Amidst the classes, seminars, screenings and events attended over the past few days I noticed three types of people. Those that were there to live up the party and disguise themselves to be otherwise, those that were there to strictly learn something and go home, and those that were there to balance both of these things in order to embody the full experience and bring home an even greater benefit. To not only learn new things but build new relationships in a relaxed setting while forging alliances that are highly valued in this business. We knew how to “turn it on” and “turn it off” as members of that third party. We knew how to network.
I think The American Black Film Festival was intentionally organized to facilitate cross-pollination amongst serious people of diverse ethnicity & trade who possess a common interest. So that more films by and about Blacks can be successfully completed and released. But how can you accomplish anything or greet your missing pieces by sticking with the same group you came with the entire time? What do you learn from the person that you have access to everyday already? I noticed a lot of “groups” and “cliques” that were evident and it bugged the hell out of me because the folks that stayed clique’d up received the least from a well-orchestrated event. Then they are the first to complain about the same old people being there. The bottom line is that it makes more sense to spread out individually and come back to collectively to dump it all into one brain like our team did. You cover more ground by networking professionally. Especially since networking is one of the most integral and artistic aspects of this game.
Final comments… Keep learning more because you never know it all. Continue to be open to learning. Take classes. Continue moving forward in your endeavors and never become complacent! Mediocrity and complacency suck! And I mean that in all things. Work on becoming better at everything! Keep rising up! It doesn’t matter what you do or who you are or what mistakes you’ve made in the past…hold fast. In the words of my grandmother “Always Shine”.
I write this blog because I am a lover of art and I want to share my opinions when it comes to moving pictures, but honestly I really appreciate and love to see and meet people who go hard and are extremely knowledgeable at what they do. It doesn’t matter what it is! You could be a chef, a mechanic, a fashion designer, a teacher, a painter, a pilot, a plumber (u get the point) be the best at it! I have made a million mistakes in my life…truth is I will probably make a million more but you can’t stop or get discouraged when things go wrong or when you do something dumb. As a matter of fact, sometimes doing something dumb may have been just what you needed. Gerald Ford said that history and experience tell us that moral progress comes not in comfortable and complacent times, but out of trial and confusion. So it may take you out of your comfort zone, make you work harder or even show you who your real friends are. But all in all, keep doing you and always strive to master your game even after you’ve been considered as a master. Keep winning no matter what! (Im listening to DJ Khaled’s “All I do Is Win” right now…) Stay true and remain humble as you grow. Continue to give back and never turn your back on the lesser man. You will be blessed in the end. Carpe Diem.