Saturday, February 23, 2008
Musings of late February
The above photo was taken by my bf's roomate. I was modeling for him (he is a photographer and it was school project and I was a last resort - hence why I have no makeup on, am dressed like a fat bag lady and didn't have a hair brush with me) and he was taken photos from across the alleyway like a stalker. My bf had to go to the doctor (due to painful bursitis in his shoulders), so he came out onto his roof to say good-bye (yes, I was being photographed on the roof).
His roomate snapped the pic without our knowledge, so I think it's just a wonderful candid shot of a parting moment.
But what is most interesting is...THE WEATHER! Hello! It's February here in Vancouver, Canada, the supposed "coldest" month of the year and I'm wearing a thin shirt and skirt and he's just got a tee on. To be fair, a couple of weeks ago it did snow but lookee now...sunshine, birdsong and spring buds.
And sleeveless wine and cheese on my roof under a dying sun. Bliss!
Now, I am wondering how to blog about this next part without going on and on and on about it. As you are all probably well aware, I tend to write long posts. I don't know why this is, all I know is that summarizing is not my strong point (and in the projects I am currently working on, it has come to bite me in the ass).
But I digress and shall get straight to the point....without sounding like one of those ungrateful or full-of-themselves people. So I will start off with this qoute from Friends, because I think it applies here.
"My wallet is too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!"
I look in the mirror and I see someone who is funny looking. I have an odd-face. I have numerous body flaws (even despite my recent weight loss). But I have blonde hair and I guess my figure is OK and I know that other people tend to say I'm "hot." I am not going to argue because I will never think that, but I can see WHY they would say that. I would just never let myself think that about myself because it's conceited, etc. And if you know me, you KNOW how much confidence I lack.
Regardless, I get pinpointed as being "hot" and I have never noticed this so much as when I started going out with my boyfriend 8 months ago.
I never got it much in high school and if it was it was in my group of friends (who were all punks, bangers, skids, druggies, goths) and not the school in general. I never got it afterwards because I was too fat (for my frame and my looks...I was at 169lbs at my worst and, yeah, it had people going "Lusty would be the hottest chick if she wasn't so damn fat" - a real quote from a real "friend" of mine). And I never really got it in University...until after I was down to 128lbs. And even then, I never heard it.
But my love now never lets me forget it. His friends don't let me forget it. Everytime we go out someone makes a comment about my looks. The guys say it in a nice way, the girls say it bitingly. Regardless, I hear it a lot. Do I get hit on a lot? NO. Actually, I rarely do. But I hear it and it's OK but it gets kind of annoying after awhile.
OK, so NOW is when the "My wallet is too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!" quote comes in because I know you all are rolling your eyes and saying, gee what a terrible problem to have. People constantly complimenting you.
Let me just say, I appreciate it. It's a novelty to me. I like it when people try and be nice. It does help my self-esteem sometimes.
But there is a downside to this that has been PISSING ME OFF as of lately.
When people start to see you as the Rockstar's "hot girlfriend," you start to diminish as a person and start to become an object. Unless they actually know me well, most people will stereotype me as some hot blonde chick and assume I am:
Maybe it's blonde thing because dark-haired beauties don't tend to get this assumption as much (I don't know, Kiwi, what do you think?). Maybe I need to dye my hair and wear glasses. But that's not me.
So all the emo, art-fag chicks that hate on me, hate on me because they don't understand how a hot blonde chick who wears cute dresses to rock concerts can possibly be funny, witty, smart and thoughtful. They write me off as being a waste of space and pure eye candy.
This problem continues on into my school world.
Most of you don't know this, but I write screenplays. I've been doing it since I was 21, starting as a hobby and now going as a career. I had one script in 2002 that attracted the attention of a local producer. I had it optioned for 3K (money I never saw when she skipped town eventually) but she did help me develop it and the script was good enough to be chosen to be performed live at a cold reading series. The script also was a finalist in screenwriting contests.
Skip forward a few years, past my days in New Zealand, to University. I had another script and this one actually landed me an agent.
