, who I had discovered, Tipsy La Fabula. Great girl! I thought for sure if he used any of the photos I sent him he would use that one. But no, when I got the mag my friend and co-star Kenneth H. Kim and I were on the cover. Interestingly, he was also the guy on the cover of Inside Taekwondo with me.

FYI: You can check these magazine covers out on this website if you feel like it. I’ve also posted them to Instagram today.

Anyway, though shocked, I was happy to see my face on the cover. Though, in truth, I’m not a big fan of either of those photographs. But more importantly, it was like my first year in the game; my rookie card. I thought/hoped this kind of front cover coverage was going to go on forever.

As I moved farther into the game, I begin to see the politics that came into play. There were a lot of personal preferences; individually decided likes and dislikes—plus a lot of decisions based on ego. You can’t fight that kind of stuff when you’re just a player on the field. You can try to influence the outcome of the game but if you’re not on the inside, and loved by all, then you are left to playing by someone else’s rules.

The one editor, and his martial art magazine, soon left the game—as the dawning of the new era of the internet was taking hold. The other magazine also faded away for the same reason. Time went on, fewer and fewer and fewer magazines were published. Though I got a few more cover shots over the years, it was never what I had hoped for.

You know… This is the reality of life and the truth about the all and the everything… If you are in control of your own whatever, you are in control of it. The moment you step outside of that control zone, however, you lose more and more control with every step you take.

So, this becomes the paradox of life, especially for those who hope to find success. Success is always based upon someone else’s definition of your worthiness. It is not based upon what you believe to be your talent or your ability.

What does this leave us with? If you try, you may succeed. Maybe… If you don’t try, however, you can’t succeed. No way… But, if you do succeed, it will always be highly based upon someone else’s appraisal of you. They will decide if you should be on the cover of the magazine, they will decided if you should be read, listened to, or viewed. Thus, success is never based on your true ability—it is not predicated upon the ability or the talent that you believe you possess. At best, it is solely defined if someone else deems you worthy.

As you walk through life, keep this mind. Your success is based upon what someone else believes that you bring or give to their life. If they like what you give, they will give you something. If they don’t, then you’re left out in the rain all alone like Burt Lancaster's character in the film, The Swimmer.