Directing always scared me. Now, I see in pictures. Always have. When I would read books I could see each character, what they were wearing, hear their voices and see their environment. I could see everything before me in shot form. For me, reading books was like seeing movies in my head (I also gave my characters accents, but that's a story for another time). Additionally, I happen to love actors. I was one for many years. My entire career has been dedicated to supporting actors….helping them to understand the business….and helping businesses understand how to work with creatives.
As a woman in this industry, I haven’t always felt empowered. I have been told “no” or “not yet” more often than “yes” and was mentored to be entirely too polite. I have been "honey-babied" by the best of them (and I mean that). Honestly, the "honey-baby's" were given to me from such a sincere and kind place, that I have a hard time even being mad. As a result, over time, I became a great organizer and cheerleader for others, and slowly surrendered my voice and my creative path.
Several years ago, I read a script that my artistic sister, Laura Carson, wrote. Dime Short is the story of a man, a woman and a small-town American diner on the day that he loses everything. Man, I could see it in my head! Then, I met Jessica Anguiano (my other artistic sister) and John Diack who, as producers, saw a vision for this piece, as well. I want to be clear….I actually tried to NOT direct this short…..so unsure that I could do the piece justice….too polite to say I wanted it. Finally, when it became clear that this was my project to direct, I stepped in with a grand amount of faith and the steady hand of Aaron Kopp as DP and mentor. That leap was rewarded with an amazingly gifted team that backed my vision the way that I have done for others in the past. It was humbling, thrilling, scary and entirely addicting.
Here’s what I know….or at least what I’m learning. Being polite does not serve me nor a vast majority of women in this industry. Now, I'm not talking about the "please" and "thank you" polite. That is entirely needed in this world. I'm talking about the, "I don't speak up or share my story because I don't want to put you out" kind of polite. I'm talking about the "I don't want to bother you by asking you to come alongside our project" kind of polite. Artists and producers in this industry must balance kindness with being fiercely committed and brazenly courageous. I'm just questioning where politeness fits. Beyonce once said, "I think I've realized that business and being polite don't match. You can be fair, but me being polite was not me being fair to myself." I get that.
This week, we got the news that Dime Short received its first festival acceptance. Because we are juggling a couple of opportunities, I can’t quite make the full announcement. But suffice it to say, it was a good week for our Dime Short team!
More to come!