the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.

long beach.. and long island

so, "thanksgiving" has just been selected to play at the long island gay and lesbian film festival! depending on imminent developments, i may not be able to make it, which is a shame. i've yet to see my baby play a festival. i would love to go to this one, and see nyc again.

here's the screening history for "thanksgiving:"

July 2007 Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Fesival
August 2007 Outflix Film Festival: Memphis
October 2007 Long Beach Q Festival
November 2007 Long Island Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

fun stuff, and great news

john august had a trailer-cutting competition using footage from his new film, "the nines." i worked all day sunday and all night monday to finish my entry in time, and received an honorable mention on his site for "best tic-tac-toe" hahahaha. which is great because that damn tic-tac-toe (i think of it more as a sudoku) was the only original thing about my entry, and 80% of my editing time was spent making it. check it out:

in other news, i am currently in negotiations with a small, independent production company to develop, produce, and direct 4 or 5 ten-minute gay-themed comedy shorts that will be bundled with a gay travelogue dvd. this is amazing. i would get paid to direct a series of narrative stories, it's immediate work for neal, my playwright-now-turned-screenwriter-who-just-moved-here, and the experience will be invaluable.

the permanence of film is astonishing. all the years, all the work i put into theatre is completely ephemeral. of course the experience was important, but all i can show is some reviews and some photos, and really, it's only agents and managers who take the time to physically come see the show who might recognize your talent and help you step up to the next level. but with film, the work exists and can be examined by anyone at any point. i've done tons of video projects, but only two "real" short films, and in the last year, they have both proven to have lives far beyond when i felt i was "done" with them. i realize now, that the "done" feeling is a symptom of theatre.

"loaded" played 2 major festivals and has made waves among the magicians circuit, having played every major magic convention in the country, and has probably been seen on youtube by every professional magician. i'm currently working with my dad on another magician-themed concept. "thanksgiving" is still popping up at festivals, playing its third on october 13th, at the long beach q festival.

i met these producers at a premiere, we hit it off, had a great conversation, and eight months later, called me up for a meeting, wanting to license "thanksgiving" and "loaded" for streaming on a pay-per-view web video service they are working on. the deal was placed on hold, in favor of this new opportunity, that would have me creating new content specifically for them, with distribution already in place. i don't want to count chickens before they hatch, but at this point in my career, even the possibility of this opportunity is exciting to me. if it falls through, i will learn how to make it sail next time.

the hollywood party, or, "yes that's my car"

my friend and future business partner, celeste, was an assistant to one of the producers on forest whitaker's new movie, which just finished shooting. celeste got me into the wrap party, which was held last night at the roosevelt hotel. i'm familiar with the roosevelt only because my previous boss bought out all the rooms around the swimming pool for his birthday party weekend and then called me from said party drunk and high to tell me how much he loved me.

so, i was looking forward to seeing this poolside area. also i was pretty excited to be hobnobbing with a-listers, and maybe get a taste of what it feels like to be one of them. the night was warm, palm trees pointed to the stars, we all looked like superstars, the bar was open, gourmet food was passed around, and life was good. and "there's justin timberlake, just over there, sitting at that couch, no joe, that couch over there, chatting with the group of people who came in just behind us. he's dating jessica biel, don't you know? she's in the movie too. that why he's here."

and i thought, how does this happen? where does all this money come from? how is this life possible? how the hell did these people get here? how do i get to do what they do? is there a future in which a party like this is held for a movie that i direct?

and i'm introduced to people and i tell them what i do, and i think i'm almost convincing in my new attempts to not sound apologetic when i say it. and i ask what they do, and they say things like 'i was the second second.' and there's two ways i can respond to something like that: i can either maintain the illusion that i "belong amongst them," nod my head enthusiastically and say "wow! what a great opportunity for you, that's fantastic," or i can be open and honest, and reveal that i'm a complete idiot newbie in this world by admitting that i have no clue what a "second second" does.

