Peripheral City

Peripheral City
Peri, played by Josh Elrod

Monday, November 30, 2009

Peripheral City Journal

October 14, 2009
Am on the JMZ platform going to Martini's studio grateful for a day of work. Bad xeroxes of gay porn on the wall, black stripes barring out eyes as huge cocks raging hard-ons and ball licking go on above Tini's industrial sewing machines. Bills pile up and under the breath, abundance affirmations dribble out and I hope they don't damn me as I pray for myself, to pay my stuff and get my work done. I live on the lip of the wave holding my breath.
Just sent Ivy and Josh the sides for episode two... waiting on their feedback. Thinking about shooting the intro this Sunday, although Ryan Kelley, the guy who loaned me the HVX last time is a little unpredictable. Think I'll call Sofian for a back up. Anyhow, am delighted for another chance.

The shoot at the park last week went sort of well. I mean it turned out to be two days instead of one. The first day, Jermel was so late, almost three hours, that Jelena had to leave for work by the time he showed. And I was already agitated that Justin had been an hour late, and it was utterly pointless that I had by then already gotten into a fight with Cate who had been fifteen minutes late picking me up, which she mercilessly pointed out to me and I deserved. The sun was too bright and I better get used to things not going as scheduled. We lost half the crew for the second day, Sean on boom, covering for Ed who had a fever, was a no show, so I begged the Russian actor Pavel to do boom and he did. It was better light the next day anyhow, overcast, slightly rainy, we pulled off a six page of dialogue heavy scene in three and a half hours, ignoring big things like leaf blowers and school buses. McCarren park is and was a wild card for sound, and Sam Lee kept shaking his head beneath his headphones. Plus Justin picked a spot for the master shot by the bathhouse that I mentioned might be problematic for foot traffic, and was. Men kept walking in to shot to go to the bathroom and staring directly into the lens and at the actors. Justin brushed it off and said it would be fine, but walked into shot every few minutes, which all total probably cost us a half an hour. Justin liked the red in the brick, and it was pretty gorgeous. The masters and the CUs won't match. Justin may be a little arrogant, we'll see. He keeps telling me in a not so nice way to relax. God knows I read like a nut trying to produce and direct myself, under-slept, overworked. Luckily, Jermel seems to need no direction. Put a halo on him and call him Jesus, I gave the part away to the wrong character.

When at Andrew's apartment, we crammed into his tiny, dog saturated, bedroom to edit. Before I realized what I was doing, I moved his vibrator off a shelf with my bare hand to make room for the large monitor so I could see his edits with out craning my neck. Andrew has been working to build his reel with more creative stuff (unpaid, hence me) after a bad run with gay porn in San Francisco. Scored yesterday -- Mary Round signed on as Jelena's Serbian, hopeless mom for episode two; she is a genius though she said if I were to see the last film she were in I wouldn't want to work with her. I have been dreaming about using her in something since I read her for my unshot, forgotten feature screenplay, "To Be Held," a metaphysical Rom-Com. Jermel is sad because he can't find a castle cheap enough to shoot his blinged-out vampire video. It turns out he's a talented hip hop artist. I tried to explain we could shoot it cheaply but he didn't want to hear anything about artifice with ingenious sets made out of cardboard, he wants the real castle. We may use his acoustic rap for the intro.

Tonight, Jelena and I went to the Anthony Bregman talk at the NY Film Academy. After listening to his outrageous good luck at being happy go lucky, hard working, and being born under a lucky star, followed by the Q & A about Eternal Sunshine, I actually asked him a very testy question that was unanswerable about the web and how to get his attention. He tried to answer the question good naturedly, coming from the realm of possibility that he comes from, which happens to be much bigger than mine, so his answer totally missed the mark. I guess I looked disappointed because he said -- before walking off with the Barbi look-alike student (that had even made gorgeous Jelena squirm in discomfort) -- did I answer your question? Sure, why? I asked. Well, because you gave me this look. Oh, I said, I give everyone that look... but it wasn't true, I had given him a disappointed look alright, because I really just want everyone hand all the answers over without my having to do all of this work.

Keep thinking about Ash Bhalla, the most handsome Pakistani man, gambler card player, I have ever met - at the Easthampton Film Fest with Jelena, right as we were leaving the dull after party to drive back to the city. Jelena reported that Jermel kissed her neck. Antone, Jelena's co-actor on Here and There, sat shotgun and gabbed my ear off, on something strong, until we dropped him off on some dark, suburban street in front of a ranch style Long Island home, no lights on or any sign of life. On the long drive back, Jermel held up his iPhone and we listened to a good selection of soul through tiny iPhone speakers.

