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JUST SAY YES

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LeahCevoliI usually alternate my articles between Coffee Chats and my Weighing In Series, but this week’s piece is actually a little bit of both.  It’s about saying YES.

It’s about saying yes, it’s about being open and ready to jump on that train when it comes along, even if you don’t quite know exactly where that train is headed.

Ms. In The Biz founder, Helenna Santos-Levy invited me to attend Film Break’s Fire Side Chat with Actor and Radio Host Sean Astin. They were going to be talking to him about his current Kickstarter Campaign.  I thought it would be fun to see my favorite Goonie all grown up in person, spend great quality time with Helenna, and in addition to that Justin Massion whom I worked closely with on the Space Command Kickstarter was hosting the event.  We did a lot of quality promoting for Ms. In The Biz’s first panel event too! Did you go?

Sean’s campaign had already succeeded. With the help of Film Break’s CrowdfundX department the initial goal of $30,000 was reached on day 18, a huge accomplishment, but then it screeched to a stop. It looked doubtful that they were going to hit even one of their two stretch goals. The night of the fireside chat was Day 23, and the total was lingering around $32,000.

Helenna and I went over to say “hi” and get a photo op. I had no agenda in mind, other than to introduce myself and give him some encouragement and free advice on how to rock the last week of his Kickstarter.

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(Justin Massion, me, Sean Astin, and Helenna Santos-Levy)

Instead, with just 6 ½ days left on his campaign, Mr. Sean Astin hired me on the spot.

Kickstarter takes a TEAM of people. You need certain skill sets in your group. It takes a village.  Sean had a small team that helped get him to that initial goal!  However, personally, he was still attempting to do way too much himself. Not surprisingly, it’s a common mistake on a lot of Kickstarters.  For instance, he was attempting to personally run 3 Facebook pages, 2 Twitter accounts, Youtube, Instagram, write all Kickstarter updates, answer all (965) backer questions, and more. He also had no one running point on press, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and video interviews.

Long story short, I said YES. Over the course of the next 48 hours, more team members made themselves known, and before long what was once a core team of four, became a core team of ten, including Sean.  All this with just 5 days left in the campaign!!  There was a conversation with Sean where he called me in awe, he said something to the effect of “You people are just appearing out of nowhere!”

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Not only did I say YES, but Sean had gone past his comfort zone, realized it was too much for one man, and said YES to accepting help, and because of that, his team (many of whom were already helping on the sidelines), stepped forward. We really were appearing out of “nowhere”.

In the last week of the campaign, we more than doubled his original goal. We put together a press tour filled with blogs, podcasts, and on-camera interviews. We set up a Reddit AMA, a twitter chat, and a live video chat. We pumped out tons of new rewards, bonus add-ons, and incredible graphics.  Our team was working around the clock to make it happen! We raised an additional $32,000 in just 6 days, with $6000 coming in within the last six hours!  I’ve never seen a campaign jump as hard as Sean’s did. I seriously believe, if we had a few extra hours the campaign would have hit $100,000.

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Just like a video can go viral, that’s what happens to a successful Kickstarter: it explodes, and the pledges just keep coming and coming and coming. Speaking of videos, in the middle of all this craziness, Sean shot and recorded the vocals for this amazing parody. The man is a force.

So, how does this recent success connect back into my journey of weighing-in and self-love?

It’s about being able to be confident in your skills, to be relaxed with what you bring to the table, because it’s already yours. No need to convince anyone how talented you are, or that they should hire you. Your essence will shine through and they’ll be ASKING you if they can hire you. They’ll be handing you a paycheck so fast your head will spin.

I said yes, and magic happened.

It reminds me of my time on HBO’s Deadwood.  When the show first started, I was just a non-union extra, working 12-15hr days 4-5 days a week for minimum wage.  But something in me just told me to shine. And I did. Not in a “showy” way, not in a forceful way, but in a genuine, considerate “I am here to work, I am here to learn” way. And it paid off. The experiences and lessons I learned on that show continue to this day, and it’s still one of my most proud television career moments; it always will be.

When you say YES to life, anything can happen.  One day you can be at an event, and the next day you can be working side by side with a world-class a-list actor on his Kickstarter campaign for the second season of his popular political radio talk show.

Just say yes. Show up.  Shine.

It’s what you’re here for.

Is there a moment you can remember so clearly that when you said yes, magic happened?  Tell me about it in the comments below. I want to see you shine!!

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Leah Cevoli

About Leah Cevoli

Leah Cevoli is a multi-talented entertainment professional whose work stretches across many genres. She is a rock ‘n roll enthusiast, body image activist, a certified yoga teacher, and fan of all things horror, Leah's acting credits include appearances on high profile tv shows like HBO’s "Deadwood," and voice-over on the Cartoon Network hit "Robot Chicken". Leah is a contributing writer for Ms. In The Biz and the founder of AllShapesAndSizesWelcome.com: Body Image & Women’s Issues in Entertainment, a group of women who speak on panels and at conventions nationwide. Leah has a reputation for crowdfunding success and social media magic. To date, her company, GreenlightYourPassionProject.com has managed 50+ campaigns, and have been instrumental in raising over $5,000,000 for indie projects. Her latest projects include: the feature-length documentary "Remember The Sultana" narrated by Sean Astin, the gritty feature-length drama, "Girl Lost," distributed thru Cinema Epoch, and the light hearted comedy, "Dance Baby Dance". All three films were released in the spring of 2018.