You’ve previously challenged yourself (the big workout of 2009 & the movie blackout of 2007) in order to pressure people to help you meet the next person on your How Many Days list. How do these challenges help you towards your goal of meeting them and what, to date, was your favorite challenge?
With www.howmanydays.ca, I started to set challenges for myself between making contact with each person on my list. I was contacted by the first two folks, Harry Knowles and Dan Mirvish within the first eight days of the project! Impressive. People were on fire to help me get in contact with these people… so they were forwarding my website, videos, etc. to any email, publicist, or manager for people that they could find. That is the whole goal of this project after all… that it’s up to other people out there to see my project and repost my videos or forward them to someone they know who might know someone else, until the six degrees close to one degree and the people remaining on my list are made aware of the project and contact me to meet up.
So after that initial spark of any project fades, I knew I was in for the long haul. Part of that long haul is letting the viewers out there know that I am committed and will even up the ante with challenges within the main www.howmanydays.ca goal. Now I don’t fancy myself a Terry Fox. I’m certainly not running twenty-six miles every day with one leg across this amazing country of mine… but it is a taxing challenge to make sure that I’ve had a video posted every single day for the last 1024 days and counting.
After Day 008, I set the first challenge: I will not shave until the next person calls. Now I don’t grow facial hair that fast. I lack chest and back hair… I’m just not a very hairy individual (and no, for the last time I do not shave my legs, so please stop asking!). Still… it wasn’t until Day 087 that Jimmy Eat World guitarist, Tom Linton, called me. This ended the facial hair challenge before I had too bushy of a beard. The next challenge I set was far too cocky. I was feeling pretty good about having knocked three people off the www.howmanydays.ca list in less than three months. How much longer could the entire project take? I want to do something bigger and bolder this time.
So, on Day 088 I set out on my next challenge: I will not watch movies until the next person contacts me. The only movies I can watch are movies that have the involvement of the people from the www.howmanydays.ca list that I have not seen previously (and let me tell you, that was a teeny-tiny list or a few films I had and still have zero desire to see). Ninety days without movies didn’t seem too bad…
Oh boy… oh boy… oh boy: in total, I was allowed to see exactly eight films (a few of which came from dares for a movie pass such as drinking my own urine, eating the cheese I hate the most, and fighting a professional female wrestler *part 01 and part 02*) Let me put it this way… since Steven Spielberg is on my list, I went to the theater and after having seen essential no films for a long time, was excited to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. FML.
Now how long did this challenge last? Well, Kevin Smith was the next chap to call me and check another victory off the www.howmanydays.ca list. This was on Day 624. So do the math… that’s 536 days. That’s over a year without movies. Please understand that generally I watch between 1-3 movies per day. I usually always have something running while I’m editing or working away. I guess this challenge helped me in a few ways. One, it forced me to spend less time watching movies and more time making movies. It forced me to find and push new and lingering interests that I wouldn’t normally. I was able to appreciate my girlfriend a heck of a lot more who was also an avid movie fan and was willing to pretty much take the movie strike with me – at least from all the goodness I craved to see at the theater in that time-frame. I was able to save money. It also pushed me to continue to prove within myself that if I set my mind to something, I do have will power to complete the mission at hand without wavering. That is one-hundred percent something that is of value and necessity in my personal life right now.
After Kevin Smith, I set what many feel was my biggest challenge: I would work out for 1 hour a day (at the gym or jogging), eat zero junk food, fried food, fast food, and consume no alcohol until the next person called. At the time, I was the most out of shape person around. When I started at the gym, I weighed 231 pounds and couldn’t finish a single workout without puking. Most of this was videotaped for my daily video blogs. Embarrassment to the extreme! All in all, I started to feel better, sleep better, build better routines, eat better. I had more energy, built strength, and continue to prove to myself that if I committed to a goal, I can achieve it. My life is very much about self-commitment. If I don’t make a claim to myself, I won’t accomplish what I should be doing already. Fucked up, yes… but true. The work-out challenge ended on Day 860 when I met Quentin Tarantino live at Much Music studios in Toronto. I was down 44 pounds and felt the best I had in… well, maybe ever!
How will you challenge yourself and your fans next?
This is a good point… I haven’t really officially announced what my new challenge is. It will sound stolen from one Sarah Fitzgerald but she’ll be the first to admit that great artists steal and she may even fess up who stole from who… but if not, it’s as good an excuse as any to kick her in the shins the next time I see her! My new challenge is writing. I will write for 1 hour every single day until the next person from the www.howmanydays.ca list contacts me. Seems less intense than some of the others… but it’s a big challenge. My writing doesn’t always come to me by simply sitting down and pounding out ideas and thoughts. It’s not about time invested for me. It hits when it hits. Might be 2AM and BAM! I start typing and suddenly the sun is up. I have endless… I really do have what seems to be an endless pile of Burger King napkins and scraps of paper with scenes and plots written on them. I have notebooks with me at all times for when inspiration strikes.
So writing every single day is going to teach me to find new ways to build routines, be more creative, more often, on a regular basis. This blog writing once a week is a perfect way to tune the writing muscle and set a rhythm to my literary work. I have some screenplays done. No less than 40 treatments for others. A script I’m writing for another director friend of mine. So this is going to be a very productive challenge that helps my career and helps me as an artist, without a doubt!
For my “fans” – whom I think I shall be much better to think and know them as friends, strangers, and people in general who just see what I’m trying to accomplish and have some level of respect for not quitting after 1000 days- well, here it is:
Every day I make a video. The goal is that the videos will be seen eventually by the people on my list. So… if you go to www.youtube.com/gavinmichaelbooth each day or as frequently as you can… or join me on facebook (www.facebook.com/gavinmichaelbooth) where you can find the daily video posted on my wall/status… or myspace blog (www.myspace.com/gavinbooth… or twitter (www.twitter.com/gavinbooth) – watch the video. REPOST the video. Go to one of the people on my list’s website, facebook, myspace, twitter and post the video, send them a message about checking out www.howmanydays.ca and maybe consider giving me a call… even if it’s just to get me to STOP – since after 1000 days, I can assure you I’m not stopping until the mission is complete! It’s that simple. REPOST the video. Forward it. Subscribe to my youtube. Rank the video. Favourite it if you like it. All of these actions are what will help the videos spread faster than they already do. It is up to the viewer. I just post the video every day and see what happens!
Hope you can assist me in this simple request. Even if you do it once… or once a month… YOU NEVER KNOW WHO’S WATCHING and how it will all come together. That’s the most interesting part about my project – just watching that six degrees close down.
So that’s it for me today. Write at you again soon.