The official end of the first week of 2021 has arrived. From January 1st through January 8th I have been as the song says, Taking Care Of Business. I have been taking the steps to being more in charge of the year. Even though we are still living under the umbrella of the pandemic and will be more for perhaps another six to eight months I don't feel like I did in 2020 that the year was being taken away from me. I have been focusing on my work and most importantly myself. The first week of the year gave me a boost with the acceptance of my original screenplay to a west coast festival. That really made me feel good in regards to the strength of the script. I have gotten good responses from various other festivals as well as some rejections that shook my confidence in the material, but those festivals were outside of the United States, but getti8ng a thumb up from a festival in the states, especially one from the west coast was a great confidence booster. I did all my mailings for the first week and I actually got a response from a very important company who wanted to see the full text of my work. So here we are 2021 when the doors finally come back open for the arts and we are invited back inside I will be ready.
And so here we are counting down the final hours of what has been a horrific and tragic year for so many around the world. In the city, on both coast the industry in film, television and theatre has been for the most part non existent and for many like myself the year was marked a by great loss, loss of work, loss of whatever stability one had or hoped for and of course their was the loss of life , the most tragic of all losses. 2021 will be more of the same, at least for another six to eight months, maybe more. The difference this time as oppose to last March was the unknown impact that this pandemic was to have on the arts community livelihood. It was unknown territory. Now the territory is known, but that doesn't make it less tragic. There is hope but probably not till late Summer/early fall. Today on the last day of the year I received another certificate from another little festival regarding my pilot script being selected as "Best of". This festival was in India. The news brought a smile to my face and hope for a better tomorrow. The festival wins are encouraging, but one hopes that the praise will find the willing eyes of some producer who also sees light at the end of this pandemic and is willing to make an investment in the project therefore making an investment in me. There is much to hope for in the coming new year. I hope that I have planted strong seeds these past few months and the seeds will blossom and grow. One can hope and after this year it's nice to know that "hope" still exist inside of me.
It is Monday, December 14th. I've just gotten home from taking my second Covid-19 test in preparation for a film project that I will be shooting in a couple of days. As I write this trucks are being stocked and travelling cross country delivering hope, a vaccine that will hopefully sometime in the fall of 2021 left the darkness of this pandemic and bring us back to a sense of normalcy to our everyday lives like going outside mask less, running freely, dining out, meeting friends and loved ones, hugging freely. My focus these last few days have been on making sure that The LAByrinth Theater company Zoom Intensive runs as smoothly as possible. I am one of three producers who are organizing and trying to bring a sense of connectiveness in a world where disconnect has become the new norm. I have been receiving invites from various festivals in which my work as a writer has been accepted, invitations to come and joy in the festivities via Zoom. I am grateful for these invites, but there is a sadness that I cannot be there in person to meet, greet, be greeted and network, to be among peers and celebrate the work. As I've mentioned before these last few months with the acceptance of my work as a writer from various festivals around the world, some more important than others has been a bright light shining through the darkness of this year of the pandemic and for that I am truly grateful.
Here we are on December 1st, the final four weeks of what has been a year of a living nightmare of uncertain in regards to work, present, future and most importantly health. There has been much loss this year, loss on so many levels. I had posted before about the erasing of so many projects that were lined up that I had to delete from my calendar as the pandemic came into full force and now we here are in December and the since of dreed and fear of the future still exist. There is a sense of uncertainty, a sense of will 2021 be more of the same or maybe just a little bit different, just a little more hopeful. I wish I knew. As I write this I have gotten more positive responses from the many festivals that I have submitted my projects to, mostly non theatre project for film and television. The festivals vary from very important to perhaps not so, but at this moment in time, for me it's about trying to stay the course, get the work out there in the hopes that the possibilities of future work will arrive. I don't know. I know that it makes me feel really good and fills me with much confidence that my work is being seen and appreciated. Again I don't know the importance of the majority of the festivals, some I do know of their importance, but every little bit helps. My theory is very much my approach to the theatre and those opportunities that rise up - work is work whether the space is 25 seats or 500, whether the theatre is well known or not so well known. It comes down to working on your craft and seeking support for the work that you are doing. I am happy that I have received the recent recognitions for my scripts. I feel in my heart that it will help bring an awareness to the work and isn't that at the end of the day waht it is all about outside of the creative process itself.
