I am an independent filmmaker. I worked on films in production for the past eight years, gradually mastering a job and then learning the next one up until I was producing. But the reason I pursued film was because I love storytelling. So I finally got the courage and the resources to write and direct a short film. A few months after submitting my film to various different film festivals, I noticed what a strong reaction I had when I got a rejection letter. And likewise, what a great feeling of exultation when I received a letter of acceptance.
It may seem like a very natural, predictable experience, but I was so taken by the power of some outside institution or group of strangers’ opinions of my work, that I began looking into competition and how it played a role in my identity on a daily basis. How it shaped my relationships, my choices, my beliefs. Then I began seeing how it shaped so much of our world. From sports competition, to economic competition, to identities within even a family. So I left film behind, just for a few months, and poured myself into something I have never done, an art exhibit.
It was a collaborative art exhibit called, ‘big winner’ where all the pieces centered around the ideas of competition and winning in our culture. I sewed an American flag out of red, white and blue award ribbons. I invited other artists to contribute. I even painted large pieces that then the public came up and contributed to by drawing and coloring on them. I held the exhibit in a free, vacant storefront in a little trafficked mall. There wasn’t a big crowd at the space that night, but one person came who I had never met before. And as soon as we started talking we were fast friends and she said she had been discouraged because no artists in the area seemed to want to collaborate on projects. She likened meeting me, in this empty storefront in a little trafficked mall at my exhibit, to running into an astronaut at Mcdonalds. What a compliment!
I realized all the work I had done the past few months was me desperately trying to make sense of rejection and test the ground beneath my feet and see if I really was ok with ‘failure’. If I really could be fearless. And it wasn’t about the art at all, or even what I thought I had to ‘say’ but that something precious in the process had connected me to a collaborator.
Around that time my mind began to open and I’ve begun searching google for words that represent what I want to bring into my life. So on this evening I am exploring 'we dream together ’ and this search brought me to you and edgeryders. It’s humbled me and made me more sensitive to the areas I invest my attention. I am interested in refining my skills and finding ways to collaborate on projects that create the world I long to live in. I thought I needed to move from the small town I have lived for the past six years because it lacked so many of the things that made me thrive when I lived in London, theatre, art, vibrancy. What I have realized this past year is that, it’s my responsibility to create the community I crave. Such freedom and expansiveness in that realization. Thank you.