Things I've Learned in Film School / vol ii

One of many essays about film school:

read the rest here

Let's talk about second acts. Seems to be an appropriate topic for the second essay.

This past January I was sitting in a class and one of my professors was giving a group of students feedback on an edit of a 30 second commercial they were trying to finish. He wanted them to spend more time on the rising action of the story arc.

"Most meaningful is the balance before we know what's going to happen."

I loved that thought so much—its applications are so multiple. Yes, in this context it was describing the editing choices of a 30 second TV spot, but second acts are a part of life. We're going to have a lot of second acts in our lives, because we sure do spend most of our time not knowing the answers to our questions, not being able to quell our fears, and dwelling amidst our doubts. If you look at the big picture, our entire time here on Earth is one giant second act. My freshman year I remember talking with a friend about some sort of General Conference talk regarding God's approach to giving answers—He gives answers, delays answers, and sometimes withholds answers from us when we're asking for them. I don't really remember our conversation but I do remember laughing/crying/lying on the floor in a moment of comical but valid self pity that "God seems pretty obsessed with withholding answers from me lately."

It's true. God does withhold answers from us. Occasionally. Occasionally it may feel more often than "occasionally". And sometimes it gets easier and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you still don't know and sometimes you have to accept you're not going to find out until the next life. But I loved that idea about second acts.

Sometimes remembering that 'not knowing' is 'meaningful' is helpful, and sometimes if someone told me that I would want to throw a brick at them—It's not like this perspective makes all your worries disappear in a split second. They're still there. You're just looking at them a little differently. A little less aggressively. A little more lightheartedly. Maybe an endearing eye roll here or there. Because in the end, those annoying little [big] questions are adding more meaning to your life.

If there's something that I try to remember regularly, it's that

the second act is where the magic happens.