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!"

Ahem.

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:

A)Stupid
B)Useless
C)Worthless

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.

17 comments:

Vegas Princess said...

First of all that picture is gorgeous! I love the lighting and the intimacy is great. You guys are so perfect!

That being said, I can understand your plight. While I am not a great beauty such as you, I am a woman and a blonde one at that, working in a mostly male career. I have had to work harder and prove myself more often simply because of the fact I don't fit in to the Boy's Club. But I am as good if not better than every one I have worked with, even bosses. But I do believe it has made me a stronger, better person. You are incredible, you know it, Rockstar knows it and we all know it. People who don't see the brilliant and incredible person behind the pretty face aren't worth your spit any way.

Wanderlusting said...

Vegas - awww, thanks Vegas, that really means a lot! I totally hear you on the boys club thing. It's amazing how backwards things are still but there you go. People will look at you like you are just one thing, when you are really so much more. I'm glad your hard work has paid off, I just know how incredibly frustrating it must be for you when you KNOW you can do other people's jobs better than they can and they won't even give you a chance, for whatever reason.

Kass said...

People only think that of you because that's how they want you to be. Think of it this way, an attractive looking 20-something female that is intelligent, witty, funny, has a sweet boyfriend AND a budding career? Who doesn't want that (or something like it), so of course they're going to be stupid and try to down play you for their own dumbass lil brains, so they can go "Oh, she MUST be stupid, there MUST be something wrong with her, look at that blonde hair" just to make themselves feel better about their own situation (which they could change if they fucken opened up and accepted that they WANT to).

And you know what? You've already started to prove them wrong. You've achieved goals that many have trouble even motivating themselves to think about (e.g. weight loss), you've got a career path you actually enjoy, and when people are actually faced with you, and are faced with having a conversation with you, they realise that you're not just a pretty face, you're not just a hot chick on the arm of a rockstar, you're this sweet, incredibly funny, awesome person that would be an invaluable friend any day of the week (yes, and even on your bad days). I guess that scares and makes a lot of people jealous.

So my point is, after all that rambling, something pretty damn simple; fuck them, they're not worth knowing/wasting your time on. If people want to delude themselves into thinking that every pretty girl is a bitch or a dumbass, then that's their problem, and certainly not something you should worry about. In fact, you should rejoice in the fact that you can prove people wrong, that people don't expect you to be some kid-genius, that when you do kick their hairy white asses, they'll be astonished and amazed and regret the person they could've had as a fantastic friend.

You KNOW you're not that person and the people that truly matter know this. So fuck them Karina, you're awesome, even if they don't know it..yet.

Kick ass girl.

miss N said...

Don't worry what other people think or the assumptions they make about you - you are having your career and life not them. Just keep going forward the way you want to.

Film school can be a shitty world of a lot of people trying to outdo each other - I've been there. I learn't more on the job as a script/writers assistant and Directors assistant - stuff you can never learn at school. But school is useful for the initial information and resources.

A podcast I love listening to is Creative Screenwriting (in iTunes) - it's always fascinating to hear how other writers got started.

Dan said...

Promise me a role in your film? I'll work for scale.

Delicieux said...

I can attest to the fact that brunettes get that sort of treatment sometimes, too. I work at a consulting company that hires only experienced people... and have been for the past three years. I came in as the receptionist and moved quickly into the marketing department.

I blow every project out of the water, yet most people still see me as young and inexperienced. It's hard, but I try every day to be the utmost professional person - even down to the clothes I wear.

Hold yourself in high regards and other people will see that and start to think the same as you do. Even though I've never met you, you look gorgeous in every picture I've seen. You have every right to be confident and feel like everything you say and do makes a difference.

Because it does :)

Evey said...

Hey there. Came over here from Vegas's blog. I have seriously slacked in the blogging department the last few months and decided it was time to get back to it. So I decided one way was to read a new blog each day from a friends links. Today I chose yours from Vegas's blog.

Love the pic, I am a huge fan of the candid photo. I think they tell so much more about the people in the picture.

almost famous kiwi said...

