You can’t do it alone… unless you’re in the bathroom

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First Posted: 3/18/2014

When I’m looking for inspiration, I find myself binge-watching TED Talks and commencement speeches on YouTube. As I am trying to develop into the person I want to be, I get captivated by insight from people sharing what they learned as they rode the path of life.

The lessons sound cliché upon first listen. Learn from your failures. Think before you speak. Never give up. A few weeks ago, I was watching a video of Amy Poehler speaking to a graduating class at Harvard, when she advised, “You can’t do it alone.”

“As you navigate through the rest of your life,” she noted, “be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”

Though the messages of our older generations may have a taste of banality, you never understand the importance of their advice until you experience it firsthand.

After deciding to be the change I want to see in the world and announcing that I will be hosting a live talk show event empowering Millennials at The Mall at Steamtown May 5 through May 9, I realized picking a date was only the beginning. So much brainstorming, planning, and marketing – so little time!

While at the movies, I came up with an idea for marketing: a commercial to run during movie previews.

Realizing the commercial will serve as a first impression for what the show will be about, I decided the commercial should feature different Millennial voices. With the help of a young military veteran who lost his leg during active duty, a college basketball player, a bartender, a cage fighter, and some girl who was smoking outside of the building we filmed the commercial in, the message was more effective than if I stood there explaining it by myself.

When I went home to edit the video, I was in disarray to discover none of the footage filmed was on my memory card. I instantly called Chanya Rice, a freshman Digital Media and Broadcast Production major at Marywood University who volunteered her time to film the commercial for firsthand experience in her prospective field. She had no idea why it wasn’t on the memory card, but offered to help me figure it out immediately, even though she was about to go to bed.

Before I drove to meet her, where we discovered the footage was in a “private” folder that had to be airdropped to my MacBook, I noticed I was low on fuel and paid for gas at the nearest Turkey Hill. I was so frazzled at the possibility of losing all the footage we just shot that I drove off without pumping – and ran out of gas!

“I’ll never get this commercial in on time!” I screamed.

Luckily, a friend who lived nearby picked me up and took me to get gas.

By the time I made it back home, it was after 2 a.m. – with just a few hours to spare before the commercial had to be edited and turned in.

Thanks to the help of some amazing people, I successfully finished the commercial on time! It will be seen on all screens for the next seven weeks at both Regal Dickson City Stadium 14 and IMAX and Cinemark beginning March 21.

Poehler was right. You really can’t do it alone. We all get to where we are going because someone helped us.

Unless we are going to the bathroom. Everybody should poop alone.