We had the good fortune of connecting with Grace Goen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Grace, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is all about reward versus failure. What is challenging is the fear that pokes its head out along the way. When I think about risks I always go back to myself as a kid when everything was new and scary. I wasn’t good at school but I wanted to be so bad. I sat in the back and I never asked any questions in front of the class; I was petrified everyone would know I didn’t understand the lesson. I got so behind and eventually, my classmates saw my low test scores while the teacher was handing out papers. Something clicked that day for me and I decided that I was going to do what was best for me to succeed and if people knew I was struggling that’s ok! I’m still doing better than I would have been and I deserved to give myself the space to try my best. Obviously, business endeavors are much more complex but I think you have to bring the same energy to the table. It helps tremendously to have the outlook that you are going to do something because you want to do it and that’s it. Keep it simple. This is what you want and this is what you’re willing to do to get it. You have to let go of what others put into your aspirations and the negative self-talk we all battle. In my mind, if you want to do something do it and don’t think you can’t.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My end goal is to write and direct long-form narrative content. Although I am enamored with cinematography as well. While working toward bigger goals I’ve been doing lots of interviews, commercials for small businesses, short films, music videos, and I’ve done a handful of feature films. As a filmmaker I have many projects open at once, I’m writing two pilots and a feature film and I hope to get funding within the next five years for the feature and hopefully sell the pilots or even direct them too. One of the pilots recently received finalist status at Your Script Produced this year which is my first screenwriting win! Filming wise I’m in the early stages of production for a short film about genetic modification that I can’t wait to shoot at Confluence Park in San Antonio Texas. The logline is “ During a government fundraiser, a human experiment stands against the donors who created her, shedding light on the kinship between our government and media conglomerates.” Many challenges come with being your own boss, time management has never been a problem for me but once I started working for myself I had trouble taking time off. I was so spun up and felt like I had to get everything done at once. It took me a while to find a good balance for my workaholic brain. In part with that, it’s difficult to move between balancing art and business, learning what clients want when they can’t explain it, taxes, branding, keeping up with technology, etc. The biggest lesson I’ve taken away from it all is that “hey maybe its not the end of the world” even if you fail miserably you can always start fresh and be a better person because of it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In my city of San Antonio, it’s hard not to get fat. We have so so so many good restaurants to choose from. There are great food trucks off of broadway and right up the street, there’s the Perl with a bunch of boutiques, coffee shops, and artisan restaurants. I love Panchitos for their loaded queso and Lick for odd ice cream adventures, WD Deli has amazing cookies and sandwiches, Barbaro has great cocktails, and Cullum’s Attagirl Ice House has the best hot chicken sandwiches. The list goes on there’s endless food. San Antonio has a lot of antique and record stores if that’s your jam or fancy shopping at La Cantera, an outdoor mall. They also have beautiful historic missions that are in my opinion much more worth it than the Alamo, my favorite is Mission San Jose.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to shoutout Say Si! They’re a wonderful nonprofit based in San Antonio that supports young artists in media, visual and theatrical arts. I was a part of the media arts program in high school and among many other skills, they helped me see myself as a capable artist who could speak upon my vision and aspirations. What meant the most to me was the agency they gave the artists there, so many people don’t treat kids and teenagers with respect when it comes to their art.