It is very hard to get an agent. You can't get one if you aren't a good writer.
Regardless, he wasn't a very good agent so I am not too sure what that says about my writing skills.
Anyhoo, he sorta promoted my script and then I ended up losing interest. One reason is because I went to LA on a pitch conference (where you pitch your script to Miramax, Paramount etc)and got into an exclusive party. Long story short, I realized Hollywood sucked ass and I didn't want any part of it. Another reason is because people at journalism school kept telling me how impractical screenwriting was and that I should be more realistic.
Of course, they never told me how impractical journalism itself it. So fuck them, I decided. I am going to do this...I have as much of a chance selling my scripts than you do for writing for a newspaper any place other than Fort McMurray (ie, Butt Fuck Nowhere). The fact that right now, 10 BIG producers and 4 BIG agents have my script for review gives me as much of a chance of making it as you sending your journalism resume to the Globe and Mail.
Anyhoo, I don't admit it often because I have not officially "made" it and I don't want people to just assume I'm kidding myself...but that's happening so far.
I'm going to film school*. It's not film school as in "let's play with cameras and pretend to be directors." No, it's a course that deals with learning to be a producer here in Canada...how to get funding from the government, distributors, broadcasters. How to budget and schedule your film using EP. How to be a production manager. How to enter film festivals. Where are the best tax credits. How much is insurance on my 2 mil film going to run me. What can I expect from post production (an aside, we went to a Technicolor lab today and I got to handle an undeveloped roll of Heath Ledger's last film Dr. Parnussus. I wasn't sure if the new footage, that was just dropped off at the lab, had Johnny Depp, Colin Farrel or Jude Law in it - his replacement actors - but I felt special).
Our program is very intense and has a lot of big people in it. One classmate produces the CBC show "The Guard." Another classmate is producing her first horror film with Kristin Kruek. One instructor is an actual Entertainment Lawyer who has worked on some big stuff. Another instructor has just produced Canada's first stop motion animation film. One instructor was the DOP on The Punisher sequel (and the new Captain Cook series on the History channel). One class project has us pitching our "shows" to a panel of judges that include the president of Lionsgate films. These are BIG people.
And they all look at me like I'm an idiot. Whenever I mention anything about writing, they just brush me off. Assume I can't do it. "Look at her, thinks she can write, what does she know?"
What do THEY know?
They completely judge me by my cover. The girls are the worst too, it seems like the guys are at least taken me remotely seriously. They at least take in what I have to say, nod a few times, perhaps. But the girls in my class don't even listen. They think I am full of bullshit. Many a time in group projects where something has involved writing or knowledge of scripts, they write me off. They don't give it to me, in fact they don't give any work to me. Look people, I have only a few strengths and many, many weaknesses (um, writing too long blog posts).
My strength is writing, I have come to believe this over the years - and fuck, even now I don't know if I can write shit at all - but it's the best I have to offer.
And no one will take me up on that offer.
Whaa, whaa, whaa, whinge, whinge, whinge. I must sound like a baby complaining about these things. But I would do anything to be taken more seriously and it seems until I actually make it, I'm going to have a long hard road ahead of me.
Some person commented on another blog and said, "There is nothing more important in this world than being a hot chick. You don't have to do shit."
I'm here to say that you couldn't be more wrong. Being hot may work in your favour as an actor (and even then, have you heard about Jessica Alba complaining about not getting Natalie Portman's parts? Yes, she is a horrible actress but...) or as a model or as a trophy wife, or a bartender, or perhaps at a company where the boss is a sleazeball. But other than that, you have to work just as hard.
And to be taken seriously for what I want to do, I think I have to work even harder.
Which is fine in the long run. Hard work builds character, it makes you refine what you want and it keeps your faith strong.
It will make the success that much sweeter when I finally am able to prove that I am capable and I can scream in their faces, "HA! I told you so!"
And then, maybe I'll stop complaining about my diamond shoes.
* - I should specify that I am not actually going to "film" school, it is a short, intensive university program that is geared towards people who are already IN the industry and want to transfer their skills to the producers range.