How do you go from having an unrealized dream to realizing your dream? I explore this concept in my upcoming book, “Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success.” Both in fiction and in life, you have a choice: you can be an active hero in your story or you can be a passive and reactive one. My book guides the reader how to become the author of their life and become an active hero in pursuit of their dreams. Through story tools, I show the reader how, in any story, we empathize with a central character at the beginning because their world is suddenly turned upside down. By the end of the story, after watching the central character move through a series of obstacles and escalating obstacles, we see he/she learn, grow and realize what they need to do in order to achieve their goal. You can do this in your life as well. You can take a dream that is unrealized and use basic story tools to materialize that dream. On this note, I recently saw two noteworthy documentaries that deal with the making of a dream. One is “Kingdom Come” and the other is “Dumbstruck.”

“Kingdom Come” follows a first-time director (Daniel Gillies) as he tries to raise a million dollars to finance his first film, “Broken Kingdom.” This emotionally-charged journey is interwoven with over 30 rare interviews from acclaimed indie actors including Mark Ruffalo, Illeana Douglas, Don Cheadle, Kevin Smith, Edward Burns, Tim Roth, Morgan Spurlock, Selma Blair, Robert Townsend, Bill Pullman, and many more. It was co-directed by Paiman Kaleyeh and John Lyons Murphy. I was so moved by this film. It took so much courage by the filmmakers and Daniel Gillies to reveal everything that went into the making of the dream. It shows the good, the bad and the ugly of what it takes. It is a realistic view of what artists go through to turn the unrealized dream into one that gets realized. I highly recommend this film and “Broken Kingdom” the film that is the subject of this powerful documentary. For more information on this film and to purchase your copy, go to this link.

“Dumbstruck” is a funny, touching and richly human documentary about professional ventriloquists. The five personalities featured in this film are a vivid and endearing ensemble attempting to achieve their dreams of success in a form of entertainment too often disregarded and disrespected in the simultaneously foreign and familiar world of Middle America. If your parents were to ask you what you want to be when you grow up, and you answered ‘a ventriloquist,’ chances are they would a) question your sanity, b) have you locked up, or c) be supportive because they’d just seen this delightful new documentary, “Dumbstruck.” I loved that this film demonstrates what goes into the making of a dream and that it shows one of its characters, Terry Fator, going from a guy who paints houses and mows lawns in Corsicana, Texas to scrape by, to winning the million dollar grand prize on “America’s Got Talent.” A few months later, the director, Mark Goffman, finds himself filming Terry in the CEO’s office at the Mirage Hotel, where he signs an unimaginable $100,000,000 headliner deal. I love that within this film, we see a dream being realized. I love the heart that goes into the process of recognizing a dream that isn’t mainstream. It touches the inner nerd in each of us and makes us root for the success of this group of characters. I also admire what Mark Goffman had to say about what inspired his documentary: “It all started with a toast at my wedding. My mother-in-law shocked our 200 friends and family when she held up her white-gloved hand and it began to speak. The white-gloved hand delivered a moving, heartfelt toast, with humor, charm and grace. I know how hard it is for her to speak in public, and to move the room to tears, with essentially a sock puppet, well, so began my adventure into the world of ventriloquism.” This is a touching film that will inspire you to believe that the dream is possible. You just have to put the work into making it happen. For more information on this film, go to this link.

I love that these films found their way onto my radar as I was writing about the same theme in my book. Creating a story that sends a message about how you can take an unrealized dream and go through the journey of realizing that dream is what it’s all about. As long as you are alive on earth, you can make your dream happen. It’s all up to you. You can be an active hero in your story and have your story reflect a life that you want to be living. You create your destiny.