At any given moment, 14 people dig what you're doing
Fourteen seems like an arbitrary sort of number, and I guess it is. But it has become a shorthand for me to appreciate with gratitude all the many people who support me and my work in so many ways. The number came to me from experience. I noticed that if I had a film that was screening at a festival, fourteen people would show up, be engaged, ask cool questions at the Q&A and then connect up on social media or whatever. It was always fourteen.
The funny thing is, it was always a different 14 at each event. Then when I would hold festival events, give classes or whatever, 14 people would attend. Again, a different 14 quite often. Those fourteens start to add up! Fourteen people will read this post (I hope you like it, I wrote it for you!) Fourteen people immediately subscribed to our YouTube channel when it launched. When I had a fundraising page, 14 people piled on quickly - those were 14 people who would give a dollar just because I asked. That moved me, and I began to see that a lot of people were actively supporting me, they just came in different bunches of 14!
There's a lot of false messaging around how more of everything is essential for success, including legends around how many followers you need to get cast in films and so on. I call BS on chasing that. For me, I would rather direct my efforts, energy and mutual support to a group of 14 people, 14 film festivals, 14 subscribers, 14 visitors, 14 viewers, 14 readers or what have you, than to try to pay attention to larger numbers that are and will likely remain disengaged.
Plus, when I add up all the groups of 14 that support me, and that I can focus on and support in turn, then I realize how fortunate I am indeed to have so many people who wish me well. I send that positive energy back with gratitude! Your number may be different, smaller, or larger, but I encourage you to wear a set of lenses that lets you see and appreciate the smaller, often quieter, numbers of people who really have your best interest at heart and deserve your attention and focus because they dig you and your work!
Robert David Duncan, award-winning director, actor, writer and producer with a passionate interest in art, storytelling and the whole amazing journey called life. Founder of Fat Punk Productions and Festival Director of the Miniature Film Festival.