This post is written by Oksana, Friends in Film mentorship member.
DEAR FRIENDS IN FILM MEMBERS!
I think it is important I share my little story with you guys, because I feel it holds important information that some of you may relate to and hopefully find useful.
FEAR. Fear of the unknown, uncertainty and lack of confidence. I can’t believe a four letter word holds so much negativity. That was definitely my biggest problem. I used to always be afraid. Afraid to drive somewhere unknown, (I am in promotional modeling, so several locations a week was so normal, and it took a while to get used to never knowing where the hell I was going!) afraid of meeting and interacting with new people.
That balls to the wall attitude, that Janet has mastered so wonderfully, was a pure and undeniable mystery to me. Gosh, I remember thinking “This chick is CRAZY!” (Seen her Happy Dance??? Hahaha), in TOTAL awe, not in a bad way at all! It cracked me up it was so unbelievable! The way she approached situations! Calling strangers to come to their shoots! Christ, WHAT?! HOW! I remember thinking, “Can I do this?! I CAN’T do this, come on!” I’m quite modest and reserved, (until I’m comfortable. :/ haha) when it comes to making new friends and acquaintances, and especially when it’s a very important connection that’s involved! I begin stressing before I even approach the person, and get all weird on them.
Something I’m about to say is gonna “sound” strange. But we all know, we are the company we keep. So, although I’ve never ACTUALLY met and hung out with Janet in person, her mentoring emails have been my savior in a lot of situations. And with time, SOMEHOW, I started inhabiting those little behavioral patterns she had… I’m serious. The whole calling the strangers thing was not as unlikely to happen anymore. It seemed very relevant, in fact.
And I’ll tell you why. It’s because it sinks in. Everything you’re told sinks in, even if you don’t think you were listening – it’s our subconscious working.
Back story: I was always sort of a frightened little girl, cause we were poor, so I didn’t feel important. I grew up around parents and adults judging rich people (they didn’t even mean it that way, it’s because that was the way THEY grew up with THEIR parents being against rich – communism and all.) Rich is bad. Rich is greedy. Rich is wrong. Rich is evil. MODEST is the way to go. Humble.
About two years ago, when I started the program, I began thinking “Hmmmm… How about both?” [rich AND modest]
NOW I’m thinking “F**K MODEST. Just have the balls and be rich.” I mean, yes, be a good person, true to yourself, live an honest life, be kind, forgiving, OF COURSE. But you have GOT to be a shark, if you wanna make it big. Don’t be a mean shark! Just be a shark!
By that, I mean, SIMPLY. KNOW. WHAT YOU WANT. You want to get on a shoot – find your person, call your person, and make it clear you’re just really interested and would love to help, because it’s true.
It’s not annoying! And I would’ve never thought I’d ever believe what I just wrote, but it’s because it finally sunk in.
Recently I emailed Janet saying, how her emails are like a constant positive affirmation to me. You don’t think anything of it (you read it, you agree but you REALLY start getting it after a while, after it’s constantly repeating itself. So what I am saying, YOU WILL GET IT. Just pay attention, listen, read carefully. She means it, when she says it’s gold. Don’t deny her words, in your head. Don’t just discard something, simply because “that’s how you are”, because it isn’t true. Let it sit in your mind for a while.
Everything that’s in your head – insecurities, fear, lack of confidence, – it literally is just in your head. It is the reflection of the past events that might have taken place, all those negative thoughts and fears are just the result of things that happened to us in the past. And that’s how we CHOSE to be afterwards. One of the things I ABSOLUTELY have to keep reminding myself, when I get choked up with fear (when I go to a casting call for the modeling agency or audition for a commercial or give a phone call to see if I can get on a shoot), is that There isn’t anything ANYONE can do to hurt me, unless I let them.
It is so true, and it was a BIG one for me after I realized this. Whether you decide to take offense is your call; whether you decide to feel rejected after an audition and not getting the role, is up to you. I’ve read a great interview with this actress, and she was so cool about it. She said, “I am so used to being rejected. I mean, you never know, maybe someone has just been broken up with by a redhead [she’s a redhead] and they just weren’t feeling the look.” I was like, Wow! That’s the attitude I’m talking about! JUST like it is up to you to be scared. This may sound absurd, but I know what I’m talking about.
You really do choose fear. I used to sit down, and really think it through.
What is it exactly I am scared of in a certain situation and whether it is a real reason or just because “it’s the way I am”. I’ve done a lot of thinking and understanding.
You need to understand how this all works. Like Janet said in one of the four parts dedicated to Overcoming Fear (which is an absolute must do, it simplifies everything so beautifully), it is always a battle between the certain and the uncertain. And it’s all VERY simple (unlike how we make it seem in our heads).
You’re either comfortable but unhappy (certain), or you’re a little uncomfortable (because you’re uncertain) but you’re happy.
You just have to, you HAVE to throw yourself into situations and just go through with it (for instance, MAKE yourself pick up the phone and dial the number, the second you hear somebody’s voice, you know you can’t go back, and then you’ll see that that’s it, – you did it. You’re on the phone talking to someone asking to volunteer/work).
You will feel SO good afterwards.
Think about it, all these people, producers, directors, they’re just that – people! Just like you!
It’s not weird AT ALL to call them and ask to help out. I mean, you’re offering FREE HELP. It’s a two way street. That’s what I kept forgetting too, I felt like I was gonna be annoying and totally random, if I ever called someone like that.
But really, what’s the crime?
Think about it!!!!!
It’s just a simple polite phone call. Really. That’s what it is.
You don’t even have to FACE the person, they don’t know what you look like, they don’t know you, there really is nothing strange or scary about it, at all. If they don’t need help, they’ll just tell you. And that will be the end of it. (But I doubt they won’t need help.)
Seriously, what can POSSIBLY happen that would be as scary as you are afraid? You have to, have to, have to simplify things in your head, because things really are that simple.