[STILL] With a Little Help From My Friends

As I enter into production weekend, I’m reminded how lucky I am to have the support system I do.  Having to use little effort to convince someone to stand around in silver paint all day not moving.  Having an incredibly amazing photographer jump at the request to lend her talents (for free) to my creative endeavor.  Coercing my family into lending me time and resources.  Having a friend offer up her wedding dress for her own costume (and also being willing to stand around in paint all day).  And then there are the folks on the sidelines, encouraging and rooting for me, and writing me e-mails like this one (shared with permission):

Hey Ditty,

I wanted to wish you good luck for your shoot tomorrow. I don’t know if that in itself is bad luck, or if “break a leg” only counts for acting and not directing. But whatever, I’m not going to suggest you break your legs, even under the guise of superstition. And anyway, you don’t need luck. Luck is for people who don’t know what they’re doing.

I’m sure you’re having sleepless nights and grumble-belly days thinking about all the things that could go wrong. Oh, that pesky Universe! But here’s the thing. I have no doubt that you’ve planned and scribbled and sketched, and have everything under control, so most likely, almost definitely, everything is going to run smooth as you like, but, let’s not pretend moments don’t sometimes happen. Outside forces you can’t control, or forgetting to carry the 1 in your formula of greatness; sometimes, occasionally, something will go a little outside of the plan. And when it does, there’ll be that crazy beat of panic where you feel like you’ve just swallowed the whole sky.

But say that does happen, you know what? You’ll make it work. Smart, creative people always do. And you’re one of the smartest, most creative people I know. I mean, when do artistic things ever really totally fall apart? Almost never, right? Talented, creative people use those moments, like a frog on a pond getting a leaf blown into his face – just cling on to the leaf and steer it home. You still get where you were headed, it’s just, sometimes you have to take an unexpected detour down a road that’s strewn with only happy accidents. It might be hairy at the time, but if making art is easy, you’re doing it wrong.

I hope that hasn’t put ideas in your head about things going wrong. I sought only to highlight these things to prove how powerless they are to those with the skills to weld them like weapons. And anyway, it’s all going to go great. So, sleep soundly tonight, knowing that you’re Elizabeth Fucking Ditty, and that tomorrow, you’re going to tip some of that magic that lives inside your head out into the world, and that’s all there is to it.

And instead of good luck, I’m going to say – have fun. Among all the stress, rush and panic, try to find moments of enjoyment. Revel in the situation you find yourself in – a situation of your making. Art out of nothing. A situation, people, moments; all out of nothing, because you dreamed it up, and because you made it happen.

And hurry up and get it on Youtube so I can watch it.


In the midst of what is admittedly a bit of a rough season of life (I guess they must come around from time to time), I really can’t properly say how grateful I am for the encouragement and support of all kinds.

To my family & friends helping out this weekend, THANK YOU.

To the people (like Danny Stack, who’s just debuted the final episode of his fun little webseries, Liquid Lunch) who have taken on these sorts of creative challenges and are so generous in sharing what they’ve learned along the way, THANK YOU.

To my friends (like Matt, who writes fiction as well as insightful, humorous and sometimes infuriating things about movies, and Stuart, who writes books and blog posts and various other dark and amusing things) who are always supporting my creative fancies, THANK YOU.

You all are awesome.  Really.

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