Anyway, I started thinking the other day about where I am and where I came from, and I am actually very grateful that things have turned out the way they did. Yes, this is going to be a post about me. Get ready.
I grew up in a really small town in Colorado, where farming is the profession of many and everyone knows everyone else. Where the kids you went to preschool with are the kids you graduate from high school with. While growing up, I always wished for anonymity, because it always seemed like everyone knew what you were doing and who you were with, no matter how much you tried to keep to yourself. It really is a tightly knit community; one that celebrates triumph with as much gusto and togetherness as they do grief. Where if you go to the local truck stop after any high school athletic event, everyone is going to be there, having coffee, dinner, sundaes, or just hanging out.
During college, I moved away to North Carolina, and spent that time at a small liberal arts college in the mountains. Again I found myself in a tightly knit community. The college I went to was smaller than some high schools, and my department (music) was small enough that you pretty much knew everyone. We also knew our professors, their wives or husbands, their kids, and so on. I spent many an evening hanging out with the kids in my class, doing close to nothing, but occasionally breaking out into song--it was music school after all. Even though I didn't have my family around, I managed to have a surrogate family of people that would bend over backwards to help me out, and many of them are still friends to this day, even though we don't see each other anymore (thanks, Facebook).
Now I'm in a large city, and I've been here for 8 years. Adjusting to life in California took a long time; it's not like living anywhere else. But in the time that I've been here, I've managed to find those people that really add something special to the world, and thus my life. From people at the university, from work, to just random people I meet on the street, there are a ton of people in San Diego (and elsewhere in California) that bring the extra added bonus to my life and have become my family.
Now that I'm making this film, I've learned how powerful my family is, and how far it extends. People keep coming out of the woodwork that want to help me, want to help my movie, and don't ask for anything in return. It really is amazing. And thanks to the internet, I've seen that all of my families, from Colorado to North Carolina to California, are ready and willing to help me out. It really has made me rethink my definition of the word 'community'. I'm part of the San Diego community, but I'm also very much a part of the Johnstown/Milliken community, the Asheville community, and the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill community.
I have to say, it's pretty awesome.
And if there's anyone in those communities that still wants to contribute to the film who hasn't, now is the time. Click here to donate. Thanks for takin' a chance on an unknown kid, and thanks for sticking with me all these years!
So even though it's a little cheesy, below is a gallery of people in my "communities". (sorry, NC, all those pics are non-digital.)