Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta success. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta success. Mostrar todas las entradas

lunes, 4 de septiembre de 2017

Singin' ain't so

   From her earliest youth, Jessica knew exactly who she wanted to be. She wanted to be a singer, to spend her days on top of a stage and just please millions of people with her voice and personality. She insisted so much to her parents that they finally accepted to pay for acting lessons and singing lessons. They didn’t really support her aside from the money aspect, so every single thing that happened afterwards was done only by that young idealist girl who wanted to eat the world.

 She spent every single weekend practicing in her singing school and at home. Her family didn’t really like it because her voice was not very good at the beginning. And even when she improved it, it was still very annoying for people that just wanted to relax at home after long days at school or at the office. Jessica sometimes left the house and sang outside, walking to the store or the park. In her mind, she had to keep using her voice until someone noticed her.

 In all the magazines, her favorite singers and stars told the stories of their discovery exactly in the same way: someone had seen them in a public space; sometimes it was the supermarket and others in an ice-cream parlor. The point was that they just saw them around and knew that they could be amazing artists. As she wanted to be a singer, she decided to sing in the park sometimes, hoping for people to stop by and just stay for a while, enchanted by her voice and talent.

 Jessica convinced her best friend Anna to play the guitar while she sang. Anna had been pressured by her parents from a young age, leading a very different life than the one her friend had. She had been told that by the age of ten she should know how to play at least three instruments, and one of those was the guitar. She accepted Jessica’s request after her friend said that it was the best way to be far from her mother, who was always telling her what to do, even in summer holidays.

 They started doing their small shows when they were around thirteen years old. They would sing five songs, chosen that same morning by the both of them. They had to do an act that would attract young people to the park but also adults that had connections to the artistic world in order for them to get noticed by a label. Anna was not as optimistic as Jessica, but she supported her nevertheless, mainly because it was such a fun time to have every so often. It didn’t happen every day, that would have been impossible, but they sat on the lawn of the park as often as they could.

Four years passed, very slowly for Jessica and very fast for Anna. They had only one more year of high school to go and then they would be sent to college. Their respective families had been saving for a long time and it would only be the right thing to do to keep studying and go on to live a life where they could be someone. But Jessica had already chosen who she wanted to be and nothing could ever change that. I her mind, she had a year to breakthrough and then, it would be undiscovered country.

 Anna was always checking universities on her laptop, even moments before their musical outgoings. She would tell all of the details to Jessica, who never really paid attention. She was too busy memorizing the lines of several songs or learning about her favorite artists. She had her room all decorated with several pictures of them as well as of other artists and bands that had come before. Her aim was to be in one of those posters in the future, inspiring other young girls to be the best they could be.

 However, life has a way of laughing at people’s dreams. One of those days, in which they sang on the park, Anna was late with her guitar, as her mother had decided to argue about the prospects of university. She wanted her daughter to study to be a chemist or a biologist. However, Anna wanted to learn something that required more creativity, more freedom. She had seen a lot of brochures about design schools, film schools and others like those. She wanted more than what she already had.

 As they fought with her mother, she forgot that time was passing and that Jessica was not the most patient human on Earth. Once before, Anna had been five minutes late and she had been received by a furious Jessica yelling at her a bunch of things about decency and manners that a person in the artistic world should have. She also said some hurtful things and it made Anna regret her decision to help her friend. Jessica apologized later but made her promised she was not going to be late ever again.

 But she was. Jessica had been waiting for a while. As winter was coming, the clouds and the sky turned darker sooner than before. It was the perfect moment for a criminal coming from outside of town to attack her right there, in the park. He covered her face and dragged her away from the lawn and into a wooded area, where he gagged her and raped her. A woman walking her dog found her the following day. Jessica had passed out the day prior and was still asleep when she was found. Not even the sound of more people around her and the paramedics woke her up.

  Jessica woke up in the hospital three days after having been found. Some of her bruises were already receding. Her mother was on the room when she woke up. It was obvious she had been crying for a long while. Her father came in later and he hugged her and cried, without saying a word. It was very strange but she didn’t even try to say anything. It wasn’t that she couldn’t talk; it just seemed wiser to just listen and wait for the right moment to say the right amount of words.

 That night, the doctor told her what had happened, her parents had left only minutes prior. She cried in silence as the man told her that the police had captured the man the day before on a road. He had been cornered by them, trying to take advantage of another girl. He was so surprised to see the police that apparently let the girl go and shot himself on the mouth. The police didn’t even have a moment to properly respond or to save his life in order to get the criminal to jail.

