Each of us own ‘points of decision’ where we define our lives for good or ill. Often we miss the good out of fear. Often we find the ill out of fear. Many times we never realize we even made a decision.
Recently, I wrestled with the decision to go to Beverly Hills for a red carpet release for the Jon Morgan Woodward book “Hidden Valley: Game On.” “Game On” is Book 2 of the Hidden Valley series. My company, MRK Publishing, published both books.
On the surface, the decision appears a ‘no-brainer’, right? Hollywood. Actors, actresses, directors, agents, red carpet. Once I looked at the expense, the time away from my work, the logistics of both, and a number of other factors, I nearly declined the invite.
For me, the introduction of fear became more the deciding factor. We hear about Hollywood red carpets. We hear about things that go on. We think we know based on all this second hand information. Once I began to fear the trip and being around people I did not know, Hollywoodites, and how the heck I would fit in, I knew I was going. Why? Because fear means challenge. Fear means there’s something there you need to face. Fear means you’re stepping out of your comfort zone.
I read and hear a lot about success emanating just outside our comfort zones. I’m inundated by gurus stating we must challenge ourselves by stepping into our destiny and out of our spheres of protection. Intellectually I’ve known this to be true for years. Emotionally and on an action basis, I used to be reluctant to step into risk. Even though I truly step out of my comfort zones regularly, the steps often seem more timid than assertive. Hopefully I’m done with that. I’m hoping, if this writing is reaching you at a critical stage of your development, that you too will learn to step boldly into your future by getting uncomfortable in your fears.
I hear a lot about fears dissipating when confronted. Yes. Yes. Yes. No matter what I say, you will not believe me until you do it. I won’t go into the specifics of my personal fears with respect to this red carpet event because your fears will be defined by who you are, and we are two different people. Instead, allow me to toss some fun your way from my experience.
Michele and I left Palm Coast at 5:30am Thursday, July 14th. We had a connecting flight in Atlanta, then on to Los Angeles. I had booked an Airbnb house owned by Frank and Colleen in Northridge CA, 19 miles north of the event location on North Beverly Hills Drive in downtown Beverly Hills. We would come to find that the red carpet location was right around the corner from Tiffany’s and other fine shops on Rodeo Drive. Pretty cool, eh? (Michele even purchased a gorgeous jacket from a store on Rodeo Drive on Saturday).
We spent Friday and Saturday sightseeing. We visited Pepperdine University, Malibu, Zuma Beach (we both got sunburned. You’d think we’d know better living in FL! lol!), and Rodeo Drive. We enjoyed our Airbnb visit tremendously. Our hosts provided a fine home and it was FAR less expensive than the Motel 6 option we almost booked.
The event itself exceeded my expectations. The event opened with camera flashes galore as the slated cast for the proposed movie “Hidden Valley” paraded across the carpet. Actors and actresses posed solo and with each other. They also goofed with the werewolf.
Werewolf? Yes. There be werewolves in this book series and there will be serious werewolves in the movie. Michele and I got a kick out of all the hubbub. Then things really got real for us.
Denise O’Brien of Dome Entertainment called me up on the carpet for pics and an “on the carpet interview.” You must understand. I am an award-winning author. I’m a publisher. I also run The Inspired Mic event in Palm Coast. I must say, stepping into all those cameras and an interview with Denise O’Brien blew me away. What a blast!
I got to pose with Jennifer Day, an actress in a weekly TV series in LA as well as recording artist whose third album (yes, I still call them albums…) was just released. I posed with Jon Morgan Woodward and director John Buelcher. A parade of others came and went, and I’ll have to look at all the pics to remember who all I got to be in pictures with. Suffice it to say, I had a ball.
A quick interjection on fear here. Normally in my life, I would have been mortified and antsy about stepping into a limelight such as this. My ‘evolution’ through fear has brought me to this point. Michele, my rock and my anchor was with me. I felt at ease. I felt comfortable. I felt welcomed by these upbeat Hollywoodites. I was able to live within my own skin. I felt confident. I even wondered at one point why I ever considered fear at all. That’s the way confronting fears works, at least for me.
Back to the carpet. Denise O’Brien must be one of the finest PR people in the world. She has a way of injecting positive energy into everything and everyone. I’ve run my Inspired Mic for nearly four years now, and I know when I see someone who can make things happen at an event. Denise interviewed nearly everyone this night. She has a way of disarming you and getting you caught up in the moment. She interviewed Ola Ray (whom I remember vividly from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video and her groundbreaking centerfold in Playboy back in the day), John Buelcher, Jennifer Day, Jon Morgan Woodward, and a long line of other celebrities and not so celebrities (like myself, lol!).
While Denise handled interviews the celebration continued in the main area with Dakota Hines playing piano in accompaniment to singer Laci Kay. The two performed admirably together with Dakota’s first public performance well done. Author of the “Hidden Valley” series Jon Morgan Woodward spoke about getting together a team of people to help get this project moving. He thanked many who have assisted thus far. Jon’s sincerity came through quite clearly.
I would be remiss not to mention Pierre Patrick of the Jerry Pace Agency and his crucial role in helping assemble this event. Pierre brought in many people from the agency and did a ton of behind the scenes work to make sure this event came off well. Michele and I had the pleasure of dining with Pierre and Jon Friday evening before the event. Pierre, not only a hilarious conversationalist, is also very well connected in Beverly Hills. He set us at ease, and he deserves a ton of credit for the work he did.
The five hour event became a whir of excitement to be remembered, hopefully not only in pictures and video interviews, but in books and movies to come. I believe most everyone knows a movie is a huge undertaking. There must be a lot of people involved, a lot of teamwork initiated, and a lot of desire and motivation to see the project through. The details of how to do all this is beyond me. What I do know, however, is that in order to pull something off of this magnitude, a driving force is required, a team is required, and perseverance is required. I witnessed these things in action at the Hidden Valley: Game On red carpet.
Opportunities. I would never have stepped into this particular opportunity to be a part of something far bigger than myself, without fear. Without stepping out of my comfort zone, challenging the fear, confronting it, and discovering the fear to be far less than a paper tiger. I stepped boldly into moving forward. In fact, I bought my tux rather than renting one because I plan to do this many more times, and I purchased the tux BEFORE I paid for my trip.
Confidence is conceived in the throes of battling fear. Confidence is born in the action of stepping into your ‘higher’ self. Confidence is emboldened when you realize you were meant to be there all along. I know you hear this, as I have, over and over and over. Your best destiny lies just outside your comfort zones. Get uncomfortable. Step into your potential. Potential means nothing without action. Nothing.
I don’t care if you’re writing, acting, painting, sculpting, or any other creative endeavor. Step into your fears, confront them, and take advantage of the opportunities which come from such action. I take exception to the “False Evidence Appearing Real” acronym for FEAR. I believe the evidence to be real based on experiences from your past.
Yet, there comes a decision point where you decide to define yourself from your past experiences which deliver your fears, or you step into uncomfortable-land, face them, and grow. Fear will hold you back. Courage will move you forward. There is no such thing as courage without fear. Courage is born in the midst of fear. Draw on it. Feed it with action. Realize your opportunities, and see just how far you may go toward your dreams.
Jon Morgan Woodward and the assemblage of all the folks supporting his movie project and books are doing it. I am as well. You should too. Step into your future and take advantage of the opportunities which come from stepping out of your comfort zones.
The following are some of the photos from Bob Delgadillo