October 15, 2009
Sitting in a beautiful little cafe feeling beautiful and little. Alone in a crowd, had to leave after barely finishing my tea, the discomfort so great. People were looking good. Even though the copper nails on the copper table tops, and the steam veil rising from through the milk and honey. Even though the gift of time and sunlight... Bartering days of work for days of work on friend's film, didn't work out as idealistically as I had intended. Keep arguing with the filmmaker friend in my head, which is useless. Be clear before any promises made. Lesson learned. The window frames people as they pass, they are truly framed. They should get a lawyer. Distracted. Making lists of missing sound and missing dialogue on the moleskin before me. Seems impossible without money to pay these people to get all this work done, without enough help to have other folks be my eyes and ears, I too can't even ask for what I need so overwhelmed and tired.

Walk through gray icy rain a mile to Kayrock's silkscreen studio, where he helps me with the graphics for the newspaper in the opening scene where Jelena finding Jermel buried beneath the newspaper for his little nap. She looks down and reads the headline, "The Crash!" Kayrock does a good job, lickety split -- bastardizing the NY Observer with our made up morning news. Will people wonder why Jermel is buried beneath pink newspapers?

Got into a blow up with great aunt Linda who was still mad at me for rescheduling our lunch date last weekend so I could go to the East Hampton Film Festival. She's never even asked me what my film is about. For that matter she never asks me anything about any of my projects. While there, we merciless self promoted, but to what avail? Jermel dragged Jelena and I down the red carpet. He was a radiant salesman of self, which in itself made it worth it, he taught us how to be in the joy. Jelena, who was actually in one of the festival films, was truly bedazzled and starstruck, punch drunk, as flashes popped off in her face. I am certain they found out I was an imposter and threw out the negatives. Jelena, broken hearted over the producer of her Serb/American film, Here and There, some bald man whom I believe she really did love -- but from all impressions -- a little wilted and made no impression on me whatsoever. Ed Hellmore's 1970's White Merc really made the trip worth while, bringing back memories of rides in all the classics out of my dad's garage, the smell of motor oil mixed with Cambridge soil a smell I hope to never forget.

October 19th, 2009

Time Warner Cable shut off, unable to pay the sound man, a $70 over draught... I need to go to the bank to sort this out. The Vanity Fair check hasn't come, yet and doesn't look like it will. No work on the horizon. Just joined a dating service yesterday then quit today. The unfillable hole, pun intended. Desperately want an escape. Can't even qualify this as a feeling -- it's been with me so long; fear of financial failure and romantic extinction. It's settled in my lower back like an old dog, whining, moving too slow. Saw "Coco before Chanel" with Huey and Marble, the three of us the only ones laughing in the theater, and sighing over her excellent out of place outfits, her handsome lover, who brought her happiness and then of course, bought it in a car crash.

On the subway ride home, over the loud speaker: "A crowded subway car is no excuse for unlawful sexual conduct." I heard myself laugh out loud once again, inappropriately. I was reminded of an erotic story by Anais Nin, where a man had secret sex with a woman throbbing, crowded public hanging -- or of The Holy Girl, the Lucretia Martel film, about a man who feels up a young virgin and in her confusion of sexual desire, takes it for rapture and the urge to save his soul. My face feels frozen in disgust and despair here at home alone, again. Something needs to change.

October 20, 2009

Lars Von Triers "The Kingdom" waits for me by my bed, my weird movie lover. I am on my way to French Church. I have people in my life whom I can be honest with. There are people out there who love what I love and want what I want. But, how will I find them?

Five things to remember in sparring: Position, Feeling, Timing, Throwing, and Exchange. Kung Fu and film are an awful lot alike.

