About 3 weeks ago, I started film acting school. This marks the second time this year I stepped out of my comfort zone and stepped into something scary.
The first time was a casting call by a photographer friend. She was wanting a model to help her realize a vision. Why would this be so frightening? It’s simple. She wanted the final image to appear as a “nude”. In other words, I was to wear very little.
I called my husband to ask if he was cool with this, and surprisingly, he said, “Sure! Go for it!”. Honestly, I was hoping he would be a bit more oppositional to the idea. I needed an out. He did not give me the excuse, so I courageously messaged the photographer and said I was in.
When I say it was as if I were up in an airplane, standing at the door, parachute attached, and hearing the instructor scream, “IT”S A GO! GO!”, I am not exaggerating.
On the way to the shoot, I turned on and turned up “Uptown Funk”. I needed the strength of some funky music. I needed funk courage.
Amanda Campbell is one of those photographers whose work I admire greatly. She is a true artist. I had been wanting to work with her since the moment I saw her work. She is also quite the cool chick.
I met her on location, and we dragged all of our gear down to the site. I was to position myself on a rock at the bottom of a waterfall as a wilderness goddess. It was cold. It was seriously cold. The water was ice. I was so nervous the cold barely even touched me.
I watched her set up the equipment.
“What in the hell have I gotten myself into? Too late to back out now! What if I’m not pretty enough? Holy cow, what have I gotten myself into?????”
“Ok, Autumn. I’m ready when you are.” Amanda had just yelled, “ITS A GO! GO GO GO!”
She was so cool about the whole thing. I disrobed my nearly naked self and listened to her instruction on positioning.
It was done. I had jumped out of the airplane. The last step was the hardest.
Then…it happened. I was flying. I was free. The more instruction she gave, the more comfortable I was in the situation. I enjoyed it! It was exhilarating! I found myself shocked at how comfortable I was in these cold woods with very little clothing. I truly felt free.
The shoot did not last long. As we collected our gear and made our way back to our cars, somehow, deep inside myself, I knew this must be how it feels when you pull the cord to release the parachute. The exhilaration had turned to a calm and simple decent back to earth. It, too, was freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom to relax. Freedom to be present and comfortable and proud.
Of course, I expected nothing but fabulous, but when I saw the photos, I was STUNNED! She made me look and feel like a woodland goddess! She had kindly edited all of those things I did not like about my body, even to the point that my butt was like that of an avid fitness queen. I will forever love her photoshop skills.
I did it! I stepped out of my comfort zone, did something scary, and I did not regret it!
Three weeks ago, I found myself, again, taking off in an airplane with parachute attached and ready to be deployed.
Film acting has always been something I found interesting. For about 5 years now, I have worked as a photographer for Hollywood Huntsville. I kept looking at all those faces I was photographing. “This could be me!” I thought.
“No, Autumn. This cannot be you. You can’t act. Do you really want to see yourself on film? Really? You can’t…”
On and on my excuses flew like fear flying in the face of dreams and possibility.
“What if the parachute malfunctions? What if you make a fool of yourself? What if…? what if…?”
Then, the question of all questions revealed itself to me as a call to action.
“What if you succeed?”
I began to ponder the question in depth.
“What if you learn something about yourself? What if you learn something meaningful? What if you do this and find acting work? What if, in this experience, you find freedom?”
I stepped on to the platform. I stepped out of the plane. I fell into the air and allowed the freedom to encapsulate me. I allowed myself to experience the path to success. The final step is difficult but necessary if you want to experience something exquisite in life. It is of utmost importance. It is not about fear. It is about courage. Courage is the path to freedom and success. Fear is a vital element in the success formula. Without it, courage ceases to exist.
Understanding I will find myself on this platform many times in my life, I am now aware that it does not have to be so frightening. It can be just a step. It can be just another opportunity to fly.
Today, I am choosing to fly. Today, I post the images from the day I found myself with a choice: be courageous or be imprisoned by fear. Again, I stand on the platform of the plane with my mouse hovering over the “publish” button. As you can see, I pushed that button. I jumped out of the plane.
It feels a whole lot better than choosing to stay in the plane with the pilot. No longer do I have to look back and say, “Why didn’t I just jump?”
Now, I can say, “I jumped, and no matter what anyone says, it was a fantastic!”