Ozzywood to Hollywood (Part 1) – Facing The Fears

(First written, July 10, 2012)

I’ve never written a blog before. Not once. I haven’t even considered it. Always seemed like too much work away from the real writing of the writing I wanted to write.

by Mark Rasmussen

Sure, I’ve seen plenty of blogs (even read a few) but I’ve never ever been interested in writing one myself but now as I find myself on the verge of entering the screenwriting capital of the world – Hollywood – now feels like as good a moment as ever to dive on in and sink or write. I choose to write!

So what’s a local boy who’s never really amounted to much doing dragging his white, scrawny arse half way across the world into a cauldron of established writers? A world that eats people alive and spits them out like unrequited love. I ask myself that question every day leading into what can only really be described as a life-changing event. And it is.

I am giving up a life I know for a life I don’t. I am giving up friends and family and job security for none of the above. But what I am doing is giving my dreams a chance to come alive.

It’s not often in life you get the chance to ever really do that. But you know what? It’s both liberating and fucking scary. For someone like myself who is normally so fearless and approaches life head on, who lives in the moment and simply loves life, I have to admit to being scared, concerned, nervous, a little worried.

I go with no work or job lined up or even any money coming in whatsoever. I have a finite amount of savings that may see me through six months if I spend it wisely. But what I do go with is faith, self belief and a real sense of adventure.

You see I’m an explorer. An adventurer. I face fear, doubt and worry head on. I may not always like what I see or have to confront at the time but that’s life. It can’t all be Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate fantasies. How I wish it was. Mmmm… chocolate.

But as the time nears where I walk through Sydney airport and leave Australia for possibly the last time, I am taking the time to reflect on my life, the friends I’ve made in Sydney in the two and a half years I’ve been here. My little achievements, my writing, my short films, my huge personal growth, especially these last six months. Of family in Melbourne and of the unknown.

It’s a huge leap of faith.

With every leap comes the moment of doubt before you leap. All the thoughts which tell you why you can’t do it. The ones that tell you why you shouldn’t. All the risks, all the what ifs – all of it. Everything you’ve never worried about before all come to the fore all at once and forces you to think, reflect and doubt it all. Even doubt yourself.

You know what, though? That’s the kind of stuff that thrills me, excites me. Makes me feel alive. Absolutely. We cannot grow, move forward, embrace a new life or ever be truly happy without the past, the fears all tormenting us before we make that jump.

I have made sure to keep a checklist of everything I need to do before I go – one, to make sure I finalise everything I need to do but two, to keep me sane. From selling all my furniture, my car, my beloved bike, to breaking my lease, finding another tenant, cancelling bills, boxing my stuff up, packing, saying goodbye to friends, flying to Melbourne, saying goodbye to my grandmother who I may never ever see alive again. It’s daunting, frightening and frankly, it’s also fun.

It’s hard. Sure people are excited for me and congratulate me where they can and wish me good luck. And I feel the energy and positive vibes. I feed off it. I need it. I’m excited too. A new adventure awaits and for this traveller, the wanderer that I am and I love it. But I also feel scared, afraid and even worse. I feel alone.

What if I am unable to make it work, make new friends, sell my writing, make a career. What if I fail? What then? Do I just jump back on a plane and say, “Well, at least I gave it a shot.” And then where does that leave me?

But you know what. I don’t let those thoughts enter my mind. Because what if I do? What if my leap of faith comes off? What if it really all works out? That’s what keeps me going, energizes me, excites me, thrills me and makes me feel truly alive and happy. Nothing like getting out of your comfort zone to know what we can truly do and achieve.

Besides, I felt I was getting too comfortable in Sydney. Somewhat stale. Nothing wrong with wanting to feel challenged, pushed and embrace the unknown. It’s what separates the believers from the dreamers.

So as this wide-eyed dreamer moves closer to becoming a believer, and as all the fears and doubts begin to recede, replaced instead with hope, faith and belief in me and everything I stand for, let me leave you with this:

I’ve learned that sometimes all you have to is say ‘Fuck it’, and just live.

But if that’s too simple then know this, “Have courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” I want to be a successful screenwriter. Sure, I want a lot of other things: love, happiness, health, wealth, success and more but for now, I chase down this dream.

So as I fly out into the great unknown, to a place known as LaLa land, one day I want to honestly say, I made it. And you know what, I believe I will!

Mark RasmussenComment