John's Farm

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

split rail fence

I'm fifteen, onstage, the representative from the French Club in Houston High School's first ever Junior Miss Pageant. The emcee, a popular local DJ, has just introduced me as I walked the stage in a gray and black velvet poufy gown from Dillard's. I hear him pause as he glances at the notecard that contains my name, my age, and my career aspiration, and he tells the crowd, "she dreams of one day moving to Hollywood where she will direct horror movies." He gave the crowd a sly smile. "Well, honey," he drawled. "Why didn't you just come out here with some fangs and fake blood?" I can report that for the talent portion of the evening, I delivered a monologue about a woman who killed her husband and hid him in the coat closet.

I did not win.

But I did move to Hollywood. I worked for many production companies reading screenplays. I hitched my star to a wildly talented writer who brought me from TV show to TV show. I learned a lot. But I accomplished little. Sure, I wrote scores of screenplays and TV specs. I joined a writer's group, took writing classes at UCLA, writing bootcamps and seminars. But I became complacent. I became lazy. I landed an agent and expected that my life would instantly change. Instead of writing new material, I obsessively rewrote the old. I planned a wedding instead of a career path. I convinced myself that I didn't want to work the long hours of television. I convinced myself that I didn't want to direct because it was too intimidating. Maybe novels were what I really needed to do instead. Maybe maybe maybe....

And then came the layoffs, and the pregnancy, and the carrot on the stick that meant leaving the city that symbolized everything I was still striving for in favor of one that offered  security, but little else. Two children and nearly 7 years later, I still grapple with that decision. But I've come to look at the decision differently and (mostly) judge myself less harshly for "giving up." I'm looking at it more like a hiatus.

So I am 37, a mom, living far away from the epicenter of where I thought my dreams would come true. And you know what else I'm doing? Getting shit done with my directorial debut, John's Farm, filming early Spring. It's got a kickass cast and crew, an amazing location, and quite possibly some burnt offerings to ensure we don't get rained out. It does not have fangs or fake blood, but it will be spooky. And it will be mine, and it will make my heart feel very, very good.

"The 11"

Melissa,

Hey, I'm in Health right now! Todd keeps telling me to make sure you know it's not fair for you to like that new guy! (Kidding around!) So, which guy (of the 11*) do you like? I like 4 guys: Chris, Shane, Dave and Matt. I'm not sure if I still like Dave, though.

See ya!

A

* I made a list. There were 11 boys on it. Pretty sure Todd was not one of them.

"3 Stages"

Friday, February 8, 2013

Rachel,

Angie was telling me how Danny went through 3 stages:

1) major nerd
2) popular and flirts a lot
3) starting to settle down with one girl

Angie thinks that Allan is at stage 2 and wants to fool around and be free of commitment to one girl. But both Angie and Danny think that in time he'll settle down with one girl and it'll be ME. Last night, I was talking to Allan that I wanted to set aside a certain period of time for us to date other people. Then when that time is over, we could try to date again. I asked him if he wanted to try it, but he said, "I don't want to make any commitments right now." So I'm going to talk to Danny to see if he can reason with him. I figure if anybody can convince Allan, Danny can. I just can't get over him! I don't know what I'll do if he starts loving someone else.

Melissa*

*ed. note - desperation is adorable in our youth, no?


Notes: A Series

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I am eternally grateful to my mom for many things, but most recently is her insistence that she store in her attic every scrap of artwork, cherished books, the commemorative keychains from junior prom, the Wild Pair box that housed the dried flowers and American flag bandana from my 10th grade boyfriend. But best of all were the notes -  an enormous stack of intricately folded and decorated notes from 1989-1993. Crammed into a Keds shoe box, they were written by and to me from friends whose faces I can no longer recall and some I spoke with as early as last week. 

I will be posting some highlights here. 


"Halloween"

(To my best friend, Pete)

Hey you hot studly man. I want your body now. What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
I have rehearsals after school until four, so I won't have a lot of time to get ready. I'm going to dye my hair, put on some black eyeliner, get some fishnet stockings and be a slut or something.

Or I might be somebody from the 20s.