Every time I start these newsletters I try and take a moment to ground myself in what I’m truly grateful for. I don’t do this for effect or to have a “catchy way” of starting these off with you. I do it because it helps me get closer to my intention of why I’m even writing these newsletters – how grateful I am for the chance to serve and the honor of doing so.
I just finished reading the New York Times. It was full of news about suicide bombers, refugees struggling to survive, political scandals and on and on.
Sometimes I take for granted just how lucky I am and so on this beautiful Sunday morning I’m incredibly grateful and extremely humbled with how blessed my life truly is compared to most everyone else in the world.
What are you grateful for right now?
This has been very nostalgic week for me. It was a year ago this last week that I launched what was called, “the most unique, ambitious, and unconventional campaign in the history of Kickstarter.”
My goal was to raise $1.5 million dollars in thirty days for my film, Talk Is Cheap. Raising a lot of money for a project on Kickstarter is not so crazy or unique. What made my campaign sooooo unconventional was how I was going about it.
Talk Is Cheap is about the power of one person to make a difference in this world and what can happen when a bunch of “one persons” come together because then they can literally change the world.
Now most Kickstarter campaigns are all about getting as many people to donate as much as possible and the more they give the more they get.
I chose to do the exact opposite. Instead of going after a few people to give a lot, I created a Kickstarter campaign that mirrored the message of the film – the power of one person to make a difference. And so the only amount you could donate was $1 dollar.
This meant I needed to find 1.5 million people in thirty days to donate $1 dollar each.
Most everyone told me I was crazy. I remember thinking, “Yup, crazy like a fox.” You see, I was positive this was going to work. Not because I’m some genius but because when the idea to do it this way first came to me it hit me so hard, so deeply, so clearly that I “knew” this was going to be a success. I was positive of it.
For the next six months I worked 70-80 hours per week to get the campaign ready to launch. I had an incredible staff along with scores of volunteers to help and I hired one of the top PR firms in Hollywood to get it out to the world.
We launched on October 15th, 2014.
We were the lead story for major newspapers around the world and were the featured story for Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and Good Morning America along with several others.
By the end of the day we were the top campaign trending on Kickstarter as well as the “Staff’s Top Picks.”
Thirty days later we raised a total of $26,089 dollars.
An epic, colossal failure.
I can’t begin to describe to you how bummed and stunned I was – not because I didn’t raise the money but because of how positive I was that it was going to happen.
And yet, in spite of all this, today’s newsletter is not about my Kickstarter campaign.
Today’s newsletter is about being an actor because if you’re an actor you have big dreams. And if you have big dreams, if you swing for the fences, if you pour your heart and soul into something and it doesn’t happen, how do you deal with that “failure?”
Today’s newsletter is about about the importance of being resilient if you’re an actor because you’re going to be dealing with a lot of “No’s.”
The great director Harold Clurman was once asked, “How do you produce a hit on Broadway?” His answer was pure gold, “The exact same way I produce a flop. You see, I pour everything into both. I work so thoughtfully, painstakingly, sincerely, and knowledgeably as I labor on any production. Yet for all that my efforts to bring about the hoped for results, it may be in vain. The magic doesn’t happen. I fail. It’s what I do next that’s critical. I learn everything I can from the experience, I forgive myself, and then I go again.”
For many people when life says “No” to them – whether it’s their dream, a job, a relationship – they not only take a step back, they stop moving forward.
They’re so crushed, so disappointed and defeated and disheartened that they quit.
Have you had to deal with a big “no” from life lately and more importantly how did you deal with it?
These are the traits of dreamers who able to hang in there long enough to create their dreams.
How’s your dream doing?
I would love to hear your feedback on our Artistic Family Facebook page so if you haven’t yet joined GO HERE.
And until next Sunday, I’m sending you my very best wishes that your wildest dreams are coming true and closer than ever because of your resiliency.
My very best, Jim
(If you’d like to check out the greatest failure (and gift) of my entire career GO HERE)