Sunday, May 15, 2016

City of Hope a poem


City streets
Cigarette butts
 
Neighbors who are uncouth and-
   Think you are, too, in their own set of rules

You walk the dog on a grey Sunday

And reclining in the entry of a closed boutique, smoking, wrapped in his navy blue sleeping bag,
One of the most beautiful homeless men you've ever seen
He reminds you of an old lover
A Hawaiian shell necklace
A nonchalance
A head of hair like the tapestry of Psyche and Eros at the Met in New York
 
You wonder if he, too plays the piano
And if he, too, loves choral music and would sleep in on a Sunday and then Stroll hand in hand to a farmer's Market to smell the soaps and taste the berries as the blue sky opens up with rain

Probably not

But maybe

How lucky you have been

And beauty is evident everywhere
Amidst the trash and clutter of an unfeeling city,
Oh, so full of feelings,
A city of hope

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A big huge blog post with lots of stuff going on: Acting News with Equality Politics, Gratitude #211- 221, Music Madness; Fiction: My Life as a Phone Psychic V NYC 2012, Part 2, Chapter 7!

Happy Day, my beloved readers and friends!

I must apologize for being remiss in my writing the last few weeks. I have been busy writing a web series (finished Draft Two and am awaiting notes for Draft Three- really proud!), singing the Lady Gaga/ Tony Bennett album with a few friends for a private party (complete with costume changes and a tiara! FUNNNNN!), participating in new play readings (more on that below); writing a pilot with my Japanese-American twin, Anzu, auditioning every chance I get, giving readings on 12Listen, etc. SO I am back with a few moments to spare, and with these few moments I am going to write an EPIC BLOG POST encompassing a few of my experiences of late!

I WILL include a video for MUSIC MONDAYS, a few items for GRATITUDE SATURDAYS (2016 things to be grateful for in 2016, and I'm only in the low 200s! Eep!), a CHAPTER of the novel "MY LIFE AS A PHONE PSYCHIC," and some recap on acting.... beginning with:

1. ACTING

Over the weekend I had a fantastic time performing as "Grace" in a new play titled "The Cost," written by Aquaila Barnes and performed here in Los Angeles as part of Ebony Rep Theater at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. This was the kind of role I LOVE and would just LOVE to grow into: a high-powered, political legacy kind of woman.... in the play, this character was kinder than, say, "Claire" on one of MY favorite shows, "House of Cards," but I was GREATLY inspired by Robin Wright Penn.

A few reflections:

First of all, I am so interested in playing powerful women. Maybe someday I will get to be the woman that plays Hillary Rodham Clinton in the biopic of her life (a woman can dream, yes?) AND I would love to play Mrs. Clinton mostly because to be so strong and powerful and flawed and smart and to have so many people hurl insults at you and your family left and right for every little reason and yet still be standing... what an amazing role to play. I wonder what makes people so intrigued by power of the political variety, and why it is almost like a drug. I mean, I get it in a way, because I have that for performing and storytelling. I MUST perform. I cannot not. I tried briefly, to marry an international business man who promised a life of luxury as his trophy wife and actual helpmate and respected best friend and romantic love. But, in the end, the cost was WAY too high- I had to give up performing. NO WAY BUSTER!

I imagine the need to get into political power, for most people, has little to do with service and everything to do with the rush. I met Mr. Clinton once. Let me tell you. That guy has a LOT of charisma and was one of the sexiest men I had ever met even though I was not attracted to him at all prior to meeting him.

More importantly, about the play itself: this is a play about political power, and what people are and are NOT willing to give up with regards to their own integrity to achieve success. Of course, the game set up in the play is the same in modern politics: sometimes you have to choose the lesser evil, or sometimes you have to play the game and betray your own integrity a little in order to gain success to put you in a position of actually helping people.

And we in the modern world shake our heads "yes" while secretly wondering, "really?"

I think it's time for a new way, personally, and I don't care what people think is realistic or not. ;-p

I have high hopes for this play. The playwright has a lot to say and it deserves to be heard.

 ALSO

Very interesting discussion in the play about race and politics and equality.... how far we have come and how far we have to go. I encourage you all to keep your eyes open for when this play is coming to a theater near you!



GRATITUDE SATURDAYS

211. Your eyes

212. The light, the heat

213. Peter Gabriel

214. Peter Gabriel's version of the song "The Book of Love."

215. Writing

216. Being challenged, pushed, pulled and shaped by co-writing with Carlo (feature script), Anzu (pilot) and by working with a consultant on my web series. I am really proud to be growing alongside such fabulous writers and minds!

