11/30/08

One sentence lament.

I miss the days when actors and musicians looked like regular people (even the pretty ones), and not soap opera stars or plastic surgery junkies.

11/28/08

The Enchanted Tiki Room

Okay, I'm having an epiphany so bear with me...this could get to rambling.

I wrote a film script based on the show at Disneyland. I am positively bursting to fill you in on the details of the script, because I really really love it. I love the characters, I have a dream cast in place and a soundtrack chosen, as well as an iconic underused setting and some great set pieces and action sequences, as well as ideas never used before in a movie like this. And in true fashion to what I love, I have one really cool take-charge dame at the center of the script, which is also a period piece that I really had to research to complete.

But I can't tell you everything (Unless you are one of the few that I have already told, in which case...shhhh) because I am going to re-work it as a stand-alone adventure. It will be WGA registered in no time flat. Because I'm realizing something about myself when it comes to my creativity. I am always trying to give it away. I am an idea person. Every job I've ever had in an office setting has frustrated me because I come up with ideas that would work really well...a huge Halloween event when I worked at a museum. Special theme nights and entertainment when I was a waitress. Specific art activities to do with kids and teens when I was a volunteer.

But the problem with that is that it's never been my job to be a visionary. (Well, until I ventured out as a writer.) That's why those other jobs never worked for me, because I couldn't just sit down somewhere and do my job, I was always trying to do everyone else's too. I get so distracted by the way things could be for other people, properties, things, that I forget to think about the way things could be for me, for my ideas.

When I was a kid, I took a jewelry class. And all I wanted to do was make the perfect Nike swoosh symbol for a necklace. I was probably 12 or 13, and it was really cool to wear anything Nike. I spent so much time and effort trying to get it perfect, and my art teacher blew up on me. He couldn't understand why someone who was in an advanced placement art class would want to make an athletic apparel company logo...and that always stuck with me. Because really, why DID I want to do that? Spend all that time and effort to advertise for someone else, when I could've been making something original? I'm so thankful that he blew up on me, it was an important moment for me.

Which brings me back to my Tiki Room script. My logic was that I was always thinking to myself, "Why doesn't Disney do this, that or the other with their Haunted Mansion or Jungle Cruise or Tiki Room?" So I would think to myself, "I can come up with something better than that." So then I would try tocome up with a better version of their idea, thinking that by some miracle when the process was done I would sell a script or a treatment to Disney on spec. But I'm pretty sure the whole "on spec" thing doesn't happen anywhere anymore. Ever. So even if my ideas were great, what did it matter?

And I won't lie...creating a story around 4 talking birds was hard. But I did it, and it's coherent! And by jove, if by some miraculous power, some Disney big-wig called me tomorrow and said, "Hi Janey nobody, can we see your script?" Well, I'd say yes. Because as a writer, you better believe I'd be some giant company's keyboard lackey for some income. And also, because I just love writing, the process of working up a story, creating believable characters, talking with actors and directors, chiseling away at my imagination what's already there...it's SO NATURAL to me. Probably because I've spent so many hours watching movies and reading, I have a large mental database to pull from when it comes to what I think works and what doesn't and why. And I will not lie to you, I would be happy as a cartoon clam to have a career like Ted Elliot's or Terry Rossio's or even Lawrence Kasdan's. Maybe I just took one step too far with my inspirations and focused in on wanting to be like them instead of simply working toward a career in scriptwriting of my own.
But what if I just wrote out the talking birds? Voila...I have a full-fledged adventure script right there, with no concessions to make to anyone, and no whining about how nobody will ever see my script, and no lamenting when the inevitable Tiki Room movie comes out that, "My idea was better." Why would I spend my hours working away and toiling for something completely unattainable? It's bizarre really, when you think about it. I'm sure a psycho-analyst would have a field day with it.

So I need to draw a line in the sand for myself. No more ride scripts or movie treatments for pre-existing properties...not until someone asks me for one legitimately. Until then, it's my turn to develop my own ideas. If they never go anywhere, who cares? I will have gotten all of these ideas out of my head, I'll feel better, I'll enjoy my freelance writing more with some personal projects to take solace in...and who knows what kind of future I'll have ahead of myself if I put all this energy into my own goals.


No more chasing the Disney carrot. It's time to write for me. Something about trying to develop a story for something I have no connections to...it's like those women who serial-date married men. They know those guys aren't going to leave their wives. They just know it. But they keep doing it anyway, and there must be a reason behind it. It's like "Lars and the Real Girl". I'm carrying around this dream that, "Look, I wrote a Disney movie", when really it's like I'm carrying aroud this 2 ton weight worth nothing, because what can you do as a nobody writer with a script for DISNEY, of all people? How many kooks do you think try to get their script seen at Disney per year? I'd wager THOUSANDS.
NO more fantasy projects to keep me out in floaty-land, ONLY things that have a concrete end in site deserve my time. Like my book, or a freelance job, or a script that I CAN register with the WGA because the ideas are actually mine. I deserve to own my own ideas. And someday, if my own ideas by my own merits lead me to that ultimate dream job that we geeks dream about in such detailed fashion...then so be it. If not, at least I'll have my integrity. And my scripts.

11/26/08

The Deadly Bees


Jake and I kicked off our Turkey Day holiday a little early yesterday with a visit from a friend from Indy. You know how you have protocol with visits from specific friends. Maybe you always go to the movies with one certain friend, or to a specific restaurant. Well, with this guy, Jake and I always end up with our laptop open, and he brings his as well. Before we know it, it's like this little geek symposium. "Have you heard this?" or, "Did you see this?" BBC clips and new Iphone tricks and german music videos abound.
I think it's probably how that little bee girl felt at the end of the blind melon video, we're all so alike that it just becomes this geek explosion.
And inevitably, we end up discussing and eventually watching at least one MST3K episode. The time before last, we introduced him to "Space Mutiny", undoubtedly one of the best episodes ever. This time, we watched, "The Deadly Bees". And while I can't say that it was one of my favorite episodes, my head still hurt from laughing. It's like free therapy.
It also takes me back, I first discovered the MST3K movie, "This Island Earth" in high school with a really good friend of mine. Totally out of the blue at a random video store, because none of us had cable. It wasn't until college though, that a good friend of mine, Joe, started having Sunday night MST3K viewing parties. That's when I really climbed aboard the bandwagon of hilarity. I've probably seen 40 or so, nowhere near as many episodes as exist. And I can say with confidence that I am a "Joel" gal, though I do love "Mike" as well. Equally funny in different ways.
And I do buy Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic when my virtual money starts burning a hole in my internet Paypal pocket. I just can't imagine life without overdubbed movies, and sarcastic quips...and actually, I don't even want to imagine such a thing.

