I’ve written about Another Harvest Moon before. But I haven’t written — well, not here, anyway — about “my moment.” I did shoot a vid about it, but for those who haven’t seen that, I’ll share a bit about it for context on this week’s column.
During the film’s world premiere at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, the director of Another Harvest Moon was asked how he got such an incredible cast for his film. He stood on the stage, mic in hand, surrounded by the cast, and said, “That’s easy. I hired a magician for a casting director.”
He then prompted me to stand, which I did, and he introduced me. There was applause. It was phenomenal. Then Greg [Swartz, since I’ve neglected to specify that that’s the director’s name] said, “When we started the process, Bonnie asked me to make up my ‘wildest dreams wishlist’ for a cast. So I did. And then she went and got them. All of them.”
Of course, I was thrilled with the praise and I really enjoyed “my moment.” I was really feeling all of it, for sure. But what struck me was that he remembered that I had called it a “wildest dreams wishlist.”
See, whenever I begin casting a project, I ask the producers or the director (depending on who my point person is, who’s gonna be making the decisions, who’s writing the checks) to make a “wildest dreams wishlist” of who they’d like to see in each role, if money is no object and all offers will be taken seriously.
I do this because — quite simply — I want to know who they want for the creative vision of the film most of all, but also so that I can get a sense of their taste, their vision for the level of the project, and their sense of what’s available to them. When someone who is asked to make a “wildest dreams wishlist” puts only very easily attainable actors on the list, I get a sense of his or her ability to conceive of what the project’s ultimate level might be.
Why is that important?
Well, let me ask you: What are your wildest dreams for 2010?
Yeah, I know, everyone is doing start-of-the-year posts and columns and status updates, talking about their goals and plans and resolutions and ambitions. That’s awesome and I encourage that, but not just in the first few days of any year, or any month, or any week for that matter. I think updating goals is an ongoing process. I think examining yourself and who you are and where you’re going is some of the best stuff you get to do, as an inhabitant of this planet. And I think being realistic is entirely overrated, where goal-setting is concerned.
Now, I’ve talked about the whole “What If vs. What Is” thing before. Yes, of course, you must find balance between the things that you want and the things that are. Similarly, there’s a need for balance between what you can achieve and what you could achieve if you had no blocks whatsoever.
(Um, and this is where I get into the whole, “Why have blocks?” question. Back when I had what I call “The Age 28 Epiphany,” I asked myself what I would do with my life if money were no object and if everyone I knew were dead. I did this not to be morbid but to get really clear on which of my life’s choices were self-motivated and which were driven by what my friends and family wanted me to do with my life. I was very attached to what others thought I should do with my life. I got over it, when I did this exercise. It got so simple, then. All blocks that weren’t living right inside me were removed. And I made choices based on that less-blocked self. No regrets. And amazingly, those folks I “killed off” in the exercise are happier for me now than they ever were when I was doing things I thought they wanted me to do, like stay in school ’til my PhD was finished, get a “safe” job, marry money, come home for holidays.)
So, what’s your “wildest dream wishlist” for your 2010? For this industry and its future? Pretend you have no blocks (then go about removing the blocks that you identify. That’s all on you. Choose to move on, to do better, to make a change) and write it up. Be specific.
What’s my “wildest dream wishlist” for 2010? Well, it includes things like rewards for self-producers, opportunity for all actors at all tiers, globalization of casting, less bullshit and more authenticity and transparency of process, less criticism and more community building, more support, more action (planned, strategized, organized action), and less whining about what might not be going well at any given time.
General? Maybe. But it feels very specific to me. (My personal list also includes much more specific stuff like inching ever-closer to our ten-year goals for Cricket Feet as a corporation, getting to produce my friends’ best scripts that are otherwise un-funded or under-funded, spending more time touring the world speaking to groups of actors about how to navigate this business while staying sane and feeling empowered, and buying a house… with puppies.) And it feels specific because I have goals both for how this business will look and how my life will look in this business, in my wildest dreams.
And it’s just the dreams for 2010 I’m talking about. Yes, there are goals for beyond that. Yes, there are wildest dreams beyond that. I encourage all of you to have those. And revisit them. In fact, when I look back at the “Working Actor Resolutions” I put out there for 2005, I think those are some great places to start. And there’s more. Lots more. You tell me. What are your wildest dreams for how this industry will look, with you in it, shaping it, turning it into the place you most want to inhabit? If self-producing has taught me anything, it’s that you fine folks are shaping this industry! You are creating how this is going. You run this! So, share with me. Whatcha got for 2010? What are your wildest dreams? My email address is at the bottom of each week’s Your Turn. Use it. Let’s rock this out, people!
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001128.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.