Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Baffle Them w/ Bullshit

A lady by the name of Deborah Bolling came and spoke to my department today. You can pretty much say that seeing her speak was instrumental to me choosing to stick with my selected career path. Ironically enough, regardless of me being a "God Given Poet" (read the blog with that title), I was still unsure of whether or not I was majoring in the right field. Writing is my passion, that's understood without saying. Nonetheless, it doesn't promise financial stability, and I'm also good with business. Two weekends ago I met my favorite poet, last weekend I performed at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe... my sister considered these signs from God that I was on the right path and where He wanted me to be. If I had any remaining doubts, she cleared them up.

She started off as a film/music producer, and did that for 20 years (worked with Biggie, Pac, Prince, etc). Then she became a journalist for 10 years, she worked for print as well as radio, and she also did PR work for the mayor of Philadelphia. This woman cursed like a sailor, but inspiration to keep on rang in her every word.

ie: "You can dazzle them with brilliance, or you can baffle them with bullshit"

She said this, and I started cracking up. Her point in saying this was, if anyone ask you what you are capable of, do not admit to not being able to do something. If they ask you "Can you...?", your answer should always be yes. As the saying goes, "You can do anything you put your mind to". She went on to explain that while we're in college, (not to be cliche), but we are in the prime of our lives. This is the only time when it's strictly about us and our dreams and setting our future. If you don't have children and you're living on campus, than you don't have to worry about bringing home the bacon or feeding your child. You just have to figure out what your passion is and live it out. As she said:
"Keep throwing stuff at the wall, something will stick."

Her biggest point was you have to be willing to take risk, be willing to "fuck up" because you learn the most when you make mistakes. Not to mention, in whatever job you're doing, the person before you was just as lost when they started too, so you aren't alone. Nonetheless, you have to be 100% committed to whatever it is you're trying to do. You can't put in half of your energy and expect the whole pie. Only you know the caliber of your work, so don't be mad if you put out BS and get BS back. Commit yourself to a project, let it take flight (and as she said), "sit back and see what the fuck happens". The main goal is to be sure that you are following your heart. If you do something because you're passionate about it, you will excel. If you do something because you're good at it, you might be wealthy, but you'll be miserable.

A girl asked her if she felt any remorse for not having children or being in a relationship, and her response was, "I smoked herb on a glacier, top that shit!" Before saying that, she explained that had she been tied down to a man or child she might not have been able to do what she wanted so freely. She was shooting a commercial with Eskimos, and they were smoking, so she smoked too. In her perfect world (she said) her husband would have been at home watching the children, and she still would have been on a glacier, smoking herb.

Bottom line: the woman made it clear that it's best to live out your passion, and that's exactly what I plan on doing. I've never been one to keep all the wise words I've heard to myself (obviously) so I just wanted to share her words with you, maybe they'll do for you what they did for me.

Side notes: ***For print journalists, a point she made about pitching ideas is- "Why should anyone but you care about what you're writing". If you can pitch an idea that causes people (beside yourself) to care about it, then it's probably a good article. If you're the only one interested in the topic, it's probably bullshit. Seriously.
***For broadcast journalists: Call the film office in your city and see when people are taping there. Find out and show up on set ready to work (not prim and proper, in pumps). Look for a woman with a headset on, no tools on her waist, who looks completely absorbed in what she's doing. Ask her if you can do anything for her. More likely than not, the area will be blocked off, so make sure you're walking up to "her" AND (most importantly) don't look lost. Look knowledgeable, as if you know what you're doing, and you're supposed to be there. Show up every day. Nine times out of ten, they're going to want you to be there to help them the next time they're taping. This is called networking. You might be doing this for free. But as she said, it's only a couple of times before you're set up and established.
***Also noted: if you're more concerned about relaying your message to a group of people then you might want to stick with print. Broadcast journalism, specifically TV, brings in a lot of money but provides less satisfaction. On the other hand, print journalism brings in less money but provides more satisfaction.

Last but not least, her definition of luck: Luck is being ready for the shit you've always been dreaming of happening when it happens.

Makes sense right? Thanks to her, I think I just might be ready.

2 fingers and blessings,

1 comment:

  1. "2nd Letter"November 6, 2007 at 1:21 PM

    I am being overwhelmed with the inspiration, girl.

    -Chucked Deuce-