 Jessica nodded. She wasn’t really hearing the doctor. She was thinking about her career, about her possibilities now that she had been through something that horrible. She felt physically ill, disgusted and just tired. But something in her brain made her think that it wasn’t the end or something like that. She felt that there was more to her story than just that. She made sure the doctor knew she was going to get out of that hospital bed soon in order to achiever her goals, by any means necessary.

 Sure enough, she started writing songs the moment she was able to leave the hospital. Jessica closed her room door and did not come out of there for a whole week. Her mother would bring her food and she would often tear up but not say a word. Her father stood by the doorframe and watched her, absolutely stunned that she could be that active after what had happened. It didn’t seem right, but at the same time, Jessica seemed to be in her element writing in silence.

 Three songs came out of those writing sessions. She grabbed her video camera and recorded three different videos, which she uploaded to YouTube on the same day. She sang on them about what had happened, about how she felt and about what was going through her head.


 Her music was a success. Millions of viewers saw the videos and shared them in less than a week. Soon enough, a recording label contacted her and an album was planned to be released within the year. And Anna… She never saw her again. She couldn’t forgive her.

lunes, 16 de enero de 2017

Success

   After all the hustle of the day, the sidewalk was finally left alone, although not untouched. Lots of glass fragments were scattered all over the place, as well as paper and some pens. Journalists weren’t really careful with their stuff. Like their cameramen, they just dropped things wherever it was convenient for them. And the sidewalk in front of the Oak Tree Hospital was not a place they would respect in any way. They didn’t care if the patients needed silence to sleep, they’d rather had their story.

 And they did that day. After coming day after day, waiting for him to finally kick the bucket, the seventy-four year old man had finally passed away due to complications with the procedure he had gone through. It had been a very challenging adventure to fight where he knew he was already a loser. His mother and then sister before him had died exactly the same way, around the same age. So it wasn’t very surprising at all. That night, his body was sent to the cremator.

 The next day, he was incinerated and his ashes kept on a small jar to be given to the only person that had been with him through the last few hours, his partner Eddy. They had been together in the industry for years and had formed a bond no one could match, especially not in the modern times when friendships and all sorts of relationships seem to be built on something very fragile, that could break at any moment. It wasn’t their case at all, because even then they felt the same towards each other.

 They had never dared to be more than friends. They did agree on having to work together to fight the competition that plagued acting and all other forms of performance. Sydney, the one you had been cremated, had only been sixteen years old the day he arrived in the big city, looking for a chance to shine. Back then, the industry was only beginning. No major studios existed and the craft of cinema was thought to be a thing that would have only a couple of years in this Earth.

 Sydney, however, had always seen the magic in the movies and was sure it was going to become the largest groups of performers and other artists to be known in the world. He began cleaning around and helping people getting coffee or whatever they needed at the moment. The directors took pity of him and let him attend some rehearsals and even some casting sessions. By the time he was an adult in the eyes of the law, he was a very knowledgeable man, with a great deal of respect for acting. That was what got him inside an acting school soon enough.

 He met Eddy in one of his first productions. Eddy was an assistant of the director and Sydney had land a role as the son of the protagonists. It was a big deal to him because he had never acted before. He was so determined to be good, that he did his best with the little lines he had. It worked in its favor, as many others started hiring him for their pictures. It was mostly for the young brother or son parts, but he knew that was a way to climb to where he really wanted to be.

 With Eddy, they shared their love for industry and their yearning for a time where they could be next to the biggest stars in the business. When there wasn’t any work, they would go out together and watch a movie and then walk around or have something to eat while they discussed said movie. They had fun like that and it was during those long and elaborate conversations when they probably noticed, for the first time, what was happening between them. They didn’t acknowledge it, though.

 Sydney’s first big picture came in when he was twenty-five years old. He was offered the role of a young sailor who falls in love with a mermaid. It was one of those beautiful fantasy setting, with the grand costumes and the elaborate production design. The day filming started was the happiest day ever for him, as he had finally reached he point that he wanted in his career. And although the film was not the serious kind of thing he would like to dedicate himself to, it was a great way to begin.

 It was so well received in the theaters by the general audience that he was signed on to reprise the role for two more movies. The studio proposed to him to raise his salary as well as given him many more accommodations and luxuries in exchange for him staying with them for the saga of movies they had planned. He accepted but with fear of never going back to the more serious movies that he had always longed of doing. Maybe, he thought, he could work something out.

