The one thing that I've really learned about myself while living in Los Angeles for the past few years is that I have not only accepted, but respect that we all have our own path. This has to do entirely with the experience of living in LA and this coming of age realization that I didn't even know I had to realize. I would not have grown this much had I stayed in the Midwest. I came to Los Angeles in pursuit of trying to emulate the success of photographers I yearned to be like. I fully admit, I wanted to be just like them. I wanted to have their talent, their relationships, their personality, similar clients, their lifestyle. Something has fundamentally shifted in my outlook and attitude about my life. Over these few years, I've paid less and less attention to those people. There were a handful of photographers who I once adored from afar. Not only am I unphased by their work and their life, I want nothing to do with their career or lifestyle. I don't want to have their relationships, I don't want to be around the people they hang around, I don't desire to dress like them or think like them. I think this all has to do with finally respecting that I have my own place in the universe, and that path is very different that those whom I've admired, and those who I will admire in the future. I know these feelings are true because I no longer have that feeling of jealousy. I'm happy for them. The opposite of love isn't hate; it's apathy. I feel apathy toward them -- in a good way. I have my own ideas, and eventually my own style. I have my own dynamic in relationships. I think I'm finally figuring out what it means to be me. And now that I've lost interest in my "role models," it's a lot easier to do. I can freely think for myself and execute my own ideas without comparison or self judgement.
Entering Latsch Island into these festivals was an important step for me. These "festivals," were basically just screenings..and they were small. It wasn't a big deal. It was more about creating something that I felt close to, and a step in the direction of exploring my own ideas and being more grounded. I submitted the film to a few festivals for the hell of it just to see what would happen. It got accepted to a couple and that was a great experience. It was just enough encouragement to keep making more things that matter to me, explore humanity, and search for truth in my own path.
I'm finally thankful for where I grew up. I'm from the north. A small, working class town on the mississippi. I have my own perspective. As a child, I wished I lived in southern California..but my path was not to grow up in the valley, or orange county or san diego, or any of those incredibly vapid suburban places (the beach is still awesome though). And I am finally thankful for that. Because of where I grew up, I have the ability to relate to people on Latsch, and those around the country like them. I'm excited to make more films like this one.