Jake tells me that he played a show with a band that he had never played with before. The front man of the band tells a short anecdote- something like 'this is Jake, we don't know where he came from. He's never played with us before.'
After the show some people from the audience come up to Jake and ask 'is this true? have you never played with them before?' he tells them that this is indeed true. The people are so impressed, they are blown away, they are astonished by his amazing skills.
"And it dawned on me," he says, "that I mean, I better be able to do this. I've been practicing the cello every day for ten years. I better be able to do this."
And I share with him similar compliments that I received after screening my film. Compliments mostly from women who call it 'truly observed' or 'delicately articulated' or 'honestly and simply stated.' And I mean, I better be able to make an observation about the experience of a young woman. I've only been studying this 'Young Woman' creature and it's relationship to the world for, lets say, ten (conscious) years. I better be able to express my thoughts about the 'Young Woman' in a cinematic way. I've been practicing the ability to organize the world in cinematic terms every day, every moment since before I understood what I was doing.
I would venture to say that there is no such thing as 'naturally gifted' instead there is 'naturally inclined to practice.' There is also 'incessant compulsion to practice.'
And Jake and I sat in a small Greek restaurant in the East Village.
We licked hummus off our fingers and expressed to each other the joy of becoming expertly gifted by being 'incessantly compelled' to practice.
...I think Malcolm Gladwell also has some thoughts about this...