 There was the sequel of the mermaid movie, and then the other movie and then the next one. Suddenly, he had already signed on for five more, for a whole series with the character, and nothing had changed, not even the costumes and monsters he fought. It was Eddy who gave him the push he needed to demand more of the studio and of anyone working near or around him. He needed much more creativity if they wanted them to stay. That was how he put his foot down, in the hopes that could actually grow as an actor, instead of getting stuck forever in the same place.

 After all the money he had won for them, the studio was not that reluctant to let him get closer to the creative process. It was a revolution: he was responsible for the firing of the screenwriting and the hiring of a new team of younger, more vivacious men like him. He worked for long weeks with them in order to create a new great story for his audience to love. Meanwhile, he was also eyeing some roles in other movies, more dramatic ones with potent stories and strong characters.

 He signed on to a couple of those but then he realized he didn’t do as well with the dramatic stuff than with fantasy. Critics said that he was a bit too dry during his performances in the big movies he got to make. They didn’t say he was bad or anything, but what they always said only meant that his skills as an actor didn’t really show much during those grand romantic scenes he had tried so hard to do. It was something difficult to hear but he had to accept it, as it was a fact.

 Sydney kept trying, though. With the help of his best friend Eddy, he would often get the kind of role he had dreamt of doing. But he did, he came short of having the reception that Captain Granger had in the theater. The Granger series were a huge hit among young people and their parents love the movies too because of its depiction of a true hero. The new team of writers had done a marvelous job making the character more realistic and daring. He was who kids wanted to be.

 So he kept on doing those movies. He never stopped. During his career, he filmed maybe more than thirty movies as the character of Captain Granger. He made money and fame; people loved him and appreciated him. But they also questioned his life, as Sydney never married. He argued that the lack of time and the commitment to his craft were the ones to blame for him not having a big family. He did make some relations public, to appease the audiences and their thirst for gossip. But they were all lies.


 All along the road, Eddy was there, helping and cheering him on. He was Sydney biggest fan and his best friend in the world. In their older days, they would still sit down and discuss the movies. When Sydney retired, they did it always, almost as a rite they had to go through everyday. And that was their relationship, one were one depended in the other and vice versa, to push him along the long line of life and resist the blows life launched against either of them. They never discussed their relationship further, and it wasn’t necessary because it had obviously been a great success.

martes, 2 de agosto de 2016

Pet party

   As Mary got out of the bank, she realized there was only one more chance to get her dreams to come true. If she couldn’t work it out this time, she would be done for good, as she had nothing to fall back on. She had quite her job in a prestigious company and now she had withdrawed every single penny she had saved. Once she got him, she started making plans for every single cent, knowing how she would spend her money in order to make her dreams come true.

 Since she was a little girl, Mary had a tendency never to get what she wanted. It was always some other kid, more likely her sister, who got all the attention, all the love, all the gifts and presents and everything from everyone whereas she had to settle with whatever landed on her lap, basically. The times she complained, her parents argued that she was jealous of her sister and that she shouldn’t be such a nasty little girl. That kind of response was the main reason why she hadn’t spoken to any of them in such a long time.

 She wrote on a small yellow notebook every single plan she had in order to make it all a success: she had to invest some money buying stuff and then there would be a time of a few months in which she would have to reduce the amount of money she spent drastically in order to survive and have enough time to be successful. She had read several books and informed herself of what she had to do, so it wasn’t like she had rushed herself anywhere.

 As per usual, no one would help her achieve what she wanted. Mary had broken up with her boyfriend a few weeks ago and they didn’t spoke at all after that. It had been a very healthy break up, when she had accepted her mistakes and he had been very surprised she hadn’t attacked him or tried to make him stay. The truth was that Mary had changed quite a lot and simply had no time for such behavior now.

 After she quit her job and decided t be independent, she also realized there would be hours and hours of free time as her business began to from so she decided to exercise at home and also try some kind of diet. It would help a lot to spend less money and it would make her a little more agile and awake, what she needed urgently because of her new lease on life.

 Even if people hadn’t seen it, she had always been a very careful young woman, with her money and what she chose to say and not to say. Mary had never been distracted but rather very focused and driven. She knew most men didn’t like that and her family thought she was just jealous of everyone so her achievements had always been clouded by the shadow of someone she really wasn’t.

 The idea was pretty simple. Since she had been very young, her ambition had always been to have a pet. She had tried to make her parents buy her a dog but that didn’t happen until she was fifteen and her sister got one but she was twelve and wouldn’t really take care of the animal so Mary ended up having to feed him, and groom him and do everything for him in order to be healthy.

