Posts Tagged ‘writing’

It’s Okay To Be Silly Sometimes

Sooo…I was reading up on the Wondercon schedule and read this:

ThunderCats Special Video Presentation and Cast/Producer Q&A— ThunderCats Ho! The cats will be loose on Sunday as WonderCon hosts the first-ever panel for this all-new animated series produced by Warner Bros. Animation, coming soon to Cartoon Network. Based upon the iconic 1980s action classic, ThunderCats is the epic tale of Lion-O and his battle against evil in the quest for the fabled Stones of Power. Fans will feel the magic and hear the roar as producers and cast unveil their vision for the show, debut exclusive footage and answer questions about one of the most highly anticipated animated series of the year. Esplanade Ballroom

Umm, yeah. I was meant to see Will Friedle in person. Yes, that is what I believe. Haha! I don’t know if he will be there for sure but it’s just a good chance, I guess. *crossing fingers* Good thing I’m prepared for this anyway. I’ve loved Will since 1993, that’s even earlier than Paulo. Wow, hope this doesn’t turn out like my Paulo Saga all over again. It was as if the powers that be were working against me that day. Yeah, I don’t think I could handle another day like that.

I wonder what I would say if I actually ran into Will at Wondercon while just randomly walking around. I imagine it’d go something like this:

FADE IN
WILL, wearing dark colors with jeans, is casually walking around looking at different booths on the floor. Multiple teenagers are walking around, some dressed in costume.

AVA, wearing bright colors, is using the web on her cell phone, not paying attention to where she’s going.

Ava bumps into Will, looks up and apologizes. Will simply smiles. Ava’s eyes grow large and she opens her mouth to speak but nothing comes out until Will speaks.

W: Hi.
A: Hello…umm, are you Will Friedle?
W: That’d be me, yes.
A: Oh wow, ok. Hi, I’m Ava.
W: Hi Ava, I’m Will. Nice to meet you.
A: Me? Nice to meet YOU! I’ve loved you since 1993. I used to have your picture on my wall. I even have your picture on my phone, see? (raises phone to Will’s face) And I can’t believe I just told you that.

Will laughs.

W: It’s ok, thank you though.
A: Can I take a picture with you?
W: Sure!

Will and Ava pose for a picture while a random person takes it.

A: Thank you so much! This is a dream come true!
W: Aww, you’re welcome, it was my pleasure.

Ava gives Will a hug and they go their separate ways.

FADE OUT

Wow. Booooorrrrinnnnggg.

My ideal meeting is a little bit quirky. I’d rather meet him in a more crazy way, as if we were in a comedic parody of a soap opera. Not comedy, not dramedy, but stupidity.

FADE IN

AVA is wearing the Kim Possible costume and sprints around Wondercon yelling, “RON!!! RON! Where are you?! RON!!!”

WILL hears her call and is in the same area with her in a flash. They see each other. A big, open-mouthed smile appears on both their faces as they’re running towards each other. When they touch, they give each other a big spinning hug. They gaze into each other’s eyes.

(overacted)
A: I can’t believe it. We’ve only known each other for such a short time and we’re already so in love.

W: I’ve been waiting for you my whole life. Anyone who dares to run around calling my character name in character to find her character’s significant other is significantly magnificent to me out of character. Please. Tell me, what is your name?

A: My name is Ava, but I won’t bother to ask you for your name because I know your name already. I don’t waste time, as moments like these pass by so quickly, I can’t bare to take the chance-

W: Oh Ava, it’s so good to know you don’t like to waste time. Let’s skip getting to know each other, dating, engaging, and almost calling off the wedding over a stupid fight about nothing, marriage, a dog, a house, and kids. Let’s just go straight to retirement and growing old together. What say you?

A: I…I…oh WILL! Yes! Yes! I would love to! This is the best day of my life! I’ve always dreamed of what it would be like to hold your hand, to touch your face, to see myself in your beautiful hazel eyes. Please, tell me, can I borrow twenty dollars? I’m famished and their pasta dishes look…expensive.

W: Twenty dollars? Twenty dollars?? My god! Have twenty five! My love only deserves the best! Add shrimp! Let me feed you with eco-friendly, biodegradeable chopsticks so that our marriage will not impact any further damage to our already dying planet. And THAT is how we will be superheroes and save the world.

