Lights! Action! (No Camera)
Surfing the learning curve
There are few writer-centric events in the film world, so, naturally, I gravitated to ACT UP, a monthly series of table reads at the National Black Theatre in Harlem.
What makes ACT UP special is the opportunity to work directly with actors—hence the name of the event. With no experience directing, I have a lot to learn about actors, and more importantly, from them. Like what kind of character background is useful. And how much they crave direction—even when they don’t explicitly ask for it.
Fun things happen when you say, yes!
Caméra d’Or winning film director and writer, Michael Rowe, is a fellow Aussie who, like me, departed for foreign shores in his early twenties. Unlike me, he had the good sense to immigrate immediately to Mexico, a smart move that puts him several decades ahead and at the time of writing this post, many degrees warmer. Last year, at the Oaxaca Film Festival over lunch at my favorite fancy Oaxacan restaurant, Los Danzantes, he invited me to teach at his school in Mexico City, La Escuela Itinerante de Cine y Narativo. I haven’t taught at a film school before, but how could I resist?
The Oaxaca Film Festival is one of the few writer-centric events on the international festival circuit. It’s intimate, unlike Austin where the sheer crush of screenwriter hopefuls is daunting. In Oaxaca, camaraderie trumps competitiveness. And there’s mezcal.
The Great American TV Show
Highlights from my 2017 Neighbourhood Paper stories.
Who in the world can take their eyes off America? The present administration is bent on “deconstructing” government at train wreck velocity.
While the country goes off the rails, we find ourselves binge watching a show that's lasted an astonishing 240 seasons. But I wonder, will the longest-running democracy be renewed for a 241st?