Tag Archives: Writer

An Open Letter

30 Dec

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Dear God,

Please make me morph (as close as humanly possible) into a carbon copy of Emma Thompson, someday.

…I should like to own the linguistic and intellectual banter to keep up with the Cambridge fellows of her like, as Stephen Fry, and Peter Laurie, and all the rest.

…Please let me one day read Lit in a top worldly place of letters and write an Oscar winning screenplay on the author’s works of my former thesis.

I would like  to be one of the newest version of Lunt and Fontaine, Olivier and Leigh, Branagh and Thompson, please.

Could I get away with being a total bohemian nutter, and people will still love me viciously?

…Also, please can I marry Willoughby?

I would really  appreciate working with Streep, and Pacino, and Hoffman, and Winslet,  whilst have them love me so much, they consider me family.

Can I own the magic English skin that never wrinkles or ages, and the lithe figure to go with it?

Please, dear God, make me funny some day.  (I know my limits, but a 100th of a percentage of Dame Thompson will due me.)

…Also, WHY ain’t she a Dame yet…it’s really bothering me….

Smart-sexy.  It’s a thing. I watch it and want to own it. Willing to work hard: please help me to achieve.

A “Character Actor” of first degree: please grow me.

Smart choices. Smart dialogue. Smart wit. Smart woman. I beg this degree.

A double header, double feature is all it takes to remind me…how astronomically essential a hard worker is. And how (more  than anything) I wanna be “that guy.”

…Who, in this case…

…Happens to be…

An Emma Thompson.

I  thank you.

Sincerely,

Me.

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Fingers, Feet & Fetish

5 Sep

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After a long day back at work, with month-end closings, and Holiday sells analysis and blah-blah-blah-blah…how about we get back to the basics? A few flashes into the rest of m’day, to carry with you:

Long walk looking at posh houses with Ma.  I think they have their lawns cut with hair clippers. They also all have mullioned windows breeding like ancient rabbits. If you wanna make a lot of money, you should move here and take up window washing.  It could be very lucrative. Or maybe I will.  Shut up. I told you nothing. It was my idea the whole time.  I have it in writing, so remember that.

…Eating warm falafel pieces with homemade tomatillo salsa, from The BFF’s oven.  This is my second dinner for the night, so I guess it’s good that I did all that walking before.  Chickpeas are yum, but I like their other name “Garbonzo beans” better.  I think cuz it sounds like Gonzo. Which is both my favorite kind of journalism and Muppet. A coincidence?  I think not.

…On a whim, we suddenly decide on the frozen yogurt bar.

She picks pistachio. (She’s wrong, but I love her anyway.)  I get the vanilla and caramel mix.  With marshmallows.  She saves hers.  I eat mine like it doesn’t matter how much shit I’ve already consumed for the day. 

…We sit at The BFF’s house…me: flipping through a 1930’s intelligence book on fingerprinting as The BFF picks at her feet.  She has monster calluses from Kickboxing.  I have monster interest in old paper and weird research fetishes.

Me: (from behind book.) “Did you know you can’t permanently destroy your fingerprints?  Even with burning and acid?”

The BFF: (frowning at her foot in closeup as she picks.) “Huh.”

Me: (still behind book.) “The ridges just grow back.  Six months later. Here, look…there are totally pictures.”

…I don’t even show her the page.  Why should she get to see all the good stuff just cuz I find it?  Even if it is her book. 

She grabs some scissors.

Me: (looking up at the flash of metal.) “Um, what the hell are you doing?”

The BFF:  “It’s just for the dead stuff.  It’s crazy…feel my calluses.  Feel ’em!  Feel ’em!”

…She waves her Flinstone feet in my face, which I refuse to touch on principle.  They are all gnarly on the bottoms like she has a third career in firewalking.  Which she might.  She does a shit-ton of things on a daily basis, and I can’t possibly be responsible with keeping up on ’em all.

…”I have nothing to blog about tomorrow,” I say, while returning to the book.

“You can always talk about me picking at my feet, while we listen to Tom Waits…”

(P.S. We are listening to Tom Waits. On vinyl.)

…”That’s just stupid,” I say, turning the page.  “Why in the hell would I write about that?”

The BFF shrugs and I start reading about this one guy.  It’s all about fingerprint ageing, following this one dude from twenty, through forty and into eighty.  They all look exactly the same.  “These fingerprints all look exactly the same,” the book says.

…And this gets me to thinking.  Mostly about how to get the skin cells on fingertips to replicate all over the body…cuz then we would never change in appearance or age.  Ever.  I consider making this research my new career for the good of all mankind.  Then I remember my first period Chemistry class in High School, and decide that if it’s up to me, mankind is basically just fucked.

…Unless you guys wanna get in on this. In which case, my fee-cut is a very reasonable 20%.

Me: (putting down the book.) “Doesn’t your Kickboxing class start in like five minutes?”

The BFF: “Twenty.”

