I love to talk about my triumphs (don’t we all?) but who likes to talk about their defeats? Yeah, I thought so…
A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from the film department from the school I’m currently attending (Brooklyn College). The email reads as follows:
“Dear AMY PEREZ:
Check out this cool opportunity. Submission deadline fast approaching.”
I barely ever read emails from my school but this one caught my attention because it said “deadline fast approaching” and that meant I needed to work under some pressure –Yes, I like that (not really lol) so, I click on the link to read what the competition is about. The aspiring directors and writers needed to submit a finished script about two people in one hotel suite. Yes, as simple as that– two people, one hotel room, no elaborate props, not even special effects.
But like, how? or what? A story, in a room? — I said to myself– an interesting story, two people, one room, one week to develop a story… Amy, can you do this? It took me a second to take on this challenge. It took me two days to come up with something. Although I wrote a few loglines (most made almost no sense). I really liked two of them. Long story short, I went for my first option (which I am not going to tell you about, yet, because I plan on producing it, hopefully, soon).
I wrote my story, revised it like 4 times and submitted just before the deadline. (I have the tendency to do that.) A couple of minutes after, I received the typical automatic reply: ‘thanks for submitting blah, blah, blah…’
The next day after submitting my finished script, I received an email from the organization that reads something like:
“Thank you for submitting your scripts(s) to our short-film competition, T** ****.
The quality has been extremely high… “
Oh my… this is not an automatic reply! What’s most surprising to me is that when I read about the competition, the organization specifically said that if they don’t contact you until August 5th, then, you should know your script wasn’t selected. So this simple email, to me, was already a triumph.
Continuing with the email, it said that I needed to answer some questions about my availability for pre and post production, places where the winners needed to travel, etc. I promptly replied to the email with a huge excitement– I was already a winner! I mean, the competition was among people from UK, USA, Germany, China, Japan, and UAE– and I received a reply other than just the automatic reply, meaning, my script got to someone!
Here comes the climax of my story…
The email I wasn’t expecting arrived on my inbox. If you think I got the “rejection” email, then, you’ve guessed correctly. )): —> this wasn’t actually my face but deep inside, I was not prepared to read that email. Although my script didn’t make it to the final round, I was happy for the different stages I went through from writing the script to receiving the email before the final one.
No one is used to losing nor winning but when one puts an incredible amount of effort on something, one expects the best to happen. Our problem often is that we tend to calculate our worth based on our triumphs and defeats. We also tend to think that only the strong, intelligent, and bold, win. And the weak, well, the weak just lose.
To be honest, this is just some ‘BS,’ really. It all depends on your perspective on things. We should all know our self-worth/value based on the effort WE KNOW we put on things we want to accomplish– whether you make it to the final round or not. The process of trying to make something happen makes you smarter, stronger, wiser and even if you don’t get that so-desired medal at the end, you’ll feel as you’ve won the ultimate price, full of lessons that will prepare you for a bigger competition in the future.
Yes, I got that rejection email and I am sharing my “defeat” with all of you. But I am sharing it because I need all of you to comprehend that losing doesn’t make you less of a person. What makes you weak is not trying to go after your dreams (and make them a reality, of course).
This is not my first time participating in such a competition and, it definitely won’t be my last. I know that I am always a step closer to my dearest dream.
Here is a photo of me (taken in Ecuador a few days ago) walking toward my next goal ((;