It was around this time last year that something inside me clicked, it changed. Maybe it was my ‘Saturn returns’ kicking in as I approached turning 30, life was trying to tell me something and I realised it was a warning that at some point soon my film directing/production aspirations and my fulltime job as a talent agent would collide, and that I would need to choose between which one I wanted to pursue as a career. 2012 was a busy year for both career paths, and being able to balance them both became quite a hard task to do. I ended up turning down directing jobs as I ran out of free time, out of annual leave, and had committed to too many projects in my limited available time while I held down the fulltime agent job. It became apparent that the choice I knew was coming had already arrived, and that by putting it off I was actually just avoiding the inevitable, and that the delay was having a detrimental affect on both sides. Arriving at that point came like a solid hit to the head, it was like BAM and the crossroad appeared. There was no turning back, or buying of more time, or anything else to think about. It ended up being a conversation I had with my boss at the time that in effect forced me to make the call earlier than I had planned because he had seen it coming too. He saw my crossroad and he knew I needed a little push. I’m incredibly grateful to have had that conversation with him because once I explained what I was feeling, he gave me some good advice and sent me away to think about it and get back to him. I mulled over the decision for a couple of days, do I quit my safe and stable job of nearly six years and throw myself into the great unknown to pursue something that has no guarantees? It’s a leap of faith, a feeling of letting go and seeing if you can fly knowing there’s every chance you will fail. Strangely though, the decision in the end was easy, of course I was going to take the leap! Crazy yes I know, but when presented with a moment like this, what else could I do? If I stayed the safe course then I’d always play the safe game, I’d die wondering ‘what if’, and forever the decision not to embrace the moment would haunt me. I know I would have been happy to remain a talent agent, but could I live with that nagging feeling inside me?
The choice seemed so natural that when I realised I couldn’t do anything else but quit, it was like a fog had been lifted from my view. But if making that choice was natural and in the end easy, quitting my job was not. Working as a talent agent is not like any other office job, it’s so much more than that, especially when you have just three fulltime staff in the office, they become like a family rather than people you work with. Then there’s the clients, you’re the guy in the corner for people who are sensitive and must deal with rejection on a daily basis. When everyone and the world appears to be against them, you’re on their side, fighting the fight. You feel the up’s and down’s with them, I didn’t know how it was for other agents but I felt so emotionally involved that I had to peg that back some days. Of course it wasn’t always like that, but the relationships I had formed were strong and I felt a passionate bond for so many of the clients that the thought of leaving them and not being in their lives was actually really hard to grasp. Funnily enough, it was them who understood my decision the most, because I was becoming like them. Living on a hope and a dream, following my passions, not knowing when the next job will come, and trying to maintain an unshakeable self belief. The responses from them, my boss and workmates, the general industry, and my friends and family was really heart warming and gave me a lot of strength in the decision.
There were good days and bad days in the four months between making the decision and my final date at the agency. Some days I would struggle with it, questioning and examining the decision, constantly fighting grand wars against my own internal fears, and always trying to remain positive even when my bank account suggested otherwise. Life is what you make it, and I realised that I’d rather regret not making the decision than regret a decision made that failed. I realised that if I worried about things like money etc or waited for the ‘right time’, I would always be waiting, the only right time is the time you do it! Sometimes if you put something so strongly out into the universe, it’ll be reflected back at you twice as strong. But if you want it, you first have to put it out there. As it’s often said there is no reward without risk, and hopefully one day in the future I’ll look back at this moment as the moment that changed everything. Fight your fears and go after what you want, surely there’s no other way to live right?
I’m going to write more on this new path in my ‘Changing Direction’ blog series, hopefully you’ll join me on this crazy new road.