grace

Sep. 30th, 2010 09:20 pm
Hey, folks.

Today was not really the day I wanted to make that post about the experiences I had in college. I mean, no day is, but that story also isn't a secret, and I've talked about it before. But feeling impelled to do it, especially today, sort of sucked. And feeling impelled to do it by so much tragedy sucks for everyone.

For everyone who left me kind words and sympathy and affection, thank you. For me, this is all nearly twenty years ago. And while I've had this or that moment of experiencing homophobia since, what happened to me in college largely doesn't matter anymore. I'm out, even to my family; live with a wonderful woman; am frank about my gender identity; and am successful in a number of arenas. My health is reasonable and my heart is whole.

I can't say the experiences I've had haven't left their mark. I live with me the most, so trust me, they have. But that mark is largely private, not because I am ashamed, but because those wounds do not merit an audience, even if talking about them sometimes does.

So I'm going to talk about something else. Which is that I've just come from the Baz Luhrmann master class at the Paley Center, and my god, that was exactly what I needed. That was two very funny hours of pure kick in the ass awesome that's got me thinking a lot about my work, my projects, my resources and how to best utilize those, but also, since I've been talking about persona a lot lately, the product of me.

And it's maybe on that level that it was the most valuable. Because aside from whatever self-hatred I have because my childhood was sort of intense and weird and of this other world, and also because I have a lot of experience with bullying and abuse, there are just random things about me I'm hyper-fucking-critical of, largely in how I view my persona.

Because here, on-line, I can be giddy about this or that all day long, but at the end of the day I use a lot of compound-complex sentences and rhetorical devices to structure things into very finely honed serious points. The scholarship I'm focused on is about death. I write, dance, act, direct, and generally Make Stuff. And people like, give me money for it and everything, although those sums can range from "I just made how much for a day? God I love this biz" to "Fucking-A, I've spent 5 weeks making this show happen and all I got was this lousy $50." But my point is, I'm pretty hard-core.

But if you've met me, or seen me do a panel, I'm still pretty hard-core, but it's kinda wacky. I'm funny, I talk very fast, I am so hyper-focused that it can seem like I'm digressing when I'm not (and when I'm not hyper-focused, I'm digressing awesomely or appallingly depending on what you're there for), I do voices, I act things out, I poke at other people on stage, I want to connect with you individually even if that's unreasonable, and, god help me, give me half an excuse to make a call-to-arms speech and I will find a fucking way.

All of that? Tiring for me, because I am, at heart, also an introvert. But tiring for you! And I've always worried seems sort of flaky and weird and girly and unprofessional and beyond my station and all that shit. Yeah, no. My brain is going a million miles a minute. And I'm giddy. Even about my awesome death research! And how I learned to write by reading Cicero! And my problems with -o vs. -ou because of my wacky education. And oh my god, the conversations I have had with costume people about the fine line between dominatrix and heavy-metal band.... you had to be there.

Anyway, I just laughed my ass off for two hours. Found myself deeply moved on a couple of occasions. Got answers or references to things I couldn't have dreamed of, and somehow walked out of there not feeling like I'm behind, even when this man I admire is only ten years older than me, and I so often feel like I've done so little.

I'll post more details later, but one of the things he said, was that people who are very good at what they do, tend to be very generous with those gifts. And if there's a true thing about me it is that I am extraordinarily generous in some ways, and not at all in others. And I think, maybe, there's a clue in there that I need to be listening to just a little bit more.

I didn't get to ask any of my questions (because he gives very long digressive answers to questions, so few were answered) even though, yeah, he pointed at me (oh, admit it, we all go to these things because we want to be seen) and I was on the list of people he was trying to get to. And maybe that was a little sad, since he kept asking everyone their names, and with a name like mine, that's always a little interesting. But time and place.

When I first started acting and being ambitious and wanting to tell stories somewhere other than here or just with words, I went to the movies with some friends. I think it was at Todd Haynes' Far from Heaven, but I'm not sure. And I remember that as the credits were rolling, I had wave of not desire, but certitude. And there were three directors I knew, in that moment sitting there I was going to work with. My first credited role in a feature film was with one of them. And there's no doubt in my mind that those other two things are so totally going to happen.

Why?

I don't know. I'm just like that. It's how my life works, because I say so. I don't fail; sometimes it's just a long way home is all. You can't ask permission, especially not for certitude.

It has been one hell of a week, you guys.

Tomorrow, I sing.

Monday I turn 38.

Sundries will resume tomorrow.
Patty mentioned to me the other day that she'd seen the trailer for Baz Luhrmann's new film, Australia last time she'd been in the movies, and since it seems I never, ever get to an actual cinema anymore and am too busy to even THINK, I hadn't even realized the trailer was out.

So I just found it online.

Thoughts.

1. Wow.
2. They don't make movies like this anymore, except, apparently, they do!
3. Yes.
4. Oh my god, the _typography_ on the titles.
5. Baz Luhrmann _and_ WWII. Could I be any more spoiled right now?

For the newer folks, I studied at NIDA in Australia in 2005 because of my Baz Luhrmann thing, which while about his movies, was really more about his obsessive self-absorption and documenting and ambition and dedication to having family and creative family and blah blah blah. Um, I feel like I should talk about it cogently right now. But I just can't. But it's one of those things where, if I hadn't gone and done it, for all the batshit reasons I did, I don't think I'd know how to be happy right now.

I'm glad the film looks amazing. I'm glad this man and his work still matter to me. And I am very interested to note that he seems to have switched from matters of commerce as a theme, to matters of endurance.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox/australia/hd/

ETA: apparently the official site has lots of video podcasts of behind the scenes stuff, which I'm going to download tonight and devour on the subway this week. Also, Luhrmann in the newsboy cap? Too funny.

http://www.australiamovie.com


And, because [livejournal.com profile] rahalia_cat and one or two others of you will know why it's funny: this totally explains why I bought a tub of blood orange sorbet last night.

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