We often start the New Year by making our steadfast resolutions: I'm going to lose weight. I'm going to write that screenplay. I'm going to learn French... In short, we seek out to "fix" our lives in some way. It's equally important to take a moment to look back on the year and reflect on everything that you have done. With 2011 in full swing, I take a moment to recall few of last year's highlights:
- I got to hang out on some awesome television sets as an extra. The Office? Mad Men? Castle? That's pretty bad ass. I'm VERY lucky.
- I got a job as a web developer at Fox. I've gotten to create/work on sites for my favorite shows and some of the best shows on television. Fringe? Family Guy? The Simpsons? Glee?
- I'm working on my 3rd level of improv comedy classes at The Upright Citizens Brigade theater.
- I've gotten to see DOZENS of movies/performances with their creators! "Up" with Pete Docter and Bob Peterson? "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnasus" with Terry Gilliam? "Avatar" with James Cameron? "Scott Pilgrim" with Edgar Wright? "ASSSCAT" with Amy Poehler, Jon Hamm, Jack McBrayer, Matt Walsh, Tim Meadows, Heather Graham, Matt Besser, and Ian Roberts?! I can't even list everything!
- I aced particle dynamics at the Gnomon School and made a music video out of what I learned.
- I've gotten to explore Southern California in all of its glory.
- I've mingled with awesome people. John Noble? Hugh Laurie? Seth MacFarlane? Hells to the yes!
- And not least of all, I met a wonderful and talented guy who makes me smile, think, and melt, and with whom I get to share much of the above. Our adventures are just beginning.
The point here is not to brag. In this year, I've also lost a grandmother, heard news that my grandfather fell down a flight of stairs and is in bad shape, watched my dad get a triple bypass surgery, heard the horrible news of my high school BFF's struggle with breast cancer, done great battle with unemployment, helped my brother pick himself up off the ground, worked 100+ hours a week to get the new Fox.com off the ground (almost losing my sanity in the process), failed a relationship, lost friends, and collected a hefty amount of debt in the process. But the positives FAR outweigh the negatives. I've done all of this DESPITE all of that. My point is to prove that if I get out there and try to make it happen, you can. Granted, I tend to live my life at about 100 miles per hour. Sometimes, the passage of time doesn't even register with me. Since moving out to Los Angeles back in August/September of '09, I have pushed myself to do all that I can in my entertainment career.
Wait, wait. What was that? "Entertainment?" That's right. I have accepted it. I work in entertainment. Yes, I consider myself above all to be a "filmmaker" and primarily a "director," but I've really opened my mind to television and the Internet. Also, take a look around my site! I clearly have about a dozen other interests and entertaining talents. Realizing this about myself and accepting that having such a broad range of interests is an asset rather than a liability has been a major step for me this year. I enjoy acting. I enjoy writing. I enjoy drawing. I enjoy animating. I enjoy photography. I enjoy scientific discussion. I enjoy music. Hell, I even enjoy web development, my so-called "day job" now that I work for Fox. And to boot, I'm not too bad at those things. Why should I stop doing any one of them?
We have a tendency to want to slip others and ourselves into tidy little well-defined slots. Time and time again, I have had "wiser" people tell me I need to focus on one thing (and I've heard this said of some of my other friends with "multifaceted" interests and talents). The problem with that is that it doesn't work for everyone. The more I limit my music playing, the less inspired I feel to write. The fewer photo-hiking trips I take, the less I feel the urge to sit down and code. When I feel like my interests are too scattered, I remind myself that my idols like James Cameron and J.J. Abrams write, direct, draw, compose, geek out about science, etc. And thanks to twitter, I'm learning that other people I admire have just as varied interests and talents (and learning to appreciate others that I may not have ever heard about).
Enough. Do what you love. All of it. As much as you can squeeze into your life. Soak up every day. Love someone. Shout it out. And as the song in my video cries out: Go Do! The secret to life is not that complicated. Live it. My resolution is to make 2011 just as awesome as 2010, accepting that there will be bad with the good. Take a moment and reflect on just how much you did in 2010 and reward yourself for that. Make 2011 about building from that, not scolding yourself and giving yourself rules. And above ALL, let a little love into your life. There's a lot about the world to love.