Friday, February 20, 2015


Thomas Edison arguably invented film. So it's all his fault.
As I'm travelling to work on the set of a friend's short film, working for free, for long hours, with a crew of kids who show up late cause they're hungover, or make stupid suggestions because they're high, while I'm literally 100% completely & utterly, can't-even-buy-cheap-bodega-coffee-until-next-Wednesday broke, but I still enjoy my day, it occurs to me that I must be mad.

I'd better be pretty damn sure that I love what I do when I do it for free when all I should be doing is selling my body for money. But I do love it. & everything will be fine. Film is some sort of labour-intensive drug & I am an addict. Film is magic and storytelling can change everything. The world tells too many crappy stories and I want to tell better ones.

That same day, I am privileged & blessed to be put in touch with an established director, via a friend of a very thoughtful friend, who turns out to be the pitch perfect mentor for me right now (I've never really been a good mentee, because I guess I've never really done anything I cared about as much). He completely bursts my bubble, confirms what I kind of already know & helps me re-adjust my focus, assuring me it will never get any easier or any more sane, but giving me a practical heads up to help me get where I want to be, if I'm sure I really want to get there. "To start off," he says "is there any way I can persuade you to go back to law?". He's only half joking. I completely share his sentiment, but I couldn't persuade myself, not even for a second (well, maybe for a second). I can't do anything else. Not now. It's like marrying someone your parents disapprove of but that you just know is the one. Despite all the ups & downs you know you'll have, you'd be a fool to pass her up. You have to jump in headfirst & just make it work.

So in other words, I am now a film school graduate, and the world is a big and daunting place. Where do I begin? Where will the dictates of rent money and visa requirements take me? Will I be lucky enough to do some good work in between the paying gigs I have to say yes to? Who knows. But for now the Big Apple is our home & we are all in. All I ever wanted is film & Mareesa. Now I have both, so I can't complain. I just have to figure out a way to keep them both happy while paying the rent. Easier said than done, but who ever wanted an easy life?! ("me! Me! Pick ME!" yells the voice inside. I ignore it.)

Onward & upward as I try to do something meaningful & truthful while getting paid enough to keep a roof over the heads of the offspring Mareesa & I certainly won't be able to help ourselves having. Everything else is a bonus.

It's a lucky thing my interests lean so strongly towards low budget, independent film & Mareesa's mission is to start a non-profit from scratch. If we end up being rich, know this - it is because of God's grace, not our common sense.