A beautiful, fantastical night. Ran into two younger handsome men, which never happens, because I am never out, then got into a cab with them, which I also never do, and ended up having peppermint tea with them at The Standard Hotel, a velvet rope joint, while they felt great and I felt great and try as hard as I could to judge it as vapid and outrageous excess, I just couldn't. One of the guys was Milo Jaimes. He is interested in acting. He could be a great Edward for Episode Two, if he can act -- he looks like a young, healthier Montgomery Clift. I couldn't tell if he was trying to booty call me at the end. It was 2 am and their friend, a composer of childrens' music had just invited over a table full of obnoxious, vapid, frankly -- bland women, which wasn't my scene at all, so I got on my coat and scarf and he walked me out. In the freezing wind, he fingered my cashmere scarf and said it was lovely. I was still feeling like one of the dudes, but then he said -- I guess you're just going to bed. I got the impression he wanted to talk some more, which set off a weird bout of obsessive thinking and uncontrolled smiling as I walked to the subway. What to make of it all? It is progress that I've started to go out again. Icy air molecules. In my mind, the glaciers are dropping miles of ice cliffs into a violent and turbulent, soul crushingly frozen sea and the waves are on their way toward New York.

Good God, what if Miles can act, but my words are rotten and empty and vain? What if I get everything right, the casting, the producing, the catering -- then I can't write or direct?

October 23, 2009
Saved my website from being shut off, just. Autonomic films will be something, I don't know what it will be, but it will be something. Got my overdraft protection turned on and refunded for the simple oversight that they had not turned it on. I played hard ball, but they would have cooperated anyhow, so it was pointless, over $35. Not so scared to open my mail or return calls from the bank anymore, I just have to remember that they are all just as confused as I am. Sent the first part of the SAG actor's contract to Pierre Debs in the New Media department at SAG. Was worried SAG would be miserable, but have had nothing but a good time with these cool folks.

I got the runs from bad lentil soup on a job interview today at a really busy Locations company in TriBeCa, run by a sexy chain smoker and a lot of hot young twenties who could whip through unmanageable file systems in their data base. From what the woman training me said, it seems the entries are based upon some sort of intuitive system that isn't catalogued anywhere, no guidelines. Everyone pretends it is working, so it does, the best case of fake it til you make it I have ever seen. The training consisted of a young woman showing you super fast how it all worked and expecting you to remember how to navigate this vicious sea of rentals lightening fast, then when it was obvious I wasn't taking those pseudo directions well, I very clearly missed the cue when the owner said that I could go if I wanted to, and I offered to help her make phone calls. She looked at me quite baffled, then said okay. I am a sucker. She said she'd call tomorrow, then I mistook that for my getting the job and asked her about rates, upon which she mouthed the word tomorrow. Never heard back from her. Just as well, I wouldn't have lasted. So, I did laundry.

I sent out call sheets and sides to the actors, went to FC and laughed my social anxiety away, set up an audition with dreamy Milo for tomorrow, found a gaffer, Jordan Parot on craigslist whose stuff I really like for $150, which he wasn't too happy about. Called Sof, we're using his HVX until the 30th. Edward said I could borrow the white Merc for two weeks. Dreamy! I want to shoot the opening sequence. Little portraits of everyone, Jelena dooing seancey type of stuff, Jermel on his bike, snaking around in the grass, Perry hanging from a big gold dollar sign... need to borrow the camera and fabricate this thing, shoot parts of their bodies, peripherally, chins, withdrawing bodies, corners of mouths and eyes... Also need to talk to Christine Z. and get the real lesbian pastor's phone number on Milton Street and talk to her about her story and see if we can use the church as a shooting location.

October 26th, 2009
Spent the day enrolling Tiger Lily Express to give me free copies for my shoot, all the SAG contracts and sides, probably a hundred dollars worth of paper and ink. Called Mikey's Hookup trying to track down Mikey to get him to donate some hard drives and some printer cartridges. Spent some time perusing craigslist for a sugar daddy then felt sick. In the mean time, my heart has been doing a crazy dance in my chest, getting worse and worse. So this is stress, as if I haven't felt other forms of it. Seeing my limitations more and more with filmmaking, exhaustion, depression, doubt. Moving forward anyhow, seem to fool others, am even fooling myself, that's ok, more worried I won't fool myself. First day no caffiene, and I am off, my thinking is weird. Shoot is on Wednesday; where's the money coming from? Still no sign of the Vanity Fair check, am pestering Benjamin and The Wall Group mercilessly. I feel like a liar, I am, I'm telling people that the money will be there, but it isn't yet. I do know I am owed it, whether it comes or not is a mystery. I can't keep doing it this way, however. The precipice is steep, and I am feeling alittle vertigo, but I have been here for so long that it almost feels normal, the feelling of falling into a big wide pit, a strange terrible openness, without ground, only sky and all it's vast openness, but a night sky, so dark it feels impossible to pick the right direction to aim my falling senses. Maybe I don't need to give my body away to an old man to find $5,000 a month...