A: Oh Will, I always knew you cared.

Will grabs Ava by the waist, pulls her toward him, dips her and gives her a sloppy, grotesque, cheek-licking, open-mouthed, tongue sloshing kiss.

W: I’ll be your lip moisturizer, my love.

A: Oh my. You’re a pro.

They kiss again in the same disgusting way.

The End.

FADE OUT

And THAT would definitely be the worst script I’ve ever written in 15 minutes or less. LOL! Sometimes, you just have to write a bunch of crap to mold your words into emotions. Do I really wish I could meet him this way or that? No. I don’t want to imagine these kinds of things because anything and everything can happen, just like my unpredictable Paulo Costanzo drama day. As long as I don’t have any expectations, fate will take its course. If he’s there, it will be a pleasant surprise. If not, I won’t be utterly disappointed. If only I could jump into my future to take a peek so that I can rewind back and prepare for the worst. If only…

Sometimes I Hate Writing

As I am writing, my eyes are red, my tears are streaming, and my nose is stuffed. I’m not sick, I’m just writing. Currently, I’m in the middle of writing two pieces: one is whimsical and comedic, the other is melodramatic and sad. When I write, the hardest part for me is the sad monologues that hit close to home. It’s almost like acting. I have to get into character and take myself to a place that hurts me and causes me to pull out all the stops. Obviously, I was just writing the sad piece right now which compelled me to record how I’m feeling right now.

I miss my mother. Through all the hurt and the pain she dragged me through back in January, I hate that I still miss her. I’ve tried so hard to build a wall but sometimes, there are holes and I let myself fall through them. This is so ironic because in order to get myself to write the whimsical piece, I listen to music that puts me in that mood. The laughter and fun just pours out from my mind onto the paper. I guess that’s why I felt the need to write. I needed to pull myself out from this heartbroken character and get back to at least my neutral state. I’m almost there. All day today, I spent it laughing, inspiring myself through experiences and good company, recording everything I want to share someday on stage or on screen.

Just to share a few laughter resources, here are just some places I like to go to in case of emergency lows:

Damn you Autocorrect
Funny Or Die
Fail Blog
Wainy Days

The Importance of Creative Archives

For people who like to dabble in a little bit of everything within the creative world (like me), there seems to be a catch-22 for every area of interest. For example, if you want to become an artist, you have to submit art that looks promising. but to create art that looks promising, you have to learn in school. Yeah, I guess you have to use your imagination and find resources besides school, which brings me to my point of discussion.

There was a minute in my life that I considered acting as a career, a verrrry shorrrt minute. I took acting workshops and participated in short plays but that nervous feeling right before I’m about to go onstage gets on my nerves. So I thought being on film would be easier. Now, I’m not so sure of that. I helped a friend in a short film she made for a film class and that experience was fun but at the same time, I couldn’t tell if I did a good job or not. Plus, I was very green at the time with acting and now that I look back at it, I was probably really terrible with my lame facial expressions. However, that fueled me to want to improve.

I recently met a young lady who was interested in voice acting for a living but she was having hard time finding gigs for it as it was something that’s really hard to get into. I believe her, I mean, there’s got to be so much competition out there. Of course I told her that my favorite actor is a voice actor so I understood why she wanted to go into it but she wasn’t sure where to go from there. She thought maybe she has the wrong agent who keeps giving her commercial gigs that she didn’t want to do.

I was on Twitter the other night and Jason Marsden, a very talented onscreen and voiceover actor, was talking about a voiceover audition he went to so I asked him how to get into the business. He said “1st step into VO acting? Learn how to act.” He said to then “make a reel first. 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, tight, lots of diversity.” It was nice to get advice from a professional and I really appreciated him replying; makes me believe there are still down-to-earth celebs out there without egos, which I do not stroke. Celebrities are just people & fans have to understand that. Meeting NKOTB has really conditioned me, I guess. You rock Jason, thank you. When he said that, I was immediately reverted back to my past goals and achievements in acting.

