Sunday, February 28, 2016

What I Learned from Tonight's Academy Awards

They mentioned at the start of the Academy Awards this year that they were going to do things in a different order, to reflect how movies are made. According to the Academy, this is how you make a movie:

1. Write an original script. 
2. If you can't find one, borrow some source material and try that instead. 
3. Cast a woman to be in the background.
4. Clothe her. Preferably in period clothing. 
5. Bring in a production designer and set designer so you can figure out what the movie should look like. 
6. Find a make-up artist and a hair stylist for your supporting actress (who is the only performer currently attached to the project, and therefore the most important).
7. Find someone to shoot the movie. Preferably someone who knows where the most beautiful places on the planet are. 
8. Have someone edit the film. Which somehow has been shot with one actor and no director, but one hell of a production team. 
9. Fix and enhance the sound generated by your kickass design team, beautiful locations, and supporting actress. 
10. Go back and manipulate the sounds that haven't been generated yet, but should be there so your locations and supporting actress sound even better. 
11. Hire Andy Serkis. No, wait, sorry. Get a visual effects artist so nobody notices you only have one supporting actress.
12. Go back and fill in any tech gaps that might have made your filming easier. 
13. Say "fuck it" and animate the whole thing instead. But keep it short because animation is hard and takes a long time. 
14. Realize that it is easier to make an animated film than something live action with only one supporting actress, so make an animated feature. 
15. Find a guy who might look good in the background of the movie you were originally making and cast him to fill in some of the scenes your supporting actress wasn't in. 
16. Splice together your footage about making a movie with a design team and one actor (actress, excuse me) into a short documentary. 
17. Try your hand at a full length documentary because you have a lot of footage of beautiful places and sound clips lying about, so why not?
18. Realize that you have enough footage of your locations and background actors to make a short film, so give that medium a go before dedicating yourself to a feature. 
19. Outsource your movie to another country to see if that helps. 
20. Find someone to write the music that will set the tone for your film. 
21. Hire a pop star to write a song to play over your end credits. 
22. Find a director. 
23. Cast a leading lady. 
24. Cast a leading man. 
25. Find producers because bam! You have a movie! Win all the awards!

Now, I've not made big budget Hollywood movies, but at the very least, I know that nine times out of ten, the leading man is cast before the leading lady. And films are usually edited after the director, producers, and actors have been hired. But maybe it is my insistence on doing things a certain way that has stunted my career thus far. Maybe I'll try doing it Hollywood's way and see what happens. 

Congrats to those who go home with little gold statues tonight! Maybe if I play along, I'll get to join you someday. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016


There has been a lot on my mind lately, and a lot going on in my world, so I thought it time for an update, even if it is rather vague.

As happens often in life, the place you think you're going changes suddenly as a result of things that are not under your control. Relationships change, responsibilities changes, desires change. Generally speaking, change is good. I truly believe that. But change in one area of one's life can affect the things that one doesn't want to change in other areas and that's when things get tricky.

I feel like I've fallen off course. In some respects, it has been a gradual shift over, say, the past year, and I'm just now trying to right myself. I came to New York to pursue my artistic dreams. Some things that looked like great opportunities turned out to be the wrong opportunities for me. Some relationships that looked like they could have been beneficial turned out to be somewhat toxic. And one fantastic opportunity in my non-artistic life has started to pull me away from what I love most.

I'm taking steps to get back on track. I've been looking at what is most important to me and where I want my life to go. In a lot of ways, I feel like I started all of this way too late - what would have happened if I had come to New York in my early twenties? Where would my career be now? And that pressure has me thinking that I don't have time to fall off my path again. So I'm weeding out the relationships that are getting in the way of my goals, be they personal or professional, and I am setting out to reclaim me. Which sounds harsh, but I don't know how else to get my mojo back.

These are the things I know to be true, and the things I need to remember and remind myself on a daily basis:

I am a talented performer.
I am ridiculously smart and have valuable things to say.
I don't know everything, and that's okay.
I am loved and valued.
I am a complete human being despite my lack of a romantic partner.
In order to stay balanced, I need theatre, I need tea, and I need intellectual stimulation.

And just for fun, one thing I wish other people knew to be true:

Not all vegans are gluten-free. Gluten-free does not automatically mean vegan.

Here's hoping 2016 is righted soon.