11/24/08

Teleportation

Would be just swell.

I'd teleport right to Anaheim today, go take a quick spin on the Indiana Jones Adventure, then ride Haunted Mansion holiday, stopping off quickly on the way back home to rent, "Cutthroat Island", which I need to finish a 2,000 word piece for Pirates Magazine and CANNOT find anywhere, then back home for a cup of peppermint tea and sit right back down to continue working.

Alas, teleportation technology has not been achieved. This is probably best now that I think about it, because with my luck, I'd have a full-on "Fly" situation happen to me. Except hopefully it would be something cuter than a fly, so that nobody would have to shoot me to put me out of my own misery...like a chipmunk. Or a cupcake.

11/20/08

Donkey Kong Country

There are times when I miss my Super NES so much that it hurts.

I spent hours upon hours wiling away the time playing Super Mario Bros., Mickey Mania, Animaniacs, and most of all Donkey Kong Country. And I'm not just talking about childhood here...well into my early twenties, and well after I beat all the games I owned, I would play. Just to relax. It will go down in history as my favorite system of all time.

The sounds and music of Donkey Kong as so familiar to me, that there are times when I wish I had a white noise machine that played all DKC clips non-stop.

Bird Diapers and Mary Blair

First of all, because Gmail is very scary and reads my emails, there was a very hilarious advertisement at the top of my email for bird diapers. Bird. Diapers. This amused me greatly, because I had just emailed my friend Jen explaining to her my plot for the "Tiki Room" script that I wrote. Which may be the one and only time I have ever talked about birds in an email ever. Technology doesn't miss a step. Speaking of Disney, allow me to segue into the Mary Blair portion of the blog.

Second of all, while watching the special features on the most recent release of Disney's "Cinderella", I was introduced to an artist named Mary Blair. Her work smacked of familiarity to me because I had a Disney book full of her art as a child, second of all many of Disney's animated films are based off of her concept art. She worked for the mouse house, almost solely doing concept art. Or so I gathered from the 15 minutes or so of special features about her.

Her art appeals to me very much. I like the colors, the Al Hirschfeld exaggerations, the shapes, the composition...I just really find her art appealing in almost every way. When I used to paint, I was always drawn toward creating things with bold colors, that were sort of abstract and cartoon-like. And when I look at Mary Blair's paintings, I instantly want to create. Doesn't even matter what, I could sit down and write, or even pick up a brush again. And I can articulate the qualities that I like, but I wonder what that underlying quality is that drives inspiration. It's very mysterious...






11/19/08

Women Like Her...

...make me realize that it truly is possible to make a career out of exactly whatever it is on this green earth that you want to do for a living. That red hair says to me, "I have my hair this color, because I do not work in an office." I always seem to long for extreme looks, and I've gone for them in the past, but I find my sense of style adventure is waning in recent years.

I'm always saying to myself, "I shouldn't go for that pink streak or bright white chunk or rockabilly style, because I never know when I might have to fold and go back to working an office job." Which let's face it, is not very self-confident. Not that I hated office work, but I'm very entrepreneurial at heart. Always have been, always will be. So check this page out, and behold the bravery, the moxie, the chutzpah of this pirate woman.

http://www.myspace.com/scarlettharlott

http://scarlettharlott.com/

P.S. When I look at her page, I can't help but sing to myself the "Professional Pirate" song from, "Muppet's Treasure Island".

11/18/08

Accidental Tradition


Jake and I raised the Christmas tree last night from it's stuffy prison in the closet. We just couldn't wait anymore, and since it was the first day of snow, it felt okay.

For most of my life, I've watched, "A Muppet's Christmas Carol" while trimming the tree, but the last two years in a row now, it's been, "Empire Strikes Back". I think, because of it's Hoth-set beginning, it feels very seasonal.

At any rate, it was an accident. Half-way through yesterday, Jake said, "Wait a minute, we did this exact same thing last year!" Lo and behold, he was right. So we're just going to go with it, and make it our official Christmas decorating film.

We won't be putting up ornaments or any of the other Christmas artifacts until after Thanksgiving, that way it will be a couple more weeks until it looks like Santa threw up in our house.

I also noticed that there are a few sentences that ALWAYS get uttered when Jake and I watch Empire, a couple are...

Jake: "I would give my right pinky toe to have played Rogue 2/Lobot/any other bit part in the movie."

Me: "I wish I could wear my hair like Leia's, but it never stays!"

Jake tells me random facts about the production the whole way through the movie (which may or may not be true) and we inevitably argue about which scenes have, in fact, been retouched.

Funny thing about Geeks in love, you'd think we would get tired of talking about the same things over and over again...but we don't. It's our own special brand of holiday sentimentality. Now...to track down the Star Wars Holiday Christmas Special.

For the record, I think Jake would've made an excellent Lobot.

11/17/08

"Niagara Falls"

NOTHING brings on the waterworks for me quite like Charles Dickens', "A Christmas Carol". Happy tears, sad tears, tears of emotion regarding the holiday season. They all come pouring out whenever I watch or read any interpretation of this particular story. I'm sure that would make for some great psychoanalysis of my psyche. And it's always my first Christmas movie of the season. So I opened the floodgates yesterday and watched, "A Muppet's Christmas Carol". And what do you know...wept like a child. (Doesn't hurt that Michael Caine is one of my favorite actors in the world. That man can do no wrong.)

Even in parts where you're not meant to cry, I do. It just strikes some kind of chord with me, the story itself. Then add the Muppets, one of the single most prevalent artifacts of my childhood and you can just forget it.

