Last Wednesday I had to pitch my short film in front of a panel of professionals from Ottawa. Allow me to set the scene.
INT. CLOSET-SIZED CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY
There’s about a meter of space between the conference table and the door, ten expectant faces stare at you, and there’s no natural light. How are you going to make eye contact with everyone? Why are your palms so sweaty? And where is that thumping noise coming from? Oh… it’s your heart.
You begin to speak. Are you talking too fast? I heard a laugh, good sign! Don’t forget that scripted punch line- crap- forgot a plot point. Back track back track! Phew, nice save, I don’t think they noticed. All right, ready? Big finish aaaand DONE. Now breath.
That, in a nutshell, is what it was like to pitch. Nerve wracking right?
But for me, the part I dreaded most hadn’t even begun yet. … The feedback. Here’s what they said:
- Talked too fast.
- Great concept
- Include the ending!
I sat there, smiled, and said “thank you” over and over again. They were all so supportive and enthusiastic. It was amazing! I don’t know why I was so worried. Actually, that’s a lie. And, dear readers, although she’s a toad of a woman, I agree with Professor Umbridge: I must not tell lies. So I will divulge my not-so-secret-secret (just please don’t make me write lines).
The fact of the matter is that I lack confidence. I’m always afraid my ideas are not good enough if they come solely from my brain. I worry they’re too cliché, shallow, too many holes, or just… stupid. But I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way. So for all of you sparring with self doubt, here’s what I think we have to tell ourselves:
You are smart. You are creative. And your ideas matter.
Plain and simple. Whether you’re a writer, sculptor, dancer, actor or whatever you are, you have the ability to take abstract thoughts and turn them into concrete creations. And that counts for something. So next time you have a run in with Doubt—fire him! (Ha, Doubtfire. … Ok not all my ideas are genius.)
If you’re like me and uber hesitant to show others your work, rest assured, it’s okay! People can be surprisingly nice. Don’t fear feedback because for all you know, they’ll love it.
Do you struggle with sharing your work with others? What stops you?
Have a super duper week!
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