What I learned from this Legendary Filmmaker - Queen of Manifestation

What I learned from this Legendary Filmmaker


I was fortunate to meet the late great filmmaker Albert Maysles at a small cocktail party hosted by Martin Scorsese in NYC many years ago.

Mr. Maysles is a legend, having shot and directed some of my favorite documentary films including Grey Gardens, the Gates, What’s Happening! The Beatles in the USA, and Gimme Shelter (my absolute favorite Rolling Stones documentary).

After meeting him, we chatted here and there on a few other occasions. I was always blown away by his generosity and kind heart.

When we first met, he said, “Jen Mazer – We must be related!” because Maysles and Mazer are similar. 🙂 I always felt like he was a kindred spirit, my family mentor in filmmaking.

He gave me such great advice when I asked him about a music video I was working on.

My background is as an artist. And I think that’s what truly makes me the Queen of Manifestation. I’m all about you creating your own life.

I asked Mr. Maysles about his cinematography – and how he was able to capture such great footage.

Surprisingly, the single most important piece of advice he left me with was not about technique:

He shared that he always had his camera with him – and he never asked for permission to film. He just did.

And that is such a beautiful lesson – whether related to film or anything else in your life.

You don’t need permission.

In fact often, when you wait for permission, chances are that you won’t ever receive it.

And then the sad thing is that you will never experience the joy that comes from doing that thing you truly want to do.

We’re all waiting to get permission to live out our dreams.
When really, what are we waiting for?

A sign?

So often we’re waiting for permission from a loved one, a parent, or thinking we need another person’s approval before we make a move.

Instead, I propose that you just do it.

Like in film, you can always get permission from those involved after the fact – when you’re ready to release your great creation out into the world.

And once the powers that be see what an incredible thing you’ve created, they usually end up enthusiastically wanting to help.

Of course things are different these days than they were in the ’60s when some of Albert’s rock and roll films were shot.

But the lesson remains the same:

Put yourself in the place where you want to be, amongst the people who you want to be with.

Act like you belong there.

Expect things to work out in your favor.

Just do it.

Only then, once you’ve immersed yourself in what you love, will you experience the magic of the universe supporting you in your creation.

Why not try?

What’s the worst thing that can happen?

You have to leave. Perhaps.

But the only failing in my book is failing to try.

You can’t fail if you go for it. You can only learn and move on.

Thank you Albert Maysles for all of your beautiful life lessons and inspiration. I’ve been meaning to write about you since I heard about your recent passing. Your life touched mine tremendously.

And I only hope that I can inspire others in the same way.

My bold courage has taken me on many amazing journeys.

In film I’ve been able to shoot the Marleys on stage, spend time with them in rehearsal, film backstage at Carnegie Hall, on stage at major music festivals with some of my favorite musicians and friends like Michael Franti, Ben Harper, and the Flaming Lips.

And all of those experiences were truly invigorating.

That’s what I want you to experience:


Let your life invigorate you.

And if it’s not currently, ask yourself, “What bold action can I take now – without permission – to make my life more exciting?”

And do it.

All that I ask is that you please share about what bold actions you’re taking now in the comments below.

Mr. Maysles lived to the magical age of 88. And I can say with authority that his life was invigorating.

What I learned from Albert Maysles: You don’t need permission to live out your big dream. Just do it! -@jenmazer

(tweet that.)

Here’s to manifesting a life that you love!

xoxo, Jen

Leave a Reply 2 comments

NatalieNeckyfarow Reply

Thanks for the invitation to share about the bold actions we are currently taking. I’m producing and acting in the musical Ordinary Days this month to benefit the Autism Theatre Initiative at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. This is a dream project bringing together a role I’ve been wanting to play for so long with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children and adults with autism and their families. It has taken bold action from me every step of the way ~ actions that I’ll be taking right up to the final show on April 20th.

    jen Reply

    Woohoo!!! So awesome Natalie! Congratulations 🙂 xoxo

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