Monday, March 31, 2014

The Big Break Theory

I left my blog notes at the Dances With Films screening last night.  No great loss.  My evaluation sheets, along with everyone else's, were turned in and that's what really matters.  The problems we saw were all things I've already talked about this year – mostly bad piano scoring.  One film with this problem was good enough in all other departments to overcome the music.  I think everyone in the room recommended it.

There is a lot of great stuff going on in preparation for the festival, but nothing I can announce yet, so I'm a bit at a loss for words – which will make my many critics happy, and shock my friends.

In thinking what to write this week, I put myself in your shoes.  That's not hard, I've been where you are in the past, and am there now with book submissions and film and TV pitches.  Waiting.  It sucks, I know.

But I'm reminded of some advice I gave a senior class at North Carolina School of the Arts when I was home for a visit more years ago than I care to count.  We got to talking about "The Big Break."  Actors, writers, filmmakers, artists of all kinds are looking for that Big Break.  The project that pushes them forward into a career.

Many of you are on pins and needles right now wondering if Dances With Films will be your Big Break.  I can tell right now, unequivocally, whether you get in the festival or not, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Dances With films will not be your big break.

How can I be so sure?

Because you've already had yours.

When the sperm broke through the egg's defenses, and your DNA lined up in such a way that you were destined to grow up with a functioning brain, and for the most part, a functioning body – that was your Big Break. 

When you were born into a world where the economics were such that the arts as a profession flourish, that was your Big Break.

When you were born into a country that either was not ravaged by war, or if it was, recovered enough that you could pursue your dreams, that was your Big Break.

When you were born into a family that, if they didn't encourage, at least did not stop you from making your dream your career choice, that was your Big Break.

When you found enough friends, family, and friends who have become family, to get behind your dreams, share your vision, and roll up their sleeves (or take out their wallets) to help make that intangible collection of thoughts into something real… that was your Big Break.

The waiting is going to continue for a little while.  It will feel like an eternity.  Some of you will see getting in as winning, and it is.  But there is no losing here.  Creating a work of art – or, if you prefer, entertainment – is a win all by itself.  After such a win, you can't lose. 

You've done the preparation.  You've made your own opportunities.  You've made your own luck.

Thanks for reading.


Harold Geiger said...

nice words...

And Dancers Inc. said...

Well said. I couldn't agree more - except perhaps for the economy allowing the the arts to flourish.

RSMellette said...

Thanks Harold. :)

Dancers - thank you, too. We could go around and around re: the economy. It has certainly been bad lately, and it's a humiliation for there still to be hunger in the world given vast amounts of wealth a resources - especially in the US, where we once had a "war on poverty" and nearly eradicated hunger from our country - before the programs were cut.

Still - the arts is a multi-billion dollar industry and always one of the top 3 US exports. The film industry is about the same age as the car industry, and it's never needed a bail out. In fact, it's famous for being "Recession-Proof."

But, that's a blog for another day. :)