31 March 2011

"Pocket-Sized Plays"

Normally I stick to movies, but a couple months ago I wrote a three page play for a charity organization looking for short submissions. I'm happy to announce that they've accepted my piece, which you can see as part of "Pocket-Sized Plays" on April 8th and 9th at the Shubin Theatre in Philadelphia. The show is part of the April Arts Festival, an event Act for Charity is holding to raise money for Project H.O.M.E. If you're in Philadelphia or the surrounding area, please come down; not only will you be entertained, but you'll be doing a good deed as well. I myself plan to be there at the 9:00 pm Saturday showing, after which I will cause trouble until the police escort me out of town.

My short, "Lavender," isn't the first piece I've written for the stage, but it's the first one I've liked enough to show other people, and the first one ever produced. It's a period piece set in an early 1950s bedroom and is rife with sex, innuendo, and heartache. It would be extremely lazy and shallow of me to compare it to "Mad Men," but if that will get asses in seats, then IT IS EXACTLY LIKE "MAD MEN."

19 March 2011

Lucky Premiere Weekend

Lucky, a feature-length motion picture in which I am a supporting star, has finally been unleashed onto the nation's consciousness. Buy a DVD of it today at the website, www.oneluckymovie.com. Support independent filmmaking!

The premiere of the film occurred at the Detroit Independent Film Festival, where it played on March 11th (and won Best Supporting Actress - congratulations, Grace Anne Rowan!). I was unfortunately unable to make it, but for the "official" premiere in Lansing the next Sunday, I flew in and surprised (most of) my friends in attendance. We had a grand ol' time, and as much as I hate to watch myself onscreen (especially the me of several years ago, the fat asshole), I enjoyed the movie a great deal and think it's a hell of an accomplishment. (An unbiased view, naturally.)

I wish I had a great story to impart about the weekend, or a tale to tell, but for the most part, I just had a blast hanging out with family and friends. And I ate a lot. Mostly at what I think of as big box restaurants - P.F. Chang's, Abuelo's, places where the food is mostly distinguished by your choices of meat and sauce. Somehow I found the room to fit in a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. Apparently these aren't available all over the country, instantaneously appearing in your hand on March 1st, for some reason, so I had to grab one whilst back in Michigan. It was the first thing I've gotten from a McDonald's in . . . well, a long time. My disgusting food preference these days falls more toward the Taco Bell end of the spectrum. *shudder*

The other thing I did a lot of was watch CNN. I don't have cable television anymore - we're strictly a Netflix/Hulu household now - so when I saw images of the tsunami in Japan playing on the airport televisions, they were entirely new to me, and I was hooked in a sickening way. I spent nine months living in Japan, and still feel a great love for the country and its culture. (Is there a way for a white man to express that without coming across as an old-school Orientalist? When I write those words, I feel I should be British and drinking gin on a porch in 1892 Calcutta.) I've long said that if someone offered me a deal to live in Japan and make samurai and yakuza movies for the rest of my days, I would take it in a heartbeat.

All weekend long I was sitting on the couch, watching the terrifying, mesmerizing footage. Frankly, I've never wanted to be back there more than I do now, even though if I could magically be transported, there's nothing I could really do to help. It's a frustrating experience, as it is in any disaster, and all I can do is donate money and hope for the best. (Ahem.)