A career in the film never dawned on me until my senior year of high school. As I mentioned before, I had classmates pursuing filmmaking since it was storytelling like theater was. I was missing theater insanely during my first year of college. None of the other majors or careers excited me the way film and theater did. I would walk the halls of the film department and look at the many classic film posters. I felt something being in that environment. I felt excitement. I felt something that I hadn’t felt since my high school days in theater.
Still, I was out of my element. I wasn’t the girl who had family in the “film industry.” I had no connections. I had a family that immigrated from Afghanistan. A father that worked at an Arco gas station with six kids and a mother that stayed home and raised the children. They didn’t know what dreams were. They came from a country that was war-torn. The goal was to survive and to keep their family together. I have the utmost respect for my parents and someday I will tell their story. I want to make it clear that I am not putting my parents down at all. They just came from a different world. Their world and the film industry didn’t really mesh well together.
To be honest, I did not have vast film knowledge either. I wasn’t a walking cine file like Dawson from Dawson’s Creek. I had no idea what the classics were like Citizen Kane. I grew up watching Nickelodeon shows like Rugrats, and Hey Arnold. I enjoyed Boy Meets World and Gilmore Girls. I didn’t go to the movies often. My first movie in a theater was Rugrats in Paris. In general, we didn’t go to the movies because we were not wealthy. My parents didn’t have the best English either so they needed us to translate for them which you couldn’t do in the theater. Instead, we went to Hollywood Videos which was Blockbuster’s competitor. We would raid the horror section. I was the youngest of six so I would follow my older brothers. We watched every horror film available including B horror movies. Even now though, I can’t name all those movies. I wasn’t keeping track. I was just living in the moment. Honestly, I had no idea I would be interested in the film industry or that I would be judged by how many movies I have seen.
Here I was feeling silly about even thinking about a career in films as a film director. It wasn’t the realistic path. If I went to the medical field, it would be more reasonable and I’d be okay financially. I volunteered at my sister’s job one day. She was a medical assistant. The doctor’s office made me feel claustrophobic. I couldn’t see myself in that environment. Just being there for a couple hours was hard.
I was disappointed in myself. I wanted to want to be in a field that was realistic and in other words a successful future. Wow, this is the first time I was able to label what I was feeling back then. You know I tried so many majors. I wanted something to click. I liked history, english, and political science but none of it seemed like the right major. At the time, picking the right major was one of my biggest life decisions and I couldn’t figure it out. I still don’t know what the right majore is. The obvious choice would be film but that didn’t seem right either. I wanted a majore that gave me options and had flexiblity. The counselor told me that I had to many interests and thats why it was hard for me to decided. I went from history professor to biology to film to political science to english to theater and so on. I ended up choosing a major that had a little bit of all my interests. Communications had performance, writing, and critical thinking. I finally chose my major January 2013 after my brother died a month before. I was tired of stressing and I just chose the one major that had flexiblity. I cannot explain to you how hard it was picking a more. Looking back, I realize that it doesnt even matter unless you have a specific field in mind. Still, the nights I spent in agony over my major were far to many.
In my heart, I felt like I was going to be in the film industry and I felt like their were signs of this all around me. I will explain as we continue on.