What would you do if you were not afraid of failure?
When we left for a year on a mission to document stories of Supergays around the world, more about I had a lot of fear around the success of our project. After all, Jenni and I have no experience in journalism or film making. We made a lot of big talk at a fundraiser about interviewing world leaders in multiple languages across 15 countries.
When we got some significant press following our journey, I started to worry that we were in over our heads. How would we find these Supergays. And even if we did find them, what if they weren’t willing to meet with us? Neither of us have ever even owned a camcorder. Could we really film, edit, and produce a documentary? Wouldn’t we feel humiliated if our grand project ended up in a big flop?
But Mark Twain once wrote, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”
Hence, we told each other that we would simply try our best and set off. We left San Francisco without a single interview scheduled.
But, sometimes the best thing you can do is jump into deep water in order to learn to swim. Because we didn’t know anything, we certainly were not afraid to ask for help and advice. We learned that these days, you can google your way through most tasks. We also found that people are extremely generous with their time when they believe in your cause. We contacted every famous LGBT person in the countries we traveled, and only one person ever declined to meet with us.
VIDEO: You don’t have to travel to Mumbai to see our short film. Check it our here…
We laugh at ourselves now when we did our first high profile interview with Judge Michael Kirby, Australia’s most famous modern judge and an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality. I remember walking into his office sopping wet from the rain in my hiker’s cargo pants and muddy Asics while Judge Kirby welcomed us looking impeccable (and a little intimidating) in a three-piece suit. A renowned figure around the world (with both a biography and a documentary produced on his life), Judge Kirby is quite accustomed to the media and coached us through our interview. He directed the seating, adjusted the lighting, and positioned our little camcorder to get the best shot.
We learned on the job how we needed to improve. With the financial support of our Supergay supporters, we upgraded our video and audio equipment. We’ve completed over 60 interviews around the world and produced 22 short videos of our journey thus far.
Last week, we learned that our short film, Eat, Pray, and Supergays was selected for the 2012 KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. Our friend Megan of MM Designs happened to be visiting us in Buenos Aires when we received the news, and she whipped up a film poster for us. We looked at the poster feeling like filmmakers for the first time and experienced the elation of having truly pursued our dreams this year.
So, now I turn the question to you, whether it’s about your personal passions or next career move. What would you do if you were not afraid of failure?