How I came about turning my breakdown into a breakthrough. Turning my pain into art.
I met a boyfriend online and then he broke up with me online.
In 2003 I met a handsome man who I dated for 10 months. At the time we were connected on MySpace. Some of his friends would send me a friend request and, yes I would add them. At the time it was exciting and an inviting way to connect with new people.
When things went sour in our relationship he made the move to break it off. I knew it was official when he took me off his top 8 friend list. I was so shocked in the new age of social media I just knew the entire world now knew that he broke up with me. I started to unravel. My reaction to being deleted from his social media page seemed out of proportion with the actual breakup.
Some of the great comedies come from great tragedies.
Watching myself from the outside I could see how my over reaction seemed kind of funny. Even though I was experiencing so much pain, I wanted to know how can I flip my pain into something funny?
I am also an actress. I had a great friend and peer Jeana. We were always looking for work as actresses. While Jeana kept saying we had to create opportunities for ourselves, I kept thinking about how to do just that. I decided to turn my reaction to the ex breaking up with me online into a short piece that we could recreate into a scene for YouTube. It was the beginning era of web series. I thought here is that opportunity to put ourselves out there.
Created a successful web series
We started a web series. The very first video we shot was called “Breaking Up on MySpace”. It was so raw and off the cuff. I just happen to be dating again. The man I was dating was a director of photography. I shared with him my idea. He was happy to play with us.
It took a couple of hours to shoot a 2 minute video. I took the footage to a professional editor. We posted on Myspace and got over 60,000 views in 48 hours. Because the medium was so new, Myspace was so new and the topic was relatable the views kept going up.
We thought maybe we have something here. We just need to keep at it. I was so excited to turn the pain I experienced into a project that was a vehicle of self expression. I was now able to direct that pain of a breakup into art.
The experience helped me get my power back and work.
By being in my passion of creating, producing and acting, I was now meeting and working with so many wonderful artists in film and TV. We started to gain experience with the process of having a mini production. We were now creating more opportunities for us to be seen and to have fellow artists have an opportunity to fine tune their craft as well.
We won YouTube and Funny or Die online awards. We were nominated at the first Web series festival. We got to walk on a red carpet. The journey got to show me and my friend Jeana what was possible.
Where am I now? Grateful for the ex breaking up with me.
These days I have been creating more episodes in a new project called Hysterical Historical Hillary. Click here for some of my breakup art