Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Asking for help SUCKS!

Asking for help is hard.  I'm not used to doing it and I don't like it.  As adults, and I think I'm supposed to be one of those, shouldn't we be self-sufficient?  Aren't we supposed to look like we're got it all together, even if we are raging messes inside?  Won't it look like we're weak if we ask for help?  It's funny though, whenever someone asks me for help, I never once look at it as a weakness, but somehow it's different for myself. It feels embarrassing for me to need assistance.  It's a blaring reminder that I am not perfect, I do not have it all together and I'm not sure I ever will.  It's also an incredibly vulnerable thing to do, to put yourself out there and say to the world, "Oh hey, excuse me everybody who seems to have their act together, I sorta cannot do this on my own, so can you maybe throw me a rope.  Only if it's not too much trouble"!

But I see now that it's essential.  I'm in that ask place right now, as I'm asking for help to bring this film to life.  I don't have an off-shore bank account or wads of cash in my mattress, nor do I have wealthy parents or a sugar daddy (and I'm totally ok with that).  So I started an indiegogo campaign and am asking for support. When I thought about doing it originally I had no qualms about it.  Many of my friends had done their own and I supported them.  It's not a big deal.  But when I put my campaign up, all of a sudden I felt not so great about it. It kinda felt dirty to me.  Who am I to ask my friends and family for money for something that I want to do.  Who do I think I am??  I would imagine people seeing my posts about my campaign and them saying to themselves "You want to make a film, good for you, go make it yourself".  Now as a disclaimer, no one has ever said that to me, but whenever I post something on FB or send an email about raising money, that is what I imagine people are thinking.

When I was doing research on budgets for film and raising money, I send an email to a friend who had just completed their own short film and I was asking about financing.  This person (who is an excellent human being, super smart and talented) said to me that they couldn't bring themselves to ask their friends to pay for their short .  Since there will be no return on it, it didn't feel right to them.  But they were making no judgement on anyone who went that route.  Part of me felt sick because I too agreed with them (partially anyway), but I also realized that without help this film would stay where it had been for a long time, on my computer and in my mind.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, and a call for help.

It still bothers me when I write an email to a friend and ask them to check out my campaign and to consider supporting it.  Then when I get an email notification, instead of thinking I have a new contribution I just assume it's a nasty email saying "Please never contact me again about your stupid film, I have my own things to deal with".  I have yet to receive an email like that.

But you know what I have received?  Encouragement. And from surprising sources.  I have been so supremely touched by the generosity of people, some of which I barely know, but who have contributed and then sent messages like "I know what it's like to purse your dreams, and how tough it is at the beginning...I'm rooting for you."  How amazing is that?  Every time I get an notification that someone has contributed, I'm filled with so much gratitude I want to cry.  To feel any kind of support is absolutely amazing.  People do want to help you.  But you need to be brave and ask for it.  Have I reached my goal? No. Will I?  Probably not, but that's okay.  I'm not stopping.

I came upon an article in TIME Magazine (no, I'm not that intellectual, I saw it on Facebook) and in it, Ricky Gervais said this about hard work "I believe that if you didn't have to work for something, it can’t truly be considered success. Luck doesn't count. I think success is allowed a certain pride and you can’t be proud of luck or even of being born smart, artistic, or talented. It’s what you do with it that counts."  This thing is not going to come easily to me and that's okay.  For a little while I was thinking that if it doesn't happen quickly or easily it's not meant to be, but that my friends, is complete bullshit.  There are lessons in this journey, there are things I need to experience for me to grow and there are moments to be met, so I can get to the next moment.  I can't skip any steps.  And so I will work harder on this than anything else, so that when I have my first screening, I will know I have succeeded, but not without the help of some friends.  And for that I'll be forever grateful.  This is a journey that is opening me up, it's teaching me to be vulnerable, to ask for help and to trust that good intentions, hard work, dedication and a pure love will be rewarded in kind.     

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