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Baby Steps…When Others Run

03/07/2012

“Baby steps to the door….baby steps open the door…baby steps walk through the door”. Some people might recognize my little nod to the Bill Murray classic “What About Bob?” (Classic in my head). That’s how my life is though. It is the best way to describe my situation. In terms of my career, I have to take baby steps while everyone else can run. I have to take my time with my career. While others might be able to write a script, produce it, and get it distributed…I have to work on each step little by little. Now in no way am I resentful of my current situation (taking care of my daughter). Nor am I yelling at her “DREAM KILLER!!”

My filmmaking career is a slow process, since I can’t devote all of my time to it.  Some have asked me how I manage to work on any projects being a stay at home dad. Well, I don’t…thanks for opening a wound. My daughter does take up most of my time, but I do find little breaks where I can work. So I do “work” on stuff but at a snail’s pace. I have a few friends in the “biz” that are able to work full time on their projects without distraction. Am I jealous? Of course….while they film, I’m wiping a dirty butt. Did I mention I’m not resentful?

One of my close friends brought up a good point. We were having coffee and he was talking about his process for his projects or work. Any artist would tell you; when you have a “flow” going, it’s hard to stop. There is something about being in the moment where you are inspired and the work is flowing from you. It’s a great feeling.  My friend (being an artist) said to me “I can’t imagine having a flow going and having to stop to take care of a baby”. Therein lays the situation. He asked (like most people) “How about doing work when she naps?” And any stay at home parent would tell you…it ain’t that easy.  When my daughter naps I’m cleaning or preparing for her next meal. Besides, she only sleeps for an hour and in film that isn’t enough time. So what do I do? Baby steps.

Currently I am writing a feature comedy script. I am editing a short documentary about music, which will hopefully be done by late June. I also try to work with a few friends on some short films…we have a 24 hour film festival coming up. So, I work on my projects little by little…baby steps. There are rare occasions when someone watches the baby while I work. Most of the time though, I’m putting my projects together in bits and pieces. Some would say, “Well babies don’t need constant attention, just work while she plays”.  See…I’m the type of parent that LIKES to watch my child. Sure I let her play on her own, but under my supervision.  I actually WANT to have a relationship with my child. I’m not one of those, that turn on the TV and say “have fun”, while I do other things. I feel that it’s important to have that connection with my daughter. If that means only getting bits of time to work on my projects, then so be it.

Film is probably one of the hardest field’s to get into. Everyone wants to make films. Everyone wants their shot. It takes that extra step of actually MAKING a film, to set you apart from everyone else.  Those that take the extra step are ready; waiting by the door for “good old Hollywood” to let them in. They are waving their films in the air trying to get the Gatemaster’s attention. Some will try to sneak in a window, but that never works…you’re likely to break a hip. Either way it’s a fierce competition out there. You want to be ready when that door opens for you. You can’t have only your thoughts of your “childhood dream”. You have to have something to show. What is a director with nothing to direct? Making films is key to getting noticed. So that’s my goal….make films.

We all stand at the starting line. Although others are able to run toward that goal….I do my baby steps. It’s a painfully slow process, but the important part is that I’m actually taking those steps.

ArtisticWC

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