Just Say No

Shooting b-roll for opening creditsRecently I read a Fast Company article entitled 6 Ways to Smash Your Creative Block and Launch Your Dream Project by Amber Rae. It’s a lot about breaking through resistance and creating that project you’ve always dreamed of doing. All six points are incredibly familiar to me – I have faced each one of them and continue to do so each time I want to start something new. But the one that sat with me after I read it, the one I’m still thinking about enough to write about today, is number 4: Learn to Say “No.”

Why does this one stick out over the others? Well, as Smiley Poswolsky says in the article, to complete your dream project you have “to avoid doing other things.” You could say I’ve avoided a lot during the last couple of months while I’ve been developing ALICE IN ASTORIA. But the word avoid has a negative association with me. I haven’t gone on many auditions during this time, but I wouldn’t say I’ve been avoiding them. I have, however, had to just say no to a lot of things I enjoy.

Top of that list of things I’ve had to turn down is going to the theater. I love theater. It’s part of me. It’s who I am. I go to shows several times a month. I have nerdy discussions with my friends about scenery on the subway home. I go by myself regularly and I’m no longer embarrassed to be the single girl everyone has to pass on the way to their seat. But while I’ve been writing and rewriting and shooting and acting in ALICE IN ASTORIA – I haven’t gone at all. I’ve declined comp tickets. I haven’t seen friend’s shows. I missed Tom Hanks on Broadway. Tom Hanks! Its been hard.

Yet the upside of all this is: I made my first film. We finished shooting b-roll last weekend. (That’s us in the pic above!) It’s in post-production. And that feels GREAT.