I’m trying to help complete my profile for PMSTA and Shannon, the website designer, is asking me for footage of my past work. It was then that I realized I don’t really have much on video that I’ve done. If anything is recorded, I’m certainly not aware of it. Shit. So does this mean I can never get it together in the acting world since I have nothing recorded to show for it? The only recorded footage I actually own of myself is my stand up comedy routine that I once did and I can’t use that, it’s not acting! I guess it is still a part of creativity though but still, I’m just a little bit EMBARRASSED by my silly shenanigans! But then again, if I want to be known for comedic material, I guess maybe I should include that routine…I’ll think about it.

Right now, my focus is writing & completing “Not Quite Unrequited”, the screen version. Yesterday, out of nowhere, I was creatively plugged in and I almost finished the whole treatment for the script. Even while I drove to work, my mind was still grinding away. By Sunday night, I will have the first act done and that is my goal. At least with writing, I can archive it.

Wow, this post was just all over the place.

Gimme 5 Minutes

I’m about to go to sleep so I’m going to do this old school and write whatever comes to mind for 5 minutes, like I used to. I went to Wordy Word today, which is a bi-weekly event that Bindlestiff Studio holds for artists to test out their work in front of an audience. We have a new venue, Rancho Parnassus, a cafe at 505 Minna St. in SF. It was funny because when one of the writer’s scripts was being read onstage during all these intense moments, you could see outside the big window to the left of the stage that some girls were being patted down. Ahhh, Sixth St. That is what I know you for. Art & crime just steps within vicinity of each other. My thought process was, “Hey, no fair! The crime scene is upstaging the reading!” and “I wonder if a bullet can go through this wall or would it ricochet?” Anyway, as I drank my first kombucha tonight, I thought about how much it tasted like beer and how little I know about kombucha. Is it alcoholic? Because it gave me a headache.

On another note, I was chosen to read the first 2 pages of my story for my screenwriting class and I have to read it on Monday. Guess I’d better start it then? That would be a good idea. This has completely changed my plan to write a completely different as I have to finish my short film as well. Might as well kill two birds with one stone and just use my short film project simultaneously for my screenwriting class. I’m keeping the characters, just changing the story. I refuse to put the original on screen as it already went on stage.

I also found out today that my drawing instructor might die. He was in a car accident and is in critical condition. He was already in a wheelchair before this. He taught me how to draw the things I posted in Adventures of a 6B Pencil. He’s a really great teacher and I hope he makes it through.

Okay, that’s all I’m going to write. My eyes are almost closed and I can’t even see if I’m spelling things right so I’m going to pardon my own typos if any.

You Make Me Day(Night)dream

Inspiration is everywhere and anywhere; photos, acts of kindness, acts of violence, nature, television, stories, whatever you can think of. I am most inspired by my daydreams. Night dreams are fun but when you daydream, I want to say it’s almost like lucid dreaming. I am in control. I found myself daydreaming at work today as I had to wrap a bunch of gifts for a company event. Lately, I’ve just been daydreaming about Will. Of course, night dreaming about Will is always fun too. The best part about that dream is that it inspired me to write and I was so motivated to put it on paper. I wonder if anyone can figure out which parts were the actual dream and which parts I created. My creative playground is pretty active lately but my subconcious is catching up. When I go to sleep tonight, I am crossing my fingers that Will and I will meet again.

I want to hug this smart, funny & handsome young gentleman.
Photos by Vivien Kililea, 2011Oh who am I kidding? We all know I’d like to do a lot more than hugging.

Touché. :0)

Fears & Truths on Stage

So, I’ve committed to reading my monologue at Bindlestiff Studio’s Wordy Word on March 30th. Wordy Word is a bi-weekly free event that Bindlestiff puts on for artists to try out what they’ve written. It could be anything from a play to a poem to a joke to a song, anything! The audience can give you feedback and tell you what they liked and what they didn’t like so that you can get a sense of what’s working and what’s not. I really didn’t want to reveal my piece until the show in October but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to get some feedback so that I can figure out what direction I’m going.

