Sunday, November 04, 2007

Taking risks

As most of my readers know, this weekend I've been working with a friend from Chicago (Greg's link is on the right!) on a video project. Through him, I've made new friends from New York (Ryan and Jenn are AWESOME), and through them a new friend from Nebraska (Lisa is a hoot). It's already been an incredibly powerful weekend. I reached out to some of my friends...some of my FAMILY...and asked for their help. There was a lot of risk involved for everyone.

Greg, Ryan, and Jenn are putting a fair amount of their own money behind the project. I'm not in a financial position to help out with that right now. They've had some success with donations from their friends and family, but they're still fronting a chunk of change. They got on planes and came to a strange place to interview people they had not met, relying only on my word that these were the people who would add to our story. Relying on Greg and I that there WAS a story, and one that people would be interested in, or that would make a difference.

My friends relied on my word that these outsiders were trustworthy. That they were safe opening up in front of a camera, and that they would not be burned as they had in the past. Relying on my word that they really did have something to contribute, and that their voice was important and valuable. That they had something to add to what we were trying to do, though they didn't necessarily even know what that was.

I encouraged. I begged. I twisted arms, called in favors, and begged for trust. And I got it. In spades. And magic has already been happening. After one and a half LONG days of planning and shooting, we have another LONG day remaining. I know it will be even more powerful. I have faith. The very core of my being tells me that the Universe (and Matt, too) are pulling this together, and that everything is happening for a reason. The big picture is revealing itself slowly, but we're pressing on...trusting. Trusting each other, trusting the Universe, and trusting that good intentions and open minds will lead us to the right path.

Greg, Ryan, and Jenn have been awed by the things they've already heard, witnessed, filmed, and experienced. They didn't know what to ask the Squid, but were dumbstruck after her interview...which ran much longer than any of us expected. As she left, they commented "label that tape as 'golden'". To be honest, I think they were surprised by what they learned from an almost-21-year-old.

Jackie was reluctant to be interviewed because she hasn't been as involved recently as she once was. She was surprised to learn how interested we were in what she HAD done, not just what she WAS doing. I wonder what surprises tomorrow will bring?

The bottom line is that I don't take all this trust lightly, and I am truly humbled by it. My Laramie family trusted me that I wasn't offering them up to wolves. My "film family" trusted me that I knew where the story was, and who to talk to. That's a lot of me. Some part of me is scared by that. But I KNOW I'm right. Not because my head tells me so, though it does. Because my HEART tells me so. Because there have been too many "coincidences" that have proven US right. The waiter at the restaurant. The work study student in the RRC. The couples waving as we filmed at the fence. This was meant to happen. It was meant to include these people. It was meant to happen here, and now. And it was meant to happen in just this way. I can't wait to see what the next step might be.

And I pause, at 1:30am (well, soon to be 12:30am), to thank my friends for trusting me. I know that it means I have done something in the past to earn that trust, but I still respect the risks taken by people who mean the world to me. I am humbled by their trust in me, and by their willingness to open their hearts to strangers...with cameras. I will honor your risks, and focus our intent.

Today's lesson: It is not only important to take risks with and for those we trust and care is also equally important to recognize the risks they take for us in return.

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