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Research & Thoughts

Extra Effort

What is meant by "it takes extra effort to succeed?" One, it means reading imstructions. If you fail on a single part of the delivery, the whole project can get tossed. I often think that I had to self-publish Civil War & Bloody Peace because my marketing efforts were just that poor.


Recently I had to re-do a number of times the video I was making for a national commercial spot because I kept seeing where I'd missed an instruction. But, in the meantime, they were good rehearsals, so that by the time the submission copy was taped following all instructions, I had it down. It wasn't just "good enough." Heaven knows what would have happened if I hadn't taken my efforts that far.


It doesn't mean I'm a shoe-in. Unfortunately, I didn't have a phone adaptor for my tripod, and they insisted it be filmed on a phone. This limited me to a location where I could stand the phone at the proper angle to tape me from the waist up. It wasn't the "uncluttered approach" they wanted - the ceiling fan was tucked ominously behind my head. But it was the one aspect I could not control. I have ordered a phone adaptor now so I'm ready next time. But they gave us so little time to prepare. That's how it is in the bizz.


Then there's this grant I'm preparing. There is just one aspect that I have no control over, and that's in my desire to get the OAS to show me more artifacts than they had available for me last year. Will they get in trouble when I added that as part of the grant? Or will they be able to comply? Or will this aspect be less of a deterrant than I fear? But the rest of the grant's preparation was in my control. While I applied for grant monies from the Wisconsin Historical Society in the past, I'm not an archaeologist, I'm a historian. For this grant, I could be called an archaeological historian, perhaps by the Iowa State Historical Society, who's offering the grant. But there was no lack of demonstration in what I'd prepared so they will see that I know what I'm doing.


Back in 2017, I said a farewell to Actors in Wisconsin because I wasn't getting any roles in any of the indie movies there. Back then, I didn't make the effort to memorize the lines (I worked full-time.) Back then, my film taking abilities were amateurish. And my acting wasn't even that good. Now I memorize. Now when they ask for a monologue, I do one without preparation, simply telling one of my fairy tales. Now, I pay attention to what kind of person they're looking for. Wes insists that I already look like what he wants. "Is that your real gray hair?" The awkward delivery he's asking for is exactly what he wants, and he's encouraged me to keep trying. He asked me to call him, and though I didn't want to, I did. And now I think I know what he wants.


Never say no. Make that extra effort, and keep going.

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