…I sigh heavily as I lay there exhausted, from looking at pictures, and curing aging and rich people’s dirty windows.

“I need a nap,” I announce, as I heave myself from the couch.  “Call me later.”

…The BFF answers without looking up, with a sound that I know means, “sure/maybe/whatever,” as I walk out the door.

Once home, I put on “Alias” again. Because I can’t help myself.

Season two.  Near the end.  Don’t spoil it for me or I’ll have to kill you.

…I turn abruptly, and bang my fucking knee on the the same fucking edge of the fucking coffee table that I do every goddamn day.  The bruises have never healed since I first brought the fucker home, six years ago.  In the end, it’ll prob’ly be the thing that cripples me.

…I take it out on a pillow.  He takes it like a man. I plow into the couch, and press “play.”

As the last episode wrap-up begins, I look at my laptop in the corner there, and my brain begins to chant.

My Brain: “what-to-write, what-to-write, what-to-write…?”

I think of a finger, dressed like Sherlock Holmes, who solves crimes primarily via errant prints. Maybe it’s a children’s series.  Or something like Sponge Bob which applies to grown-ups with dependency issues.  This would double my viewership, easily.  Then I think of The BFF picking her feet to Tom Waits poetry.

I take the lesser of two evils and just fucking commit…like a Gonzo journalist should.

…Sometimes, it’s all you have.

…That, and a whole lot of expletives.

~D

Miss Scarlet, With The Car, In the Bathroom

2 Jul

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Exactly one week from Friday, I will be amongst many in a throng of humanity, crammed into Seattle Art Museum listening to a series of lectures on the rules and regulations of gorilla-filming for the 48 Hour Film Festival.  Thankfully, some several-year veteran’s are the ones who have built our team, selecting it’s members with whatever crystal ball of weirdness they own.  I know it’s an “iffy” brand, because they want me to be a part of the deal…and I’ve never been on a film set in my life.

…I adore film, don’t get me wrong! 

…I want to make babies with it and pepper the world-over with them…like a Queen Victoria of cinema.  That isn’t the concern.  It’s that I am “of theatre.”  Like the “in my bones” kind.  And I’m not a cross-over when it comes to displays of my talents.  I am particularly unphotogenic…to the point that head shots and archival candids are the absolute bane of my existence.  And this is partly because everything on my face is giant. 

…There is nowhere to GO, no safe haven to retreat to when an entire face is just yelling at you with every feature.  So I consider it fortunate that this is a “good” thing for theatre, and we all get along swimmingly for it, la-de-dah.

But now, two perfectly lovely people want me to do some film.  And I said “yes,” because they are perfect and lovely.  And then I thought about my little “problem” and added a small asterix to my contract clause.  We are working exclusively on “handshake” terms, so not being in exact writing, it goes something like this:

“I will be honored to do this film shoot with you, on the strict understanding that I in no way have to act on screen in it.”

…The addendum clause to the addendum clause they replied back, goes something like:

“…Unless we really, really need you, cuz for whatever reason it’s the only way to go.”

…To which my legal department responded:

“…But what if I had another solid behind-the-screen job that might even make it a conflict of interest in time and schedule budgeting?”

…To which they said:

“Fine.  You’re head writer.”

…To which I said:

“Um…I’ve never written a screenplay in my life!”

….To which they said:

“You’re like a 7-time produced playwright. Suck it up, and learn.”

…So that is what I have been doing. 

I have a job.  I know what it is.  And my giant face won’t be screaming at people on a screen the size of a two-story house afterwards. 

I can work with this. 

…And I have been.

Two practice runs in fully timed and detailed mock-up situations.  And several panicked moments of complete spontaneous inadequacy.  One of the mock ups though has even been claimed by Team Leader to film later, just “because.”  He thinks it’s solid.  He likes the “reveal.” And no one paid him to tell me that.

…Every stumble-effort success, is still a “success.”  So, play on.

Tomorrow, will be my third pass.  A couple notes from Team Leader as an Editor and Director on things to be mindful of from passes one and two, are simmering even now, in my brain.  Just a-waiting.  Married with a couple things I’ve learned on my own, along the way. Here is my mental notebook going into run three:

1)  Less locations, less effects for post.
2)  Shorter.  Always shorter.
3)  It’s not meant to win an Oscar.
4)  Over-“dramaticalness” reads on screen faster than a fart is found out in an elevator.
5)  Maybe find a different way to kill people than with cars.
6)  Find a wine-bitch.  I work waaay better when I stop thinking and editing crap before I’ve even allowed myself to actually write it.
7)  Pretend like this isn’t going to be seen by thousands of people on a movie screen with my name on it.
8)  Pack my toothbrush.
9)  Make peace, right now, that no sleeping will be taking place.
10) Remember: we are having fun.

…So goes my next gig.  Followed quickly by the next two, back-to-back, up on stage.

Rest time is over, friends.

Season’s starting!

Time to get the head back in the game.

…”About fucking time!” Says I.

~D

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