What does it feel like to really go after your dreams?
Many years ago my good friend Bernadette asked me to go to a movie with her. She and I were roommates at the time and we both had really different ideas about the types of movies we liked to go see. I was a ‘typical Hollywood blockbuster’ kind of girl…I usually went to the latest Hollywood movie that came out, with the latest “A” list super star actors. The type of movies that appealed to the majority of people. Bernadette on the other hand like to go to movies at the local revue theatre…conveniently located a few doors down from our apartment. Foreign films, low-budget independent films, quirky films, art films…the more unusual the better for her (this was before film festivals became as popular as they are now). I began to go to movies with her and a whole new world opened up for me. I began to see that films could be art as well as entertainment…a new concept for a girl from the suburbs!
One day, she told me about a new Canadian film she wanted to see and invited me to go with her. I agreed and my life changed forever! We sat in the dark theatre and watched this film and I remember having the most bizarre sensation that I was ‘meant’ to be in the theatre, at that exact moment in time, watching that film. I had the feeling that my life was going to change trajectory because of being there.
The film was called ‘Roadkill’ and it was about the trials and tribulations of a young, independent band trying to find their way. As I watched the film unfold, I realized not only did I know the story..but I also knew the band. The movie was based on my brothers punk rock band called A Neon Rome, which was rather notorious in it’s day in the local music scene in Toronto. Afterwards my friend told me that there was a rumour that the director was going to be making another movie soon. I experienced a thunderbolt from heaven…I was going to work on that movie no matter what. I decided the circumstances that brought me to see Roadkill were a sign from the Universe that I was meant to work with this director on his next project.
The fact that I hadn’t actually ever worked on a film before was a minor inconvenience… I just knew, like I knew, like I knew…that I was going to be the Costume Designer for this new film.
That feeling…that certainty, that knowing, was one of the best feelings I have ever known in my life. There was such a calm, true feeling and I became very quiet when I made my decision about figuring this out. My determination was completely clear and fierce. Nothing was going to stop me …. Nothing.
I found out the details about that next film and I sent off my very best letter and resume…I wanted to be the Costume Designer. At the time I had begun my freelance career as a Stylist and mostly worked on television commercials…but I hadn’t done a film as a Designer. It didn’t matter … I just knew I would be working on that film…I knew it in my soul.
No response to my letter…no reply at all. (this was in the day of snail mail and resumes). I was a bit confused..but unfazed … For a little while.
More time passed and still no response and I began to think that maybe it wasn’t going to happen and I’d have to move on. I wasn’t crushed…it was more of a strange questioning of the Universe…like really, you sent me all these signs and then nothing. Why did that happen?
Then one day, I was walking along Queen Street and the director walked past me. In fact, we locked eyes as we passed each other on the street. I was elated…I knew again in my heart and soul that it was going to happen…it was another sign.
And finally … The call came….from the Costume Designer, asking me if I could come to do some sewing for her for free on a Sunday.
Okay..so I wasn’t going to be the Designer..(thank goodness, I had no idea what was involved in designing a film at all)….but I was going to be working on this movie, like I knew I would. I said yes immediately.
The sewing day was a magical day …. I loved Martha the designer…she was quirky and fun and really unique. Everyone involved in the project seemed so artistic and creative and wild … The Director was amazing and the leading lady was his girlfriend and she was wonderful too. I was so thrilled with this new world I found and beyond excited to be involved. Then Martha asked me to take another position on the film and I eventually became the ‘Wardrobe Mistress’ (now we call this position a Set Supervisor) Plus… I got paid. My salary was $500 a week….which to me at the time was like winning the lottery!
The actual work of shooting the film was probably some of the hardest work I’ve ever done…the hours were gruelling, the learning curve was super steep for me and the conditions were usually less than ideal…but I wouldn’t trade a minute of that beginning. I launched myself into a life beyond anything I had ever dreamed of for myself when I worked in a corporate job. It was alive with creative possibility and freedom and I delighted in every exhausting minute.
To me, this is what manifesting your dreams feels like… exciting, passionate and a bit wild. Leaping into a world where you’ve never been before, where you don’t really know what you don’t know but you’re doing it anyway. Getting your hands dirty and loving it. Not accepting the possibility that it might not work out because you know in your heart of hearts that it will happen, because you know, like you know, like you know.
Believe in life’s pure magic. Go for your dreams. Find a mentor, coach or guide who can help you. Never stop believing you can do it….because you can.