What a beautiful, connected and small world! This week, I've had a wonderful time taking networking to the next level by meeting talented filmmakers, casting directors, and actors... And I feel more myself than I have in a long time.
Just beginning to reach out to some talented filmmakers in NYC, I found myself connecting with Reinaldo Marcus Green whose newest film, Stone Cars, has recently received a lot of attention from internationally acclaimed festivals. He and his brother create and produce films as Green Brothers Films, and I jumped at the chance to catch his Stone Cars in person when Reinaldo told me it was screening this week at the Northside Festival in Brooklyn. Not only was his film amazing and inspiring, but I had the chance to meet him and his family and chat with them about this incredibly special film about the life of a girl in Cape Town and its broader implications. I'm so grateful to have met them and really look forward to our next meeting.
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending SAG-AFTRA's Short Film Fest, seeing more incredible films, and hearing from actors and filmmakers who used their skills and creativity to tell moving and surprising stories. A successful slave insurrection on a tobacco plantation and a runaway girl in the Rockaways caught my attention, as did an unusual Sci-Fi short called Into the Dark, shot by Danish filmmaker Lukas Hassel in a small space capsule convincingly created in his apartment. After talking with Lukas, with whom I hope to connect more in the future, I turned around to see a familiar face I simply could not ignore.
"I know you, but not from here, so I'm blanking on your name," I began unashamedly. As we talked for a brief while, he remembered we had acted in a play together outside of D.C., before I moved to NYC, before he moved to LA. We reminisced for a while and filled in the gaps for each other on our career and life paths that had brought our paths so circuitously together once more. As we talked, we discovered that we live a mere 5 blocks from each other and promised to get together again when I return from singing in Bard Summerscape and the music festival this summer.
As I rode home on the A train, I thought about my occasional reluctance to networking and realized - I've held myself back. Not just career-wise... I've kept myself from taking risks and, most importantly, from meeting talented, inspired and incredible people. Grateful to feel more daring and more myself again, I think it's time to return to my Skydiving for Pearls roots (my prior blog about taking risks). There are far too many amazing things and people and chances to miss when I live in a place of too much caution. So here's to the new and old friends, the connections not yet made, and the art yet to be imagined. I can't wait.