October 28th, 2009
6:45 am, L train. Heading to 333 W. 20th Street for the second time in 18 hours to pick up the Mercedes. Ed lost the keys last night when I had scheduled to go pick up the car, to pick up Sof's equipment, and felt a small nervous breakdown coming on. I was in heels. I wasn't prepared to pick up camera, tripod, lights, food, and Hard Drives in heels. I snapped, then Ed snapped, then had the amazing foresight to shut my mouth and not do what I normally do. I'd had a very loud thought in my head that had said don't wear heels before I left my apartment. I didn't listen.

I limped off to the East Village and ended up having a good meal with Sof and Annie at a little Thai place and pretended like I could afford it and it felt good. Then I stumbled off to Andrew's like a pack mule in burgandy buckle three inch ankle boots, picked up the Hard Drives. The equipment wasn't so heavy, but I feel sapped of all my energy and vitality, and have no idea how I am going to cook the 50 lb hunk of Sirloin that my roommate had donated after abandoning it in the freezer. It was for the next day's lunch.

Ed called several times, a comedy of errors, right after getting off the L train back in Brooklyn. The keys were stuck to some papers.

Got a letter from Health First, something about the BRCA1 and 2 mutations. Fuck, I thought the doctor was going to call me. I remember my mother and her swollen arm, her grape like clusters of tumors, emaciated body, big watery black eyes finally departing like an alien. I don't want cancer. Does this letter say I have the mutations or is it just discussing the test? Am convinced I am going to die a horrible death, like she did. the test seemed like a good idea at the time, until I was in the doctor's office discussing the options, the radical barbaric options if I were positive. One nervous breakdown after another. I was not a cool cucumber with Andrew, he saw me break down.

At home, Cori just called, stuck on the subway. It's 11 pm and we haven't started cooking. She is going to hustle over here and cook with me. I don't have any idea how I will do that. I am lying on the floor thinking about calling the shoot off, I am so tired. Also, just lost my gaffer, Jordan. It's less than 12 hours away from the shoot, he asked (rightly so in a sensible world) if he would be paid right after the shoot, I didn't lie, I told him next week, even though I had no idea if next week would even happen. He said sorry. I found another guy, Zack Snygg who said he would come on, skeptically, under those conditions. He didn't have Kinos or daylight gels. How will it all match Mano's great amazing lighting? I wish Mano hadn't been so hard to work with. His lighting is superior, I just couldn't handle him calling "cut" or packing up an hour before the shoot was over. Nor could I deal with him saying yes to the low rate, then rubbing it in my face, even reminding me in his invoice what he wasn't charging me, as if we had ever discussed it when he signed on for $150 a day. I spent $30 that wasn't mine to spend, I crossed another line. I called Lily, the PA to ask her to go pick up the Mercedes in the city, but Ed took too long to get back to me and she decided not to. I laid on the floor and cried for a while just to release some pressure. This shoot feels different than the other, more wild cards, less stability, more actors who I don't know their range, less professional actors, and both Elaine and Serena have to leave early.

I need an investor. I need a producer. Tyler the sound guy is bringing a tripod, Claude is bringing a boom pole, all the little cards and card readers and styro-foam cups and gallons of milk fall from the ether to create something, but what I am not sure. Justin hasn't called me back before a few days ago. I am afraid we aren't prepared. Shouldn't we have looked at storyboards?

I put an ad on craigslist looking for an Investor. One guy responded, where's the story? One less fan of character driven material. It's now the day of. Cori decided to cook the steak and rice at her house, I haven't slept. Ed wakes up miraculously, Jelena brings the keys down, she will get Soda. Claude has extra cards, Zack with last minute lights. Have all the equipment, a miracle.

October 29th, 2009
Got scenes 3 and 3a shot. No 3b, going to have to schedule one more session with everyone. More money, more time. Got my period (of course), crying all the day before the shoot, no wonder I was in such hell. Robert was trying fluttering around me romantically, but I needed the help so I didn't blow up like I normally do when faced with unnecessary pressures. He and Jelena stayed to the bitter end, helping me clean up and get stuff home. Lily the PA, too, who appeared for free, a godsend off of craigslist. And Raphael also, the most handsome man on the planet. like Milo. look but don't touch. I feel like I have just woken up from a long dream in an adult body while my child mind was sleeping for the last twenty five years. I felt okay directing yesterday, we got a lot done. The gaffer didn't have the four bank Kinoflos I wanted, or daylight bulbs. It will be a different look I'm told. Justin told me not to freak out, which of course went right to the core of my freak out button. O told him he'd know if I freaked out. Adrienne the AD quietly informed me of his attitude problem, perhaps some sexism going on, but I think it's just pure youthful arrogance. My father was an Aries, like Justin. Adrienne said I was a pussycat compared to some directors. I have a feeling that isn't going to serve me.

