July 9, 2015

All Tomorrow's Parties

Endings are always sad. The inevitable post-Cannes crash has been a long one and I'm not convinced it ever really lets up. As great as it is to be home, it's hard to leave behind an intensely inspiring experience of truly living the dream and connecting with like-minded people along the way. I feel like a bit of myself is missing.

But all is not lost. We're all impacted by the people who have entered our lives, even the ones who don't stay. That's why it's so important to take those risks, leave the house, meet those characters, build those memories...

John Cameron Mitchell (aka HEDWIG) Guest DJ at American Pavilion. 
Good Party People
With Fellow Albertans: Mike Ross* & Karen Dantas
You'll hear a lot about the power of a good schmooze. It's absolutely true. However, the social necessities of the film industry can come off as trite, just shallow parties drowned in booze. That's not the point of all this.

The point is we need to find our TRIBE. The core of this industry is collaboration. That's is the underlying message behind the cliché, "It's not who you know, but who knows you." Handing out business cards and eating tiny versions of real food (but not too fast, you don't want people thinking you're a goddamn animal) is foreplay for the real interaction. Do you leave people feeling good after a conversation? Do you have something to offer a fellow creative? If you do, someone will want to work with you. Really, networking is an active practice in being a good human. So my advice: if you want to make it in this industry, you need to start meeting people face-to-face. You need to tap into the international area. It is fucking mandatory.

The cocktail mixers after the Producer's Workshop at Cannes were constant. It would have been easy for me to be like "fuck it, my feet hurt," but there's no rest for the wicked, nor should there be. You only live once (in this body) so make it count. Trust me, I'm of the John Mulaney school of thought that cancelling plans for an adult is like hitting the crack pipe. It feels so good. But soon, your "I don't wanna" starts to be an obstacle to your career. It's not laziness or apathy, it's self-sabotage. Recognize it as such.

I started out this adventure to the Cannes Film Festival feeling absolutely out of my element. Panic built like a huge wave about to crash on me. I was warned that I would be a small fish in a very big pond, but that has not been my experience. I took a risk, filled my own shoes and stepped into the spotlight to realize that I absolutely belong. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, this experience has appropriately demystified the industry. I have a stronger sense of myself, a greater appreciation of what I have to say as an artist and now I know how to package and deliver my film and where it must go.  I belong here. So do you.

So to all of my loved ones and supporters who helped me make this trip possible, I'm not sure how to thank you. I'm forever changed. I can only promise to harvest all of these experiences and move forward along my path, leaving some pebbles behind for others to follow.

*Mike Ross is the name he's earned. SUITS for life. <3

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