The American Film Market, in Los Angeles, seemed like the last place I wanted to use my “y’all.”
I was convinced the sophisticated, seasoned producers, lawyers and investors I would meet in Hollywood, were of the mind that anyone from the Bible Belt is illiterate and barefooted, lives in a double-wide and drinks sweet tea from a Mason jar. Not that I’m against any of those things, but I didn’t want my introduction of “Dawn from Alabama” to classify me. And I had no intention of lugging around my college degrees. So I put on my “fancy clothes and shoes,” put together by my stylist friend Meredith Tracy, and set out to impress ‘em.
That worked for about five minutes, until I let out my first ‘down home’ slip on the phone: “Yessir, I’m fixin’ to take an Uber to the Lowes Grand. See y’all soon.” It was out! I was labeled.
On the way to the first appointment, I remembered a quote from the Dr. Seuss book I had read to my sons: “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” Though I was in Hollywood on my way to a fancy hotel conference, my roots were in the South. And that’s where I drew my strength.
I met lots of different people during those four days and I presented to them our television series, Our BackPack, in the simplest, least pretentious way I could. From my heart, I shared our story, our film, our vision, and our restoration. I didn’t monitor or modify who I was or what I had produced. I am so proud of our series pilot which is a perfect fit for everyone who is a bit sick of blood, guts and zombies.
Results? A couple of the ‘greats’ we met were not interested. But the majority of them embraced the idea and it’s creator! I had as many hugs as I did fist bumps.
As I continue my search for the right network, lawyer and distributer I will remember another Dr. Seuss Quote:
“You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
Y’all have a great weekend!