So many movies I’ve seen, stories I’ve heard, shows I’ve attended–they usually have some form of a happy ending for either the protagonist, a supporting character, and sometimes maybe even the antagonist. I chose to write a happy ending monologue that was based on a story with a NOT-so-happy ending. But after getting feedback about my piece from Sunday’s 6 hour meeting, I’m thinking I might have to take out exactly what I didn’t want to take out: the happy ending! That would mean tracing along the lines of the goddamn truth.

Robert McKee, the author of “Story,” said that “Story is metaphor for life.” He goes on to say,

Writers of portraiture must realize that facts are neutral. The weakest possible excuse to include anything in a story is: “But it actually happened.” Everything happens; everything imaginable happens. Indeed, the unimaginable happens. But story is not life in actuality. Mere occurrence brings us nowhere near the truth. What happens is fact, not truth. Truth is what we think about what happens.

I guess I need to step far enough away from the character so that it doesn’t stay too close to the truth. Otherwise, it will be difficult to make up the story. It’s hard to bend the truth and keep up with the lies but that’s pretty much what a story is.

And working under pressure doesn’t always produce the best work neither. Not to mention, I’ve got stage fright. I’ve got it bad. I don’t like being the center of attention. It’s scary because you’re afraid you’ll drop a line & forget everything you’ve been working so hard on for the last few months, embarrassing yourself onstage. I get this feeling even when it’s my turn to introduce myself in a class. My heart beats like a ticking time bomb and there’s nothing I can do to calm it down. However, once I get onstage, it’s smooth sailing. My mind switches to committing myself fully into doing my best. I cannot wait to get offstage but while I’m up there, I might as well get comfortable. When it’s over, I’ll realize I was worried for nothing. I admit to having had some alcohol a couple of times before a show to calm myself. Not that I’m not professional, just that I knew I could because it was standup comedy and it would have only added to my set.

All right well, I’ve got 3 weeks to fine tune this baby. I bought myself a voice recorder and placed it in the car because it’s always when I’m driving that I randomly come up with great ideas. I figured it was safer than texting the memo in my phone. Let the creativity begin.

Killing My Baby

I spent 6 hours at a meeting yesterday and we ended up tossing my work in the garbage. It’s fine, I’m not sad about it or anything. It was a backup anyway. We’re going to go with my primary baby. The only hard part was that I wish I knew ahead of time that I was going to end up scrapping it. I spent four days writing up this script adapted from my monologue and to end up having to scrap the whole script was painful.

Four days is a record time for me, considering my last script took me two years to finish. I AM glad, however, that everyone liked the monologue better. The only reason I wrote the stage script was because I wrote the monologue for the photography lookbook we were going to do. Alas, I was given the sad news that the lookbook has been put on hold, and I felt the need to quickly adapt the monologue with dialogue and stage directions since I wasn’t able to envision the monologue as a stage performance just yet, only as light reading.

It perturbed me to produce the stage script because I hated every word, every transition, every empty dialogue I had placed any effort into writing. Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe I subconciously sabatoged myself into writing a horrible script, hoping the monologue would have a 100% chance of shining through when being compared side by side. It’s not like it would have been the first time for me to sabatoge myself on purpose.

I remember doing my very first audition. I didn’t want my first performance to be drama, I wanted it to be comedy. However, the part they wanted me to read was drama so I purposely did a horrible job on the drama audition so that I wouldn’t get casted by the director of that piece. Subsequently, they gave me a comedic piece to read and needless to say, I was casted for the comedic piece. Thus, completing my mission of wanting my 1st stage performance to be comedy.

Of course now, I’m down to do any genre. Comedy, drama, horror, whatever. As long as I’m having fun, I will commit myself to doing my job 110%. I’m really excited now to complete this monologue piece now that I’ve gotten some feedback on it from my peers. Stage directions will be the next step in finishing this draft. I’m excited to dive into the actual casting & rehearsing of it. As a matter of fact, ALL the pieces that will be in the show sound amazing. I’m overexcited to get it up and running.

Here are some excerpts from the monologue and the stage script.

Monologue:

      “He is too short.” She would tell me all the reasons why he’s not right for her. I decided not to encourage her to pursue him. Most likely, she already knew the outcome. Instead, she chose to continue living her façade of a perfect life in the eyes of her friends. After a decade of building her pretty world, the walls began to wobble.
      A couple of days ago, I saw a bulk toothpaste box with a hole cut out of it that was facing me while I was showering. My mind became curious. I wondered what it was. I mean, why would anyone carve a hole in a toothpaste box? I picked it up and peered into the hole, only to see my own eyes staring right back at me.

