For the past several years, I’ve been president of a group called Allentown Film Crew. We aren’t a film appreciation group. We actually make short films. On average, two of them a year.
The group was started about 7 years ago through meetup.com. There was a hiatus after the first two projects that lasted about a year and a half. Another original member and myself got it going again, kind of by accident. We planned on having some kind of reunion event, but scheduling something on a weekend wasn’t working, so we just met on our old Tuesday night and the rest is history. It was at least six months before we decided we needed officers. I was elected president. I didn’t really do a lot until one of the co-leaders left. At that point, I held the group together and we produced a film, the only one that year.
Now, I’m in the last few weeks of my tenure. I announced to the group that I was stepping down as president toward the end of this month (Sept.). Don’t worry, there was no scandal or any shady dealings. The reasons I cited in my email to the other three members of the leadership team were to free up time for other interests and looking for a better job. Also, I stated to them that I simply didn’t want to do it anymore, and therefore, couldn’t do it justice.
When I subsequently announced to the rest of the group at our meeting August 26th, one of the more outspoken members immediately asked why. I gave similar reasons. Later that night, I found myself asking why don’t I want to do it? I mean, I don’t, and that’s the main reason for my decision when it comes down to it. But why don’t I want to?
It’s been good for me in that it has helped me build leadership skills, get more organized, network and the like. (I still have plenty of room for improvement in all those areas.) I also facilitated the meetings and have gotten much more comfortable talking in front of a group.
While the group has grown a lot and I had no small part in that, I can’t say that I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to, so that’s not a reason for shedding the mantle of leadership. It’s definitely not a people problem. It’s a great bunch of people. I haven’t lost interest in film or writing. At least, no more than anything else when I’m feeling low on energy or depressed. Ok, there’s part of it. The thing is, I’m always glad I went to a meeting, even if I didn’t feel like it beforehand. So, of course, I’m staying involved, just not as president.
(CONT.) Didn’t finish my draft. It’s now Tuesday, October 14.
We had the first group meeting that I wasn’t president tonight. I still wound up facilitating due to the new president being unable to get there by the start time because of her work schedule. So, it wasn’t a lot different at this point. It did give me a chance to reflect and I feel that I’ve made the right decision. Trisha, the new prez, has a lot more energy and enthusiasm than I have. I guess it is largely due to depression, after all. I suppress it, but it’s there. Part of that is being alone, no significant other. That’s a topic for another post.
Some of Trisha’s ideas are similar to my own. The difference is, she will follow through on them. So, I’m happy to pass the reigns while staying involved in a group that makes films. That was a long time aspiration of mine and I’m doing it. Not professionally, albeit, but I’m in it. I’m not sitting home nights that I don’t work, feeling sorry for myself or watching the idiot box, and Allentown Film Crew is going strong, largely thanks to me (during the aforementioned critical time).
So this post comes to an end, not as the perfect Hollywood happy ending, but as the more real indie style mixed happy ending. I’m at peace with the degree of accomplishment I achieved, though not what I’d hoped, and I’m still part of something pretty special and unique.
Allentown Film Crew