Monday, November 8, 2010

An Entire Month Off: Week One Roundup

If I had known how many more emails this to do would require me to send/reply to, I’d never have done this.

But seriously! It’s overwhelming. And really stressful, y’all!

Or at least that’s how I honestly felt for the first three days, but then I turned a corner. I started making some strides in the work I had already done. All of a sudden, while working on the first of the two monologues, I began to feel the conflict my character was feeling. And that always feels like the shining star – the light that brings you the rest of the way home. And once you’ve seen that, you know you can do the rest of the work, even though you’re still at the very beginning.

And then even the annoying work began to feel good. On November first, I sent out emails to all the people who owed me footage from the projects I shot this year. Now, I put that on the list because I’d been trying to get footage from people all year long and had not been successful. Yet. It’s one thing to tell me in detail what stage of post production the project is in, and that’s completely understandable and most importantly, it’s honest. But when I begin to hear repeated excuses, it’s time to step up my game. And this is where it gets difficult.

I’m not interested in burning any bridges, and I’d gladly work with all of the people I worked with this year again – BUT – I also deserve the footage I was promised when I signed on to the project. You have to figure out how to remain likable while getting people to deliver what they’ve promised. It’s funny… people forget that most of us keep business email threads. They don’t seem to know that before I emailed them, I re-read all of our previous emails, so I know when they’re using the same excuses again. Even excuses that were outlandish in the first place were re-used! S’okay. Remain nice and likable and step up your game. You know what? After hours of emailing back and forth, I got one of my directors to agree to give me my footage. I literally went onto a studio lot, brought my hard drive into this director’s office and waited while he uploaded my footage. And that, my friends, is what we call producing.

That was also the first item crossed off my list.

I was surprised to see what kind of things came up in my personal life. I’ve had no less than three situations I had to handle that in the past, I would have exploded at the people challenging me. But there’s something about being on your grind that allows you to remain present in the face of opposition and not commit any murders. And I, for one, am thankful for that!

At the end of the day, when you’ve chosen to demand so much of yourself, the peripheral distractions don’t seem so challenging. In fact, they almost help you see exactly where you are.

Define yourself through opposition.

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