So, I had a wonderful Christmas with my mom, and now the holidays are over. Happy New Year!
It’s 2019, and I’m rethinking everything…
Last year I had all these plans, and I was very focused on strategy and outcome. Good luck trying to “plan” a life in the arts. Funding, grants, other artists’ sustained interest in a particular project – and even your own – are never certain.
This year I’m going more with ideas, passions, needs, and, in particular, process. Meaning, I’m creating art and ideas that I’m passionate about, that I need to put out into the world, and I’m focusing on, and really embracing, the process. I still have plans and strategies – goals are absolutely vital – but they will not supersede my passion and process. Plans and strategies are associated with sharing work. This is a necessary, if laborious undertaking, and can often take much longer than anticipated. If money is not forthcoming, then the best laid plans of mice and men may come to naught. New plans and strategies may need to be implemented. But some projects may simply need to be abandoned. Sometimes the timing is off. Sometimes it’s the wrong project for the times. There’s nothing wrong with this, and I refuse to let it interfere with my ability to create – or with the process of creating itself.
“The saddest journey in the world is the one that follows a precise itinerary. Then you're not a traveler. You're a...tourist.”
- Guillermo del Toro
I have a few interests, and this year I want to see how I can help them to intersect in interesting ways. In earlier blogs, I shared how I’ve worked as a professional actor, and as a scriptwriter for theatre and CBC Radio. What I didn’t share was that I went to film school. (Actually, my very first radio play was an adaptation of a screenplay that I wrote.) Back in the day, I graduated from Concordia University’s Department of Communication Studies, where I studied film and video production. I put filmmaking on the backburner to pursue acting, and focus more on theatre. Well, my heart has led me back to my early love of film. I’ve been working on a documentary. I recently completed an experimental short called, Alone Under Heaven, and I’m currently writing a narrative short film.
I’ve been re-learning filmmaking techniques, and educating myself on digital filmmaking. Luckily, there’s a plethora of inexpensive, and free, information out there: workshops, books, podcasts, YouTube tutorials. Also, digital filmmaking is so much less expensive than when I was actually shooting film back in the day. Speaking of which, I recently re-discovered a short Super 8 horror film that a Concordia classmate and I wrote, edited and directed many moons ago. I was also the cameraperson on the shoot. We were in our late teens/early twenties when we made the film! I recently had it digitized. Then I got invited to screen it at an upcoming film festival here in Toronto. (More about that to come.) This feels like a sign of some sort…
“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”
– Allen Saunders
Theatre will always be a part of my life. I love the theatre, but film was actually my first love. (I remember going to see many matinees during my childhood – and loving it. This was back when there was a cartoon followed by two short features; the cinema filled with kids.) I’m excited about embracing the intersection of my passions, going where my heart is leading me, and always having faith in the process. Thankfully, my passions intersect in meaningful ways, and feed each other organically. Interestingly, I never had any desire to direct theatre, but I love being behind the camera.
Mostly I love telling stories. Whether it’s as an actor, writer, or director, story is paramount. Ultimately, telling stories is really what it’s all about. In the beginning was a story – with a middle and an end.
Thanks for reading…