• Blake Nolan Brown

resumé: the story of my life

man reflects
stock photos make me laugh, like this mock-serious one of a man reflecting on his life

I have been reintroducing myself as myself to the online community, which in all actuality could be the world community. I've been kind of detached and in a loner state of mind living in China for the past 3 years.

I've seen some expats go and soak up the attention for being different and therefor offering their acquaintances social clout and status. It can be easy to soak up the attention of the locals, attention that some of these expats rarely get back home. But that's not really for me. I don't like making a show of things. I don't like people being friendly to me with the feeling like they are trying to get something out of me, or get one over on me depending on their intentions.

I suspect a considerable demographic of expats in China fucked up back home, but they came to China and act like they're big shit and no one's the wiser, and the mainland Chinese folks are predisposed to let them slide. They favor people who talk a big game. There are multitudes of stories of people making huge promises, then ripping off anyone who dealt with them.

There's honestly a whole concept of "the face" in China. It's a curated view of what you show people about yourself, and it can come across to a straightforward person as being disingenuous. I had issues with it in regards to doing business there, and it's quite frankly a considerable issue. The madness of talking to someone and them agreeing and seeming like they're on board, complicit in all the choices you're presenting, but then disagreeing long after these decisions have been put in to motion, in a way that affects timing, execution, and the ability to maneuver in order to adjust. I feel like in the US, we plan and coordinate and discuss so as to prevent problems in the foreseeable future. In China, they will act gung-ho up front, but then as problems arise they have no contingency, or the discretion to realize something will be a problem if they proceed in this manner.

expats in china
expats in china

But I digress.

Really, apart from being candid and wanting to be more approachable through avenues of social media, I've been reassessing all the crewing sites and redesigning my resumé. It's funny how easily people take for granted things like gmail and instagram and google and access to their personal websites and the functionality of these amazing communicative tools we have at our disposal. In China, they block so many powerful communication assets. The access is restricted, and it makes the workarounds incredibly tedious, time consuming, and painful to handle. I found myself avoiding stuff because the headache just took time off my life, and the frustration ever so gradually mounts.

With video, it's great because the projects are so visual, it's like the perfect fit for internet interactions and visibility and audience inclusion. But building the resumé can seem so trifling. Trying to be concise about a project and your contribution is a monumental challenge. A short film that got canned and never finished might have taught you the greatest lessons of follow through and completion. The project that got screwed halfway through could be the one that convinced you to be organized on every conceivable level. Colossal misunderstandings and an ultimately inferior video might be the one that showed you how much more clearly you can communicate.

Sublime interactions between team members I had never met until we all showed up on set have occurred for me repeatedly. I can walk in to a shoot and gain trust in my department within moments, no matter which department. I can literally feel people believe me. I look people in the eyes. I listen. I acknowledge effort and I empower others.

How can this be put in to a resumé, the blandest of hiring document?

I don't have the wreaths. I haven't won awards (yet). I haven't shot the stuff that I really want to shoot (yet). I'm developing the works that I want to be proud of. I've deeply appreciated all the opportunities to learn (and mess up) along the way. I've been glad to be a part of other people's productions.

The best yet is right in front of me.

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