I haven’t taken any real risks in a while. The kind that are less than informed. The risks that truly might not work out. Decisions that might leave you stranded out someplace without much of a backup plan. Actually, no backup plan. It’s hard to say if this is because the opportunities for risk taking have been low, or I’ve become prudent, or perhaps I’ve just closed my eyes and looked down at the steps ahead of me and have started to miss the moments that call for immediate and somewhat impetuous decision making. Well, that recently changed and I’d like to chronicle the journey step by step as it has equal chances of yielding a bountiful result as it does leaving me out in Europe with no way to go but back.
2 months ago I was told about an event happening near the small village town of Niort, France - The Enchanted Arts Festival. (Think of it like the Burning Man of France, but more socially conscious and less costumes) I can’t tell if it was my inner child that responded so strongly, or the fact that the event was happening in a renaissance chateau in France, or both, or something else entirely. I believe it was the very final unspoken entity, but we’ll get to that in a second. I just knew I needed to get over there.
Through a fortunate connection, I was put in contact with the person who was running the entire event. It happened very quickly and I found myself scrambling for what to say when thrown immediately into a WhatsApp group chat and told, «Here, you guys should connect». 1. Jill, the show runner, was an incredibly accomplished and influential person on the world stage, and 2. Aside from just attending I didn’t have any intentions with the event. But I thought about practical and professional intersects, told her I was a film-maker who has worked on documentaries, said I was fascinated by the project, and left it rather open ended at that point. Long story short, 3 weeks later, we have a production company set up and an entire pitch deck created that’s all about the Enchanted Arts Festival, we’re reaching out to sponsors and investors, and the team now includes multiple people.
Long story short, we didn’t have enough time to acquire funds for the budget. Too little time and the asking price was fairly significant. We had full intention on shooting a proper film and asked for everything we needed in addition to a salary. But even though funding didn’t come through, there was still a strong desire to get out to France. I double checked to make sure it wasn’t just lingering inertia or a flippant desire to do some traveling through pretty french countryside. I then resorted to repeatedly asking myself what was calling me out there - what came through was a voice that said there was work for me to do out there and people that I must meet. Now by voice I mean a thing separate from myself. Yes. An entity, that by all internal measure seemed separate from me, told me I should fly over and see what happens. The only reason I acted upon it was because of the clarity of the demand. It wasn’t clouded by doubt or petty desire. It was just a clarion call to action. And so I booked a ticket the same day for a price so low it could have only been personally delivered by the very voice that called me forth.
I don’t know what will become of this trip or who I’ll meet, and as I sit in a little cafe in the 11th Arrondissement, I’m nervous. But I’m here. One way ticket expended. Open mind and open heart and that internal voice is sitting inside and smiling. I know I will be doing some sort of work out here.. I just don’t yet know what form it will take.