Before Friends in Film, I was working an 8a-7p job in Psychology. Long hours. Rewarding work, but I always knew that I was not being fulfilled and that Psychology wasn’t the route for me. Film/TV is always where I wanted to be.
I had volunteered on a few student films, but never was able to get beyond that. I let my dream go, believing it was impossible to get into the industry. I believed that I wouldn’t be liked in the industry, and that I wouldn’t have a hard enough heart for it. All that to say, I did not have any confidence in myself or my abilities to follow my life-long dream of working in film (and when I say life-long, I mean since I was a kid I wanted to be a director/actor… I even made my own short films starting in 6th grade)!
A month before the program, I was trying to convince myself to let that dream go. To accept my life as it is, and accept that I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything more than what I was already doing.
Stumbling upon FIF, I remember the Career on Fire training being life-changing. The lessons I was learning from that initial training alone were spot on; they spoke to where I was at in my life with so much clarity.
Investing the money seemed VERY steep to me, for someone who is already in debt and barely making it by every month. What’s interesting is I never really saw it as “throwing away” money. I knew I would be investing it in myself, but I think the issue was I didn’t believe I was worth it. I doubted my ability to follow through with it to the end. I just did not trust myself.
I was on the fence. Went back and forth many times about joining the program. “Should I?…. Is it worth it?… Can I do this?” Then I remember that exercise Janet had us do where we think about where we see ourselves in 15 years. I remember visualizing my life down the Psychology route vs. my life down the film route. The answer seemed clear to me in that moment. That is when I decided to take the plunge, and 8 months later….
I learned how to trust and believe in myself (as cliche as that may sound, it couldn’t be more true). I learned how to develop a stronger higher-self presence and keep my negative self-thoughts at bay. I also learned all the techniques and different strategies that helped me go from working on student films, to working on low-budget films, to networking at events to working on commercials and now a 2-month TV show gig. I learned how to develop a go-getter attitude and mindset which has made me standout on so many occasions and, consequently, helped lead me to more work. My mindset has completely been shifted by the program.
I’ve been on this new TV show for about a month now as an Office PA, I finally feel like this is where I’m supposed to be. I’m having so much fun on set. I’m having conversations with so many fantastic people (all the way up to the Showrunner/Writer, Directors, EPs, etc.), and I even had one EP tell me I was “a blessing to this production.” They really like me and are impressed with me on set! Holy cow! I know that may not seem like a big thing, but to me it’s almost unreal. To think about where I started 8 months ago, to where I’m at now, I almost don’t recognize myself!
And whenever I share a part of my story to people on set, telling them I started to really pursue film in January of this year, their response is “And look at you, you’re already here on a TV show… that’s a very fast turn-around!” And none of this would’ve been possible without the knowledge I learned from the program and it totally paid off in the end. I can now officially say that the program has paid itself off with this TV show I’m on!
So grateful to be working in the industry. :)