 She noticed back then that the food pets got could really use some work. They didn’t seem to be really delicious and she even tried one to check out the flavor. Her sister saw her doing that and immediately told her parents who told her she was disgusting and that they wouldn’t let the dog near her if she did it again. And yet, she kept looking at his toys, the ones that they sold at the stores and how the dogs interacted in the park and, even back then, she had the idea.

 Only now she was making it a reality. She had many designs and recipes kept on that yellow book, thousands of small idea she could bring to life if she only had the money and the energy to do it. She had not tried it before because she was certain the idea would fail but now it was different. Maybe it was that she had heard about her sister recently and was jealous of her, as they had always claimed. Or maybe it was because of that man that tried to have his way with her at work. Whatever reason it was, she was thankful for it.

 She bought ingredients, fabric, even clay to do small versions of the toys she would like to produce. She tried the food with the pets in her building or at the park wearing a vest and a hat she had sewed herself with the potential name of her company: Pet Party. Some people were interested and happily gave their dogs some of the treats and it was surprising to see how they all wanted more. Of course, there was no sugar or nothing like that in them, only vegetables and various proteins.

She submitted her toy ideas to several factories and many of them rejected her ideas because she thought she was joking or because they didn’t think her designs were good. But she finally found one specialized in pets and they were thrilled to work with her ideas.

 Everything was slowly falling in to place. She was making some dog’s clothes by herself, she had many ideas for smaller animals like rabbits and hedgehogs and also for larger ones like horses. She really had thought her idea through and was hoping to be able to achieve the dream of her life. She wanted to prove herself that what people had always told her was just a lie and that she was a good person and a smart one too.

 Right then though, her parents made an appearance. Of course, they criticized every single thing she was doing, they hated the fact that she was doing a diet and that she had gotten slimmer, saying she just wanted to be like her sister. They talked about her all the time, telling her how successful she was as an actress and the fact that she had paid for their trip, including the hotel and business class in flights and all those things they had never enjoyed because of having two kids.

 Mary did not say anything, trying not to let them get to her. However, her father found her yellow book and started reading it. He mocked her for her ideas and told her that she had to realize those perfect businesses where everything goes perfect doesn’t exist and that they are only achieved, if they exist, by people that have talent and that special thing that she clearly didn’t have.

 She didn’t love them but in that moment she understood how devastating it truly was to have always been a disappointment and a mistake for her parents. She let them know how much she had tried to be a good daughter and how awful and despicable they were. Mary told them about every single time in her life in which she only needed her parents to love her and she had to do everything by herself because no one got her back, no one was there to support her at all.

 They tried to argue but she just told them she was done with them for good and not to talk to her ever again. She pushed her out the door and asked her building’s security guy to come and fetch them and never let them in again. Same went to her sister, who she never heard about anyway, unless it was trough his parents. She just quit to having a family and it was surprisingly a very easy thing to do for her.

 Six months after quitting her job, her business had begun taking off. She received a lot of orders for her pet food and also for the dog clothes she had designed. The toys were a bit cheap in their build but people bough them anyway. She kept an online store for a while until she was able to pay the rent of a small store not far from her house. In a single year, she had won much more than in the rest of her life. She hired an assistant and Pet Party was an example of good planning and success.


 Mary loved the fact that she made people happy. She wanted to make everyone feel that their pets deserved better, as she had deserved better all her life and had needed a push to just do whatever it was that she needed to do. And she was grateful for it. She had never been happier, even if she had to give up her blood relatives in the process.

sábado, 16 de julio de 2016

Gaming

   The video game presentation was going perfectly. Everyone in the arena was talking about booth number 45 and its very interesting game. Of course, as many games in exhibition, it was a virtual reality game. People put on some glasses and that was enough to immerse themselves in a very big and interesting world. The people at Rakami, the company that had created the game, were very nervous about the reception of their new product but after one day, they had to be confident everything was going to be just fine with their sales.

 The second day of the expo, they were named the game to be looking for, Lines formed from an early hour to try out the game and Rakami had to send another console and copy of the software in order for people to try it out. And even with two copies, it wasn’t enough to show everyone willing to try the most fascinating game ever. Or at least that’s what the people in the booth started calling it after the very warm reception.

 The truth was that Rakami had been born very recently, not even five years ago. It had been a group of friends who had decided they wanted to create the game they wanted to play. In other words, they wanted to make the best video games in the market by making the players and integral part of them. Of course, the player is always the most important part of the creation process, but these guys wanted the future gamers to be very involved in their creative process.