It is the half way point of November. The news is filled with the increase in causalities from the Covid-19 Pandemic. The presidential election is completed and protest are breaking out over the outcome.
Work is still hard to find, especially in the arts where theatre's and production companies for the most part are shut down due to the pandemic. On the positive side of things my very first attempt at writing a television pilot, an hour drama titled, On The Boulevard has been accepted and acknowledged at various festivals such as HollyShorts, Los Angeles International Screenwriting awards, Rome independent Prisma awards and the Point Blair International film festival. There are many other festivals that I am waiting word from regarding other works of mine and the news of whether I made the cut for any of them goes deep in to 2021. So it's nice to have things to look forward to that bring in a little much needed light into ones life while living under the dark cloud of this pandemic.
It has been close to five years since my last posting many things have happened both very good and not so very good. As I write this we are in the middle of a world wind pandemic. Many businesses have been closed down. The arts has been totally shut down outside of Zoom readings and meetings, but many theatres and rehearsal spaces have been shut down. Jobs that were penciled into calendars have been cancelled. It has been difficult maintaining focus and not drifting in despair. A friend said: Why are we creating now? Is it to fill up up space or to really create something because we are inspired. I can only speak for myself, but at the beginning of March when the pandemic began to really hit and believe me it hit hard. I found myself with every passing day losing work both as a teacher and as a actor and writer as schools closed down, theatres shut down and productions were halted. Every day it seemed another email was being received telling me of another project, another job that no longer would exist. But slowly, very slowly I and many others began to adjust and we are still adjusting and I feel we will be remaining in a state of adjusting till well in 2022. What have I been doing during this time? Cleaning my room, tightening my belt, taking long walks and creating, yes creating. I have been doing my best to take advantage of the free time, time that I never actually had before. The time to stay up as late as I wish, to watch a film, a documentary or just write and write and write and create. The act of creativity, holding on that muscle has been the one life saving tool that I have constantly used during this pandemic. Until next time. Stay safe. Stay healthy.
Okay so this is officially my first new post in a very, very long ass time. I am not a posting type of a guy (unless it's on facebook and such) anyway these last few years have been pretty good in my artistic life. Still getting back on my feet after a very tough year of recuperating from illness., but things have settled down down and I am on a routine. On the artistic side I've been very productive these last few years what with having plays presented in San Diego, New York, Rochester, Chicago and being selected to be a part of the Actor's Studio Playwright & Director Unit, truly a great honor. And through this connection I got hired to write two short films. So now I'm officially a screenwriter. Which is pretty cool. Recently I had my seventh play presented at the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival and I'm currently juggling half a dozen scripts at different stages of development. On the acting front I made my prime time cable debut on HBO's The Leftovers. Looking forward to the second half of 2015.
Long time since my last entry, well let's see what's been happening. I spent a lot of the middle part of 2012 as well as the beginning of 2013 developing a play of mine called "In Da Boogie Down" and have had several readings both in New York and Chicago with more readings to come into 2014. This year I was also honored to be a playwright-in-residence for Voices Inside/Out in Kentucky and I wrote a new full length play titled "Full Moon Inside A Red Sky" which was developed at The LAByrinth theatre company's Summer intensive at Connecticut Collegewhich with much reliefe was very, very well receivedThis past year I was completed a run of "To Fool The Eye" presented by the Boomerang theatre company.
Terrific time at the table read for "Bob's Gang" an original screenplay written by David Henry Hwang (M Butterfly) and director Jonathan Caovette (Tarnation). A very promsing and at times very moving and inspirational script.