The interesting news is, even circling the season this year feels different. I feel cheerful, lighter, and am more looking forward to the season this year than I ever have before. Which is interesting, and definitely bears further scrutiny. Because I assure you, like the rest of the world right now, we're quite poor. SO poor, in fact, that Jake and I let everyone know we won't be buying gifts this year, but will instead be sending out a special surprise with our Christmas card that will use our talents, and take loads of time to put together. SO for once, FOR ONCE, I am excited and not feeling pressure to scrimp to buy impersonal trinkets and gift cards. And it feels really really good.

On that note, let's get happy! Here comes Christmas, may it be the best one we've ever had!!!

11/16/08

"Luke didn't push Vader!"

"Well, he should have."

It was a very Twilight Zone weekend, it just flew by. I managed to get some interview questions written and sent off to the appropriate recipient, see my first ominous flakes of snow, get positively NO work done, catch up on my favorite t.v. shows online, and pick up a stray dog in the parking lot of my church today. She is sitting in a borrowed crate now, snoring away, all full of borrowed food. We had to give her a bath, as she stank to high heaven.

I have to be honest, I am not a dog person. And it's a big sacrifice to have to keep Royal and Ethel (Our two cats) locked away in my office so they don't get eaten or chaos doesn't ensue. But it's worth it. We'll find her a home somewhere, and in the meantime, I don't have to wonder if she's been hit by a car or eaten poison or suffered some other terrible fate. If we hadn't done something, surely it would've haunted me.

Plus, she's really really cute.

11/12/08

Searching For Badejo

Did I ever tell you I went looking for Bolaji Badejo? The man who was in the suit for the original "ALIEN"? Well, I did. I never found him.


It was my first ever pitch to Geek Monthly and ended up as "Elegy For The Men In Suits", centered around Ben Chapman. But I STILL want to find him someday. Rumor and legend have it that he's just a nice small town bloke who got down to the business of living after the film.


But I did find someone else, a man named Martin Bower. I don't know how I found his name, I just did while digging around on the internet. I emailed him to ask him if he knew how to contact Badejo. And like an ignorant wretch, I had no idea who he was initially. I mean, looking back I can put two and two together. As something of an "ALIEN" buff, I knew the main model maker was an English man named Martin, but it just never crossed my mind that that's who I was speaking with.

So we started communicating via email. He was extremely polite, we chatted about lots of things. Then I realized one day that he was the HUGELY famous modelmaker responsible for the Nostromo in ALIEN, as well as a blue million other classic sci fi models like the original "Tripods" from the BBC "War of the Worlds".


He even sent me a load of pictures of his models, his home, and the time RAY HARRYHAUSEN came to visit. None of which I feel comfortable sharing, but I assure you, they are amazing. Think of one of your biggest idols, someone who was responsible for a great artifact of your childhood...like the ship builder from "Goonies" or the guy who made the "Millenium Falcon", now imagine if you two were emailing and he was showing you pictures from his family album.

This brings me to a larger point. It's wonderful to be a geek. It really is. We really do have ALL the fun. In my case, my complete social ignorance kept me relaxed enough not to freak out. If I was all cool and yuppie, I probably would've been like, "Fna fna, I'll have my people call his people." Instead, we just got to talk like normal people. Nothing pretentious, just chatting.


Our shared love of pop culture, and its various niches, allows us geeks to connect with people that we technically shouldn't be able to. He had every right to tell me to bugger off...I was some piddly little freelance writer asking for him to help me get to someone else. But he treated me with respect, we even sort of made friends...he shared his family pictures with me. All because we shared a HUGE love of all things science-fiction.


That same type of phenomenon keeps happening to me. People who I think are so cool that they're in the stratosphere are talking to me like it's no big deal. And it's not! (See: My total freak-out over Doug Jones.) And I'm starting to feel comfortable with that. Because geekdom is a ticket that can get you across all kinds of barriers where prejudice normally stands...income, success level, gender, and velvet ropes both real and imaginary.


Martin is now presenting a quarterly magazine! Would make an excellent Christmas gift for the sci-fi geek in your life.



http://scifimodels.org.uk/


http://www.martinbowersmodelworld.com/


"We're rebuilding for you!"

You know how every time you drive by some crummy fast food joint that's remodeling, they try to make you feel guilty about complaining about construction? That's the sign they always have up, as if to say, "We're doing it for YOU, fatty!".

You don't? That's weird. Anyway, I moved "Geeks Have All The Fun". Obviously, I guess. Typepad wasn't my favorite.

I'll try to change all my links and notify all parties concerned (I think like, 2 people...) but I might be in a transition phase for a while. I liked the look of Typepad better, but the service was so random. And I have lost all my comments, which makes me sad. But that's okay...moving along.

I have much more inportant things to discuss, like X-files episodes and the new Wonder Woman movie, but they'll have to wait whilst I finish work setting up shop here.

GHATF Posts Sept 30th - Nov. 9th

November 09, 2008

Lost In La Mancha

It's one of my very favorite documentaries. It's a comfort film for me. I'm a total sucker for any kind of behind-the-scenes material whatsoever. I draw inspiration from it. Any kind of creative process is something I want to observe, whether it's something for performance or fine art or whatever. It takes the mystery and the loftiness away from my own goals. All art is just the end result of a practical process.
We don't have television either, like most people I watch my television on the internet nowadays. I don't miss t.v., not even a little. I don't miss the syndicated re-runs, the ridiculous tabloid-like newscasts, the ninety dollar bill, or all the obnoxious commercials. So movies are my background noise, movies are my television.
Lost In La Mancha is one of those movies that I've seen so many times that I couldn't possibly keep count. Which is funny, because it's a very bittersweet film about Terry Gilliams' failed attempt at shooting a Don Quixote movie. It's not an entirely pleasant viewing experience. It is therpaeutic to know that even the big-wigs fail though, and fail big.
And on a completely meaningless and superficial note regarding the film; I would love to wear my hair the way Johnny Depp has his in this film. In fact, I'd like to dress more like Johnny Depp every day of my life. No pirate costumes, just striped t-shirts and ripped jeans and random jewelry and wild hair. This is one of the luxuries that actors are afforded, the ability to maintain absolutely whatever personal style they wish in their every day lives.
See? See how much just comes flowing out all because of Lost In La Mancha? I could go on forever about the strange sidebars that just watching this movie brings up, documentaries are very good for you. Don't ever let anyone tell you any different.






