I stepped off the campaign trail for a moment to think about why the hell I'm doing this...
As some of you may know, I’m in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign for a short film I’m directing next month. It’s been both exciting and nerve-racking wondering where the money will come from or even if it will come at all. The day before we launched I barely slept. When I did, all I dreamt about was tweeting and facebooking about the campaign!
We’re now approaching the home stretch with less than 10 days to go. If this were a roller coaster, we’d be on the slow ascent towards that final peak before the adrenaline-fueled descent to the end.
So in this quiet before the storm, I’ve had some space to reflect.
In getting this project off the ground, I’ve been completely focused on the how - as in how the hell are we going to pull this off, but recently, I’ve been thinking about the why. Why am I embarkin
g on this mad journey?
g on this mad journey?
When I was 11 I tried to write a feature film. Convinced it would be a walk in the park, I just started writing. The story had something to do with a kid and two heavies, who, as I recall, looked like James Belushi and Dan Ackroyd from The Blues Brothers.
After about ten pages I got confused about whether I was supposed to write what the camera did. This sent me into such a tail spin I gave up.
You see, I’ve always loved film. I just didn’t know what to do with that passion.
Fast forward many (many) years and unsure what was next in my life, I took a leap of faith and headed to Los Angeles.
I had no job, knew a handful of people, I didn’t even have an agent. After a few months of floundering around, a friend and I started working on a web series which we wrote, shot and co-produced. We cast our friends in the lead roles, we cobbled together a minuscule budget and just did it. This was the happiest I’d been in months. My attention was off auditions and networking and was on creating something.
This was the start of something important. I realised there was more to me than just performing. I loved great story telling. However, ‘great story telling’ isn’t a class you can take or a Matrix-style download you implant in your brain. You have to learn it and so began the lengthy journey to do just that.
I’ve been to classes, workshops, panels, studied film and still the process continues (I suspect it might be never-ending). I even went to film school last year and while the education was invaluable I could feel I was getting stuck between wanting to start making more of my own projects and being scared to make the leap.
But late last year I had a moment of clarity. I realised I’m the kind of person who likes to create from the ground up. Whilst the idea of being cast as a series regular in something would make life a lot easier, I actual have a passion for generating projects and that I would be denying myself something if I didn’t pursue that. If you are only a performer, you have to wait for the opportunities or projects to be created before you can work and I’m kinda impatient!
I’m so inspired by people like Shonda Rhimes, Ava Duvernay, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Regina King and Amma Asante who are out there telling great stories.
They always tell actors to keep training, keep busy but actors never know if anything will actually result from the hours of classes, networking or whatever. With directing, writing and producing, you are more likely to have something tangible to show for your efforts. It might be shit but at least it exists.
And this is what excites me about directing my own film. I had an idea and now it looks like it might actually happen. And thats my why, that’s what this Indiegogo campaign is about and that’s what’s driving me at the moment.
If you’d like to contribute to this campaign and see it happen, it’d be great to have your support. You can check out our campaign page here. There’s a teaser trailer, you can meet some of the cast and crew and we have a ton of fun perks.
Thanks so much and have a wonderful week!