Wisconsin

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As always, I’ve let too much time pass and what was once interesting is not so anymore.

Three weeks ago (? I think?) we went to the Wisconsin Film Festival.  It was great, it really was.  I would love to go back to that festival with June.  It was a whirlwind, we were just in Madison for a weekend and we loved the films we saw (Uncle John, Bloomin Mud Shuffle, and the Found Footage Festival were all wonderful).  Then we saw our film screened during the shorts presentation and…ouch.

I mean, Christ, I’m glad I can laugh it off a little now, but there’s nothing like seeing other more professional films screened alongside your $300 (max) budgeted film to get a little humility knocked into you.  I mean, the sound, the color issues – everything we thought would be “indie but okay” was definitely NOT okay to me.  Do I admit the truth here?  Ugh, sure.  It felt really shitty.  All our sound issues (we had a bad mic – we were actually testing it for June) and color problems (we did little with color correction and we need pro help) were fuckin magnified.  To be fair, the other films had budgets (as we learned during the Q&A) of generally $1,000 to $10,000.  And we had about $200 to $300.

Still.  Ay yi yi.  It was a good lesson – never show anything you’re less than proud of.  So – if we get in anywhere else, and we will, those problems will be minimized by some (cheap) pro help.  It’s frustrating because we just did not have the money to fix it.  It cost enough just to fly there.  So sad to admit, but true.  I’ve maxed out credit cards making June.  But, hey, I should be getting a little tax return so hopefully that can smooth out our issues some.

I do think Cam was well-received though, despite its issues.  And I think people were impressed with what we did on so little (which is the point, Rebecca!)  It’s funny how you work on something for so long and you lose perspective.  I think I lost perspective on just how weird it is.  It’s really unsettling and it’s hard to know if it’s funny or just uncomfortable.  I guess that’s what I liked about it when I wrote it.  That said, I’d be happy to never see it again.  But I tend to be that way about everything I make.

Ugh, I’ll write about it another time.

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I guess I can’t seem to mask my slight depression I’m going through at the moment.  I mean, I always have it, it’s always around.  Moods.  I’ve always had heavy moods.  But I guess I’m just grieving right now.

A week ago I left my family home forever.  That sounds so dramatic, but it’s the truth.  And it feels dramatic.  My family was in that home for 24 years, since I was four years old.  Everything happened there.  My dad died there.  We grew up.  We came home.  It was a touchstone, it was security.

I think I might be in a little bit of shock.  I walked through the house in my last days there after I packed up my bedroom and I watched the ghosts run past me, vignettes played out in lights and shadows.  My dad popping around every corner (“Hey, Beccaroo”), my brother and sister and me running around as little kids, chasing the dogs, the shadow of a cat around the legs of a chair, my mom in the garden with cuts up her arms from the roses, a warm and dark dining room with candles lit for Christmas dinner and all of us at that same table year after year.  All gone to the present anyway.  Swept up in time.  Good bye.  It’s all been gone for a long time anyway.

Still.  It’s heartache.

And being out here, in this apartment by the train, well, it hurts a little more than it used to.  There’s so safe room to return to anymore.  It feels like depending even more on my dreams, which honestly feel like a lot of bullshit that I made up sometimes, more than any real kind of possibility.

And yet.  Here I am.  There’s some kind of faith (and knowing) that propels me forward.  And boxing up my room did not kill me.  It felt like it could even be a fresh start.  Like I could let go of the bad years – and there were some bad years – in that bedroom.  Dark teenage angst I’d just as soon never see again.

And I believe I am supposed to be here.  Even if California is a sacrifice and could never be a real home.   Even if I dream of prairies and mountains.  Wisconsin.  Colorado.  Here I am.  Anyway.  Making movies.  Failing and continuing.

I feel dark and light.  I guess I’ll keep going.

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Good News and Blahs

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The days have been a bit quiet.  I haven’t wanted to do a lot since I got back to LA several weeks ago – oh my god, almost a month.  I’ve been tired and uninterested.  It’s been a very very slow wake up process after the holidays and after my grandpa passed.

I’ve been disoriented.

And while I am feeling better (I’ve been on a cleanse – no sugar, wheat, dairy, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine – mayyyybe that’s part of feeling down and now feeling better…), it’s still a roller coaster.  Facing facts about my life in the new year has hit me pretty hard – facts about money, about being 28 and living essentially at poverty level (though I need to not tell myself that), about only just now starting to try acting in LA, and so forth.

But in the midst of two great pieces of news and some venting to my mom and Chris (thank god for them), I feel myself starting to perk up.

Good news 1 – our short film Cam Companion was accepted into the Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison.   A wonderful shot in the arm for us in the midst of the winter blahs.  We’ll be there in April, can’t wait to get back out to the Midwest.

Good news 2 – I’m in a student film tonight.  Honestly, I’m hardly doing anything, playing a receptionist for a couple seconds, but it feels good to get the call sheet, to plan outfits, to do the work of an actress.  But it’s also a little shaky feeling – I spent the summer playing the lead in my own movie.  So that means I only had to please myself – and I wrote it, so I understood all the layers in the character.   I’m realizing that I’ve gotten a little spoiled by that experience…and a wee bit lazy.  So I’m grateful to ease back in with low pressure.  Should be fun.

And it’s editing time.  Whether I like it or not.  June cannot wait any longer.  Currently in the process of carving out focused work time on the movie…it’s so much harder than I’ve led myself to believe.

Well, here we go.  An awkward, fumbling start to 2015, but I feel better every day.

A Passage

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My grandpa bookmarked this page in Hal Borland’s Book of Days.

From December 26:

“We have come into a spell of clear, cold weather, with a bright sun and the midday temperature getting up to the low twenties, then dropping at night close to zero.  Without wind, such weather is almost enjoyable.  We have gone for a walk, up the road, not across the snow-covered pastures, almost every evening the past week.  The moon has passed its full, now rises late, but the stars are magnificent.  They seem to have the deep fireglow of eternity, and though I admire the mathematics, I almost resent being told that some of those stars I am seeing have been dead and without a glimmer of luminescence for a thousand or two thousand years.  The light I see, I am told, and no doubt with ample reason, is simply light that was cast this way by those stars before they died.

Even so, to walk abroad now is to walk in the midst of infinity.  There are no limits to either time or distance, except as man himself may make them.  I have only to touch the wind to know these things, for the wind itself is full of starlight, even as the frozen earth underfoot, starlight and endless time and exalted wonder.

I look at the red-gold star we call Arcturus, and even as the ancients I strain for a closer look, through this peephole, this spark-burn in the blanket of night, hoping for the slightest glimpse of Beyond.  I turn to a star, even redder than Arcturus, and I have to accept the factual truth of the astronomers, and yet wonder if that is all, the whole, the ultimate truth.

Time, and distance, and wonder – we walk up this valley in the midst of eternity.”

My grandpa passed away on December 26.  A noble mind, a man of nature and classical learning.  A renaissance man.

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