BAH!
I was right in the middle of a very important rant about Princess Leia when Typepad SHUT ME DOWN. That happens to me about one every 5 times I try to blog here. If I could hulk out, I would. But I'd probably be sorry in the morning when I ruined a perfectly good coffee table or something...

November 05, 2008

God Save The Queen

Oh wait...that's not right. I mean, "Viva Las Vegas".
Drat, that's not it either, is it?
"Yes, we can." There it is.
"Hail to the chief, he's the chief and he needs hailing, and here he comes so everybody hail like crazy." -Jack Lemmon
Is anybody else REALLY excited about the new hologram/Princess Leia thingie that debuted on CNN last night? AMAZING!
I try to stay off of political subject matter on this blog, but I have to say that I'm really really proud of people for getting out and doing something. This election was CLEAR. There is nothing for people to argue about after this one, the people have spoken! And my, isn't that a nice feeling? I really hope people can keep these sentiments and stay responsible for their own communities with this kind of fervor.
Now, I feel like watching, "My Fellow Americans", because once again I can breathe a sigh of relief that we no longer have such an Emporer Palpatine for our leader. He'll be going soon, and no matter who you voted for, you have to be glad of that.
Posted at 07:43 AM in Geeking Out, AMERICA style Comments (0) TrackBack (0)

November 03, 2008

Considering burning someone in effigy?

Think twice.
http://www.burnsidewriterscollective.com/general/2008/11/seven_things_to_consider_befor.php
I'm also confessing my sins on the same site, here...please, no hate mail
http://www.burnsidewriterscollective.com/general/2008/11/confessions_of_a_former_rightw.php

November 02, 2008

Carmen Miranda

If I were a drag queen, she would be the FIRST woman I would try to build an act around. Sadly, I am not a drag queen. (Yet.) I learned about Carmen from my Mom, who was also not a drag queen but who did run a singing telegram business and did a Carmen-impersonation complete with a hat covered in fruit which simultanously had the ability to mortify/amaze me. The character was called "Carmen Banana" and was a hit every year at the Weston Hotel Easter Brunch. I never stopped to wonder, until now, why exactly they hired my mother to dress as a latin diva from the past to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. But hey, to each his own. And I always got free breakfast.








November 01, 2008

Halloween Scares

Well, I had all but given up on Halloween this year...when Jake and I got the bright idea to stop working for an entire evening and go socialize with FRIENDS. I know, seems like a no-brainer. But the past couple of months have been work, work, work. It's been great that means we're getting jobs and finishing projects, but I'm starting to feel like the oldest 26 year old that ever lived.
SO, starting with Thursday nights War of the Worlds broadcast, in which I was an extra voice and helped with costumes, I started to unwind. Being onstage is always fun for me, even in a supporting role. And I got to dress my favorite way...old-timey. Broadcast went awesome, and I couldn't help but wish that something would go awry and the whole cast would get transported back to 1939 in some cool sci-fi way and have a mad-cap adventure. It was really nice to meet new people, and there's always something magic about the camaraderie of a cast, even one you've only spent a few days with. There was one weird thing, a couple of times I felt like I was going to pass out onstage...hmm, more on that later.
Halloween day it was work all day on a piece for Indiana Business Magazine, and rounding up the last of the costumes to take back to one of the theaters we borrowed from. Jake and I started home around 5-ish, got home and realized we had completely failed to plan anything for ourselves on Halloween, as usual.
That's three years running without a costume. SHAME on me. "Shame, shame, know your name." Who said that in Goonies? I'll owe anyone a cookie who knows that quote.
So we actually picked up the phone and called friends! Which we almost never do, we're accidental hermits. Either working all the time or having no money to go out and do ANYTHING with people that involves cash. Like the movies or dinner.
But we found out the old gang was watching a scary movie and we hopped on the bandwagon and I'm so glad we did. In fact, I was so happy to see everyone and get out of the house and away from work that I went a little nuts. I've barely eaten this past week, I just kept forgetting, or I simply didn't have time...hence the passing out I thought I would do onstage. Then I got to our friend's house and had a ton of candy, scared the bejeesus out of myself with a movie, nursed a half a bloody mary for three hours, and then blacked out.
I remember getting up because I felt hotter than I ever have, and I couldn't hear anything. I also thought for sure (gross alert) that I was going to vomit. So I made my way to the kitchen, and I braced myself on the counter, and honestly had the thought, "I just need to lie down for a minute and I'll be okay." After that I remember laying on the floor feeling some nice cool air, and hearing someone say something about an ambulence...I "came to" (as they say in old movies). My first thought? I don't want to pay any more hospital bills! haha! So I rolled around for a minute feeling nauseous, sort of like I was half in a dream, and then just sort of snapped out of it. Just like that.
I was a little shaky and a little um, how do I put this? Floaty. I felt floaty.
Then I went home, where Jake made me eat toast and kept looking at me with furrowed brows and worried eyes. I feel terrible, I can't imagine how I'd feel if I walked into a kitchen somewhere and he was on the floor. Scary.
I rounded out the Halloween season with a night chock full o' german expressionist zombie nightmares. And something about wolves killing people in a Wal-Mart and a marathon through the statue of liberty.
So I pronounce a Halloween WIN for myself this year. There were no costumes, but there were scares. And I wasn't working, and I wasn't moping about not doing anything fun. And I got to eat candy. Next year, I want THE Halloween blow out, in my Troi costume, dancing to music, with a tacky fog machine somewhere.

