Part of our mission here at Daily Fuel has been to illuminate life and early career insights for our readers. As part of that continuing purpose, we're excited to announce our new blogger, Christian Zilko, will be providing first-person accounts into one young professional's journey. Enjoy.

You’re Never Ready

If I was a Daily Fuel subscriber, setting my alarm for 5:58am on Tuesdays and Thursdays as I eagerly anticipated Christian’s latest wisdom (which I assume you all do), I might be disappointed when a blog had the same title as the day’s video. I would assume that the writer was lacking inspiration that day, and scrambling to churn out the bare minimum. But I’d be wrong! This weekend, I had a unique experience, and reflecting on one of my favorite Daily Fuel videos helped me through it. It only seems appropriate to share.

As even the most casual reader knows by now (subtlety is not my strength), I’m the showrunner on a new audio sitcom called Ratio. Over the past 9 months, I’ve taken the concept from an inside joke to a 60-page script to a show on the nation’s largest student-run production company. I’ve spent most of the past month assembling a cast and crew, and this weekend it was time to record all of the dialogue.

I was incredibly prepared. I had read over the script so many times, it was basically memorized. I obsessed over the casting process, and felt very confident in the actors I had chosen. I had taken every logistical and technical precaution. The production was a finely-tuned machine, and it was time for the fun to start.

But as I tried to sleep the night before production started, I realized something: I didn’t feel remotely prepared. Even though I had checked every box and crossed every t, the large nature of the project left me convinced I had forgotten something. It’s a very unpleasant feeling, as there was nothing I could do except show up the next day.

Then I arrived on set, and everything went off without a hitch. After the first hour, that lump in my stomach seemed to vanish, and the process sailed along. As I knew it would. So why did I feel so ill-equipped? Upon reflection, I realized that I’ve felt this way before every big production that I start. No matter how much I prepare, the one thing I can’t do in advance is give myself the experience of working on that set. So on the first day of every shoot, I’m always walking into a unique situation I’ve never encountered before.

It’s just something I’ll have to get used to, because it will never quite go away. No matter how many TV shows I make in my lifetime, I’ll never know what any specific show will feel like before I start. Making peace with this made me think about Krista Johnston’s “You’re Never Ready” video. Living an interesting life will always involve a series of leaps of faith, and if we stop whenever we feel unprepared, we’ll never get anywhere. As long as we do all the work that our heads know is required, sometimes it’s okay to ignore the self-doubt we feel in our hearts.

Christian Zilko

Guest Blogger:

Christian Zilko

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An artist's life is one tenth preparation and nine tenths action.
— Marty Rubin
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