The Illusion of Normality

by Kelanie Aragon

“Normal people are just people you don’t know very well.”

This quote came from a conversation I overheard in my favorite coffee shop. I was sitting near a man who felt like ranting about how boring ‘normal’ people are.  

He went on to vent about people that put on an act to appear ‘normal’ or ‘standardized’ to the world around them. He said that this supports  the argument that normal does not exist. He continued to say that the moment you begin to know someone on a deeper level, their authentic personality emerges.

Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of trying to appear normal, we spent more time trying to appear authentic?

In my attempts to relate this advice to filmmaking, I realized that people crave difference but still end up ‘stuck’ in normality.

In filmmaking, the phrases “playing it safe” and “great film” should never go together. So far in our experiment, we have made five short films. Every film has been a risk for us because we do our best to avoid being normal. However, we would be lying if we said that all our attempts have been successful. But if every filmmaker set out to change cinema by making normal and safe films, we would never discover new stories, techniques or creative authenticity. It’s a huge limit to yourself when you try to be normal. And, quite frankly, it’s not what people want anymore.

So, don’t be normal. Be vulnerable, open and authentic. No one ever made history by doing what everyone else did.

If the guy from the coffee shop was on to anything, it’s that normal is simply what you don’t know. You have to be willing to dive into the unknown and take risks if you’re ever going to break the mold.

Say goodbye to what is normal, and take some risks.  You never know what you will discover and the people you will impact.

xx

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