Where Life Takes Us
It's been almost a year since I've posted an update.
I yet remain in sunny Florida, in the city of touristy Orlando.
My father's Covid ordeal is nearly a distant memory. He now happily works on his new hobby - building a model train set, intricately blocked out in one of my parents' spare bedrooms.
I continue work on my documentary about his experience. A second round of interviews has been completed, and one more remains to film, before I begin piecing it all together. It is highly emotional to sort through.
I write regularly. I have a screenplay in the midst of a third draft. It's called "Ten Years, a Love Cycle." I hope to share more about it soon. For now, it is locked in the delicate cocoon of nascent creation.
Now is the winter of our half-content.
What will the spring hold for us?
No one knows except the groundhogs.
Six weeks away.
Another roll of the dice.
I think there is actually a very small percentage of people who truly remember what the early internet was like. I'm talking 90's, early 2000's -- before smartphones, before social media, before wifi.
The older generation at the time was too "ancient" to fully understand it. They were still figuring out what e-mail was. (Remember when it had a hyphen?)
The youngest generation was still in diapers.
It was the youth generation -- those who were preteens, teenagers, early 20s -- the Gen Xers and Millennials of today. My people.
So, what do I remember about the internet?
It was like a brand new world, where you stumbled upon these random pages with just text and photos -- most of the information being really strange and questionable. I remember going through a phase where I was really into Wiccan stuff, and I remember those cheesy Geocities pages of definitions and incantations. When we were writing papers at school, at first we weren't allowed to use any sources off the internet, because they weren't credible. By the time I left high school, we could use some internet sources -- but we were extremely limited to a certain number and had to have books or other resources as well.
There were also less things on the internet -- and somehow everyone found them. I think it was just by word of mouth. There were the same chain letters that circulated in your email -- you know, if you didn't pass it on, you would DIE! Oh man, the fear that permeated in my middle school circle of friends -- was it really true? There was also my favorite -- the Hamster Dance -- that glorious, one-page of a site with that dumdumdum music and those 16-bit hamster graphics just lined up in rows, and slowly turning around to the music. My friends and I "learned" that dance and danced it in person all the time together -- yes, even at school dances (we were so cool.)
The internet back then was very small. When you signed onto your AOL (or AIM if you couldn't afford the full service -- though all those free trials could keep you going for a while), you just had your group of friends (all from your everyday in-person life, too) and you only chatted with them. Unless you ventured into a chat room, which was ALWAYS sleazy. A/S/L, anyone?
Also, your timeframe on the internet was very short. We all used dial-up modems, that were connected to the phone lines. The landline phone line. People didn't have cell phones then - at least not the average, everyday person. So, if your mom needed to make a phone call, you had to jump off for a while until she was done. Or someone would pick up the phone to make a call and it would kick you off. Oh, the fights I got in with my brother over that! Also, people couldn't call your landline if you were on the internet -- so if you were waiting for an important call (like maybe that crush of yours who said he might call you after school), you bet your butt you were keeping the landline open!
Today, we've gotten so used to instant gratification of the internet. Just pull out your mobile phone and boom, there it is. There was this simplicity back then of it being an only once in a while thing -- something special, but not really holding that much weight over reading a book, hanging with your friends, or playing a basketball game.
I miss that ability to just step away and turn it off. To say, "Bye, internet -- see ya tomorrow!" - and then just go do something else.
I think that was better for all of our souls back then. I'm trying to get back to that world. I know we're out of luck for that existing nowadays in our society as a whole, but at least I could live that way in my everyday life.
Part-time internet. I like the sound of that.
Casual, Drunken Confessions
I think one of the things I miss most about pre-pandemic life are those casual, drunken confessions. You know, the nights where you are at a party late into the early AM, you’ve had maybe one shot too many, you may or may not throw up in a toilet soon after, and you’re tucked away into some corner with an old friend – or a new friend – or someone you won’t even remember. Then suddenly, something catches your memory and you blurt out a random, deep confession within you that somehow, unknowingly, has been yearning to come out for who-knows-how-long.
Maybe it’s your previously unvoiced crush on Adam Driver – even before the Episode XIII six-pack – maybe it’s that one night stand you had a while back with someone you mutually know – maybe it’s that deep regret of yours that you never continued the pursuit of singing – but it bursts forth from your lips with a shower of relief and joy. Finally, someone to tell your secret truth to! For some reason, it’s a thing you’re not able to tell the ones closest to you, neither in sobriety or wastedness, but somehow, at 2:31 a.m. on a Saturday night in an East Village dive bar or someone’s crowded apartment, it’s time.
What a day it will be when we finally gather again in drunken debauchery into the wee hours of the night, unashamedly, fearlessly, hungrily – and oh boy, the confessions that will utter forth! So many, many months of silent repressions, so many, many secrets just waiting to be set free into the reckless air – and the utter relief that will come to us all, as we purge ourselves of all the little wickedly harmless truths that are only permitted their magical release in these simple, wild, happy, tiny moments of drunken openness.
Making Art in 2020
I don't need to recap what this year has been to anyone. We've all been living through it. Every single person on this planet has been affected, some more fortunate than others.
2017 was a pretty awesome year of making headway on my goals and my transition back into acting after my brief hiatus. I wrote more, I achieved a huge career milestone, and I started working with some pretty fantastic new collaborators. I feel proud of my accomplishments, and I'm looking forward to continuing the forward motion in 2018! :-)
This past month, I hit a goal of mine that I had been working toward for years:
My first Co-Star role on a TV show.
