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Kicked Out of the Comfort Zone
Spending the day working on something which runs the risk of failure is better than not doing anything at all. 
Posted in My Journey as a Screenwriter 5 min read
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To my Mama Bird,

A mama bird is understood to be the prime example of all the positively associated attributes of what a good parent is perceived to be; protective, supportive and nurturing, but sometimes the best thing a mama bird can do is offer tough love.

Did you know birds push her young out of the nest? I’m no bird expert and there’s a number of articles on why this occurs, but that’s what they do. At a particular point in time, the bird kicks their kid out of the nest and has zero concern of what could happen next. In short, it’s a nature and it’s what my mother did.

Now, let me be clear. I don’t mean to use the nest as the common symbolic gesture for the ‘home’ (that is another story), but wish to instead resemble the nest as a the ‘comfort zone’ in this post. So, here’s how my mama bird kicked me out of the comfort zone.

It was 2017; year one of now longer being an undergrad film student at Augusta University and was I conquering the world and making a blockbuster movie that would set me on the map? Hell, no! I was sleeping on my parent’s couch in Nowhere, Oklahoma… in the winter season, mind you, without a clue of what to do next. In fact at this point in time, I was incredibly depressed. I was 24 years old, had just graduated with a BA in communications, wasn’t accepted to grad school, knew no one in the entertainment industry and believed I was unfit for a 9 to 5 job – depression makes you your own worst enemy to say the least. Insert mama bird to the rescue. 

Take note: the thing about my family is that they’re a group of people who take action. My brother is a mechanical engineer, my mother was a corporate headhunter and my father is a corporate strategist. So, it’s easy to pinpoint where my hunger for accomplishment, my frustration of patience and my forthright need to get things done comes from, but I unfortunately was not born with grit.

After graduation, it’s almost unnecessary to say that my mother became very impatient with me during this point in my life, but loved me through it the only way she knew how. After numerous arguments, she gave a particular perspective about life. She said,

“I know you had your heart set on grad school, but it didn’t happen. Besides, even it you were accepted, it would only last for two to three years, you will incur an insane amount of debt and there’s no guarantee of employment. You’re 24 years old and in five years from now, you’ll still be considered young. Take these following three years, do whatever you can do to make as much money as possible, network your ass off and get into the industry, even if it means sweeping the floor. Then, if by the end of the third year, you’re not able to pay your bills by doing what you want to do, find a desk job.”

– Mama Bird while drinking her pumpkin spice coffee.

Now, that’s easier said than done and of course I fought her on this idea primarily due to my self-doubt, but she was right. I had to get up and get to work. Spending the day working on something which runs the risk of failure is better than not doing anything at all.  Here’s my mama bird’s syllabus of ruling out fear:

  • Make money – “Be Tom Cruise in Cocktails (1988)”
  • Cold call your network – “What? You say you don’t know anyone, bullsh*t. You know a distant friend of a relative who knows a guy whose cousin’s wife works as a PA on that one set.”
  • Keep Studying – “Crack open your textbooks and brush away those cobwebs. You need to be sharp when someone calls you about a gig!”
  • Get Dirt Under Your Fingernails – “Get on a film set anyway you can,
    do it pro bono. It gives you real world experience. Yes your college degree is useful, but you have to use it.”
Mama Bird enjoying her time with Papa Bird

All in all, you need a supportive team in your life whether the pursuit of success is sought after and that team needs to generate from the home. Sure, you can have mentors and professors and whatnot, but if the person you have coffee with every morning is skeptical about your ability to achieve what you want in life… it’s going to be a difficult endeavor.

Life promises to be unfair. Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Accept it and take in tough love because it’s a form of praise. All the earnest directional entities in life derive from reality and have an intensive purpose of challenging you to graduate your past self. Find someone who will be real with you when you won’t be and next time you’re stuck in a bind, call out for your mama bird.

Genuinely,

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