Philosophy of Success

Every once in a while I get reminded of those lives that I’ve touched.  Again I come back to the cyclical nature of life, the universe, and everything.  For a few months now,k I’ve been considering trying to form a Two Days with Juliet reunion.  It’s been SEVEN years since we filmed that tiny little flick o’ mine and quite frankly, Facebook isn’t enough to catch up with these folks.  These people are all on the fringes of my life.  They are nearby.  Close enough to be in my circle, but they don’t quite mix into my frying pan.

A few days ago, I ran into Juliet’s real life mother.  She was excited to see me and told me that her daughter, after shooting my movie went off to NYC for a while to do the dancing and acting thing.  I had pushed her enough to chase her dream.  Juliet wasn’t the first and she certainly won’t be the last.

When I was in college.  I was working on a teaching degree at my parent’s dearest urgings.  Film school was all I wanted to do then, but I was told, there’s no job market in it.  Now, my chick, her son is approaching the age of looking toward college, and when he says he wants to be a professional Halo player, and is spot on serious about it, I wonder if my parents looked at me the same way when I talked about my little movie thing.  But, Alas, I digress.  I was a naive boy of 20 and teaching in a high school in northern new york. I was in a classroom full of seventh graders.  Followed by a class of high school juniors.

About five years later, when my teaching career wasn’t going so well.  I find out that TWO of my students went on to become teachers based on how I affected their minds.  I had inspired them enough to move on and forward with their lives.  That was me.  I did that.

Around the time I started movie making, I met the lead actress in my first film.  She was a stunning Columbia grad and really had some solid acting chops.  She fell in love with my script.  She shot one movie in her entire life.  Mine.  It was after that that she decided that acting really wasn’t for her. 

Yes.  My movie was THAT bad.

This was at the dawn of the digital age.  2001.  We’re coming up on TEN YEARS since I shot my first film.  That’s fucking insane in my head.  I can’t really comprehend that I’ve been doing it for a decade now.

Feature number TWO.  The lead actress went on to never act again thanks to me.

Feature three.  Two Days with Juliet.  At least she tried!

Feature four.  Screw it.  I’m not putting any women in this one.  I ruin their dreams. 

                           

While shooting the fourth.  Cold Winter.  I sought out lots of local help from across all areas and had kids come from all around to help me out.  This was as close to a real movie shoot as any of them would ever see.

I had TWO… future film makers fall out of that.  Joseph is off doing fantastic documentary work and really keeping a solid focus on his faith and his beliefs in mankind and humanity.

I’m not sure what it is about me that brings on this great influence.  Because honestly, I was so wrapped up in my work, I never even noticed some of these people.  Some of them showed up one day and then never returned.  I don’t see it.  Maybe it’s just my own personal self-consciousness.  I just can’t see the appeal.  but maybe it’s not for me to see.

So it came back to me today of all these lives I’ve touched.  i was at work and I was speaking with the boss of the head company and I spilled my guts on why I thought a certain woman deserved a promotion over the two candidates they had and laid it all out on the line for him.  It wasn’t my place to say anything.  But I felt strongly about it.  And I may have just changed her life.

For the better or the worse, only time will tell.

I suppose that’s where the quote below comes in.  Part of me knows that my greatest successes aren’t going to be my own personal ones.  My personal successes are going to be the successes of those people whose lives I’ve come into contact with.  Be it a bit player, an actor, an extra, some kid behind a desk, or my own two children.

I have a lot of faith in those two boys to do great things.  I’ve sure as shit fucked up my life from time to time.  But when you’ve seen so many people do so many positive things because of you… have I really fucked up at all?

I am going to Japan in five months.  Whose lives can I change in a country where I don’t speak the language?

….we’re gonna find out.

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