It felt absolutely amazing!
But it also felt a little bit disorientating.
Working toward something, having one's focus on it for so long, then finally grasping it in all its glory...well, then, what's next? Where do you go from there?
Well, you know me. I'm always moving forward!
I have tons of goals that are next.
Another Co-Star role of course. Then another.
Then beyond the Co-Star, and so on and so forth.
The goals never end -- they just get higher and higher!
Which is absolutely exhilarating!
And this month I'm delving more into another big goal of mine:
Producing my next short film.
I've written the script (and revised and revised and revised it), gotten the director onboard (the excellent Matthew Van Vorst), and...well...now...it's all about doing everything I can to get it made. Yeah!
You'll be hearing a lot about "Junie & Frank" in the coming days, I'm sure.
I'm super excited about it!
And you know what? The most wonderful thing about achieving a goal...is the realization that IT WAS POSSIBLE! And if that was possible...well, that means that so much more obviously is as well.
To new goals. To new dreams. To new challenges.
I can't believe it's nearly August! This month has flown by!
I feel fantastic about all of my accomplishments this month. I got amazing new headshots, updated my reels, played a small role in Sonja O'Hara's short film "Anatomy of an Orchid," and acted and wrote with The Egos in a bunch of fun videos currently up on Funny or Die. And how could I forget meeting up with my grandfather and reading through the script for our "Junie & Frank" film?
Next month, I'm looking forward to doing more Egos sketches, continuing to develop "Junie & Frank," and prepping for another semester of scene study class at HB Studio! It's going to be another great rush of creativity and productivity.
So, thank you July, and hello August!
Some Joyful Inspiration :-)
Instead of a long blog post, this week I'm feeling like spreading some inspiration! Here are some wonderful quotes that I stumbled upon and really liked. I'm a huge fan of motivational quotes (which you can totally tell from my Instagram page)! They never fail to give me happy boosts of encouragement and drive. I'm grinning right now just thinking about them! :-D
A couple of summers ago, I had the extreme honor of working as the Production Coordinator on the indie feature film, Landing Up, written by and starring Stacey Maltin, whom I went to NYU Tisch with back in the day (yay for Stella Adler alums making waves!).
Well, I am so excited to share that the film's East Coast Premiere is happening TOMORROW at the SoHo International Film Festival! The team is just coming back from its World Premiere at the Dances With Films festival in LA, so this is part of an exciting tour de force!
The film is directed by Daniel Tenenbaum, and stars Stacey Maltin, Ben Rappaport, Dov Tiefenbach, Jay DeYonker, and the late E'Dena Hines.
Here's the official trailer:
The film screens at 6:30pm on Saturday, June 17th at Village East Cinema. You can still get tickets here.
Hope to see you there!
Wonder Woman and Me
When I was in kindergarten, all of us kids would play a particular game at recess. The boys would capture the girls, "tie" us against the fence at the far end of the playground, and try to kiss us. (Don't get me started on the psychological/sexual layers of that!)
Anyway...one day, I decided that I was going to play the Hero. I "broke" myself free, rescued all of the other girls, and we ran away triumphantly.
I felt incredible! I saved the day!
However...after that courageous afternoon, no one really wanted to play the game with me anymore. Neither the boys nor the girls! I had changed the rules and made it a different kind of a game, where the girls could be victorious over the boys and win. And it suddenly wasn't as fun for the other kids playing it. They didn't want to play Heroes and Villains. They wanted to play Flirts and Kisses.
I've always tended to hang with the guys throughout my whole life. First with my brothers and my dad watching action and sci-fi movies (I knew who Yoda was at four years old), then with the neighborhood boys playing Cops and Robbers. Even in high school, I hung out with the guys who played Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. (I was SO COOL, guys...SO COOL.) Today? Yep...still hanging with the guys. We're actually going to play a board game of Battleship tonight. (I'm still SO COOL.)
I think part of why I always hung out with the guys was that all their interests seemed so much more interesting and fun than the girls' did. I mean, playing with makeup and worrying about your clothes....or fighting imaginary battles of wit and brawn? Sure, I did the girly things occasionally, but the boy stuff was always more fun to me.
Last weekend, I saw Wonder Woman in the theater...and it hit me. It was never girls versus boys. It was the "Idea" of girls versus the "Idea" of boys. Because women...and girls...can be strong, can be courageous, can fight imaginary battles of wit and brawn, and they can be Heroes.
All this time, I was thinking that I never fit into the typical "Female" profile that others seemed to glide so easily into. But that "Female" never existed. It was what we thought and were told we had to be. based on some pre-established social paradigms that were as antiquated as the Victorian corset that strapped them in.
I wish that today's kind of consciousness and realization of what really is "feminine" and what really is "masculine" had been around when I was a little girl. I'm happy to have it now though, as an adult. And I'm so excited for all of those little girls out there, who can feel free to play Cops and Robbers, Heroes and Villains, Flirts and Kisses, and whatever it is that makes them happy, passionate, and their true, honest, courageous selves. It's about time.
So thank you, Wonder Woman. God, you're so kickass. My kindergarten self would have donned your cape proudly.
Thoughts and ideas about the things that move me most. Passions, desires, favorites.