September 16, 2016

Leaving the Suffering Business

Photo by Laura Makabresku
Today is a powerful day. We have a lunar eclipse and full moon in Pisces, which essentially means you will be feeling everything. Everything that isn't working right now and everything that hurt from the past. 2016 has been labeled the Year of Purification* and the full moon energies illuminate all that needs to be released. Sometimes, it hurts to let go.

A brilliant question came to me this week: when we are preoccupied with an outcome, when do we cultivate presence? My answer was, we don't. That's kind of the point. Stay busy so you don't have to feel. And yet, moments begin to pass without significance, clutter begins to accumulate and it's difficult to decipher was is true, what is necessary, what is essential.

There's always something waiting for us when we stop and allow ourselves to breathe. Louis C. K. shares brilliantly on the sadness that visits us when we're alone. We avoid these moments and lose the power and the gifts of them.

My experience has taught me that everything, even grief, is temporary. What has prolonged my pain is the avoidance of it, the refusal to acknowledge it. When we are physically wounded, the injury needs to be tended to or else the whole body is at risk. Our spirits are the same. I used to wear my wounds like badges of honour. Nothing hurts me, nothing touches me. I don't feel a thing. As a result, I suffered tremendously. It gets to be exhausting, trudging along, carrying dead weight and bleeding out.
“Out of the wound emerges the teacher, your wisdom, your wholeness." - Pat lillies
I know the transformative power of pain. Today, I am no longer in the suffering business. Today I am leaving for a writer's retreat in a commitment to share my story, as I feel called to do. No distractions. No running. No resistance. It's time for purification and to see the past in a larger context, one that includes hope and resilience. I invite you to allow yourself a moment to experience the same.

Take care of yourself this weekend. Be gentle. Be around the ones who love you. And remember, this too shall pass.


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*By Brother Kaypacha. Find him on YouTube.
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September 9, 2016

What a Female Director Looks Like


This is what a female director looks like, though I am just one of many and don't claim to represent the whole. Notice the shirt - it passed the sniff test. Notice my favourite hat from Portland, very modern-day Spielberg, employed to tame the tresses because I didn't bother brushing my hair. I didn't even. Rocking a fresh face and mascara, because I'm a fan of the natural look (achieved by makeup). What you won't see: lack of confidence, overcompensated with a trucker's mouth and perfectionist tendencies that causes hair loss and a caffeine dependency when shit hits the fan. As you can see, I'm actually like any other director, only I was born with nature's pocket.

We are not magical unicorns, but we seem to be very rare. In reality, we are with you all the time. You just haven't noticed. Because continually, someone is telling you that we are rare. That we don't exist. Or maybe we do, but we're not that important.

I have written about my frustration with an industry that continues to minimize our presenceeven when launching initiatives to be more inclusive READ HEREThis week I had to ask why images of men are being used to attract women into positions of power in a promotional campaign. I think it's fair to take a moment and ask, what the fuck are you thinking?

Visibility is crucial and our continued absence in the media is strategic and at times, unconscious. The explanation is always the same apologetic garbage about balance when in reality, it's a timid move to not upset the imbalance of power that already exists and a fearful protection of the delicate male ego. Because God forbid men feel left out, right?

What happens is this: You ask me to come to the table, but all I see are men riding skateboards, staring out windows, contemplating their bright futures. I see men behind the camera. That doesn't convey the message to me that I am welcome. That doesn't reach my demographic because instantly, I avert my eyes from the medium and I miss the message. What happens is women are deterred from accessing funds and resources you are trying to provide them and sadly, this often happens without any awareness this is happening.

When I started seeing organizations on Twitter like WIFT, Bitch Flicks, Women Film Directors, Ax Wound Film Festival, Eye on Canada, and Reel Girls in Film, and started seeing articles being published about women stepping forward with no prior experience as a director, THAT is when I thought, hell... why am I not giving it a try? And poof, I'm good at it. Go figure.

See men are encouraged all the time to take these risks and they are visually enforced to do so, with articles about the next big break, the next brilliant director, the new media darling. We need the same for women.

So I want you to know that I'm out here and so are others. I want to encourage all of my females working in the film industry to post photos this weekend of yourself on set, behind the camera, getting shit done. Because clearly, the world needs to see what we look like.

GET MONEY GIRL

$10K grants are available from Telus Optik, exclusively for Female Directors. As a STORYHIVE alumni, I highly recommend women throw their hat in the ring. I had the opportunity to learn so much about myself and this business and as I mentioned last week, self-esteem is earned, it comes from experience.

Even if you haven't directed before, try it. Even if you have no idea what you're doing, trust that you will find someone who does. Seek out a mentor, hired skilled crew. If you seriously don't know where to start, message me. Apply here: http://www.storyhive.com/

I would also like to thank the Storyhive marketing team for their sensitivity, support and recognition of female directors. I am so pleased with this new initiative and I know the boys will be just fine sitting this one out. xoxo

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