Since I was a child, one of my favorite activities has been pace-running. I like to run back and forth; it’s faster and more active than pacing, but has the same element of contemplation. It also helps to relieve anxiety. Until I was ten, I would go out to the alley behind our garden and pace-run. The running triggered a transportation; as long as I was alone, I would lose my self-consciousness and my perception of the world around me and only see the world I was transported into. However, I always acted as creator, not as participant. I fashioned characters and stories, and would get everything pinned down: what the characters wore, where they were, what they said, and anything else that was necessary to completely imagine the world I wanted. Usually it was Alice in Wonderland, and I would run through her various activities: falling down the rabbit hole, growing too large to fit in in the White Rabbit’s house, or talking to the blue caterpillar. Alice’s clothing, hair color, and shoe type evolved with my image of her. The world around her went from Disneyfied to Burtonesque as my tastes changed.
I imagined Alice in Wonderland (or any other story) cinematically. Thus, as I got older and wanted to express what I imagined, to put it out into the real world, I realized film was the only appropriate way to do so. The combination of narrative, imagery, and sound all under the umbrella of the duration of time fitted how I imagined the worlds perfectly; it seemed film was a medium tailored for me to express stories and images that had plagued me since childhood.
Despite being a teenager, I continue to pace-run, though now in my room, with my door shut. If I could lock it, I would. I need maximum privacy and security to transport myself to my imagined worlds, particularly now, as I’m much older. I feel a little embarrassed about the childish habit. It’s lost the endearing qualities it had when I was little.
Of course, the stories I imagine are more developed now, and will continue to mature in subject matter and mode of expression, but the essence of what I’m doing remains the same. It’s a good way to run through a movie without much loss of time or preparation on my part or anyone else’s.
However, no matter how well the pace-running might prepare me to make a movie and, thus, express myself, it doesn’t come close to the real thing. Anxiety and frustration well up inside me because I haven’t said what I want to say yet; the movies I want to make are trapped within the confines of my skull. It’s like an itch that I can tickle, perhaps, and produce momentary relief from with the pace-running and the three-minute shorts I occasionally make, but can never really scratch at. I need to be able to draw blood.