Wednesday, September 2, 2015

EMBRACING IMPERFECTION

I'm staring at a framed photo in my office. It's of my wife Brianne, she's sitting on a window ledge in Istanbul, looking out over the city. When I blew up the picture to print, I noticed for the first time a worker on the roof across the way, I really love the photo and up on the wall, it feels like I'm looking out a window. However, when I framed the photo, I trimmed the photo imperfectly, in fact the left corner wings out. It's subtle, you'd have to really study the photo to see it, but of course my eyes goes right to it every time. I want to pull the frame down and fix it. But today, something hit me as I was thinking of writing this post; it's okay that it's not perfect, it doesn't have to be... and neither do I.

Perfection can motivate me and drive me to going to the 'nth degree to do my best at whatever I am doing.  But, perfection can also paralyze me and honestly quite often does. It stops me from finishing that script, working out, eating right, killing at an audition and the list goes on. Even writing a blog post can seem overwhelming and easily become a 'to do' that never gets done.

It's been way too long since I've posted and not because nothing has been going on that would inspire a post, just the opposite. My wife Brianne and I produced our third movie together and was her second, she directed. Our first two features we produced together have found distribution through Anchor Bay Entertainment. Then we got married, went on a mini-honeymoon and moved into a house.  It's been an incredible ride.

And yet I would never have thought that I would then be HIRED to DIRECT MY FIRST FEATURE!
Directing my lead actor COLIN EGGLESFIELD
I wrote down that I wanted to be directing by April of 2015. I assumed when I wrote it, that it would be a film we optioned called A PLACE APART. I had no idea that in February, I would get a call from Nancy Leopardi who I worked with on THE BANNEN WAY asking if I had a director's reel.

I recently heard a great analogy for success that's compared to the Fire Triangle which is Heat, Oxygen and Fuel. They said that it success is Preparation, Skill and Luck. You can control two, the preparation and skill, the third luck you can't. But when luck strikes, if you've got the other two, then you've got fire! I guess that's what happened. I made a decision last year to update my site and make sure it was clear that I was an Actor/Director. As I said, I wanted to direct a movie in April and I wanted people that I'd be connecting with, to see that I was taking it seriously. I had no idea what it could come to.

Making this movie was one of the most incredible experiences of my life (besides our incredible wedding of course!). From cast, producers, department heads to production assistants, every person that worked on the film brought their A-Game and I was so lucky to have them. Obviously I had to bring mine, I had to lead, I had to be the one that was the most prepared, brought the best attitude and always remembered the big picture. I believe I did the best job I could and am very proud of it. I can't wait to share it with the world!

Table Read of my first feature.
Everything in my life, the successes and my perceived failures all influenced my actions throughout this process. Actually, more so the ones where I had screwed up, where my fear of failure and of success had taken me down a path that caused me to sabotage the situation, even in the smallest way. All of these little things helped me to prepare for this opportunity and to NOT screw it up. 

Since the launch of The Bannen Way, I've pitched ten different TV shows, digital series and movies. I've created sizzle reels, pilot presentations and even a music video for six of them. And NOT ONE OF THEM has been sold. Some were so close I could taste it, others have had been well received but for what ever reason didn't take. I still have three that are in active development and I am still very much optimistic!

With all of those projects I gave everything I had, I worked my ass off to make them happen.  But each one, I took away a valuable lesson, a better understanding of myself, my limitations and my strengths. Even my experience on The Bannen Way shaped and informed the way that I would handle myself during prep, shooting and post. Working with Sony and Crackle, was a new experience for us at the time, we had people that had given us a lot of money and had expectations. It was important to know how to play well with others and to remember we all wanted to make the best project.