It's a different world out here.
Growing up in Nigeria, I never thought I would one day become a filmmaker, but here I am today in Los Angeles, fighting for my piece of the pie... How that came about? Well, lets start from the beginning:
I always wanted to be a musician, a singer to be exact, and I heard over and over again, no way Jose--that won't put food in your belly. I'm sure we all know how difficult the entertainment industry is. I've heard the music business is worse than the film business. When people stab you in the back, you actually see them coming. Or, is that in the film business?? Not sure, might be mixing those up. I have been doing a lot of that lately: mixing things up (not in a good way).
I teach SAT prep on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and I can't help but feel like I am not helping those kids at all. My mind is mush! Yesterday, I wrote stuff on the board that made no sense to me, and definitely not them, plus they had to correct me! How is that helpful?? I am so scared, I can't think straight. Well, I'm doing this thing where I am not supposed to take my fingers off of this keyboard for at least seven minutes straight, so I am going to keep typing even as I itch :) If you're a writer, you should try it sometimes...it helps you verbal vomit, or rather it helps clear the cobwebs out, so to speak.
Speaking of itch! Lol! I won't go there.
So, film making. In L.A. Wow, what a different world this is. Not that film making in New York is 100% easier, it's just different. People seem more ready, I guess, to work; even if it means sometimes getting a little less than their skill level is worth financially, simply to progress themselves or because the project is challenging or fun or unique... And, I have more access I think, with my Aba and all, but still, the feeling of prepping for a film in New York is vastly different from that of prepping in L.A. Maybe I am judging L.A, harshly; don't know. But, I know this place makes my skin crawl. Anyhow, things are slowly coming together and I am keeping my fingers crossed that we pull this off and it comes out great. I have been saying hopefully it comes out great more than I feel comfortable with, and I think for the sake of my team, I need to know that it will come out great and project just that, but it's hard finding confidence with what's being thrown at me.
Don't know where this story or rant, well it's not a rant, a train of thought or a string of consciousness writing...is going, but I just had a thought about writing a story about a rat (a mouse) the cute ones. So, here we go:
A little brown mouse sat on his stoop one day (yes brown mice can and often do own homes and have stoops in Mouseville, L.A.) and he thought to himself: my life is great, my life is good, I own a brown stone, I have a job at the mouse factory breaking cheese down into pieces for packaging and resale to other mice in Mouseville; I'm good. I am not one for family, I love my quiet; I'm good, but, I feel like I want more from life...
So, this mouse, after having this thought, started to wonder what else he could do to bring more into his life? He could take up arts and crafts, but is that going to be just a hobby or a life fulfilling thing? Hm, pass. He wanted something that would make him feel he was fulfilling a life long dream. So, he asked himself: what was his life long dream? That took him down a path on memory lane that he hadn't been on in years.
Mr. Mouse thought about his family life past: mom, dad, siblings... but I don't want a family of my own though. I have nieces and nephews and I love them. So why did this come to mind he asked himself? Because when he was young, he had dreamed of becoming the most famous singer in all of Mouseville, but he left that dream behind to follow in his father's footsteps at the mouse-cheese factory. That's it! He decided there and then, he was going to become a singer, and wrote down the steps to becoming one.
Step one, learn how to sing, at his age. That was going to be a challenge! But one he believed he could live up to. So, off he went to find himself a teacher and to learn to sing.
Now, at the risk of confirming that I am in fact lazy, I am going to pause this story here. I think you all know where this story goes: he learns, he grows, he suffers some, nearly loses it all, but in the end, and in the most unconventional manner, he becomes the most famous singer in all of Mouseville. Not because he was the greatest singer with the most melodic voice, the most charismatic of performances on stage, the most charming of personalities in person, or even possessed of the most impressive work ethic, but because he was sure of one thing: he had it all and yet had nothing to lose.
Image Copyright: USA TODAY, from the movie SING.