Thursday, July 30, 2015


This morning I was cackling like a madwoman at a million different silly things.
This afternoon I was holding my steering wheel, sobbing at the beauty of such voluptuous, volcanic cloud formations on which were these long, misplaced slits of steely blue - like God had taken a knife and stabbed them carelessly into existence.

Anyone else feeling strongly today? 

So fitting is this parallel as I, this very afternoon, auditioned for a commercial that required some wailing, sniffling ridiculousness paired with a separate moment of raucous, side-splitting laughter. You could say I was rather prepared.

Today has definitely been a day of emotional bats flying around the internal cave. I have undoubtedly measured the depths of certain cavernous corners and they are not only vast, but filled with both jagged and soft angles. The forming of which come from the carpentry of my dreaming heart, my talking head, and the people that drift in and out of my life like spectres....or banshees - depending on if and when they choose to haunt me. 

Driving, I looked up at this apocalyptic cloud and wished to geyser-dive into its massive, white, roiling purity. The fluff would disintegrate against my body like meringue on a hot, wet tongue and I would see nothing, as my eyes remain shut and my mouth beams blissfully and nothing at all can touch me in this sky. Can we not disappear here from time to time? I can. And I will. 

But I have things to do. Things and stuff. Lists to be checked and errands to run. Can bravery be awarded for our everyday tasks? What, for the normalcy? Sounds vain, sounds unfair. Sounds like an instagram-ridden society wanting applause for their latest crop-filter-manipulation. I'm thinking all we will be left with is a caption upon our grave. A meme, if we're lucky. What will we be remembered for? Certainly not cleaning our kitchen floor. Ridding oneself of dog hair for the day. A feat to one may be a marathon while to another it is a shower. This is not particular to me, yet it is not free of attachment to me. 

The urge to capture the sky, the clouds, the caverns, the swellings - it runs under me like a river. I want it any way and every way - in a photo, a painting, a background, a poem, a script, a status and a novel. I will take it and I will soften into the memory of Sonora, California - where I was for four months of 2013; where I drove often the curved road and treaded merrily through the thick air. Sonora - where the wildfires showed up from your balcony's view at night; ah, that sobering marmalade haze. Sonora - where the blackest tarantulas cross concrete amidst waves of wheatened hills. Sonora - where the morning mist sirens you to a walk, only to gag, cough, and take cover.  Sonora - where a hospitably brown-eyed gaze turns to a cold, dead plank of a stare and you know you need to move along. You know. When the pupil blends seamlessly into a blubbery Brannon filter of eye and all you see is a dead whale on the beach. And you ask, How did I not see it before? 

I must get back to my script - my tale of Sonora. I must forgive myself for time that has passed, then move forward into the paradigm that is this place, filtered through Eva's imagination. If this filter had a name, it would be Lynchang. The film will visually strike with an Ang Lee "Brokeback" essence while story is tugged by a strange, heightened yet twistedly relatable Lynchian arm. My only obstacle here is not over-laying, as I am wont to do. I layer and layer and layer with creation, only to find I have made it too hard to swallow - or even bite! No, no baklava. No triple malt. Leave simple things alone that remain beautiful as they are. Or profound, as they are. 

Same is true with the people in my life. Leave them alone to be as they are. Love them, polish them, admire them, and sometimes put them aside or out of view. We can only ingest so much every day, hm? We can only allow so much into our perspective lest we collapse from the pain or beauty of it all. 

I urge YOU to lie in the cradle of your imagination. To let it seep and slide down to the creviced corners of your most secret caves. Then? Well...keep a pen handy. And paper. Paper is good. 

More to come on Classwork. A blue moon on Friday, btw. Not another until 2018. Take advantage, take a look, take a gander and take a seat. Ciao for now. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Coming in for a Film Landing

Japanese director plus hand-tailored special FX equals unique horror film of dark terror. 

The above formula is a NEWS FLASH!  I was recently cast as the lead (shoulder brush, shoulder brush) in a feature length horror flick to shoot mid-October - possibly in and out of the country (heh heh). I would like to say that doing a short at AFI actually brought about this opportunity - thus, plan with that intention successfully implemented, executed and exceeding i.e. continuing to exceed. Including travel to an incredible island with clear blue water! Oh no - I just watched Jaws yesterday soooooo maybe I'll admire the water from a distance. Regardless, travel es muy importante. Quick, where's my Pimsleur set for Japanese I bought at Goodwill like eight years ago?!

Back to the film - yes, it is entitled GEHENNA: Where Death Lives. Hey, funny coinkydink - the AFI short also had a finicky culture-specific name attached. Not necessarily of a REAL culture, but a culture nevertheless - or real to someone, somewhere - depending upon whose ankles the roots wrap around. 

