Click on the button below to read my most recent article published by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
Between being invited to be a panelist for the Academy GOLD Program's 2018 orientation and getting published (again) by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, I've got a whole lot to be grateful for. And while I should already be anticipating my next move, I'm slowing down to relish in the love and success I've garnered in this moment. There are so many people who love to live life in the HOV lane. And I used to think I was one of those people. But, after some time working at a high octane pace, I'm starting to develop a greater appreciation for the idea of "just chilling."
I used to scoff, and even be offended, when my friend Will would say, "Will just chill for a second." I would get so mad and say, "Excuse me! Did you forget that my brand is No Chill Will?!" The persona No Chill Will was something I made my first year of college. It was my way of ensuring that people knew my name and that they knew to invite me to their parties. Truth is, it actually worked. Upper class men used to cheer when I would walk into a room, and it became usual for people vying to be featured on my Snapchat story. It got to the point where I had like 300 friends on Snapchat, and my Instagram had broken the 1k mark.
It was enticing, alluring, and intoxicating imagining that I was a C list celebrity in a G-list town. Reality soon took the filters off of my perspective and introduced me to the 9 to 5 schedule, monochromatic office spaces, and bank draining reality that is life outside of college. This is when I started to really dig myself into a hole.
It was before I left for my semester abroad that I was gifted journals from friends. "Will you're such a good writer," said one friend. "You love to write, so come back with some stories," wrote me another on the first page. I was given all kinds of gifts and notes of encouragement, but the notes that stuck with me the most were those encouraging me to keep refining my voice.
The voice. What is voice? How do you know your voice? These are all questions that are paramount in my courses. They are also questions that are answered differently by each person, and I'd say that tells you about that person's voice.
My voice has been described as being, "sharp," "witty," "bold," and sometimes even, "critical." Everyone who knows me knows I write stuff. Articles, blog posts, captions for social media, etc. My friend Will once laughed at an essay I wrote for The Martini, HWS's satirical magazine. He said, "Oh wow. You write the way you speak."
I thought to myself, 'Doesn't everyone?' Truth is, no.
Since I went abroad, I've tried to write something everyday. Especially, in the journal given to me by my friend and career mentor Xhana. It's a gorgeous black book with the logo of Paramount Studios pressed onto the cover. Every time I write in this book a wave of emotions overcomes me. I imagine that one of the lines I wrote could lead to a Hollywood blockbuster, or the start of some award winning speech, or a NY Times bestselling book.
Writing is more than therapy for me. It's my lifeline. It's my blood. It helps exercise my spirit. Being a journalist may be in my future, being an author is unlikely. All I know is that what ever I do in my life I want my voice to be always be connecting with people. I want to tell my story and hope that it makes people feel something. Laugh. Cry. Scream. Any visceral reaction really. Because, it's nice to work for someone and help them develop their story, but for me, it's so much more fulfilling when my story can take center stage.