How can we use our story as our currency, and how can we stay true to our pleasure, while paying the bills to procure said pleasure?
When people ask what I do, I struggle to find an answer that I’m completely satisfied with, one that doesn’t take an intricately-crafted presentation to convey. We are so much more than a one-word answer. I’m a writer, a filmmaker, a poet, I make jewelry, I make music, I tell stories, I have a universe within. And you?
Creative entrepreneurship is an increasingly prevalent career path – you’re more in control than you’d ever be otherwise, you can share your specific skills, talent, story, you can find your niche, have a more balanced life, and be a vital person in your chosen field, right?
Persistence, decisions, and follow through – to name a few.
The creative industry – just like creatives – can be messy, unstable, irritable, moody, and constantly in flux. When you’re starting out, everyone wants you to have experience, and yet to gain this pressing foundation, you need a way in – your story is that way.
I had my mind set on being a writer/filmmaker at the tender age of 13, jotting down my lack of a biography on any paper I could find, it was done. The seed had been planted, and every year that passed, it made more sense than the last, my talents and skills were in line with my desire, and I continued to follow my feet.
After completing my Advanced Diploma in Screen and Media a decade later, I suddenly found myself with something to offer. I had directed, cast, and edited an entire feature film, I had a deep understanding of the practicals of film making, I had several accreditations, and I had honed in on my fortes – writing, directing, and editing. After completing education in your chosen field, what’s the next step? Employment. I stepped up to the plate promptly, although seldom without interesting challenges.
Working for free, constant one-sided favours, unreliable managers, inconsistent hours, lack of interest, inappropriate behavior – just a few of the disadvantages that came with working in a creative field, having just graduated.
Wherever you are, this is your starting place, and you arrived there precisely due to the choices you’ve made, the experiences you’ve endured, the person you’ve become.
Your story is your advantage. Everything that you have learned and adapted, the nuances you are created from, the energy pulsating within, the individuality that is yearning to be moulded into something you can adore, and make money doing, is what you have to offer. Who are you, really? Use who you are to nurture who you want to become. No one has what you have, no one does it how you do it, no one is the someone that you are.
Be persistent, take chances, for every 100 no’s there will be a yes. Don’t react, act. Make good decisions, and do not waiver. Follow through with your decisions – show yourself, and your choices, that you are present and aware of your actions. You are choosing to act, not merely reacting to circumstance, people or yourself. No choice is indefinite, there are endless opportunities, if you’re open to the possibility of them. Don’t settle, instead surge. If an opportunity doesn’t exist yet, then create it.
So, what do I do?
If you’re asking what I do, and get paid for – the answer shifts slightly from my original answer I began with, but fortunately keeps its integrity. I currently work as a video editor, film reviewer, content and feature writer, and I’ve recently launched my own video production company, in which I write, direct, film and edit my productions.
What do you do?
Rocio Belinda Mendez, Director, Filmagination