Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's funny how these doubts keep growing.

Two weeks ago I launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for this passion project of mine, and just like that, I received two generous contributions.  I was thrilled!  This was going to be a piece of cake.  My friends and family would see how devoted I was to making this happen and click that pink button of support.  And strangers would see the link shared by said friends and family, discover that it's a funny yet worthwhile project, and they too would want to help.  So of course, throughout the day any time my phone 'dinged' (yes, my phone dings) with an email alert, I immediately knew it was another contribution.  And since you are all brilliant people, I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you, I was wrong...Nothing.

I tried to tell myself it doesn't matter.  Even if no one else contributes another dime, somehow I would make this film.  But little by little this was just another thing for those negative voices to grab a hold of, make me doubt myself, and then doubt some more, because to me, in that moment, the amount of contributions told the story of what everyone thought of me.  And it wasn't a very good story.  It felt like no one believed in me or my talent; that no one believed in this project; that no one cared.  I was all alone in this world.

Now if you are looking at the paragraph above from a rational, non-emotional and calm perspective you would think I should go straight to a shrink, and looking back right now, from the other side, I can see that it does seem a bit cray.  And though I cannot fully explain it, those feelings felt 100% real. When you are in that dark place of fear and doubt and insecurity, it's relatively easy to go from "Maybe my post isn't reaching everyone I'm trying to reach" to "I guess no one believes in this project" to "I'm completely alone in the world".  And so I broke down and cried my eyes out.

I also failed to mention that earlier that day I held the door for a woman who was on her phone.  She walked right into the overpriced coffee chain, that continuously spells my name incorrectly, without a thank you.  So I, loudly and passive aggressively, said "You're welcome".  She came back out and said "Thank you.  I'm sorry you need to be validated".  I really wanted to call her a few choice names, but by some strange act of God I restrained myself and just said, "No, I'm sorry that you have no manners".  Then I realized that, though she was rude, she was right.  I do need to be validated.  I do need to feel like I matter, that what I do matters, that people like me, that I count, that everyone knows I exist...I can continue, but I'll spare you.  And that's what the lack of contributions was feeding into, my lack of feeling validated.

I wish I could finish this post with an epiphany; that I found the remedy for this need of validation, because I would totally share it with you and make the time you wasted reading this worthwhile, but if you came here for all the answers, I think you now know you came to the wrong place.  I'm struggling right with you (at least I think you might struggle too, if not, please impart some of your wisdom).  Instead, here I sit, with a new recognition and a few realizations:

  1. The entire world does not revolve around me and what I want.  I never thought that I thought it did, but apparently there's a small part of me that thinks it does, or it should.  I'm embarrassed to admit it, but there it is. 
  2. What other people feel about me and my talent should have no affect on how I feel about myself and my talent.  But at times it can feel like that's all that matters.
  3. The amount of "support" I get, or do not get, for this project does not reflect my self-worth, or the worthiness of this film.   
  4. I should probably see a shrink.

I need to work on these things daily (aside from the shrink, because I cannot afford one, so I drink, kid, but really I can't afford one), just stating them doesn't make them a reality in my life.  So the only solution I can think of is to keep going, to continue to do the work because ultimately, that's what's important.  Having doubts does not mean I will stop!  I also know I will hit more walls as I move forward; this is just the first one to climb over.  And most importantly, I still believe "If you build it, they will come", so I'm starting to build this foundation.  I choose to believe the right people will find and support this film, and I will be stronger for the journey.

Now since this film is a comedy with original music, I had an idea to write a witty song for our Indiegogo campaign and luckily I had some extremely talented friends sing along (a few just happen to be in "Composing Life" as well).  I couldn't be more grateful for their time and talents, as well as the opportunity to bring this story to life and the lessons I will continue to learn.  I hope you enjoy. And I hope you continue to climb over your own walls; they need to be climbed!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I'm tired of waiting.

Did you miss me?  Did you wonder where I'd gone?  Do you remember reading this blog at all?  If so, I apologize for my blogging absence.  If not, well, let's just pretend that you did and you do because, although it has been over a year since my last post, I'm back.  I honestly feel quite guilty for not posting for so long, but I did have my reasons.  One of which was feeling that these posts had become more narcissistic than I had liked.  I also hated feeling the need to have people "like" my posts and I couldn't stop comparing myself to other bloggers when their posts were shared all over social media but I was lucky to have 18 people read mine (and I know that I am lucky).  These feelings seemed to cheapen what I was trying to do and yet I couldn't figure out how to separate what I wanted to say from my insecurities about how many people were reading it and how they were responding to what I was saying.  I also felt like a hypocrite, trying to put myself out there in order to "inspire" others, but I couldn't inspire myself out of paper bag.  I needed a time out.  And so I focused on my work.

I've been 'working' on a passion project for years.  And by 'working' I mean thinking about it.  These characters have been living in my head for over five years and remained there until two years ago when I finally wrote a television pilot, but I know no one in the tv industry.  So I sat on it, and sat on it some more.  Then in February I had an epiphany, I figured, I'll do a web series.  I'll write a prequel to the story, so the world would meet these characters and fall in love with them, but a few months into that process I realized that that was not the right platform for me or this story.  So I went back to what seems like my roots and wrote a short film.  See, I majored in film production in college, but after graduation I focused on performing and never used that very expensive piece of paper, otherwise know as my diploma.  And then like all good procrastinators, I sat on it again because I needed to make it PERFECT before I moved forward!! Ha, when will I learn?!

Since I've started on this journey I've been trying to figure out why I'm so afraid to move, and I think it's because if I do this and people hate it, if they hate my work, then they must think I'm not good. And if people think I'm not good, well, then, they must be right, right?  So then everything I've ever thought about myself, my life and my dreams will be wrong.  Yes, rationally I know I wear some brightly colored tight fitting CRAZY PANTS!!  Because that's insane.  My self worth does not depend on something that I create, and it most definitely does not depend on what others think of it.  But tell that to the vampires in my head at 1:00 in the morning.

So now, I'm tired!!  I'm tired of waiting for something to happen. I'm tired of thinking positively, and reading inspirational quotes and sharing them, and then waiting some more. It's not about waiting, it's about doing.  Looking back on my life so far, I've realized I've been waiting to be picked...picked for a team, picked for a dance, picked for a solo, a date, a role, a career, a life even.  And I'm tired of it.  I can no longer allow myself to wait for someone to "pick" me, so I am picking myself.  I'm not going to wait for approval or permission.  I'm no longer waiting for the perfect time because I think we all know that no such time exists.

And I may very well fail, but I will do so on my own terms.  And by fail I mean, people may hate my film, or worse they may feel nothing at all.  It may not get into a single festival, nor be the stepping stone like I hope it will be.  Hell, it may not even be seen!!  But regardless of the what the outcome turns out to be, I know it will propel me forward, personally and creatively, and that's far better than sitting on my couch waiting for something.  I'm going to make a movie:

Going forward, I hope to write a new post every week focusing on bringing this passion project of mine to life, dealing with the difficulties that will arise, facing the fears and irrationalities, and the journey of moving past my comfort zone.  Please join me, because it's so much more fun when you feel completely uncomfortable with a friend!  Let's do this!
#Ballsout #Shortfilm #Composinglife