Too Busy Being Better could be Detrimental!
Do you work on improving yourself and your skills? Or do you waste time competing against others?
By: Apex Feline
After the seminar some months ago, she gave me a DVD of a single called Pornography which she had produced, and notwithstanding the provocative title and packaging, I found the music pretty engaging and within the range of something that could work in a specific circumstance in a film. The artist, Milandra, had given me the disc to get my opinion and I am never shy of an opinion and more often than that I try to give advice that will be positive.
Sometimes my advice is heartfelt, and without challenge such as “this is so bad that I’m giving you the money back that you paid to attend my seminar, because you learned nothing and for the life of me if you’re going to continue on this path and I want you to take this money and go to Western Sydney and buy a gun with it and shoot yourself because you have less of a future than a union leader at the Holden assembly plant”.
So every time I get a DVD, a video, a show reel, or especially a script that is usually going to be one of the things I’m forced to consider for the greater good of the person, his or her family, and the world as a whole.
However, when Nadia (Milandra) gave me her DVD, the very fact she called the song Pornography already meant it was a small ‘win’. It was provocative. The word has several meanings to it, but to me the only thing that mattered is that every man, woman, parent and teenager has a meaning attached to the title, so it engages the purchaser (or recipient in this case :-)) and they are emotionally charged before they even listen or watch.
After watching/listening, I passed on the disc to a number of film producers and directors I knew that had projects in early (pre-soundtrack)
“hey, I kind of like this, the music is catchy—it’
And three people were interested as a result, and one of them---an award-winning director—spoke with Nadia immediately afterwards to discuss.
So now Milandra has embarked on a crowd funding campaign and asked me if I would write something positive for her efforts to help her. I thought about it for a couple days, as I get asked by a number of people to either “LIKE” their Facebook page (I generally don’t as a rule) or some other advocate request.
My m.o. is that unless I’m working directly with them on their film or TV projects or one of my own, or Mentoring them (I am doing neither with Milandra) the answer is “sorry, no” and that’s usually from a time-poor standpoint or other potentially divisive or inspirational reasons.
However, I thought more about it and read a recent interview with her, and the thing that resonated with me was this statement from her, and why I am writing this piece:
Milandra would like to see more creative projects instead of competitions, “We are too busy trying to be better than everyone else instead of just being ourselves. I don't want to be better than anyone as there are plenty of better singers than me out there, I just want to be myself and sing and tell stories"
And there you have it. In a world of “The Voice” and “Australia’
I think there is a place for these shows and I watch and enjoy some of them. They have a place. They have some great viewing at times. Some I loathe. But the fact that there is a ‘place’ for them and an ‘audience’ for them speaks for itself.
I enjoy and have been fortunate to have visited some of the finest restaurants in the world, but conversely I (used to) enjoy McDonald’s (recently barred by my wife but my heart still sings when I go past the Golden Arches at 3am and I think their home delivery plan they announced is way better than Jesus’s lousy promise to ‘come back’ which he’s been spinning for 2000 years, which makes our 4 year journey on Dust and Glory seem like early days.. )
There is something for everybody. And while I started on what I thought was a one man mission in 1994 to raise the bar of entertainment and especially screenwriting and independent film and TV production in Australia, now there is a small army who are starting to ‘see’ that we can and will be the next Hollywood for the rest of this century and every fiscal, creative, esoteric, spiritual, and geographical and sociological signal is starting to back that up.
I am not going to name the hundreds of people I’ve had the opportunity to work with that are so focused on their success and taking other people with them and just ‘following their own personal dream’ rather than having to be #1 in the world at the expense of everyone else, because there isn’t time and this isn’t the place. Some of them, a few dozen, will be the superstars of this next few months and years. Yeah, I know… :-) But I’ll name one anyway…
And Milandra came to the seminar where I met her from the selfless and tireless work of a young lady named Emily Greenaway who put on a multiple day workshop/seminar/
And Milandra was obviously one of them.
So this little tout is not about Milandra per se, or her Kickstarter (which I hope succeeds but even if it doesn’t reach the goal she will be undeterred). She and her amazingly supportive partner Dan have the right ideas and right attitude for them. It might not be your kind of music. Her goals might not be your goals.
But her mantra about being the very best she can be for herself and being true to herself and then ‘putting it out there’ for those who will (or won’t) like it, is pretty much proof-positive about constructing a life that you are excited to awaken to and charged up about when you retire at night with anticipation for the next day.
Too many times we search for the brass ring that cannot or will not exist, only to realize the brass ring is already within reach somewhere else inside us.
I think perhaps knowing what you’re looking for and knowing where you are when you set off on your journey makes the road that much for much and so much smoother. It’s no less a big dream than wanting to play a stadium with 100,000 people or 50 stadiums that size.
It’s just her dream. And that is what is important to her.
What do you want?