October 29, 2008

Quite proud of this

Don't even particularly know why. Maybe because it's 2:17 a.m. and I should be asleep, and I'm always more self-confident when everyone else is sleeping.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1162757/insomniac_or_nocturnal.html?cat=43

Posted at 11:19 PM in Writing Comments (0) TrackBack (0)

War of the Worlds

So, I was at rehearsal for War of the Worlds. Which is going to be awesome and which you can listen to tomorrow night at 8pm on WCRD.net. BUT, every single time someone said, "Mars" this was literally all I could think of...which takes me right back to being hopelessly immature and laughing myself sick in high school CONSTANTLY anytime I was meant to be paying attention in class/practice/rehearsals.





Marion Ravenwood

My personal favorite action heroine of all time. I will miss my chance to see her on the big screen tonight in Indianapolis, and I have NEVER seen Raiders on the big screen. It's something I simply must do at some point in my life. Alas, I have rehearsal for a War or the Worlds broadcast being re-created tomorrow on IPR and can't miss it.
Until next time, Marion. It's probably best that I wait until I can dress like you anyway...can't go to something like Raiders WITHOUT a costume! What kind of a geek would I be?




October 28, 2008

More fun, less "me, me, me, blah, blah, blah"

To quote the great Dan Aykroyd, "Wanna see something really scary?"





October 28, 2008
Making a Movie
is hard. Even a five minute, hi-def short. It's fun and amazing and wonderful and worth it. For sure. But the first time you really dig in there and commit to your first project, you will learn a lot. More than you ever realized you'd have to learn on topics that you never knew would matter so much.
You will learn about group dynamics, and how one single person on a set can bring an entire day down in tone. Can actually affect takes with their bad attitude.
You will learn about how every other person in the room would do things, if they were you. And you have to remind them, that they are not you, and they will get their chance if they want it in the future.
You will learn very quickly who to trust, who is willing to put the work in, who cares about the end result, and who is simply there to get their name in the credits.
You will be astonished at how much like your youth it can be, and how gossip can ruin working relationships on-set...just like in high school, and how much like teenage girls grown men can behave when they want to.
You will learn who you think is amazing, who is really going places with their career, and who you will never want to work with again.
You will learn that some people HATE it that you are trying something new, something big, something for yourself and your future. Some people want you to fail, just so they can say, "I told you so."
You will learn that people hate schedules, and will do anything they can to get out of them, even if they've already committed months ago.
You will learn that the next time you do things, you will only hire people by contract.
You will stay up all hours running insane errands, sometimes involving print-screening, primer, green soda, and/or lab coats.
You will learn that if you even mention to some people that you are working on a movie, they will immediately think you are some kind of big-wig, even when you try to convince them that you are doing this thing by the skin of your teeth, that it's only a short, and that you have nothing to do with money or power.
You will learn to love the work for the sake of the work and the end result, and not care in the least if nobody knows what your job is, or treats you like you don't belong on set. Even when you wrote the thing, produced it all, and painted the freaking set while everyone else was sleeping.
You will learn how to kick people off of a set.
By the end, you will love it or hate it. Or some combination of both. But you will immediately know if you will be doing it again.
I will be doing it again.

October 25, 2008


How To FAIL As An Action Heroine (and an internet friend)



http://www.ehow.com/how_4561273_action-heroine-six-easy-steps.html
That was my thinly veiled letter to myself about why I am not as cool as all the women I am currently assembling a book about. For example, I am not as cool as Ripley from "Aliens", for a plethora of reasons that you can read about when my puny book is finished.

October 24, 2008

Nora Ephron...

...is an amazing writer of non-fiction essays. For all the days that I think to myself, "Who on Earth would ever want to read an entire book about women in action films?" or, "Look at the state that the world is in, why couldn't I have just wanted to be a doctor or a scientist?", Nora Ephron makes me feel like writers still matter.
She writes about things like borscht, purses, makeup, national scandals, marriage, divorce, parties, and cabbage strudel. She writes about everything, from the boring the the fascinating, but what she has to say about her topics is NEVER boring. And she's not safe either. She really says what she thinks and feels, and she's quite the voice of reason and accountability.
And I want to be just like her when I grow up. I want a career like hers, one that starts with essays and perhaps some journalism, and ends in books and movies. Except I also want my own movie studio, theater, bookstore, and film festival. (I mean, not named after me...just one to run. Psht, I don't want to push it.)That's not too much to ask, is it? Don't answer that.

October 23, 2008

Correct Speech FAIL

I know the world’s going down in flames and all, but I’d like to draw attention to yet another crisis. The crisis of speech. Yes, I know this is very Henry Higgins of me, but I have to ask, why can’t the young people of America learn how to speak?
I was at the library last night, and genuinely wanted to go berserker rage on the place. I wanted to start overturning desks and screaming, “Why are you ALL talking like PARIS HILTON?” And in a less rage inducing addendum, "Why are you all talking so loud?"
Everyone, girls, guys, roughly under the age of 27-ish, is talking in this strange neo-valley girl accent. Their words slope up in tone at the end of their speech, they say, “Oh my God.” before and after every sentence. They do this weird fake baby talk, fake sore-throat, inflection that drives me insane. They say, “No way” And, “Totally”. And it’s impossible to talk about intelligent things in this voice. It has to be an act. It has to be put-on. Please God, somebody tell me this isn’t really the way people are talking.
It’s like they all watched Clueless and DIDN’T get that it was a SPOOF.
Where does this accent come from? I don’t have MTV, so tell me, is it from shows on that channel? Is it Gossip Girl? Is it, in fact, Paris Hilton? Because I have heard her talk, and it does resemble the way she sounds. Is it from a certain part of the country that has become a trend? WHAT? What is it?
It makes me want to say things like, “Blast”, and, “Infernal”, and, “Kids today”! Is it cool? Is it cool to sound like an idiot? Because that’s how they sound to me. Stupid. And I’m normally the kind of person who thinks that you shouldn’t share negative emotions on the internet, and you shouldn't even use words like idiot and stupid. That if you have something to say, you should say it definitively and respectfully. But this whole accent thing is driving me mad.
Does anyone have answers or insights?

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why are they talking like her???

October 22, 2008

I was a PBS kid

Were you? Good old Grandma Jenkins...bringing the sassy whenever needed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER7gxmyn4-o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yPJ1wNqBb8
I can't say too much more on the matter, as I have just secured a weekly column on an as-yet to be announced pop culture website from the people who brought you ForcesofGood.com, and this is certainly a well to be mined when it comes to writing. I LOVED PBS growing up, and guess what? I still do. And I'm an NPR junkie to boot...

