I find it interesting that we don’t know what we are talented with until someone tells us. In fact, for most of us we cannot see what talent that someone is talking about. Well, I assume that is people in general. We all know a person or two who know they are talented and have the attitude to go with it. That aside, I never really thought about my talents and what are they. I guess it usually comes from something that we enjoy doing.
I was always a storyteller from as far back as I can remember. I first began telling stories with my toys. I remember building elaborate set pieces (well, elaborate in my 4 year-old mind) and putting my characters through some of the most insane situations, but they had to have a reason for those action sequences. When I began learning to how to write I now had a new creative avenue for storytelling, and I developed a talent for writing. I don’t remember any of my teachers ever straight out telling me I was talented, but I do remember them encouraging me to keep writing. I remember in the 6th grade how I shocked my English teacher, Mrs. Cornell, with a 20-page story when all we needed to do was five pages. I wasn’t trying to show off; I needed more pages to fill my story with. I actually thought something was wrong with me because I couldn’t tell my story with as little words as possible. In the end, Mrs. Cornell allowed me extra time to finish my creative writing assignments as a way to encourage me with my writing talent. It’s been the same way with everything else in my life that I genuinely worked hard at achieving, whether its been sports, music, filmmaking, teaching, etc.
I used to be envious of my friends with artistic talents. What they could do with a pencil and paper was absolutely astounding! I never understood why I couldn’t do that, try as I might. That goes for those who can do mathematics. I discovered in university that I suffered from math anxiety. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it; my mind would panic the moment my eyes laid on a math problem. There are those who are really good at learning languages. I speak Japanese because I have to speak it. Therefore, I’m not all that good at it, but I can hold conversations (barely) and survive. My friends who have lived here far less than I have are more fluent than me, and I am flabbergasted. It is all talent.
I never knew I had a talent with filmmaking until quite recently. It was just something I always wanted to do. So, when I began doing it I would write the script, I tried storyboarding (apparently only I knew what the storyboards were trying to portray, but it helped my assistant directors, producers and crew know what shot we were moving on to next), and we would rehearse scenes before shooting, then we shot the scenes. I used a lot of the same actors for most of my videos and two shorts so they eventually learned to trust that I had a vision. The first film we did was called Iridescent (click here for the video) and no one had any idea what the story was going to look like, they didn’t know why I set the camera up they way I did, and when it came to what the look of the film would be no one was completely sure I could pull it off. To be honest, neither did I. While the film didn’t turn out the way I wanted it, it was a great learning experience for all of us, and we continued to improved from there. What’s more is that I rediscovered my talent for writing music, and discovered that I could write for film (check out these links as well: Life According to Yuki and The Mysterious Forest).
No matter what our talents may be, whether it be something small or large, they are ours to treasure. I fear too many of us hide our talents out of shame or fear of what others might think/say. It might surprise you how many people will be amazed at what you can do. Take some time and really think about what things you can do and love to do. I found some of my talents help me as a storyteller. I want to hear what your talents are! Leave a comment and tell me what it is that you can do!