Sunday, April 5, 2009

'Deep Impact'

I'm still in St. George, the storm and the cold weather kept me here for a few more days. I love staying here and visiting with friends and relatives, but I'm anxious to get to Boulder and get my little house in the orchard hooked up and humming with ideas. Friday, Cheryl took me to meet with Bruce Bennett, my theatre connection here. We discussed two different venues here in St. George, and the possibility of doing four or five shows here look promising. Yesterday, I went with cousin Gaden and family to Springdale, where Rick and Karen were camping out and testing their trailer. It was cold, but we had beef stew and blankets to keep us warm. Springdale sits at the mouth of Zion National Park, and it looks to be another possibility of doing a show. I'm anxious to get started on learning about touring, and all that I must do. I must admit, however, as I get older, 'touring' is harder on the body and the routine. Boulder will give me some time to plan how I will manage this, as always, reality collapses the fantasy, still, I think I can make it work. 

This morning, I've been searching photos of paintings of Hamlet, Ophelia, and Jesus, with a plan to incorporate them into the show. I've also been thinking about a mixed media presentation of the show, done with voiceover, photos, and video--a film of sorts, with a mix of these forms to give it substance. Now that I have the show, three different 'rough' videos of the show, I can begin to incorporate them into a cohesive mix. I bought a book before I left Los Angeles, 'My First Movie: Take Two' which is the second of a series of directors directing their first movie. The most interesting so far is Aleandro Gonzalez Inarritu, whose first movie was 'Amorres Perros', then '21 Grams', and then 'Babel'. He takes several stories and interweaves them into a cohesive whole. I remember watching 'Amorres Perros' for the first time. It was one of those movies where I thought, "I can't move... how did he do that?" It is a brutal movie, a brutal subject matter, (dogfighting, car wrecks, and murder) one of those movies that sticks to your ribs. He speaks of film making as a masochistic endeavor, a singular focus, the story of making the movie is almost as brutal as the film. Making art with a singular focus is brutal at times,  an alternative world. There is definitely a price to pay. Before he made this movie, he had never even been to a film festival before his movie played in Cannes, during Critic's Week. Within the week, he was the most sought out interview of the festival. There were several key things he said I thought profound, one is that "No one can really read your script and have an understanding of how it works but a director..." (in this case he was both writer and director). "The vision of what you are trying to do is firmly written in your head with words and images, and no one can really see it the same way ..." I think its the same with a play, its difficult to get someone who can read your play and really know how it works. Its one of the reasons I work singularly with Kurt, (the director of my play and eight others), he knows my work, my family, and my history. This has come from a long friendship and sharing history with him,  and, that  I have an interesting family, with a long tradition of story telling. A word to artists: "Cultivate relationships with people who are interested in your life, and do the same for the person you seek to work with... Especially if you are seeking collaborative art forms such as film and theatre, you can't do it alone..." Inarritu is a film maker I suspect has deep relationships with other artists, and they know that this deep collaboration will yield beautiful art. It is so important as well to keep up the relationships with the people who 'come into a place' where they will 'think of you' when they have an opportunity to create something 'bigger' than the world you knew them in. 

As I may have mentioned before, post time after doing a play is always a difficult time for me. The prolonged use of heightened senses begin to retreat for a rest, but other parts of the body and brain keep going. Luckily, for me, the traveling and the stimulus I'm experiencing right now are keeping the demons at bay. The only noticeable side effect has been a deep sense of longing and nostalgia. For some reason, regret and a feeling of being lonely are springing up in my emotions. Images appear in my brain without notice, usually memories that are some how tied into something that happened long ago. I know getting to Boulder and walking will help, as will a steady diet and a chance to play some music and write some songs. It looks like I'll make it there tomorrow. Stay steady... stay steady...


caroline said...

steady on, Raymond. Straight on till morning as Beryl Markham said. You've certainly got more than enough material for a narrative movie. And have you thought of doing a documentary movie on how you came to put on the play? With that documentary you might be able to raise the money to do the narrative film of the story itself. Sort of a visual pitch. Plus so many of the 'players' in the story are around to be interviewed. Your mom, your other relatives, Kurt, the other professionals with whom you staged the play...It's an intense and appealing story in itself, the making of the play. and the verification word for this post is "mosie", heheh

Gerry said...

One thing about it, you donot lack for ideas and I am sure some of them will bear fruit in the months and years to come. I do know there are lots of fun ways to get creative and if you have some good friends and associates, intelligent, sober, and alert, things will happen, as cannot happen in this poor sad place where the alcoholics come to the end of the line, as well as the smokers, druggers and overeaters, finally just trying to survive a little longer, to heck with accomplishing anything. An up attitude, a will do mentality, and whatever it takes to get in shape and think things through is what keeps hope alive in the world. I am hanging on to the life line of a projected production down the road aways, which I know cannot be generated here. Old self indulgent attitudes die so hard. The people seem to die of their attitudes and how those attitudes got so fixed is hard to fathom, but just your flexibility is a source of hope to me! M.