It seems like a simple question, right? “What was it like during your year as a CineStory Fellow?” That’s exactly what I thought. But, like most things which appear easy, it was a bit more difficult to sum up. While there were plenty of adjectives to choose from: amazing; sensational; difficult; frustrating; insightful; wonderful, only a combination of all of these, and more, could accurately come close to describing this past year.
I can’t count the times I went from Hero to Zero in 10 seconds flat or less. Blocks, missteps, self-sabotage, artistic intoxication or WWAI (Writing While Artistically Intoxicated), success, failure, brilliance, garbage… all this and then some.
Working with Michelle Sy and Joe Forte helped me to lose my sanity and keep it at the same time. When I flailed from the notes they sent, they stuck it out and reeled me in, even when it seemed hopeless. There were trust issues. Do they trust me and I them? Is my instinct here wrong or right? Is theirs? Am I on track or off? Are they? I almost gave up so many times I can’t count, but I stuck in there and in the end, the one word which seems to fit the best is discovery.
I discovered who I am as a writer. I discovered my strengths and my barriers. I discover who Joe Forte and Michelle Sy are; as collaborators, peers, and ultimately friends. I discovered more about myself in this past year than the culmination of all those previous.
When I started, I was told the process would be hard; it was. I was also told the other end of this would be worth every excruciating moment; it was and I would not trade it for the world.
So, to all of you future CineStory Fellows I have but one bit of advice — RUN, as fast as you can to meet your destiny. It will be the most challenging learning experience of your life, and easily the most artistically rewarding...