The director, Hiroshi Katagiri, is making his feature film debut here after working for various big dogs of Hollywood. Check out the info on his website (he obviously has a lot of people that believe in his abilities and aspirations), his ever-clever youtube channel (the man has a sense of humor, thank GOD), and his FB page for you to visit and "like" - because I know you will! (Points finger in public social media shaming fashion! Someone call Jon Ronson to bring the fire extinguisher...)

So this movie is real. It is happening. It is exciting.  I'm proud to attack it newly equipped with a brilliant double holstered belt toting my two guns, Stella and Adler. I get to play a bereaved single mother who buries her emotions with real estate work. Cut off emotionally from the world, floating in her own individual purgatory of guilt, then faced with the stuff of true nightmares. How do you like them apples? I, personally, like them from an exotic island fresh off of a tree. Hint. Hint. 

It's a ways down the road, but hey, now I can relax in the hammock of preparation. Just as if I were between two palm trees drinking out of a giant scripted coconut.

In other news, my next class assignment comes from Mr. Sam Shepard - with whom I think I will get along very well. Just did Wendy Wasserstein and I tried my damndest, but the intellectual quality of it kept me a wee bit too internal. I think I am understanding something important, however.  That everyone onstage has a rich emotional history if not present life. They can. They are capable of that. Otherwise what are we investing in from our Arclight seats? Everyone has emotional drive, whether or not they want to admit that or understand it.  I have to understand it, that is my job. So here I come "Fool for Love". Now, here I don't have any time to find any goddam hammock because I put it up this Saturday for the first time - fifteen minutes of scenework...GO!

Wish me luck, folks...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Imagining the Reality of You

I feel like Seinfeld. 
"What's - the deal - with texting?"

Yes, what is the deal. Here I am, left to figure out how I might gel with a person via communication completely lacking in TONE? Tone is everything. And so we project tone into these lines, these words because we are human and are talking to someone else, but through an email version of conversation - one send at a time. We are left with nothing but ourselves to talk to inside the boardroom of our minds, having coffee and discussing the meaning of things; debating, deciding FOR the other person, WITHOUT the other person. 

Maybe the monosyllabic generation of twenty-five-year-olds I continue to encounter has it right: 

Twenty-Five-Year-Old: hey

Hey. Yeah, hey. Hey how are ya? Hey, let's call each other and let our voices float in blackest space somewhere! Hey - let's meet up in person, step back in time to a live animatronic version of history where humans sat face to face trying to master the art of conversation, trying to articulate, trying to speak one's language well. I don't always speak it well, but hell, I like to bend words to my will sometimes. Or brand them with a big ol' E on their behind.

Eva: hey is for horses...

This neon 24-hour connectivity is finding us all with little to say. And deflating the willingness to say things aloud.  Where is this Connectivity Cowboy wrangling our millenial herd to? I think Joaquin falling in love with his OS system isn't really that far down the river. Hey, if your phone could READ your texts to you in a personalized manner? That would mean that a computer is then deciding exactly how the other person's tone is - injecting it with the judgement of a computer brain. And then the Robot Apocalypse (or something) is just around the corner. 

"Robocalypse" - the title of my next screenplay, starring Amanda Linda. She's a big youtube star, ya know. And those people are also taking over the world - or...portions of particular ones. 

Here is the point - we want to get to know each other. We meet more people through technology and dance around them in a tone-less setting. But I don't want Scar-Jo to read me their words. I want to hear them. I want to know the timbre of your voice. I want to see the expression on your face. I want to feel the energy of you, whoever you are, and feel...normal about it. Don't we have a hard enough time evaluating - much less knowing - what other people mean when they talk? Take ALL of the clues away and how will you protect your capacity to care from shrinking away entirely? The care is diminishing before our eyes and hearts in various puffs of magic smoke. You lose interest. They lose interest. You're all just....not very interested. And if you (heaven forbid!) ARE interested, you are terrifying. At least, these are the messages I am seeing people send to each other every day. 

We're all feeding this fear that deeper human interaction is a big, scary monster that comes out at night and wants to breathe on us with slobber dripping from its pointy, yellow teeth. And we are missing out on what is exciting and real. I feel forced to live in my imagination with a Brian Greene version of this person I want to get to know because I am now responsible to re-create the dimension lost in translation. All due to the safety net of textersations. 

I don't want to have to guess what someone else means. I don't want to be my own interpreter - like I have to look at some version of me signing from the side of the stage. What if I'm wrong about what you are saying? Who will tell me? Who will correct me? Do I continue on with my misperceptions, misunderstandings, and inefficient subjective absorption? The cost is that we may miss each other completely. If you had just showed up on my doorstep and walked me to the coffee shop... I'm just asking - what is the point of communication at ALL if we can't (and I hate to use this word) successfully get our messages across? We are breaking apart into tinier and tinier islands, doomed to end up like a Gary Larson cartoon where its just you and somehow, a duck that talks.

No one wants these responsibilities. No one cares to own anything anymore except the newest gadget. A handful of us... if you just put that phone down and grasp a handful of us, you won't be sorry.