October 20, 2008

Happy/Sad Traders

I think I'd like to see either a coffee table book or a calender filled with pictures of stock traders, wearing their blue coats, feeling emotions other than extreme happiness or utter despair. With the economy being so unpredicatable, I'm tired of just seeing those two "looks". They're always on the cover of every news site ever with their heads in their hands, or smiling from ear to ear. Don't they know that it's just going to plummet/soar the next day? So somebody get on those pictures, let's see a trader looking confused, or maybe sentimental. Give me some range, traders!


October 19, 2008

Spooky Cafeterias

Shared my thoughts with surprising clarity on that matter here.
Special note: There are no good images that pop up on google when you enter the words "scary cafeteria". Something must be done.

October 15, 2008

For Your Consideration...

So Jake walks in this morning at elevenish, with what looks to be an armful of DVD sets. This is not unusual for us, as on top of all the other geeky interests, we are also library nerds. So it's not an unusual sight for either one of us to come home and catch the other one with 6 discs of Star Trek, or three biographies, or whatever.
But these looked different. As it turns out, there is a new faculty member at Ball State who is a member of the academy. He directed the pilot of Magnum P.I., is friends with Ben Kingsley, and has a house in Rome.
A house in Rome. This guy is the real deal.
But Jake says he's perfectly normal, nicer than normal actually. How did someone with those credentials and a good disposition end up at Ball State? I may never know. But he has been offering up his massive collection of "For Your Consideration" DVD's from all the awards ceremonies. So he has to watch all these, and then vote to decide who gets and Emmy and who gets an Oscar. (It's so much more like the fall festival queen race from Mill Creek West Elementary than I ever realized before. Only they don't vote in pennies, and someone's rich grandparents probably can't come and cast a thousand votes for Coppola's, "Youth Without Youth", effectively rigging the election. Not that such a thing ever happened to me...)
Anyway, there's just something really cool about seeing these special DVD's. Just a real novelty for me. Of course, I had to ask, "Does he have the for your consideration DVD of, "For Your Consideration"? I know, har har.

October 13, 2008

What I meant to say was...

I read my blog from yesterday, and my conclusion is that I was too tired to write yesterday. I read that entry, and it sounds like I should've been smoking a pipe and saying, "I say, old chap." I think I was accidentally trying to sound impressive in order to calm myself down. A way of going, "See? It's okay that you're totally frazzled, look how sage-like you are." Then again, I'm my own worst critic.
What I should have said was, "I haven't been this tired since I was working doubles as a waitress at a certain Italian themed chain restaurant. I haven't been this stressed out since...ever. And I haven't been this excited about anything since I interviewed Doug Jones."
I'm getting all pent up with stress, remember that old Berenstain Bears books, "Too Much Birthday"? Yeah, it's kind of like that. My ambition and my planning sometimes really start to override the simple joys that life has to offer. Cooking a meal, taking a walk (Oh, how I love walks!), sitting down to write just because I want to, reading a book of essays, and so on and so forth.
Sometimes my ability to visualize a future for myself starts to stop me from actually working toward that future. Sometimes I think there are TOO many possibilities, and I'm not sure which ones to focus on. I feel like everything is possible, and so there just aren't enough hours in the day to write, search for grants, brainstorm business ideas, write scripts, think of projects...
How will I ever pull my own focus, I wonder? Or to put it in a very Truman Show way, "How's it going to end?" though that sounds way more fatalistic than I am feeling. I can see Jake and I doing so many things with our lives...I kind of just want to get there already. I'm impatient, I know. But I feel like today is the day I belong on a full movie set. Today is the day to publish my first book.
But in actuality, all that vision is a distraction. Because so far, today has been the day to sleep in until 11:00, drink a glass of water, and waste my time surfing the internet and whining about a lack of focus.


October 12, 2008


Third To Mars


I had just started really delving into one of the chapters of my book (the one due in December, self-imposed deadline...) when my phone rang. It was Jake (my husband, for those of you who don't know) and he needed some help. It was the first day of shooting on his first hi-def short film. He's done many a short before, and together he and I have written a handful of full feature scripts that we promptly registered with the WGA. So I pick up the phone, and as it turns out, I'm needed on set to do a little makeup. So I grabbed my powder and a few other things, and walked to the studio where they're filming. I basically didn't leave the set for the next four days.
Jake and I wrote the short together, and it's a fictional "dramady" (I hate that word, but it fits.) about the commercialization of the space program centered around the astronaut who gets to be the "third to Mars". I know it sounds a little strange, and its definitely unique. It's a full script, but we found a chunk of it to turn into a short. Jake was able to wrangle a camera called the F-900 that used to belong to George Lucas. It was used on the set of Episode I, so here's hoping it's not cursed to bring only dull entertainment into the world.
I pre-produced the HECK out of this sucker. Writes, re-writes, casting, making the shooting schedule, making sure Jake had what he needed to get started, asking dreaded questions every day like, "Did you find a green screen compositor yet?" or, "Who's going to run lights?" Nagging does have a very useful place in the film business. Since I've been on set, it's been more re-writes, powdering people's faces and foreheads, line producing, spray painting styrofoam, wrangling props in general, fixing things at the last miute, making phone calls, reading lines out loud, directing actors, getting coffee, on and on and on.
Today I haven't been able to keep my eyes open. But the to-do list still looms so large in my brain. Every time I shut my eyes its, "Gotta get that still photo for the ship interior, gotta order more prop shirts in time to have them printed, gotta get carpenter's tools to the set," etc. There's so much to do, and it's only about a 5 minute short, but we're really throwing everything we have into it. Jake was lucky enough to snag an amazing D.P., camera op, and lighting crew...so even if the plot stinks, at least I know it will look good.
I've always had a dream to be in film. For a long time I wanted desperately to be a comedienne or a character actress. And I've always wanted to own my own small old-timey theater where I could screen old movies, 80's childhood flicks, and have plays and film festivals. I've wanted to direct, and I once had a theater teacher who tried her all to get me to direct a short film for the Cinema Entertainment Consortium, but I left school before I had the chance. If there's any place where I can truly see a future for myself, its in independant film. I've been reading about Mary Pickford, and just the film scene in its infancy, and I think there's a good chance that film is really going to get back to its roots. Economic downturn can usually support film, and the studio system as is has really started heading downhill. I think studios will always be there, but with the incredible equipment that exists today, and the accesibility of film, I think that there are going to be more and more people just making their own movies instead of trying to go out to California or New York, get an agent, and "make it" there.
We've always said that we wanted to do independant film in order to maintain control over our ideas. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't want to hand over every script I ever write so that it can sit in a drawer some where collecting dust. I write these things because I fall in LOVE with a story. Don't get me wrong, if an agent knocked on my door tomorrow and offered to broker a deal for one of my scripts with a studio, I'd JUMP on it. Paying rent comes first at this stage in my life. And I'm not too proud to sell my work...that would be amazing.
But there's something really exciting about this project we're doing. It's the first time we've really put it all on the line like this. Normally, we film something in a weekend and just tell people that it's going to be an asset we use to get a script sold someday. This time, we're actually trying to make something great.