As an actress it's great when people compliment my look cos lets face it, it's a foot in the door if you're slightly pretty. At work (as a hostess) Im treated like a piece of meat. The owner called me a sex pot and asked if I'd marry him, his assistant told me that I had 'the perfect body' according to him, and one of my managers told another manager that if I wasnt in a relationship and he wasnt then he'd pursue me.

WTF? I am NOT a piece of meat. I am university educated, well travelled, funny, talented and an over all good person. Why does all this mean nothing if you have a nice rack? Im tired of it and I bet all the girls out there know what I mean. It doesnt matter if youre skinny or curvy theres still this disguting stigma against us. I don't stand for it. You wanna call me hot and treat me like meat? You better be offering me a role thats gonna make me famous, otherwise get lost.

Im not saying that its bad to be checked out, its not. I just dont like when guys think its ok to treat us like we're on display at the zoo. First of all guys you are soooo not subtle and secondly we dont appreciate it.

Steph said...

I think it's a blonde thing. I cop that shit every single day but luckily for me work with mostly Gay boys and anorexic models, so I don't take it too seriously.

Do your thang girlfriend. Fuck the haters!!!

M said...

fuck them if they can't look beyond the surface. You're a hard worker and I feel that this will all pay off. I guess everyone has to work their arse off ugly or beautiful.

Personally I think that ALL women are judged on the surface though. If you were too ugly I'm thinking that people wouldn't take you more seriously. They'd just see you as the poor little ugly chick who is a little pathetic for trying it on with the big guns. They might even laugh about you behind your back. Being beautiful gets you a lot of foot in the door stuff but you're right, it doesn't exactly make people give your brain a chance either.

I think you've totally got it going on. You have brains AND beauty and it's awesomeness. Keep on rocking!

M said...

oh, btw it's disgraceful that these girls can't support you especially in an industry that is so male dominated and women are tokens both behind and in front of the camera. The irony of the situation is that if you weren't gorgeous then the girls might be more on your side but the guys probably wouldn't. If it isn't one it's the other. What a pain in the arse!

Rachel said...

i was recently formulating a blog post about having a 'womanly figure' (read: big boobs) and getting slack for it. all the time. so i totally understand what you mean, and it's not just a 'blonde' thing. people just don't take me seriously.. is there something the world has against attractive women that also have brains? i actually think so. it's so irritating!

Peter Bond said...

Good luck with film school, Lusting!

I enjoy reading scripts and would like to read yours - not for use on any money-making endeavor, I 'd just love to read it for entertainment!

Thanks for an interesting post!

Mitch said...

1. you look great. That much I knew from the first time we met over that coffee!

2. anyone who judges you by the cover obviously qualifies as an ass, and while it may take more work on your part, the people who recognize the skill will be better off for having you around!

3. Have fun in Hawaii...

Karinaxoxo said...

You should never judge anyone by their cover - regardless of if they are gorgeous or really ugly!
People are just jealous! I get it a lot (and I would only consider myself 'average') and most of the times it is from girls (sometimes 'friends')
For every time someone puts you down you should remember all the times that someone has commented on your looks, wit, charm, talent etc etc - I know its easier said than done - but it really works for me!

( . )( . ) said...

I kind of agree with you there on the hot blonde thing. People do it all the time. With me, when I was much thinner, but still had massive tits, everyone just treated me like an object, they would make comments (same as you, boys were in love, girls were insanely bitter and jealous), and generally overlook any part of my personality. I was just something to be looked at, and judged solely on my looks. It sucked.

I think with women, it all stems from jealousy.

And its a shame but you will have to work twice as hard, until you establish yourself a good reputation. And thats just the way the cookie crumbles.

Although it works both ways, I found when I was really overweight, people did the same thing, just the opposite way. So, either way, your screwed!! Ahh, life is fabulous :P

Girl About Town said...

There is a quote by Marilyn Monroe - I can't remember it word for word - but it's something along the lines of 'I don't mind if they think I'm a dumb blonde, that way I can keep surprising them'. So I think in a way, being looked at as nothing more than a 'hot chick' is a great advantage, because it means you can really pull the rug out from under people when they least expect it, iykwim.

I think you will end up surprising a lot of people. You are incredibly talented and have achieved so much already!