HOW IT FELT TO BE COMPARED TO LOUIS THEROUX
Updated: Sep 9, 2020
Let's not lie to each other, if Louis Theroux and I embarked on a game of Filmmaker Top Trumps, he'd not only win, but he'd likely report me to the Top Trumps Ombudsman for wasting his time. This isn't fake modesty, it just is what it is.
With that in mind, consider my surprise when last month, an entertainment website said this about me:
"CK's composure rivals that of the most famous documentarians such as Louis Theroux."
And there it was, the first time my name featured alongside that of a more established unscripted filmmaker. Ironically, as I read the beautiful article, I was as embarrassed as I was flattered. You see, us creative folk are renowned for our Imposter Syndrome, explaining why, as the kind words digested, I thought, "I'm not sure Louis would support this comparison, to be fair.".
In my recent instagram video, I discussed what a merciless piece of shit the human brain is in its unrelenting ability to make us feel like we don't measure-up. I mean, there I was, gawping at this wonderful compliment, yet still, instead of embracing it, I immediately started questioning the low budget, no-frills nature of my work, and believe me, I didn't fare well compared to Louis' polished mainstream offering.
(The aforementioned Ombudsman sided with Louis, too, by the way)
Luckily, given my belief that 'comparison is the thief of joy', I swiftly snapped out of it, and took enormous comfort in the fact that time-after-time, I'm told that the stripped-down, raw intimacy of my work is the reason so many humans connect with it.
Suddenly, realising the self-harming nature of my Imposter Syndrome, I turned my attention to the similarities between Louis and I. Guess what... there are quite a few, including our shared fascination with humans, our unquenchable thirst for unscripted storytelling and a preference for asking questions instead of answering them.
As I mused, the similarities stacked, then without warning, the most unlikely of all presented itself. It was almost poetic. You see, as evident in the below audio clip, taken from Louis' new podcast 'Grounded', he himself is marred by self-doubt, Imposter Syndrome and comparison - leading me to wonder if it's only a matter of time until our similarities culminate in him interviewing a piss-head in a busy library, too.
Header photo: DAVID TITLOW