When a Story in a Script Becomes a Hard Reality

“A good book isn't written, it's rewritten.” 

― Phyllis A. Whitney

In May 2018, we set out to make one of followband’s first goals a reality. We wanted to make a video that we had planned for some time. The story was one that formed the backbone behind followband. It was a story of a girl following in the footsteps of her mother who she had lost. Seeing her mom’s adventure through her own eyes helped her rediscover a connection that she felt was fading.

The actress who agreed to help us was a good friend and had a natural talent for acting. We set off to Iceland with a small group of friends and a vision. The trip couldn’t have been better. We had no script and no plan. We just wanted to live the story and film it as we went. It ended up being a trip we’d all remember forever.

The final project was nothing like we initially envisioned, but yet somehow it turned out better than we could have ever imagined. The whole trip, we kept jokingly urging our friend and actress to channel her inner video character. We’d say things like, “how would you act if you mom was actually gone!?” She did an incredible job and in one scene even managed to cry real tears for her fictional mother. At the time, it was just a video and the character she was playing was just a written fiction.


One year later, that actress’s mother passed away and it wasn’t just part of a story in a script anymore. It was a reality that couldn’t be changed. The first thing I thought of when I heard the news was the video we had made just a year before. I felt an immediate sense of guilt, like the video itself would now be a horrible reminder of a terrible loss. I considered taking the video down, but then I saw something….I saw her share the video again on Facebook and she posted:

"So crazy to think that it's been a year since our Iceland trip - surely one of the best trips of my life. So much has changed since then and this video hits home for me now more than ever. I think of my mom often every single day; sometimes it's happy and sometimes it's not. But at the end of each day, I know she's still there with me. Through all of life's journeys and adventures, when I need her, I know she will help me to find my strength. Thank you again Followband for such an incredible experience. 
I will cherish it forever!”

She wasn’t angry about the irony, instead she embraced it. And then I saw one of her relatives post the video with comment:

”I shared this video for Followband featuring my beautiful Niece a year ago. I’ve been meaning to order a bracelet, and now with the loss of Susan, I finally know where my location is. Where Susan, Erin and I started our lives together, our first home in NYC. Need to get the address from my Mom to get the right coordinates.”

I realized then that the video was even more special now. The meaning and emotion behind it were real. And now the video was simply a story within an even bigger and more important story. It was a small piece that I hoped could help an amazing person heal. If there is such thing as a right way to deal with a loss, then this actress exemplifies it. She is strong and honors her mom’s memory everyday. Her story is a followband story and we are humbled to be a small part of it. My friends asked me what the coordinates in the video were. I always said they could be wherever the audience imagined. Now when I watch the video, I know where they are to. They are the coordinates to a little home in NYC where someone’s amazing mother grew up.

Arthur Pickett