Script:

SARAH
What’s wrong, mom? You seem so sad.

MOM
Oh nothing. It’s just that James
was vomiting blood today. I think
he’s getting sick.

Sarah & Steven glance at each other and grin.

MOM (CONT’D)
Are you sure you don’t want some
food? There’s some more rice still.
I made eggs with barbecued pork.
That’s your favorite, right?

STEVEN
We don’t want any food, mom. We
have to talk to you about
something.

Mom stops washing dishes and turns around. She looks uncomfortable.

MOM
Talk about what?

Steven looks at Sarah, signaling for a response. Sarah remains silent, unable to begin. Steven eagerly responds to mom.

STEVEN
Sarah has something to tell you.

And there it is. Pretty bad. Sometimes, you just have to kill your baby.

Last Night

     The club was dark with reddish undertones. Patrons were dressed in cocktail wear. Will had just finished a set. It was a standup comedy show. He sported brown & shiny, shoulder-length pantene hair with a hint of gold highlights, a clean-shaven face, a black & blue plaid shirt, and a pair of blue jeans. He had a pair of tan Timberland boots on that made a clunky noise as he made his strides. He squeezed in between two people to the right of the bar & was trying to get the bartender’s attention. I walked up to his left while he waited for his drink. I smiled from ear to ear.
      “Hi Will, you were really good up there. I’m Ava.” I put out my hand to shake his but his eyes averted mine. He looked down on the floor with a silent pause. I casually lowered my empty hand and backed away, sensing his wariness.
      “Ok well, just wanted you to know.” I forced a smile, disappointed that our one & only encounter was a failure. I took steps to walk away when he spoke.
      “Who are you with? I mean, who do you know?” He looked at me with guarded eyes but he was listening for an answer. Perhaps a validation? I was speechless. I’m not a socialite. I’m certainly not one of those aggressive autograph collectors who go around hounding celebrities for a signature I can sell for a profit online. I searched in my mind to find any celebrity connections I had that could validate myself to let him know I wasn’t some insane fan who could hurt him.
      “I’m a moderator for New Kids on the Block’s forum website!” I blurted. Strike two. Why did I say that? What pertinence does this information have? I’m such an idiot. It would have made better sense if I had just told him who I really was; someone who had admired his work since 1993 and was honored to be in his presence. Perhaps he wasn’t even asking for validation, maybe he was just asking which comedian I specifically came to watch. Him, of course, but his cautious interrogation made me regret coming up to him.
     At that moment, a black man came up to Will and complimented him on his set, distracting his attention. A way out. I attempted my ninja exit. Before I could escape, Will took notice and grabbed my arm to stop me.
     “Wait. What was your name again? Ava?”
     “Yes. Ava. I just wanted to meet you. I love that you make me laugh.” He stood close to me, invading my two feet of personal space but it didn’t bother me; it was comfortable. I wanted to hold his hand, to touch his face, to taste his lips. I wondered how he would hold me if he were my boyfriend. I wondered if he was the type of comedian who acknowledges his girlfriend from the stage, making her feel embarrassed & special at the same time.
     Words now became an awkward barrier between us. I stared at his gentle hazel eyes, waiting for the end of his assessment. I knew he finally approved when I saw the dimples on his cheeks emerge, a smile that could charm even the most wicked of witches. My heart did a blissful little dance.
     Just then, the black man shoved his way past Will, jostling him into me. I swiftly placed my hands to his cheeks & pulled his face towards mine until there was only half an inch between our stares. His arms instinctively wrapped around me, cradling my body with a protective fervour so I wouldn’t fall, but my heart fell anyway. His fingertips rested against the small of my back. His eyes glanced at my lips while the awkwardness faded and I was relieved. I closed my eyes and let his lips touch mine…

Strawberries.

     When my eyes opened, Will was gone. I shut my alarm off and stayed in bed with a lamented smile, struggling to return to my dream.

I have the cheesiest (sub)concious ever.

