When I was first approached to write a blog, an emotion I know all too well hit me - fear. After many hours of trying to figure out what am I going to write about and reflecting on my journey into this crazy business, I realized I can't be alone. No matter how successful or how green we are, fear comes knocking on everyone's door, even if no one talks about it. Regardless of what we do, the thought of putting our work out there for all to see, for all to judge, can be frankly....terrifying and that's just one type of fear. It can become all consuming and sometimes even prevent us from following our passion. Many can view fear as a weakness and therefore refuse to acknowledge it. Fear is not a weakness, but can give us strength if we redefine it.
When I was a child, writing was always an escape, I enjoyed very much and followed me into adulthood. Some opportunities came my way. I wrote a couple of articles for a few unknown bands I enjoyed during my time on the Sunset Strip. However, when it was obvious that I could do this for a living, fear introduced itself and I stopped.
Acting was always a passion of mine. But having a mother who was an educator that constantly reminded me of the inconsistency of work as an actor, plus my own insecurities, prevented me from trying until several years later, when I realized it's time to live my life for me and no one else.
One day, after having a long conversation with my acting teacher and mentor, Gene Bua, I began entertaining the idea of writing scenes for class. The thought of putting my work out there and what people thought scared me to death. But then I realized, I'm doing that with my acting every time I'm on that stage, so what do I have to fear, but fear itself. Biting the bullet, I did it. One scene turned to many and before I knew it, I was writing my first short. I felt like I was home. However, with every scene my old friend was there knocking on my door. I learned to acknowledge it, but never answered the door. I found my passion and wasn't going to let my fear get the best of me. That's when it dawned on me that fear isn't just a foe, it can also be a friend. It all came down to how I used it. I learned to take that fear and turn it into fuel for every project. After having made several shorts, I realized I had to prove that I could do a feature film and guess who came banging on my door once again? You got it – fear. As scared as I was, I knew what I had to do and got the job done.
Through the years, my old friend has followed me, from my acting days, to my writing, directing, and producing days, and as my life changed, so did my friend. Going behind the camera introduced me to a whole new set of fears. I wondered if I would ever overcome them. But thankfully, I remained in good standing with my friend and surpassed all obstacles that came my way.
Just like anything else, fear gives you choices. You can either give into it or use it to fuel whatever goal you have. I hope you use it to make your dreams come true and take comfort in knowing you aren't alone.
About Chandra Gerson
Chandra Gerson was born in Palo Alto, California in 1966. She moved with her family to Granada Hills, CA when she was three. She attended St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont for her last two years of high school. She attended Alfred University located in Alfred NY, majoring in Psychology. After two years, she moved back to California and attended Valley College where she received her AA degree in Broadcast Journalism. She went on to Cal State University of Northridge where she received her BA in Broadcast Journalism. During her college career she had several internships with CBS, Entertainment Tonight, NBC, working with David Sheehan on two of his specials, Macho Men of the Movies & Leading Ladies, and later in life with "Talk Soup."
She was always interested in being an actress, but didn't actively pursue it until later in life. In 1999, she became an extra and fell in love with the industry. Five months later she received her SAG card. She began taking acting classes at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, then later studied with Gene Bua. She began writing scenes for class and that led to her first short film centering on domestic violence entitled, "Impaired Innocence." In 2009, she started her own production company, KitnKat Productions and more short films came after that. She began entering them into festivals. In 2012, her film Burning Distortion (2012) was accepted into the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival and won "Best Drama." Shortly after that her film, Detach (2012) was accepted into the VegasCineFest International Film Festival. Book of Choices (2015) is her first feature film and is an official selection for the 2016 Delhi Women's International Film Festival. Three of the short stories, “Burning Distortion”, “A Gracious War”, and “Salvation of One” screened at the 2016 Cannes Marche Du Film. "Book of Choices" is being represented by Adler & Associates Entertainment, this is due to be released on Amazon VOD on June 7 2017. It will debut in five countries; US, UK, Germany, Austria, and Japan.
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