Saturday, December 20, 2008

Production and Rain.

Its three o'clock in the morning, and I can't sleep. Kurt (the director of 'Bohemian Cowboy') just left for Northern California yesterday, and was here for three days. It was a flurry. I spent a good part of the time driving, which is always tiring in Los Angeles. A lot happened in those three days. The first night he arrived from NYC, we talked until the wee hours of the morning about the structure of the play. Kurt is a great story guy, and we identified the flaws in the script. I have my work cut out for me. As of now, the script is dramatically strong, but is weak in the overall tie. Its not enough to write a play that moves dramatically, it all has to 'bind' together, and this is not always easy to find. Thematically, the play is the story of my Dad, but it has all these other characters within, but the story has to be complete and intact. At least I have a challenging bit of work to do, but it isn't going to be easy. Kurt and I have been through this drill many times, still, there is always dealing with the honesty of his reaction, and then executing the changes. 

Kurt had meetings lined up with producers here, two different producers (with finance) are interested in his 'Wild Horse Annie' script, which is about a woman who tries to protect the wild horses that still exist in this country. Two years ago, he wrote an article for 'Vanity Faire' on the subject, so he brings a certain expertise to the subject. He has spend many hours with 'Wild Horse Annie', and it is a compelling story. Hollywood loves its animals, especially animals that the Republican Party (particularly Bush) is trying to destroy. Part of our plan in being here is to take our existing scripts and stories and find a deal. I met a friend of Scott's yesterday, who spent a half hour lecturing to us about the trouble that the 'movie business' was in. So, the only discouraging part of yesterdays musings, was that its hard to get anything made right not. Still, it was exciting to have all of this going on, and Kurt pitched my script, 'Blackout Blues', which they seemed interested in reading. 

We also went to the theatre space, where we had a short rehearsal, even though rehearsals are not scheduled to start until January 7th. There is some good news on that front. I finally got an affirmative on David Fofi on directing 'Blue Baby'. He is the Artistic Director of Elephant Theatre where we are doing the play. I thought if I could get him interested, it would be good for obtaining an audience, as he knows lots of people. He seemed to really like the script, so I have a director for that play but only one actor thus far. As the rehearsals get closer and closer, this part of things get a little more stressful, still, doing both plays is the best decision. Although I am making progress, there are still a thousand things to think about, probably why I'm up at three in the morning! 

I also looked at an apartment yesterday. It is a two bedroom apartment in Hollywood, (close to the theatre) believe me, its nothing fancy, still, I'm finding that any apartment here is expensive to rent. I'm a little worried, as money here, (even when you are being conservative) goes very fast, even though I'm trying to be careful, I'll have to live 'close to the bone' to get from here to there. I'm still trying to process my conversation with the renters, as its a 'sub-let' situation, but it almost has to be because I only want the apartment for three months. I have to make a decision today, and write up my own rental agreement if I decide to take the apartment. It felt right yesterday, but feels different somehow this morning. I tend to want to make decisions fast, however, because the clock is ticking, and I have to be out of this place in Silver Lake by next Sunday. I'll let you know how that turns out. 

Adding to some of this stress is Jack Kerouac, who is running from detectives, dealing with health issues, and having all the publishers reject his books. Its a harrowing story, but man how it holds the interest. That beat generation were a 'wild bunch'. Thematically, its filled with financial crises, as they try to have the time to write. Its always a catch twenty-two, "Shall I get a job so I can eat or do I continue to write hoping someone will help me get my work published?" This is always a plight of the writer/artist, where the next bag of groceries is coming from. Other artists seem to understand, and so they try to keep each other afloat. I don't think that has changed much, although it sometimes seems it becomes more difficult to 'keep each other afloat' and particularly here, because it isn't any longer a twenty dollar bill to get by like it was in 1952. I think after working at the same job for ten years, its a little strange to go back to this 'free-lance' lifestyle, even though I did it for many years before. I remember living on six thousand dollars one year, I used to make a huge pot of beans and ate burritos for days. Six thousand dollars sounds like a lot in one chunk, but spread it out over a year,  its tough to pay for everything.  Still, I am grateful for where I am now, and grateful for this 'chunk of grant money' to put it all on 'Black #8'. 

I better try and get a little more shut-eye, as I have a long day tomorrow. With the rain and the company, I haven't been able to walk this week, so some of my insomnia is probably from the lack of exercise. Of course, the rain and the cold has kept people inside, although to me the storm system seemed the same temperature, although I am getting used to the damp nature of California again. 

So, things are still moving forward, I'm hoping to write this next week, and still haven't decided whether I can afford to go to Phoenix or St George for Christmas, I'll make that call as I get closer to the Christmas Eve deadline. I'm grateful that I could get back to reporting my life, as I'm growing used to this 'blogging' outlet. Its a great way to organize my thoughts, and even though its difficult for me to spend lots of time reading other blogs, I try to get there, its a matter of deciding how I must spend my energy. Once again, I am appreciative of your comments, and I do feel the support from so many. That feels good. That lifts me up. Onward and Upward! 


Gerry said...

With all this going on, driving somewhere too far away for Xmas might not be the best idea, but if you stay in Los Angeles for this holiday you will need to blog, talk on the phone, and try to feel as close as you can so you won't get down. I am more worried about you overextending yourself. I do think that the attempt to reach out and connect with your plays or whatever you write is so important, even if the times dictate a more limited connection than might have been possible in yesteryears. But in those days fame and recognition were possible still only for the very few and that has always seemed unhealthy for a society to me. The fact that it is harder now days does not seem like a bad thing unless the artists stop putting their creations out there someway. If a lot of writers, playwrights, movie makers keep doing that, they keep excitement going. So the great value lies in the doing, the making of a creative statement for all those you know and who are part of your scene. The idea is to keep inspiring them which you are doing, and there is a ripple effect. Now you have got people waiting for your next blog entry, wondering what is happening, and I know they aren't going to be disappointed! Mom

annk said...

I admire your nerve in just moving ahead to produce your own work, your tenacity into getting 'known' and enjoyed enough that people are willing to work with you, and your great spirit in seeing a direction and making the moves to make it happen. You also write an excellent blog!

Pamela said...

Good luck on the apartment! I know it's so expensive here. I'm glad you are adjusting to CA and I really am wishing you all of the success in the world.
Keep writing!