Shoot your shot.
In an interview on The Late Show, Constance Wu tells the story of how she got the leading role in a groundbreaking, smash-hit rom-com movie. The biggest role of her life.
The director loved Constance and they had a meeting to discuss her being in the movie. But unfortunately, there was a scheduling conflict. The movie was going to start filming in the fall. But Constance was already committed to doing a TV show—which was filming at the exact same time. There was absolutely no way she could do both.
So, that was that. No movie role for Constance. The director would simply have to find somebody else.
Constance was devastated. She wanted to be in this particular movie so badly. The opportunity of a lifetime was slipping through her fingers and there was nothing she could do about it. It was a hopeless situation.
Or was it?
One night, very impulsively, she wrote an email to the director. It was—in her words—a very “dramatic email.” She poured her emotions onto the screen. She explained why she was the right actor for the job. She told the director about all the heart and passion that she would give to this role… if they would just… delay… the entire filming process… so that it didn’t conflict with her schedule.
It was a slightly crazy request.
“I didn’t think it would work,” Constance confessed.
Except it did.
The director was impressed by her chutzpah. They delayed the project… just for her. She got to do the part.
Moral of the story:
If there’s something you really want and believe in… even if it’s a total long-shot… even if you’re convinced that your attempt probably won’t work… just go for it anyway.
Send the email. Send the text. Send the application. Send the second application after your first one gets rejected. Show up with your résumé, with a dozen roses, with a list of reasons why you’re The One. Crack open your heart and lay everything on the line. Say what you really feel. Don’t dilute it. Don’t hold back. “I’m completely in love with you.” “I want this job.” “I want another chance.” “I know this might be crazy, but…” Aim for the bullseye and just go for it. As the kids say, “Shoot your shot.”
You might not get what you want.
But there’s maybe a one-half percent chance that… you will.
You never know. One email could change everything. Ten seconds of courage could determine who you marry, who hires you, who invests in your idea, who endorses your book, who says “yes” to your dream.
Set aside your pride. Take down the shield. Let yourself be open, vulnerable, and raw.
Deep breath. Say the words.
Shoot your shot.