Becoming A Storyteller

I’ve never done so much reading in my life, not even in high school. At least in high school, I was really only reading one book at a time for English class. Textbooks don’t count since I only had to read lessons, learn from examples, and copy answers from the back of the book. Last night, I plowed through page after page from a book, a literary magazine, 2 scripts, a novel excerpt, and a barrage of emails. In addition to that, I also had to draw 2 items 3 times for my art class. I’m starting to dislike 6B pencils. Found myself sharpening every 15 minutes.

I never realized how much concentration it took for me to really absorb myself into a book. Have you ever read through 40 pages only to walk away from it without having listened to even one sentence? Did your mind wander to all the different chores you still have to do, people you still need to email, projects you have yet to complete or ideas you have to record? I walk away from my readings having mentally completed multiple task lists and planning my week out rather than paying mind to the book in hand. Of course in the end, I have not actually done the tasks I mentally prepared myself to do nor absorbed the material I just spent 3 hours reading so I end up having accomplished zilch.

Things must change. If I’m going to start a side career writing scripts & stories, I’m going to have to give as much as I get. Thank you to my friends who critique my scripts & stories. I promise to give back and actually pay attention to your words too. I’m not bullshitting you neither because this time, I finally have an actual feature length story to tell and I’d really like to get your feedback!

I pitched the synopsis to a friend of mine up to the climax and she was badgering me for the conclusion, which I hadn’t decided yet. Her reaction gave me inspiration to pursue the story and maybe someday sell the script. If I can’t sell it, I will get it produced myself. I have to say, reading “Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Writing” by Robert McKee has been extremely helpful, probably the most insightful book on writing that I have ever read. It broke down all the reasons why people love movies, how a good story is told, how to refrain from clichés, etc. Everything you need to learn about how to screenwrite a story is in here! It was published in 1997 so some of the movies they mention are a bit outdated but nonetheless, the material is still relevant to this day.

By the end of May, I hope to have completed at least a first draft of a feature-length screenplay. That is my goal on my writing side right now. I’m very excited to finally begin this chapter of my life.

Truth in Blog

I tried all weekend to let my recent event inspire me to write a piece for the book. However, the more I thought about how a short story is constructed, the less I wanted to complete my piece. All I’ve written so far is what happened–no changing scenes, no climaxes, just what exactly happened. That does not make for a good read. I never really thought about how hard this would be to put into story form. I think by the time I finish my piece, the story will be inspired by the event, but the truth will remain here, as a story is just that–a story. My truth had no resolution so I had to write & rewrite my story until my pen ran out of ink.

Yes, I said ink. I like to write my stories on paper. That way, my initial thoughts cannot escape through the delete button. Initial drafts can be pretty lousy but sometimes, an initial sentence might come sneaking back into actually being clever so I keep it safe in a moleskin book. I come up with my most brilliant ideas & thoughts in th shower, believe it or not. Maybe they should come up with a blackboard with water-resistant markers that I can use in the shower so I can transfer it onto paper later. Yah, I know that idea will never sell so I’ll just have to learn to retain. Someday, I will write an amazing screenplay and if I ever get asked where I came up with the idea, I want my answer to be, “In the shower.”

I signed up for a screenwriting class this semester just in case someone else had something else to teach me. It starts tonight. My mom always asks me why I keep going back to school. A professor once taught me, “If you stop learning, you stop living.” If there’s any lesson of value that resonated with me from going to school all those years, that was it. Years of complaining how badly I wanted to get out of school only left me pining to get back in–so here I am, taking 3 classes, working a full time job, and trying to redesign my life.

The classes I signed up for are 1)Screenwriting, 2)Website Development, and 3)Drawing. I figured if I’m going to admit that I’m an inner artist, I might as well get some training to back myself up. I can’t become an artist if I don’t learn my craft. I’ve always wondered how artists relegate themselves into the type of lifestyle where it seems like all they do is work on their craft. What about money? How do they pay bills or buy art materials or even eat? I’m truly baffled as I have a full time job and I don’t spend all my time on my craft & I’m struggling like a drowning horse in a flash flood.

Anyway, I have to go to class and figure out how I’m going to get this story out from my brain to my book.

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