I have a terrible memory.
No, really. It is a struggle to remember yesterday, let alone my youth. And so when someone asks me “what did you want to be when you were a kid?” I genuinely falter. I think I wanted to be a million things. I was a kid and the sky was the limit! I got an Easy Bake Oven for one birthday, or maybe it was Christmas, or a random Tuesday…I can’t be sure, but I was convinced I would be a baker.
I got a super cool playhouse and a toddler-sized “My Buddy” doll and I was convinced that I would be a mother (with her own super cool house and no husband in sight), I was progressive even then.
I got a toy stethoscope and I was destined to be a doctor.
My swing-set had me convinced that I would be a gymnast. (I had some pretty dope skills on those rings. Now I can barely do one pull-up).
The list goes on and I find myself wondering, how did I get here? At what point did I venture onto the path on which I belong? Somewhere along the lines, I fell in love with the idea of moviemaking but I often forget how long it took me to reach that realization. Even now, insecurity can get the better of me and I wonder if I shouldn’t be a teacher or an accountant…or anything that would offer some semblance of stability. Yet here I am, the founder and director of an international film festival, of a non-profit dedicated to life behind and in front of a camera, an actress, a screenwriter, a novelist, and a producer.
I am what every parent dreads for their child… I am an artist.
There are some people in the world who feel that the word “artist” can be elitist, or perhaps inaccurate when referring to anything other than a tangible rendering- a drawing, a painting, a sculpture. I disagree. I feel that you are an artist if you have created something of your own design. Did you write a fan fic? You’re an artist. Did you write a song? You’re an artist. Did you make a movie in your backyard? You’re an artist.
It is altogether terrifying, exciting, easy, and tremendously difficult to be an artist. Yes, it is all of those things at once. Why the hell do you think we’re all so damn eccentric?
I majored in theater in college, much to the chagrin of my parents, but that theater major led me to a job at a local theater. That job at a local theater afforded me the opportunity to produce and present a film festival. That festival reminded me that I loved making my own movies. I started writing again. I started acting again. I started producing again.
Now here I am, at age 29, largely in control of my own future and while that can be a scary thought, it is something that I am rather proud of.
Please don’t resign yourself to a life that you can’t enjoy. Life is too long and too short for that.
Seize the day!