The "O Sh*t I'm Making a Movie" Chronicles: Lesson #3 Screw Perfection

I have a confession to make...I AM NOT PERFECT. Sometimes I make mistakes. Somedays, I eat too many french fries, interrupt people mid-conversation, make an error on a project or shove my way to a prized seat on the subway. If AA had a meeting for people addicted to being "perfect" I would totally be attendance. I use to take pride in being a "perfectionist." Hell, am a virgo, doesn't it define who I am? The answer is a resounding "NO." The facade of perfectionism is just that a facade. No one, no matter how hard they try can be perfect... and what a relief!!! Life is messy, you gotta roll with it and get in there and get messy too, otherwise your just going to end up a boring, rigid old coot . And who wants to hang out with a coot? Not me. 

So what does this have to do with movie making? EVERYTHING! Filmmaking is a messy and unpredictable process, no matter how hard you try YOU CANT CONTROL EVERYTHING. YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE MISTAKES and that's totally okay. Live & Learn. Mistakes are the greatest teachers. Don't be afraid of making a mistake, own it and move forward with more knowledge about your own weaknesses and strengths. Prove to yourself that you are a TOTAL BADASS no matter how many bumps in the road or pies thrown in your face. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO F*ck up! You'll be better for it. You'll be liberated from the prison of perfection and free to create with the beautiful mess before you. What are movies really about anyways? Imperfect people trying to make it in the world. 

Happy Kids Face Gallery

As I journey through making "I Fell in Love with a Psychopath" I know I will make a few mistakes and when the going gets tough, I'll remember the AA Serenity Prayer: 

God, give me grace to accept with serenity

the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

which should be changed,

and the Wisdom to distinguish

the one from the other.

 

Coming soon... LESSON #4 Detours! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The "O Sh*t I'm Making a Movie" Chronicles: Lesson 2: F*ck Plan B, Burn All Your Ships

I use to live my life by Plan B.  I played it safe. Don't get me wrong, I'm a risk taker - I've traveled the world, started businesses and moved to NYC with 1 piece of luggage and no friends. Some of the best choices in my life have been the most risky but so have some of my biggest "mistakes." (I don't really believe in mistakes anymore) Now that I am nearing 30, I can predict my reaction to situations before they happen. Whenever I step into change, I become utterly terrified. Immovable. Thoughts of "what if?' flood my mind. I am paralyzed with FEAR! But the things is, you can't make decisions out of FEAR. I use to do that a lot, and inevitably it ended bad...real bad. Psychotic Boyfriends (fear of being alone), Selling my Soul at a Job I Hated (fear of poverty), A Backup Business Plan to fund my real dreams (fear of following my true desires). Taking a "risk" out of fear, sucks! It LITERALLY sucks the life out of YOU!

Taking a "risk" out of love is a whole different story. Whenever I really go for what I really want, I still get crippling anxiety (Zane the Dancing Monkey comes out and bangs his drum) but eventually the PEACE comes... and life seems to guide me along the way. As Joseph Campbell said "Follow your Bliss and the Universe will open doors for you where there were walls." 

So with that I say "F*ck Plan B," FOLLOW YOUR BLISS and Trust that YOU WILL MAKE IT THROUGH THE OBSTACLES. Just because you take a risk out of love doesn't mean it isn't going to be hard. I guarantee it will be difficult and you will want to cut and run. That's why YOU MUST TRUST IN THE PROCESS! Your dreams are going to require you to scarfice. Your dreams are going to require you to have faith in yourself. Your dreams may require you to BURN ALL YOUR SHIPS! Do whatever it takes, but do it out of L-O-V-E.

As the legend goes:

  "A long while ago, a great warrior faced a situation which made it necessary for him to make a decision which insured his success on the battlefield. He was about to send his armies against a powerful foe, whose men outnumbered his own. He loaded his soldiers into boats, sailed to the enemy’s country, unloaded soldiers and equipment, then gave the order to burn the ships that had carried them. Addressing his men before the first battle, he said, “You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice—we win, or we perish! They won. Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a BURNING DESIRE TO WIN, essential to success. “

I have BURNED MY SHIPS and stepped into my DREAMS! I believe that somehow, someway my short narrative film "I Fell in Love with a Psychopath" will come together.  All the pieces, the people and the funding.  I have already seen evidence of that. Doors have already been opened and Zane the dancing monkey is in lotus position (well sometimes). They say that "every movie made is a miracle" and I believe that now more than ever. 

I said F*ck Plan B and now Plan A is finally starting to pan out. Everyday I get to wake up and follow my dreams and that is way better than what I was doing before (stuffing my face with ice cream and pouting about all the things holding me back) BURNING MY SHIPS liberated me.

With every decision there is a risk, I would rather make one that is TOTALLY worth it! 

 

 

 

The "O Sh*t I'm Making a Movie" Chronicles - LESSON #1 Anxiety is Totally Normal

Since beginning the process of making my film, I have been living in a constant state of anxiety and I'm only in pre-production! From morning to night, I think about all the details: location scouting, talent agreements, fundraising, script edits, social media presence, all while day dreaming of every single shot on the movie screen. Today, I officially own the world's longest checklist. I am sure if I had a million dollar budget and paid production staff, the anxiety might be less; most likely not. 

Maybe it's the virgo in me? Or maybe it's all part of the filmmaking game? 

I have no idea when the anxiety will go away but hopefully it ends after the FINAL CUT! (who knows?) No promises.

I use to think anxiety was a dragon to be slayed and many ways I still believe that. In my adult life, I have had to learn to manage my anxiety in order to be happier and healthier. That includes knowing when to rest, relax and walk away from something. 

Recently, I have come to realize that not all anxiety is bad!  It is what propels us forward and keeps the momentum going, one step at a time. We need it! 

So I have decided to become friends with my anxiety while going through this filmmaking process. Therefore, I will give my anxiety a persona and a name, how about "Zane the Dancing Monkey." Zane and I will be fast friends and every once in awhile I'll have to send him back to his cage, so I can get some peace and quiet.  Until then, I'll be like Freddie Prince Jr. in She's All That  trying to "never let it drop" while I juggle a hacky sack.