It seems like an opportunity to grow always comes when you least expect it..

A short while back I went to a screening of Francesca, playing as part of the local Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. As my girlfriend is Romanian she got the tickets and was keen to go, but couldn’t make it in the end. After a bit of humming and hawing I decided to go alone, something I generally don’t like to do.

Now as I was leaving, I looked the movie up on the film festival website (which, but the way, was not very easy). They mentioned that the director, Bobby Paunescu, would be there. As I read it, I realised I had an opportunity to speak to a real life film director, a person already far along the path I’m undertaking. Naturally, this freaked me out.

Networking is tough when you’re starting out

Why? Because its scary walking up to a complete stranger, especially one you respect, and trying not to seem foolish or inexperienced. And if you’re just some random guy off the street you know for a fact that’s exactly how you will seem. I’m not sure how I managed to overcome that feeling this time round, but I made a firm decision – come hell or high water – I was going to talk to this person. I don’t care if he’s being mobbed by the entire theatre, I’ll push my way through. Not only that, I’m also going to ask him for some contact details.

The film itself was very engaging, I wont go into it too much, there’s plenty of details and clips on the web covering it. It’s bleak, no doubt, but there is a sense of upbeat hope throughout that really reminds me of Romania itself, something the director covered in a talk after the lights came up.

I asked one or two questions, about how he got started, what advice he had for someone else starting out. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that little or no black magic was involved. Hard work, dedication and the desire to do it was the vibe I picked up. It was round about this time that the Q&A came to an end, and the theatre started emptying.

I had to make my move, if I didn’t do it now, I never would.

Man, I must have seemed VERY green, embarrassingly green..

As I was walking up, two or three men beat me to it and formed a closed set around him. They were speaking Romanian, and as I got closer I realised one of them was the Romanian Ambassador to Ireland (whom I met before, oddly enough). By now it was too late. I couldn’t pretend to be doing anything but approaching them. I was in their space and there was no turning back.

I awkwardly barged my way into the small group, shook hands with all present and just blurted out a request for contact details. I was so nervous after writing them down that I could barely put the cap back on my pen. In fact, I don’t think I could manage it and just shoved it into my pocket, hoping no one had noticed. I’m sure they all did.

What’s the message here?

I’m sure you can see it coming. There’s no particularly earth shattering revelation here, and the experience is only really relevant to me. What I would say however, is that there was a sense of reality about what I did. Once you take a step and interact with the world, thoughts and wishes start to materialise into something you can actually see, and work with. It becomes a plan, a goal you can follow. Until you take that leap, its just a thought, easily postponed, regretted, and eventually forgotten.

That’s what I’m trying to do with this blog, put myself out to as many different people as possible, receive as much feedback as possible, and start pushing myself to do all the things I don’t want to do, but I know I have to do.