I can't keep taking it all on. Have to work with a cameraman who will get me. Jermel was playing Kwazi too cocky, Jelena's Anya, too big. The Master shot was way too wild. People were doing a way better job on their close ups after they had warmed up. And the actors who were off camera were nailing their lines. Not optimal.No one was actually on point when the camera was directed at them, except for Serena and Elaine, and Robert. Robert is a joy to watch on digital medium. I wish I could say film.

October 30, 2009
Okay, way blue. The footage is a disaster, the reads are flat for a good 30% of it, then too big for another 60%. Only Robert, Wes, Serena and Elaine nailed their lines. Justin wasn't available for even a phone call, and didn't respond to me all week before the shoot. I asked him to look at my storyboards on the morning of the shoot and he said no and walked away as if what I was saying was useless. Big lesson learned. Always pound the storyboard into the DP. I have to say I was a little relieved when he said no because I was so exhausted from producing all week. But, okay, that's not something I guess I can take a metal or artistic nap around. Want to fire Justin, but somehow I didn't fight for it. The camera is all over the place, the master is shot sloppily and flat, not like Justin's beautiful style at all. Did I trust him too much? Was I too tired? How could I sign off on that master? It's on Robert's back the whole time and he's the biggest focus for at least the first half of the master. The shoot from before are all blue from the Kinos, Serena walks in and she's blue, then we cut to the master and she's orange. And flat like a wafflehouse pancake. Ungelled Lowells I am told. The editor, Andrew, had offered to let me use him this weekend, but after seeing the footage, backed out, I think daunted by it all, the terrible acting, the shitty lighting. I think he's right, our first shoot was quality but this is not good. How can I ask an editor to work for free when it's crap?

I had free pizza from Kenny, free fillet Mignon from Kenny, I paid for the rice and salad and drinks with my food stamps. Cori cooked for free, owing me one for building her public garden boxes in Sergeant Squirrel Park. I got the car, the crew, the actors, almost all for free, then for what? Sound was hit or miss, all of Elaine's takes had nothing but camera sound. Well, you get what you pay for and I paid Tyler fifty bucks. Jermel was too cocky, Elaine, too angry, Jelena too COunt Chocula. The eyelines for her close ups were completely different from the masters, down to the head angle. A lot of primary action is completely happening off camera, the frame too tight to hold all the actors. We had ten people in the scene and they were completely chopped up. All the homeless actors, except Robert, froze on camera and read like cardboard. No one responded to anyone else as if they were in the room with each other, until the end of the shoot. Where is the cohesiveness of the first shoot? Really amazing... I definitely need funding, I can't do it this way, I need funding now. How will it ever transpire? How will I receive the few thousand I need to to take care of myself and finish this shoot right now? Someone else should be in charge, because I really don't know. God of filmmakers, I leave it up to you. If you show me how I will put my faith in you, because right now there seems no way out.

Con Ed about to turn off electricity. Putting together a list of everyone I've worked for lately to prove to the foodstamp office that I am an off the books worker. Catering at Upper Crust- $185, Assisting Martin in his studio with his taxes- $250, Cleaning Laura's house- $60, telling them that my roommate, Sara, bought equipment from me for $650, because if I tell them I have a roommate, I may not be eligible for foodstamps anymore. Told them I was one month behind in rent, which is true.

Novemeber 1, 2009

The sun was shining in McCarren Park, I met Cori for the NYC Marathon on the corner of Bedford and Lorimer. She dashed through the runners like a little deer and we walked arm and arm up Bedford in the beautiful Indian summer day. All the pisces were out, Tunde with Domatile, and saw Jolie for the second time with her mom. People from my life come and go and change meaning. I used to take it personally, for what? I told Domatile it's better to suffer over what you want to do instead of what you want to do, but what foolishness, I'd prefer not to suffer at all. I was talking about my lower back pain, but really someone said recently if you wake up and something doesn't hurt, you're dead. I don't know if I buy it. Tunde and Domatile are incredibly suited to each other, two happy comix artists stuck inside a bubble of love (and perhaps avoidance of Tunde's fame).

