In my experience, I’ve found that there’s not too much in life that you have true control over. I’ve also heard it said that the best way to make God laugh, is to tell him your plans. I’ve always been particularly fond of this concept and, given the trajectory my life has gone in relation to the plans I laid out for myself, it’s something that I can fully relate to and understand.
If I were to tell my seventeen/eighteen year old self that, at twenty seven, I wouldn’t be where I had intended to be, well, I’m sure the disappointment would have been evident in his bright, youthful eyes.
Like most people, I’ve been assured, I have found myself in a situation that allows me to put food on my table, providing, as it does, a pay check that I manage to stretch; the rub comes from the unavoidable, but arguably necessary, questioning of ones self worth and its impact on a persons self esteem. What do I want to do? Where did I think I would be?
Not what I’m doing. Not where I am.
Though the experiences I’ve accrued in my time working within retail over the years have allowed me a plethora of memories and material to craft into a wonderfully scathing, accurate and damning script that observes and denounces the retail industry. In fairness, a lot of situations that I have been privy to, especially during my time working at a video game store, are present, key components to the story and its character arcs; a key reason as to why the script is, in turn, set in a punk rock, indy, game store, and it is, appropriately, titled Gamers. Being able to craft the script, reflecting on the issues that I have taken from real life; experienced or observed, and turn them into comedic plot points has been a cathartic experience, and strikes me as being what Steve Jobs referred to as “connecting the dots”. I wasn’t able to see any connecting thread between my experiences; my every day life; and how they would ever lend themselves towards contributing towards what I am trying to do. Yet my first feature is entirely influenced by retail culture.
It’s a shame that I don’t have the ability to simply send an e-mail or pick up the phone in order to contact a producer and have the movie slowly become a reality; those cogs and wheels slowly turning, spinning and gaining momentum. I’m not in a position to easily get this movie made, and I’ve not been born into a relative life of luxury; contacts being freely available, money being easily attainable, that’s just not my world. And that’s okay. It would be nice, and it would make the endeavour that much easier, but it’s life experience that has dictated the reality infused into Gamers. Without the experience, this script would be very different, if it would exist at all.
Not being where you thought you would be; not being where you want to be; both undeniably affect a persons self esteem and sense of self worth. This is surely an undeniable fact of life, a facet of dealing with being human and the affects of the human psyche. How we choose to deal with it however is what determines the disposition of your character.
I’ve been doing a few things in my spare time recently that I have truly enjoyed and, importantly, are aspects that I have control over. As a bit of fun, I commentate over UFC and wrestling videos for the gaming channel All4Play Network, because, lets face it: being a commentator would be a pretty awesome job.
Additionally, I have finally begun podcasting again. I have podcasting experience, having hosted a wrestling show entitled Blind Tag! Podcast; a show where we would analyse the weeks worth of wrestling and have bumper PPV review shows. I absolutely loved podcasting, and having a platform to not only chit chat about things I cared about, but to have an excuse to hang out with my friends, simply shooting the shit, was always awesome.
This new podcast, Totally RanDumb Podcast, sees me and my co-host, Nick Farrow, tackle a number of different random (random; randumb, get it?) news stories; weird, odd, sexy, scientific, lifestyle; pieces from all over the world. We then dissect the stories, flipping a coin to determine who leads with their first, totally random, story. So far we’ve had some wonderfully supportive, positive feedback and, if the numbers are anything to go by, people seem to be enjoying what we’re doing. So please, if you haven’t and are curious, take some time to stream or download the Podcast through iTunes; listen, get involved and let us know what you think. It would be greatly appreciated!
It’s good to have something in your life you can have a modicum of control over, considering how distant certain goals can seem on a day to day basis. Participating in the All4Play Network? Creating and hosting the Totally RanDumb Podcast? Examples of me simply attempting to take control of something, anything, in a world that wants you to believe that you can’t change anything.
The status quo should never be simply adhered to and blindly followed. Following interests and passions to disrupt what could so easily be a mundane, unhappy day to day is incredibly helpful to your mental health and your self worth. I implore you, whatever interests you have, assuming they are well within the parameters of moral decency of course (!), are things you should explore and follow, if you do not already.
I may not be any closer to getting Gamers made just yet; I may not know how to get it read by producers in order to even begin stoking the fires of interest, but perhaps this is all just another aspect to the journey.
Hopefully, perhaps one day I’ll look back while connecting the dots, smiling knowingly as I do so.