October 07, 2008

Abby something...Abby Normal

Well, I've done this year's 2008 Halloween movie recommendations. Here they are!
It was a HUGE challenge this year, because I picked so many of my favorites last year. But I focused on diversifying the list, and as usual, it's very "something for everyone".
But guess what? I FORGOT (for the second year in a row) to include, "Young Frankenstein". Oy. So I'm sure I know how I'll be kicking off my 2009 list. If our world isn't dominated by robots by then...
Posted at 08:54 AM in Movie Recommendations Comments (2) TrackBack (0)
October 06, 2008
Cage the Rage
Wrote this, and posted it on AC, but I'm starting to wonder if that's just the site where my bland writing goes to die. I get so distracted and obsessed with writing for the websites that I write for, that the days go by and I don't put as much effort into writing and working on my books. It's an easy distraction that gives me the feeling that I'm doing something. Writing a book is terrifying, and makes you feel like a complete and total fraud, it's HARD, and it doesn't "feel" as good as writing for the web. I wonder if David Sedaris still feels like he's getting away with murder every time he publishes a book, or if that feeling eventually melts away.
One of the real problems that I'm facing is the fact that SO many of us writers are talking about the SAME memories. Pop culture encrusted, media-filled childhoods. And that's GREAT. I love writing about those things, but I can't keep up. For every column I write about She-Ra, it's been done before. Probably a thousand times. But then, hasn't everything been written about before, isn't it all about the voice?
And there's that thought again, it creeps in, "Maybe you should stop worrying about freelance for a minute and focus on your book/books." To which my inside voice replies, "Are you insane? If I stop working on my freelance for even a minute, I'll start losing income! I barely make it as is."
And you know what they say about being crazy, you're only crazy when you answer yourself...well then, please bleach and starch my straight jacket. I'm almost ready for it. Mama's, don't let your babies grow up to be freelance writers.

October 05, 2008

Interesting Monsters...


I feel like this when I think about the economy and the election.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-XBPkCTyuU

October 04, 2008
She-Ra is your friend
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1084136/shera_and_the_saturday_morning_leading.html?cat=2

October 03, 2008

"Spread the picture on a wider screen!"
Waiting for hand-delivery of coffee from gracious husband, must write offline today, must stop doling out best ideas and words to editors who are too busy to review them(not their fault)...must keep some for book, must talk like Frankenstein, "FIre BAD!".
Must listen to Sammy Davis Jr.'s awesome voice...must draw inspiration from weird 60's musical, "Sweet Charity", must someday be as cool as girl from, "Rich Man's Frug" number. Must drop this annoying format...
Anyway, is there ANYTHING cooler than SDJ scatting? Don't answer that...and I wish the song wasn't about hippies, but you take what you can get, right? I woke up with this in my head after dreaming of messing up a rich person's house out of spite. I rubbed toothpaste on their bathroom counters, taught their children how to play dress up, and then yelled at them for being such sticks in the mud. My brain at night = ???????
http://www.youtube.com/v/SWYF25HBgKk&hl=en&fs=1

October 02, 2008

Not A Merry Woman

A friend of mine posted an amazing blog this morning about how cruel we can be as people. And it's so true. I think that I'm in the right mindset to explore this, because it's Rosh Hashana, which is meant to be ten whole days of looking at your life as honestly as possible and admitting where you're wrong. Apologizing. Letting yourself feel bad about where you've gone wrong in your life. It's so much healthier than just holding it in and becoming bitter and starting to judge everyone else.
I have this really strong urge to HELP young geeky girls who just need to be loved. So I write these pieces about dating and relationships. But I often conveniently leave out the mistakes I made in relationships. Or I find this crafty way of talking about it like a pagent contestant, taking false responsibility like, "I should've realized it wasn't the relationship for me." instead of, "I held on for dear life and tried to guilt someone into staying with me." or, "I cut and ran from a relationship without ever explaining to someone why, and consequently broke their heart."
And here I am, happily married, with a husband who listens to these things over and over again...but those scars are still there. And I know its important not to dwell. You shouldn't wallow in guilt. Ever. And I don't want to get, "stuck in a moment" (Thank you, Bono.) That doesn't help anybody. But it is important to take responsibility, especially during this time of year...'tis the season. Hey, it's not as much fun as the season to be jolly...the season to be repentant sounds a lot worse. And as rotten as it feels, I think ultimately, as Martha would say, "It's a good thing."
It just makes me want to be nice to everybody, really genuinely nice. Because you NEVER know what kind of a day someone is having, what they're going through, or how they're feeling...

