Sunday, July 12, 2009

On The Issue of Accountability...

Those of you reading this blog post from Facebook, go to to read entire post. Everyone else, read on:
I've known it FOREVER, but never put it into words until now. I believe I can do A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G I really want to do (I believe we ALL can), and thoroughly enjoy that freedom... EXCEPT when my ability to do something calls for me to rely on other people. I'm soooo not good at that part, and in order for me to grow, it has become quite clear that I need to get good at it.

In order to grow, we have to step outside of our comfort zone. I thought I had been doing that throughout my life, but right now I'm beginning to believe that I've only been outside of zones considered comfortable by most people: not necessarily myself. Leaving Chicago to go to college, quitting job after job because I was 'unhappy', moving to Los Angeles with (basically) no money, embarking on an acting career... a lot of people would call this track record irresponsible and unstable. To me, the world has always been my oyster, and I feel my way through life. If I want something, I go get it. If I'm tired of standing in one spot, it's time to GO. Uncomfortable, perhaps by others' standards, but for me, NOT actively creating the type of life that I want is more uncomfortable.

These were all things that I could do on my own, just by my own tenacity. That doesn't mean I didn't have any assistance or support - the contrary is true, and I appreciated every kind word of encouragement or advice, however I didn't have to RELY on anyone else to get it all done.

I've been talking (and blogging) about producing my own projects for a long time. I have binders full of scripts that I have written. They are covered with dust. I decided that I didn't want to produce (just like the time I "quit" acting before I even began, because I didn't understand show-business). I just wanted to write and act.

Now that I have been working with 3 other artists, and have been partnered up with one to whom I am accountable for my progress, I am finding that this is not true. If I could produce something and not need any outside help, I would have done it a long time ago. However, due to the nature of filmmaking, and the fact that I have zero experience and zero knowledge of many areas - I HAVE to collaborate. This does not come easy for me, but if I want it, I have to grow.

At an early age (I'm talking elementary school) I learned that group projects were usually just a way for a bunch of people to be held responsible for the work of a couple of people. Since I was usually one of the people actually doing the work, I decided that it was better to do my own work and take either the blame or the credit, depending on the outcome. I've lived that way as much as possible all my life. A commitment to myself is a strong bond, and I've never liked anyone asking me questions about whether I got X, Y, and Z done that week or not. If I consider it important, I get it done. If not, or if I change my mind, I won't do it. The end. No collaboration or conversation necessary. I realize this isn't as popular a statement as saying "I'm a people person." (Which I used to say because I didn't know any better.) or "I love working with a team.", and it may make me sound like a real jerk (I swear, I'm not), but I'm being honest. Sometimes I feel like the world takes all types, and I'm the other type, lol.

But some of the lessons we learn at a particular time and some of the behaviors that go along with them are only good for a time, and when those behaviors no longer serve us (by yielding the results we want), it's time to let go.

I get emails from people who find this blog helpful. Now I'm asking for your help and encouragement. I want to get this project done, and because it's NOT going to happen with the script hidden away in a dusty binder, I need to produce it myself. In order to do that, I have to step outside of my comfort zone and grow. I STILL don't want 50 emails a day (or even a week) asking me if I did X, Y, or Z, but if you see me veering off course or not talking about my project for a while - ask me about it. Encourage me. I need it. Thank you in advance. I think this could be just the beginning of a good thing.

And away we go!


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