I fundraise for my work, I’m a film actress and producer. I’m very involved in getting my projects off-the-ground. I sell, market, compete, strategize, and cast a vision for my company, product, and team. I sell an idea. But that idea is often not in sync in time-place-access-availability to the moment. I have to cast
I fundraise for my work, I’m a film actress and producer. I’m very involved in getting my projects off-the-ground. I sell, market, compete, strategize, and cast a vision for my company, product, and team. I sell an idea. But that idea is often not in sync in time-place-access-availability to the moment. I have to cast an idea with a vision and hope that all the important pieces come together juuuust right. So, now I have imposter syndrome. I feel like I’m drowning in effort which eats away at my confidence and momentum. I feel like I’m outside of my depth, because I’m not projecting a false confidence. Transparency and Vision have such a thin line to separate them. How could anyone predict or portray in a narrative the process of game-changing work without injecting bias in the tone or the intention? My hopes and dreams need to sync with reality outside of my scope – but that’s how ALL business is done. All big revolutionary business is done out of order.
Men have been doing this in silicon valley with less fanfare and less scrutiny for ages now, which is what THE DROPOUT points out. A vision has to rise before the infrastructure because that’s how the infrastructure is raised. But there is a false concept that the theoretical is already proven before the fundraising starts the official research.
We Got To The MOON With Men Vision-Casting Publicly
The President of The United States of America predicted and announced we’d be going to the moon without knowing we would.
What is vision-casting? It is being a visionary and leading a revolutionary business or product and allowing the research, funding, infrastructure, details, and purposes follow your lead. It is a delicate and difficult process. Sure, there are ‘steps’ to take on paper, but momentum, funding, and public strength allows those processes to continue behind the scenes. The steps on paper are a map to success and the steps written down after-the-fact are a post-mortem of events, BUT while the steps are being taken, this is not accurately how it happens, there are many things overlapping.
If the outcome of Theranos was positive and resulted in funded research that changed lives for the better, the show about the history of Elizabeth’s actions would be different. Her story is the origin story of plenty of successful businesses with awful footnotes. But her story is sensational and put out by HULU and now a cautionary tale about a non-gendered problem with snake-oil salesmen, lying to cover-up their scientifically inadequate product.
Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes is a thrilling performance. She leans into Elizabeth’s neurodivergent and performance-based social connections. This portrayal feels natural, as if she understands Elizabeth on a deeper level. The performances are stellar across the board including Naveen Andrews as Sunny Balwani, which is a complicated performance. Their relationship is a dangerous piece to the puzzle of Theranos. But is someone with completely unconditional love and support, an accomplice??
All This Story Does Is Frighten Me Back Into Obscurity
Do any men see this and take a step back to reflect on the damage they do in vision-casting funding, rallying, or persistence?
I asked a few men about their take on the show, but none of them had watched it. None of them. Are women more attracted to this story because of the female lead, female led story, or advertising algorithms?
I spend much of my time as a filmmaker sweeping up the negative footprint left behind by a charlatan filmmaker who came before me. And because of the nature of a historically misogynistic industry and culture, I have mostly encountered the negative footprint of men before me. When I was fundraising for my first big feature in Arkansas in 2011, I had to hold meetings just to talk about stranger who had swept the region before me, about why Jack So-And-So’s development deal was probably a sham, why he stole that money and left without warning, why my vision and plan is more solid, why my team can be trusted, and willing people into trusting me to have integrity and be honest about the ups and downs of filmmaking. I have had no less than 6 meetings in 2022 alone to discuss the solid plans I have researched in order to get colleagues to put their reputation out there for me and my teams. I have to keep explaining how my work is different, because it is considered to be different to be researched, solid, planned, and low-risk. In filmmaking, my battles are all uphill. I have to bend over backwards to present my work as thorough even while I daily brush off colleagues at the same tables with their less-than-researched and higher-risk half-assed ideas – but we’re both in the running for the same funding/support/success.
Therefore, my vision-casting must be solid, must be convincing, must be as competitive as possible. Do I need to worry about overstepping? In THE DROPOUT, Elizabeth was approached by dozens of people bringing ethics issues up to her directly and telling her that she needed to reflect. If 12 people in my sphere ask me to reflect out of concern for my business practices, I think I would listen to them. I could not be so consumed that I would ignore the warning signs of a dozen peers and mentors asking me to take the step of reconfiguring an accountability process that felt right, honest, and would stand up in a court of law regarding intent.
What Do I Do With This Show? How Do I Learn from It?
Stop making it a lesson to be learned. Stop reflecting that your actions are somehow related to Elizabeth’s actions. Stop being so damn empathetic, which might be extra difficult for the intense goal-oriented visionary women in business around me.
Watch this story for the history, the performances, the cultural implications, and the enjoyment of TV time on your couch. Take this show less seriously. Take less to heart. Dial down the inclination to be so damned intense, goal-oriented, and visionary while you’re relaxing in front of the TV.
And ask a man in your life to watch it, too.
Click Here To Watch THE DROPUT on HULU