October 01, 2008

Rockwell + Disney = Awesome

I need more freelance work...right now I have enough time on my hands to go absolutely scavenging through Youtube for my favorite childhood Halloween videos, and this probably isn't even the half of it.
http://www.youtube.com/v/dLdKU4JCYqg&hl=en&fs=1
http://www.youtube.com/v/bEalL-toaPI&hl=en&fs=1
http://www.youtube.com/v/nDidHzwYu3E&hl=en&fs=1
http://www.youtube.com/v/gVoIFX97Nfs&hl=en&fs=1
http://www.youtube.com/v/CDFn6Wgz_KU&hl=en&fs=1
http://www.youtube.com/v/_Lzf1XroT6w&hl=en&fs=1

Sapien Speaks

This was on my Myspace page this morning, God bless social networking...
"My Precious Audrey!!!I can't tell you how much I loved your interview with me over on AintItCoolnews. com. I will stand by this statement: You, young lady, have a true gift for finding a personal story about someone that is very difficult to dig out of people. Thank you for taking the time to find mine. Your energy, enthusiasm, prior knowledge, and creative line of questioning kept me alert and energized to share myself, quirks, funny voices, facial expressions, armpit farts, and all.And please remember, the comments section on those articles are usually full of 13 year olds trying to be funny. Bless their hearts, at least we got them reading. And from what all those campaigns on public TV tell us, that's a good thing. They'll get nicer with age .... we all had to.There's Love!!! --- Dougie J.OOH -- But I do want to thank all of the nice people who left such glowing comments, which far out-numbered those precious 13 year olds with their temporarily misguided humor. (This will all make sense when you read the message below) ... LOVE!!!"
Admittedly, I'm a little ashamed of myself for even caring about what someone on a message board would say, I'm normally very, "I'm rubber, you're glue". I felt the need to stand up for Doug in this case, and now that I know Doug is cool with it, I'm all settled down. I'm going back to being Perky-Bot 5000 now, and I'm going to "put this in my back pocket" for when I need it most!

September 30, 2008


How To Treat A Lady Geek

I'm always saying that I'm going to write a book about the special issues that came out of my dating years as a geek. I feel like I had this painful but valuable experience, and I can see girls around the age of 18 or 19, and I feel like I have to warn them that they're about to fall down a manhole or something...especially if they're lady geeks! The truth is, I have enough to say about what not to do regarding relationships that I could probably fill volumes. Especially when it comes to the way geek women are often put on pedestals, or admired from afar. But I'd rather focus on the other topics I'm working on, look forward, and throw out little bits of wisdom on the subject here and there. So I've used EHow.com to write a handful of articles about Geek socialization and dating.
http://www.ehow.com/how_4529020_treat-lady-geek.html

"The Gayest Interview Ever"
As the title would imply, I have been told repeatedly that my interview with Doug Jones is the "gayest" interview ever given. Which quite frankly...I'm taking as a compliment. It's funny though, because he's not gay, and I'm not gay, so....
I get it though, I've read and re-read the interview. I'm a VERY happy person. I talk about things that I guess are traditionally "gay", I LOVE me some Judy, musical theater, Disney (Is that gay now?) and lots of other stereotypically, but not exclusively "gay" things.
When I interview, I often put on a character facade...almost like an SNL character or something. I joke about it being similar to "The Chris Farley" show, because I most definitely lose my cool around people that I admire, but honestly, a lot of it is purposeful and controlled. I admit to "geeking out", and I ALWAYS have the time of my life. I want them to feel comfortable, and often times these people have been asked THE SAME questions a hundred billion times, so I like to surprise and entertain them. I like them to feel liked, and I like to take the opportunity to just chat with them. When you grow up with a Mom who does singing telegrams for a living, you learn very quickly how to work a public character or persona into your life to entertain others, and sometimes its less like I'm interviewing and more like I'm telegram-ming?
I have "Audrey II", who comes out just when I need her, and is a mega extrovert, and who DOESN'T hold anything back, who is probably 50% Mary Catherine Gallagher, who should probably be on a stage and not in real life, who kicks and skips and sings and tugs on her pigtails. Seriously, "Sybil" ain't got nothin' on "Audrey II".
So she wandered out on the same day that I met Doug Jones, and I let her come out and play the day I got to interview him as well...she makes everyone laugh. I make everyone laugh, when I play that ridiculous 10 year old version of myself who is bubbling over with excitement...and it works for me when I need it to most. As psychotic as that sounds. It's the actor inside of me, I try to keep my hand in by doing a couple of acting jobs a year, and it's ALWAYS fun and I ALWAYS wonder to myself why I don't just have my hand in permanently...but there's no improv around here to play with, so that answers that question.
ANYWAY, I've been called, "truly pathetic" over that interview. I've been lambasted as someone who made women the world-over look like idiots. (My, but that's an awful lot to glean off of one interview, I insulted the whole of womanhood, because I like Parker Posey?) I've been told all kinds of terrible things about myself by people who I've never met, and I've also been sent some of the kindest, sweetest, most loving comments and emails I've EVER recieved and been told to really GO for it with my career on every front! It was quite a lot of responses to deal with.
And I have to say, it really made me sympathize with Doug...here's this amazing actor doing all of these incredibly physical roles and being notoriously nice to his fans, and all people can think to come up with is, "He sounds gay"? Really?
I take some responsibility for that, because the interview was originally on video. So several times when he was saying things like, "Honey Child" or whatever else, he was PLAYING a character or making a joke. He doesn't just talk like that normally walking down the street. He's a comedian and an actor, and we were playing off of each other, doing different voices and what-not, and I didn't clarify that.
But so what if he did talk like that in real life? I'm getting sick of the only thing people are coming up with is that things or people are "gay". REALLY? How old are you? And also, you are saying that like it's a negative thing if it were true? Do you mean that you think someone is acting flamboyant? Do you mean that you thought they were theatrical, stereotypical, annoying, fun? What do you mean? Give me another word! That's just the most high school thing I ever heard, to label a performer "gay" for performing...but that's probably a tactic as old as performing itself.
I talked to my Mom the day after the interview, and we started making these jokes that I was the new gay "pied piper", the fruit fly to end all fruit flies! "I'm SOOOOO gay, look at meeeee, in all my gayness!!!!!!!!!"
Well, if its "gay" to live your dream, to have a BALL with people you admire, to do what you love for a living, to lose it a little bit and geek out, well then, get in line! Follow me, I will lead you all to happy gaydom!