Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How I became an award-winning film director: A me moment

The world is a strange place. There is an increase of opportunities and this floating ideal that everyone is a star. However, accessing these opportunities are near impossible if you don't have the money or contacts to help you.

On Sunday, one of my screenwriting workshop friends
described me as an award-winning film director
and screenwriter. It was strange since I never thought
of myself as anything other than just another struggling
artist.... but then, every artist is a mess of insecurities.

Accelerating globalisation and new-found equalities have resulted in more competition as everyone is now breaking out into what they truly want to do or what seems like more fun than their current day job.

Self helps books are indoctrinating us with their generalised platitudes: "Anything is possble", "Be who you have always wanted to be", "Just do it" (oh wait, that's Nike).

Today, that conservative view holding back the artistic types due to fear of monetary failure still exists but is less binding. People rather opt for the meagre income they get from doing what they love. There is an increase in qualified lawyers who are now radio DJs and rockstars; doctors and accountants who are comedians, and matric-less entrepreneurs. Everybody believes that they can be and do everything, be it writing a novel or self-medicating when they have the flu.

It all sounds glamourous and inspiring, but it's hard. 
It's very easy to say "just go for it... jump!", but there's a lot at stake and EVERYBODY has something holding them back. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of success and just fear of financial difficulties are all valid reasons to not quit your current day job that you hate, to not finish that novel or to not emigrate in search for better opportunities in order to become the proverbial 'someone'. 

My philosophy is "baby steps!" Work that shit job and pull yourself through the kak while slowly moving towards what you truly want.

When I was in high school, I wanted to become a film director (or an advert designer person but more a director). A fellow pupil even told me before assembly one morning that I had the stride of one and it just elevated my dream. However, my guidance teacher believed otherwise and said, "You can have your dreams but they must be sensible." 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Because PMB is not as bad as you keep telling me


I'm currently residing in PMB or, as it is affectionately called, Sleepy Hollow. It's one of those places where they put up speed bumps instead of robots, where people keep chickens and cows as pets and where there are more pothole warnings than road name signs... That last point makes it almost like The Village: the insiders do everything to keep the outsiders out by frustrating them until they give up and leave. I swear, I once had to do 12 U-turns before finding the place I was looking for.


Here, instead of fixing potholes, the erecting
of a sign post helps the
municipality evade liability
 
That said, I love PMB. It does need a few improvements... like a second gym, a paintball arena, go-karting, some nightlife, stores that stay open after 6pm, another cinema house, perhaps even cinema nouveau... basically PMB needs a life. But, it's calming and considering that I refuse to trade in my 240-page mapbook for a Garmin, it suits me.
I never ever thought of myself as a city girl when I stayed in Durban, but here I stand out as one. Compared to the farm women I had interviewed who grows, makes and eats everything natural, I am the ultimate urbanite who is slowly being taught how to be less materialistic and appreciate the beauty of life. 

Everything is a complete change from what I'm used to but the bunch of eccentricities (I call them that out of pure affection) that I work with make my life more fun than going out every night would.
Every person who goes out into the world to live
on their own has a oh-shit-i-flooded-my-apartment
moment.
 
Plus living on my own is a awesome. Some days its a bummer and you end up doing stupid things like flooding your apartment, spilling nail polish on the rented carpet or flopping your favourite recipe because you didn't have butter and attempted using buttro instead. Cough Cough. Plus there's the never ending housework that generally tends to pile up due to procrastination. When I was at campus and lived alone, a sunny day meant lying in the park absorbing the sun. Now, when I see the sun out I think, 'Damn, I should have done my washing yesterday'.


some areas have more cows standing
at the side of the road then road
name signs

Despite all this, I love it.

In fact, I have come to love this little town even though I'm hardly here on the weekends. It's quirky and, according to my friend Jerusha, there's even a town cryer... one of the last in the world (I assume). My next quest is to get a photo of this guy.

So, regardless of what everyone keeps telling me, PMB is not as bad as you think. It's not dead and boring, but alive and beautiful. I think it's slowing making me feel alive again... but then I was never the all-clubbing, all-drinking, all-hard-partying type... Hmmm