Two years ago, I set a goal for what I thought was a simple task. I was going to produce a 15-minute short film on my own without any additional crew. It seemed easy at the time. I had the script written and every role was filled with actresses I already knew. All of the planets aligned for what would be the perfect debut to my indie filmmaking career. But I didn’t finish my short film. It was a five-month struggle through scheduling conflicts, bad audio recordings, location scouting problems, and a seven-year-old boy being too much of a saint to even pretend to be angry for a scene. All I was left with were a few incomplete clips sitting on my laptop waiting to be cut into a movie that I could not complete. And despite this grand failure of mine, I learned more from it than I did in my four years of high school.
My Challenge was the first time I was allowed and encouraged to create something on my own without expectation of being graded or judged. No one told me what to do or who to do it with or when or why or how, and this forced me to hold myself accountable for what I set out to accomplish. And in holding myself accountable, I learned very quickly how to be brutally honest about my own actions and emotions so that I can move forward with my goals effectively. This is GripTape’s brilliance.
Now, two years later, my working life is almost unrecognizable. The skills I learned with GripTape of self-awareness and self-regulation have pushed me into doing more for myself and my career. I’m building a successful business as a photographer/videographer in the fashion and marketing industries, and am in a much more productive and positive place now than I have ever been. I often reflect about my GripTape experience two years ago, and I fear that had I not participated in the Learning Challenge, I would have stayed in a college that I hated, studying for a degree that’s useless in the industry, searching for permission to take control of my own life.