Sunday, July 20, 2008

Too Old To Dream?

This is a post from Sherri James--the producer of Far From the Tree. Her take on following our dreams and passions--in spite of those who think they should have an expiration date is one we can all take to heart-and head!! Are we ever too old for hopes and dreams about the future? Isn't that what will keep us young??

Too Old To Dream
Sherri James

When I started this blog, I set the intention of bringing you with me through the process of getting a film produced. Ultimately, I want you to care about this movie the way that I do. And, I want that caring to add up to you being at the theater during the FIRST WEEKEND of the movie's release.

So, with that intention in mind, it's important that I be frank about the good, the bad and the downright ugg-a-lee. And, today......I encountered the ugg-a-lee. Over lunch, a well-meaning person told me I was "too old" to really have my dreams come true and that I should "get used to living the life of a struggling artist." And, this was a person that I was TREATING TO LUNCH because I wanted to get their advice on the film. The question I'd put to them was "how do I get past this point where I have great projects but I'm having difficulty getting them funded or paid attention to?

"Simple question. Right? Well, that opened a can of worms that ended with me feeling like "damn." Am I wrong to believe that Far From the Tree is a movie that Black women want to see? Am I crazy to push through all the naysayers to get the movie made? Am I a visionary or just delusional? Uggghhhhh!!!! Self doubt is motha!

As I sat through the lunch that I WAS PAYING FOR, I could feel my spirit getting smaller and smaller. I've already gotten a couple of no's about this project. But that's par for the course. Everything is not for everybody. Still, I persist because I believe that I'll find that investor who "gets it" and is willing to take that leap with Jessica and me to create a picture that affirms the beauty and complexity of Black women's lives. Again, I ask you, am I a visionary or just delusional? Uggghhhh...what I wouldn't give for a healthy dose of ego right now...

"Too Old" - Can you believe he said that to me? And, I should point out that this person is someone I've looked up to for a while and who's always been in my corner, encouraging me when I was ready to throw in the towel. And, now he tells me that I'm "too old" and I can't "start over." Did I mention I was PAYING FOR THIS LUNCH!!!!!
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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 2:23 PM


Blogger FloridaGirl said...

It's ironic that you should mention this "too old for..." business because it's been on my mind as well lately. At 58, I can tell you many people see the age as past any prime. I have an aunt that is 90 years old and while she has some health issues, I keep reminding her that as long as she has breath in her body and the ability to get up each morning, keep moving. Yet if she had dreams, she gave up on them a long time ago and never expected she would live this long.

This has gotten me to pondering the age thing. In prior centuries, 58 would be old, I would be a grandmother for sure, maybe even a great grandmother. I would be on the edge of insignificance except to babysit and fill in as some kind of convenience to the very people who would deem me insignificant.

So what if you live longer than your lunch partner thinks? And what if you buy into what he says and you drop your dream? OK, then what if you live to 90 instead something earlier (like in the next hour)? At 90, looking back, would you regret the decision to drop the dream? Then what in the world would you have done with all those years between now and then? It's just a thought.

7:56 AM  

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