Even in the sun, I watch past resentments come and go, perhaps of my own making. All the young Bohemian moms and dads walking their children on the street and Cori and I frothing at the mouth. Now I'm on the trian heading to the upper west side, great aunt Linda having convinced me quite aggressively to come have brunch with her, bribed by the promise of a subway card. Yes, she is buying my love and attention and I am a metrocard whore. I reminded me she would hold this against me later if we had a fight and she agreed that I was probably right about this. This made me love her more and she also said I could come or not come, she didn't mind, which also helped take away the edge. But down in the L station I realized I didn't have even the money to get on the subway so I had to go back up to the street. Cori was still standing there, now with a girlfriend, who we bummed the $2.25 fare off of. The day was beautiful and cool, Bedford and North 7th was a bustle of hot handsome outfits and masks, I'm glad I forced myself to get out of the house. My horoscope said I was going to be attracted to strong personality types today but not to take them too personally, so far so good.

Going to apply to the Provincetown Writer's Residency for fiction, so I've been trying to write some fiction. Really silly. I'm a screenwriter, not a fiction writer, but I want to live in Provincetown. Michener's is coming up, too. I feel unready. I would have to take the GREs right away. I haven't even cracked the books.

Still hung up on Justin saying "no" to looking at my storyboards. Barely wrapping my mind around what happened. Pestered Andrew again to see how bad the damage is, if I have to reshoot, what needs to transpire... I can't proceed until I figure out exactly how much I have to hustle. And if I hustle, I have to hustle like I have never hustled before. Or perhaps pray like I've never prayed before. Or both. My heart hurts for the film, but I would rather be hurting over this than the secretary job I was imagining my getting less than a month ago.

November 2, 2009
I am tired, I am setting boundaries lightly, maybe I will try less with people. I had a dream that I took two tuxedo cats (one was Pinto) for a swim through a pool filled with people I knew. They all chatted as we cut a wet path through them, Pinto making me laugh with his independence , motoring ahead while I lead the other cat. feeling like I wasn't actually alone anymore. I wondered how the cat wasn't drowning, then dove under. I grabbed for it's neck and it turned into a broken umbrella handle, alone in the crowd once again. The pool drained, and Elaine and Serena stood there together, talking secretively. I called to my cat Pinto, relieved to see him sitting on a window ledge. A man picked him up and carried him over to me, and I turned my back on the people.

I'm lonely ad have no way of dealing with wanting to be friends with people who are in my realm. I will go back to the idea of doing less, care less, let some force other than myself take me where it is I'm supposed to go. Watch TV more, write more, dive into the work.

I have no idea what time it is. David Bowie plays on my turntable, my body says it's 9:30 am, but the clocks change today to fall ahead, so perhaps it's closer to 11. How the hell will I ever be a filmmaker and musician? My actors and my bandmates break my heart and I have no way to articulate it. I want to have my films be my job, and to make it so others can work too. Perhaps there is some way I'm looking at this that isn't serving me any more. I feel I have no choices in the matter, how to get the results I want? I am alert to how it will all unfold, yet the outcomes are elusive. I don't think I have any choice but to wait and be patient. I do know that I can care less what other people think and just go for it. I am bound to be panned before I am adored.

November 4, 2009
I smoked last night, tripped over a microphone wire onstage, and could feel how feeling sorry for myself extended out from me palpably and affected the people around me. Christine and Chris Spencer helped me up. I have to battle to feel liked and needed. I don't need to be best friends with everybody, just that I can hold my position in the universe. Insecurity breeds dislike with potential supporters. I need to get a handle on my moods and watch them move through me like storms and don't take them personally. Emerson helped me a lot. We walked to Union Square he smoothed out my kinks. How does a 23 year old trans boy know so much about what to say to a 41 year old lonely filmmaker?

This has been the year of missing salient grants, I missed the NYFA screenwriter's deadline by two days. I did the same thing with the Sundance writer's lab. The NYFA only comes up once every two years. Am I daft? Both Huey and Berkeley reminded me of it beforehand. On auto-sabotage, I am not sharp or present and need to be more organized.

I checked out a therapist off of Park Avenue today, named Roman. Great shoes, great outfit, nice bookshelves of dark oak making his small space seem scholarly and safe. He immediately started talking about infantile masturbation, right after I explained to him I'd never had a male therapist before and how I thought it might make me uncomfortable. I was a nut job after that and made him really uncomfortable with how threatened I felt, explaining that my family tended to have affairs with their therapists and even though I had no intention of that happening, talking so openly about sexual matters right off the bat seemed to me a little presumptuous. I wish I hadn't told him I was psychic.