 The first thing they did once they gathered to work together, was define what everyone would do. It was a small group of four people: three men and one woman. The men were mostly fluent in programming and designing and she was very good at marketing and all the legal language they needed to know before starting to do anything. They bought legal versions of every single program needed and rented a space in order to work there, as an office.

 Of course, every single penny invested into it came from their own bank account. Although one of them was fairly wealthy, the other two were not at all so one of the first moves was to ensure they had money to make the first game from beginning to end. Investors were not easy to come by, especially for such a technology and idea, which would take years to actually be a reality.

 However, they managed to receive a grant given by a university who supported young creators all over the world. The money was not a lot but it was a great way to start and not worry about anything for at least two years or a bit less. At the end of that time, the university would demand results and would decide if more money would be invested.

 The first year was the most difficult one as starting such a project is always something very hard. As the boys started doing sketches and different types of screenplays of what they thought the story should be about, the girl decided to ensure they would not have money issues by use of crowd funding. She designed a website with a friend where people could go and give in whatever amount they wanted to make the videogame come to life. But not only that, the particular investors could leave a comment, telling the designers what they wanted in a game, what they were looking forward.

 Picking up ideas from that big pool was very hard and an extensive job that required various meetings during a long period of time and heated discussions about what the game should be about. They were all friends and really loved each other but those few months were very tense and it wasn’t uncommon that they would argue with each other every single day, fighting over every single thing.

However, after a while, they were able to make some compromises and decided to organize their work in a more organic way so everyone was able to do a part of the game. That way, no one would really feel pushed aside from the project and participation would be just in its perfect point. Their friendship was put to test that first year and they were able to show themselves how mature they had become after graduating from college.

 Entering the second year of development, they had many more problems. Money was and wasn’t one them. The problem was not that they didn’t have any but rather that they couldn’t touch it unless they released some kind of sneak peek. They tried to put together some short animation and a video of the designs and thought that should be enough for the people that had invested in the game and the university that supported them

 However, that wasn’t the case. The university told them they were seriously considering removing their sponsorship because of he poor advances in the design and general development of the game. And the reception in their crowd funding website was even worse. People did not get the footage and were not really digging the designs and what they had put together. That response made them get together again and think about hey needed to do.

 The first thing was not to listen to every single thing people said about the game, as it was obvious that not everybody could be pleased. The other thing was that they really needed to step up their game and work twice as hard because the university was right: they had not done enough in the first year and they really needed support if they wanted to fulfill their dream of seeing their game finished.

 The following months were very hard on all of them. They had to stay in the office for several hours, sometimes even sleeping there and having lunch while waiting for the images to render. They bought more computers in order to be able to do more work at the same time and had to make some adjustments to the room in order to make it a nice place to work in. They put every part of their soul and body in the game and they were sure it was going to be good and that people would like it, no matter what.

 At the end of that year, they had a meeting in the university. A board made up of six people would review their results and everything they had on their computers and the amount of work they had done. They would rate every single aspect of their jobs and finally decide if what they had done was worth another investment from them with which they could be able to finish the game as such.

 It was a tense few days and the final response of the university came after Christmas but before New Year’s Day. The university had decided to pass on their game and pulled off any additional funding. Needless to say, the group had the worst beginning of the year ever but once they reunited again they decided to go forward with the help of the people. They would release more of the game and people would love it and they would finish the game with their support.

  However, something unexpected happened. The girl was contacted by a group of private investors looking for new companies and ideas to invest in. She organized a visit to the offices and they were mind blown when they realized it was one of the executives of Garmin Entertainment, who was visiting them. Garmin had released two of the best titles in the last year and was a leading company in the development of virtual reality technology.

 Their proposal was quite simple: they would give the money to finish the game in exchange of the title to be a virtual reality game. They thought the idea they had was perfect for that kind of gaming and they even promised help achieve the level needed to have a playable game in that sort of environment.

 Again, work was very intense and they did receive a lot of support, with very experienced people coming to their offices and helping them with the design of a far larger world that they had envisioned before. Everything had gotten bigger and more ambitious and it was a bit scary for them but also very exciting. They felt they were involved in something important, so the hours of sleep were the least of their worries.


 The expo was just the magnificent result of their incredible work process. And people loving the game was the perfect gift for all of them. However, they were still many surprises ahead, for both the developers and the gamers. The recent born Rakami was en route to greatness.