i chose option a. it maintained an illusion, sure, but it removed the possibility of having any real conversation, hindered genuine connection, and kept me from learning something new, something that might help me find answers to the myriad questions floating through my mind as i stared over at the beautiful people silhouetted by pool-light. i would pay the karmic price for this transgression later.

i met celeste's friend derek, who starred in the film 'boy culture,' which was directed by allan brocka, who i admire greatly and who's career i hope to emulate. "i should say something," i thought, "i should use my knowledge of his work to try and make some real connection." i couldn't muster the courage. i'm a quiet guy by default. fighting that impulse usually pays off, but it takes considerable effort and i'm physically tired by the end of it.

as the party wound down, it shifted from an exclusive gathering of creatives to an assault of manufactured breasts, loosely draped in synthetic fabric. ah, the other side of hollywood was encroaching, and it was time to leave.

i stood next to a group of tan breasts and legs, all waiting for the valet to pull up with our cars. lexus after lexus, luxury sports car after luxury suv. i had tried on every shirt in my closet before settling on this outfit, and none of it would matter when the most crucial piece of my los angeles wardrobe would reveal everything about me. the valet sheepishly pulled my car in, over to the side, as if already apologizing to the waiting crowd. there was laughter from the boobs, and an exclamation from a guy inside the boob cluster: "who valeted that piece of shit?"

and that was my moment to step from the crowd and claim little r2d2, as my piece of shit. justin, my old boss, bought a new car every 2 months, and now i see why. to him, it was as much an accessory as shoes. it had to be current, and it had to look good puling up in front of everyone, post-party. i drove off, thankful to have had a little taste of the future, with an extra helping of humility.

the procreation sonnets

i've never really read the sonnets before, and now that i'm learning them from the beginning, they are raising all kinds of interesting questions.

the first 17 sonnets are what are known as 'the procreation sonnets,' in which shakespeare (or, 'the poet,' as there is much debate over whether the sonnets are creations to be spoken by a fictional character, or true love poems to shakespeare's acquaintances) is speaking to a guy of unfathomable beauty, and encouraging him to have a kid. whoever this guy is, he is very into himself (sonnet 4 makes a not so veiled reference to masturbation), and shakespeare seems just as into him.

it's fascinating to use these poems to try and reconstruct (or at least peek at) the sexual politics of the time. without cultural boundaries set, without 'gay' as an 'identity,' how would homosexuality express itself in shakespeare's time? is shakespeare gay because he writes so unabashedly of a man's beauty? is the subject of the early sonnets gay because he shows no interest in women? what exactly is the relationship between them? how would either of these guys identify in the modern world? certainly in the underground world of the theatre, love between men was expressed, and certainly many gay men found refuge in playing female roles on and off stage. but not having 'gay' as an identity seems both freeing and constricting. freeing in that there are no boundaries - love and attraction for a man can be expressed without suspicion, and without compromising masculinity. though, it doesn't seem worth that freedom if you must live knowing that you are somehow different, but don't have the words or societal permission to truly express it.

what's most intriguing are the arguments shakespeare lays out to this young man. he serenades the guy with the same gusto that he would use on a potential lover, but doesn't express any desire to be with him. instead, all that effort is to encourage the guy to find a woman (any old woman seems to be sufficient) and have a kid asap, so that the genetic perfection in this guy will continue on.

i've only learned through sonnet 4, but am looking forward to being able to perform all 17 of the procreation sonnets in one big, "have a baby now, you hottie" monologue.

heath and michelle

i'm so sorry i couldn't be there for you, guys, and if you'd just told me that leaving might be he cleave that separates you once and for all, i might have stayed. but now that you're done, boerum hill just seems a little less special.

gawker: Boerum Hill Comes To Terms With Heathchelle Split

here is a previous post about my one encounter with the troubled couple: my brush with heathness.

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  • 5: the man of genius

  • 4: blunders & absurdities

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  • 2: what lies below

  • 1: where there is no path

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