The weather is cold. It makes you sweat in the subway from too many layers for the street. Then the brusque wind gets you when above ground again. A movie poster in the long subway corridor down sixth avenue for "The Fourth Way," a headless floating body.

Jermel called today to get footage from us, but Andrew is overwhelmed, going to California for dad's 90th. Waiting, waiting, waiting. I told Jermel that the shoot was a disaster and we'd have to reshoot. I was too upset and too frank about money concerns with him. Bad move. The crew and actors need to be in my court and won't be if I dump my panic on them. The actors need to all be real actors, and rehearsed. I need to have money to pay people. I can't be crazytown and need a producer so I can focus on the actors and get some rest. I need to sleep and be alert in order to see anything at all, and to align the action with the vision. I need a monitor and I need to know my vision with the proper storyboards and attention to detail. And god knows where the art will squeeze in there. Andrew has been a huge support. Thoughts flit in and out of mind about falling asleep on his bed as he edits and giving over all control. What is this desire to step down form my power? To let someone else do it? A cat outside my bedroom window lept up the tree, then up, and up some more. I'm like that cat, looking around now, wondering how I will ever get down or share what I see from up here, a little paralyzed. Reading Werner Herzog's diaries on the making of Fitzcaraldo, "Conquest of the Useless." He had bigger disasters than mine, loss of millions, whole governments after him for false claims of violated human rights towards indigenous crews, but he had production insurance and funding. Still, helpful to read him. He is a mother fucker of a journalist.
Sitting here at Andrew's waiting to edit. He's taking a sip of the Gimme Coffee I brought him, so excited to be able to afford to get him a coffee.

Applied for waitressing jobs today; Schillers, Odeon, some little Bistro on Suffolk, no busboy or runners with 15 tables, the boss deep raccoon rings already drinking wine at 3 in the afternoon. He looked like Rico from the opening scene of La Femme Nikita. I am certain of no call backs. Then the slate blue gray sky through the window of the J train, whisps of butter yellow cloud spearing the last of the light through the murk. Some guy on my bench mutters to himself, "Why does it have to go so slow?" and the train is a ballet through a dream.

November 5, 2009

Ran into Lisa Ramirez on the L train, her black straight bobb, her silent movie era looks. She's always so encouraging when I'm at my blackest. She says that people who seem to make it as artists are persistent. I said maybe they persevere. We agreed that persistent suggests an aggressiveness, whereas perseverance suggests you can flop your way through it. "But make sure you flop forward," she said, stepping in through the train doors.

Conquest of the useless helps when struggling on wanting to be a successful artist. I only wsted 20 people's time and talent, and about $400 dollars. Herzog blew a whole empire of wealth on his Fitzcaraldo. He built an entire village for hundreds of thousands that was ultimately burnt down. His own nation tried him for violations of human rights against indigenous crew, the Aragunas, who were actually being poached by oil companies who were placing the charges in the first place in order to use the labor and geography for their own purposes. You know what he thought to himself as he stood on trial listening to all the bullshit about him? He thought it will all come out in the wash. This was a very helpful stance to read. He lived in poverty between building camp one and camp two. While his daughter was born, he lived on a bag of rice for three weeks.

Votive candles on milk crates stood in front of ha homemade shrine to a young man outside the front door today. Another young Puerto Rican shot down by other young Puerto Ricans. His mother was drunk as a skunk and crying. I stood with her and the old men who hang out on the stoop or a minute. Her second and last son to be gunned down by local gang action. She said he's in a happier place now, breath stinking of vodka.

Went to clean Laura's house. I printed out my resume to apply for more restaurants. Then printed out my script in case I ran into anyone who could help. I RSVPed for an event through IFP. I doubt I'll go, drinking and what not and shy social anxiety makes me want to reach for a drink. I imagined at least I would get laid, but what would that get me? Laid. That's it. At least I'm seeing it.

November 6, 2009

Woke up certain that the wrong garbage barrel was being returned in the Uhaul. I couldn't remember if it was balcke with red handles or red with gray handles, and i had parked the car with dead certainty which barrel was coming into the yard with me. I wasn't certain why I had to be there or what the substance was in the barrel, but I was certain I had got it all wrong. Chris Spencer was there to tell me I should play this role of (?), a woman from biblical times. The yard was sunny but murky. I told him I was already playing it, He walked away and I had the feeling he wouldn't be back. Filli n the blank about downtrodden female saints. My agent won't be happy.

