Love And Happiness

What are some of the biggest experiences throughout a film directors career? I would say that the first ever film premiere as a director is pretty damn special! I experienced that moment this year. October 4th was the day my first project as a feature film director was shown, at the Sitges Film Festival, on a big screen in front of total strangers.

After so much hard work and effort, I had almost forgotten to think about what it would be like to see this film on a cinema screen. You watch it over and over again, until it’s as close to perfect as it can get, so when school ended and summer started I put the film aside. It was no secret, everyone needed a break after the year we just had. Months went by, and I started working on new and exciting projects. Before I had the time to even think about it, the day of the premiere had come. My whole family was in town, all matching in my sister’s beautiful new collection, (take a look at ready for the big day.

My sister and I have a very special bond. We have always had a very close connection, strengthened over time as we grew up and learned that the only people that will genuinely cheer you on, and want you to be the best version of yourself, are the ones who truly and deeply care about you, those who love you unconditionally. You can grow up in a big family with lots of extended relatives, believing that this god-given circle of loving, supportive role-models will always be there. Then you grow up and realize that it wasn’t actually that genuine to begin with. Yet my sister and I, thanks to our endlessly loving and supportive parents, were able to face life’s challenge secure in the knowledge that we had a good team in our corner, allowing us the freedom and confidence to develop both individually, and as a team.

I have always been very good at telling my sister how she needs to throw herself out there and show the world what she has to offer, because there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. People will always hate, but you need to just ignore it, and focus on what makes you happy…

Yes, well this was all before experiencing what creative anxiety actually is. Unfortunately we live in a society where you shouldn’t feel good about succeeding(!?). Why is that? Because it makes others feel bad? Because you should feel guilty about excelling where others don’t? Whatever it is, it’s something I have witnessed a lot as my sister has become more and more successful in her career, and I was always the first one to say screw them! Because you know what? I mentioned in the previous article that everyone has their own path through life, and constantly comparing yourself to, or judging others for theirs is an unfortunate result of a society concerned more with judgement than support. A society lacking the support systems that teach us how to be happy within ourselves. For unless you’re happy with who you are, you can never be happy for others. Comparisons make us envious, jealous creatures, devoid of love, bitter about the hand life dealt us. What we fail to appreciate is the beauty of our diversity, remember the universe that has a place for everyone? We have a communal responsibility to change our behaviour, to learn to love, not hate.

After countless conversations, cheering my sister on in her success, watching her get hurt by people she thought of as friends, I find myself in the exact same position. Showing my first feature in front of an audience was one of the toughest things I have done. Not because I’m afraid of your judgement, no, but this is my baby! I’m letting my baby out for the world to see, and that feeling is terrifying.  

Now my boyfriend, Joey, didn’t just come with me to the premiere, he was also starring in his very first feature film, my feature film! He is a brilliant actor and I could not be happier to get to share this very special moment with him. So this was a big deal to both of us, but when he gets nervous I get nervous… Either way we arrived in Sitges, and soon after that at the cinema. I remember thinking who are all these people here to see our film? We sat down, my hands shaking. Luckily I was surrounded by my loved ones, calming my nerves a little as the opening credits began playing.

An hour and fifteen minutes later the lights came back on. I remember wanting to run out of there as quickly as possible, but then a cheer broke out, totally unexpectedly. I was so caught up in my own anxiety, that I totally forgot that there are those out there that will cheer you on regardless! And you know what? That’s all that matters to me.

I now want to challenge you the reader, to be a kind and caring cheerleader to all the souls around you. I promise that it feels fantastic, and you’ll reap the rewards in no time. I’m not religious, but the Bible does hold a few gems: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you!” Spread love and support, and others will not only be grateful, but will follow your example.

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