Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rejection Song...

Bad Day. Good Days. Some days you're the windshield... yea I've already said it before.

Today was the former. Bad Day. Actually a culmination of a few bad days of bad news that I have been managing for a few weeks to compile and allow to be over shadowed by what I deem more important - GOOD DAYS!

So that compilation of days surmounted into what can only be described as a magnificent perfect storm today.

First and foremost and with sincere sadness I lost a friend last week - a fraternity brother, a roommate, a shining light in my sometimes dark college days, passed away at only 33 years of age. He leaves behind a brother, a sister, a mother and father, a thousand friends and a million happy memories. Skinner you will be sorely missed by many.

As I often do with emotional experiences, I put that into a category of "cry about it later".  I have an abundant apothecary full of that category and today I decided to open up every drawer one by one.

So while allowing those emotions to come forth this morning, I realized - why at that moment I have no earthly idea - that I made an error when depositing money into the bank. I ran to my online banking to find that I indeed did make that error, and that the bank had graciously fixed that error at the cost of about $400.00.  And they were apologetic but really unwilling to take back their repairs or their $400 bill. They knew how I felt though. I seriously doubt it.

Thus the beginning of the storm. That related to a million mistakes in my past and today I was going to take the heat for all of them damnit. In the past three weeks I've gotten three rejection letters from film festivals where I submitted my directorial debut. At first I viewed these as accomplishments. I tried and submitted a completed work to them - this was an accomplishment in itself. I had many times played the role of "If I directed this film..." and then "If my film was done in time for that festival..." Well, I did it, they got it, and they don't want it. Today the glass was so not even close to fucking full.

And when I got home from a one hour session of calorie burning by furiously riding a bike that was going nowhere - which I today consider a metaphor for my life - I set up shop to begin a night of reparative writing on my latest completed script. But before I set up that shop, I checked my e-mail.

Great idea. There was another rejection letter. This from a screenwriting festival which I was egotistically banking on being accepted to this year. I could have shed a tear. I could have replied to their  e-mail with a symbolic middle finger. I wanted to do all of those things. I wanted to act out. I wanted to move to Europe tonight and call the whole career off.

But, for some reason, I didn't do any of those things. Instead, I broke out into a fit of laughter.

This was probably in part due to Bob Marley's Redemption Song - one of the greatest songs of all time - playing in the background. I changed the word REDEMPTION to REJECTION...

"Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom - cause all I ever have - rejection songs".

It's kind of funny, or it is to me but after the lack of general acceptance for my creative endeavors as of late I'm half expecting to be alone on this one. But more than funny - it was poignant. First, this was one of those quintissential college anthems - one that I often shared with that friend of mine who passed. This song was usually accompanied by a group of close friends, a cloud of smoke, what we perceived as a clear mind. But the words rang today - these rejections, they are freedom in a sense. They are growth. My favorite line-

"None but ourself can clear our mind"

Damn you Bob Marley.

I'm in this for the long run - so these are merely mile markers or hurdles, it just depends on how I look at them - how clear my mind is on that given subject or day or minute. Do rejections suck - yes. YES! For me they touch off a whirlwind of negative emotions and fear. But the period for which that fear and negativity doesn't need to last that long.

Today I don't know when I'll sell a script, or get in a festival, or be paid to do what I love doing on a consistent basis, and when I'll be able to keep that money in the bank when I make it. But what I do know, or at least believe today, is that I can do this. I have so much more to learn (clearly) and so much more I can and have the opportunity to learn. And for that I am grateful.

So "Won't you help me sing these songs of freedom"

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