A man named Darren sat across from me last night at Dawn's dinner gathering and told me about Herzog's documentary, "The Fire of Reason," about Saddam Hussein lighting the oil fields on fire in Iraq before fleeing the country. I can understand that kind of urge to destruction, if he can't have it no one will- train of thought, although never on such a grand scale. I had an opportunity to drive an ex-boyfriend's white Ford Custom into the Levee once after I found a love letter in his bag from Miss Georgia. I didn't do it, but often regretted that restraint.

Herzog barely writes about the film, there was so much waiting. He wrote about the birds and the pets that later may or may not have become food, about what animal or child was in what state of illness, starvation, death or song, about what people wore, and the things the locals said, about the local logic and justice, about the wretched destruction of the jungle. Or, the crew was drunk, there was no gas in the plane, the wind almost blew them off the cliff, stolen equipment, the ship embedded in the dry river bed or smashing against rocks in a storm, local officials trying to extort money, having nothing to say to Kubrick at lunch. I idealize this method of what happened. A man who felt so much yet not so much about anyone in particular.

Crush on the man who talks about Herzog's movie with me, surrounded by people I feel moderate to great warmth for. Sissel has me converted to Sufism before I've even been to the Mosque. She talks about Robert's great neediness and urge to suck off a woman. I don't know who isn't guilty of that with the opposite sex. an idea of spiritual sexual connection is growing in me, but I am miles away from letting anyone near me I bet, even as I complain about being lonely.

On the train, a black man dressed like Sherlock Holmes serenades a couple well past the point of uncomfortableness, he leans over them so far with his guitar he almost touches them. An old high school friend sees me on the train and feels my discomfort when she asks so many questions about my sister and my own life. I feel bad when I don't talk for a minute, then worse when I do. Still, it's interesting once again to find out that everyone thought I was doing okay in high school.

At home, one cat licks his balls again. I'm full of fear that he has crystals in his bladder again and I won't be able to afford the procedure. The other cat wheezes mercilessly to the detriment of my sleep, a liquid sort of lung drowning and burbling. Are we all allergic to this apartment? Was my sister right?

Meeting Gustavo, the producer from Jelena's film, "Here and There," on Monday. Maybe he can help. Will rewrite the first episode, the tone too nuts and sitcom-like. Fassbinder's "Pioneers of Ingolstadt"blew my mind, everyone expressing their emotion cooly, their angst like junkies, their lack of integrity like gorgeous outlaws, and I buy it hook, line and sinker. My stuff just looks like a whacked out, lower class version of that angry filmmaker who has all his actors all yelling at each other, what's his name?


Michael Leggett said...

I'm honored to be in the cast as Piotr Rebeldjra. The Fund-raising has been interesting & I checked every hour, this past weekend up to 10:49PM ET:

Was in a game of Trivia at a Red Sox Themed Pub at 219 2nd Avenue(East 13th & East 14th Streets on the cross), called Professor Thom's. I had a 1 Man Team in honor of the occasion of more than meeting the funding goal. The Team, "Anya, Piotr & Jenna Take Quinn To The Periphery" had the ONLY Perfect Score in The Category "Super Bowl Trivia". John Quinn, our Trivia Master, had a bit of a job pronouncing the name, "Piotr". Then again, he and I both have a Brooklyn Irish Sense of Humor, in that both of us are Red Sox Fans, both of us born in Brooklyn;

It was a grand thing to see Backers on the Last Day & in the Last few hours, watching the totals grow larger;

I can't wait to resume production as I miss you and everybody involved;


Michael Leggett said...

In regards to the pledge reward, I give my Indian-Mexican Dinner over to cast & crew on the days we're shooting:

Why Not, as all of us do get hungry;


Michael Leggett said...

Less Caffeine & More Chamomile will calm you.

Fallon said...

Hi...I'm Fallon, a fictional character in Bobby Harwell's novel Flawed. Bobby played a committee senator in Human Nature. If you'd like more of Bobby's film credits please go to If you would like to know more about his novel or how to buy it please go to Then go to my blog and click Scene from "Flawed". That will bring up the link to the short video excerpt of the prologue to "Flawed". Thank you. Enjoy.