It has been a nice week so far. For some reason many connections are solidifying and my industry relationship building has manifested many potential projects. The best part is that I’ve genuinely sought out relationships with people because I enjoy their work and find inspiration in the art they create, not because they would be able to “do something” for me somewhere down the road. And I listened to my father who said that contacts grow exponentially over time but the key is consistency and sincerity. And I try.
There’s nothing quite like the thrill of meeting someone amazing and simply knowing that you will work together at some point. But it’s tough to be remembered. Even if you are a redhead from Kansas with celiac disease who’s lived overseas. I mean that’s not so normal. But even then, it’s a challenging industry and everyone wants to stand out. I guess it’s probably not that different from any other profession (well maybe the inherent amount of rejection is higher) so we all battle to be remembered, to be special, to be needed.
The holy grail is when you are THE ONE person they want for the project. And though that seems like a distant goal at times- especially during awards season which reminds me of those much more famous- I can be in demand at the level I currently inhabit. I strive to be sought after in my arena, which will grow to another larger arena and then another and finally I will be the one receiving the golden statues (crying of course because, well you know me).
I have grown up with Dorothy jokes my entire life. I try to handle them with patience. You cannot even imagine how many times I’ve hear “You’re not in Kansas anymore!”. I know. Ha, ha. I’m not. But, I am going to freely steal another line from The Wizard of Oz. When Glinda tells Dorothy “You had the power all along.” Very true there Glinda. Wisdom from a childhood movie. Now I don’t mean lessons in how to fight off creepy flying monkeys or shop for a flattering gingham dress. I mean that most of time if you really think about it you know the best course of action. The best next step, the answer. And the things that break your heart and hurt so badly in the moment, eventually they dissipate and the “right” thing comes along. And sudden you see that THIS was really what you wanted.
Power. I used to give it away very often. To everyone, personally and professionally. I let “them/him/her’ determine how I felt about myself. Sometimes I still do, but in significantly smaller doses and much less frequently. But I explained to someone about my “cold emails” and my attempt to reach out and contact people who’s work I adore. I said that sometimes we had passing introduction or a mutual connection but sometimes it was truly an email out of the blue with me writing that I wanted to get on his/her radar. Since I’m not completely altruistic I am going to stop explaining who I do what I do. I want to be helpful but still, it is a business.
The person I was talking to said that 1) they couldn’t believe I was doing that because it took such guts (uhm, thank you I am getting braver) and 2) they thought it was such a revolutionary idea. I was flattered, by both things really. And honestly, an email isn’t as brave as you think. But I’ll take compliments where I can get them. And many of the people have written back. They say for me to keep them up to date with my work (yes, e/mailing list) and stay in touch. The kicker is, I DO stay in touch. See, follow through.
My father was also a baseball pitcher in high school and generally good at throwing sports. When he taught me how to hit or how to throw a free throw, he talked about two things that I thing also apply here. Key components to making a connection (bat to ball, ball to basket or actor to industry person) is both follow through (sheer effort) and consistency (pointed focus). So I stay on track and stay informed. Building a relationship takes time and direction, in any situation. Especially the great relationships. The ones you mention along with “I’d like to thank the Academy.”
Two developing possibilities are already realities (two film projects) and I’m hoping that a few more will cement. They sound so damn exciting that it’s a thrill just to be in the running. I always know that something is a real winner when simply thinking about it makes me smile. The weather is shifting too. Do you feel it? The air is changing and Spring is coming. I can’t wait.
Keep on keeping on,
DREAM ROLE: I’m auditioning for one of my previously mentioned roles, so cross your fingers!