217. The Pilot Writing Class taught by the USA Network Executive which is keeping us (Anzu and me) ACCOUNTABLE!

218. The internet for allowing me a WORLD of research into the subject matter of my pilot

219. Podcasts about true crime and historical crime

220. Dierdre Capone, Al Capone's niece who wrote a FASCINATING book about her, and her family's version of the story. Hint: it ain't what you've heard!!!!!

221. The number 221. It's special to me. ;-p It's my birfday number, LOL, alongside Nina Simone, Ursula LeGuin, Anais Nin. Sorta all makes sense, right? Of course I was born just MOMENTS before 2/22.....  George Washington's birthday. The similarity is clear, if you look at our teeth... JUST KIDDING. I just have a penchant for those funny hats that the ol' GW used to wear in all his paintings.






MUSIC MONDAYS:

Here's my cover of MADNESS by one of my favorite bands, MUSE:





FICTION:


MY LIFE AS A PHONE PSYCHIC
V NYC 2012
Part Two Chapter Seven

p.s. If you haven't been following from the beginning, the first chapter is HERE.

As always, I love you, and I'll be back with more Fiction on Friday!


Here's the chapter:

 
Chapter Seven
            Lily awakens at the beach. It is dawn.
            She wears, still, her dress from the show. She clutches at handfuls of sand. She has lost the night once again. She knows not what beach she is at… she prays it is California, for a moment, then recognizes the way the sun falls upon her shoulders. She is the only one here…
Who am I again? Lily… Lily… psychic. Woman. David. TV show. Mother. Father. Physicist. Jones. Jones. Then…
I am at El Matador Beach, north of Malibu….
 Fifteen feet in front of her she sees a purse. It is her purse. Looking through it, she sees, as best she can, she has her phone, her money, everything. She is alone on a deserted and far away beach and the breeze is cool and salty.
What the hell?
Then, she sighs.
Then, she smiles.
Well fuck it.
            She runs to the water, splashes and laughs.
            “Good morning, world!” she shouts. She dives in. The water is cold and refreshing, and it calls her out deeper and deeper.
            She floats. Freezing, shivering, cold, her dress clinging to her skin. She floats.
            She floats right back to the shore. And then she looks at her phone and is surprised to see… that…
            “What?”
            Her phone has logged 47 missed phone calls.
            47? No, that can’t be right…
            She looks again.
            47…. she scrolls through the missed phone calls…. and it begins to dawn on her…. She didn’t miss a night. She missed a night and a day and another night.
            Oh. God.
            Her heart races.
            She scrolls through again and again.
            Then she calls Jones.
            He answers immediately.
            “Where are you?”
            “El matador beach,” she answers.
            “What happened?” he asks. Lily is lost in the sand and the sea. She can’t tell if he’s mad she was missing or worried about her or what.
He’s all of the above and more.
            “I have no idea…. I… I just went missing,” she says.
            “Yeah, I know. Where did you go? Why?”
            “I don’t know, Jones. One second I was walking home from the Bungalow and then suddenly it was thirty minutes ago and I was waking up on the beach.”
            “What about the time in between?”
            “I don’t know…. can you come get me?”
            “Of course. I’m out my door right now.”
            “Thanks.”
            “But where have you been... Didn’t you watch the game? We’ve been calling you.”
            “No, Jones, that’s what I am trying to tell you. I literally just woke up and it feels like I was walking home from the Bungalow seriously, literally, five minutes ago.”
            “Shit.”
            “I know.”
            “Lily, that’s not good.”
            “It is what it is.”
            “Well you called the game exactly. Lawson owes you money and you wouldn’t believe the crazy people who have been calling for you.”
            Lily sighs. She feels… angry.
            “Of all the healing that could be perpetuated throughout the world,” she begins.
            “I know, I know, and us little motherfuckers. We just wanna know the winning lottery numbers. Why did we let you walk home alone?”
            “I don’t get it. Why know the winning lottery numbers when you could have peace right now?” Lily asks, raising her voice above the roar of the ocean.
            “Really? Do you have peace? You, who disappears for no reason? Not sure where the lecture should be coming from right about now,” says Jones.
            She sits down on the sand, her dress clinging to her legs, goose bumps raised in retaliation to the cold.
            “At this very exact moment, I do have peace,” she says. It’s not a complete lie. To tell the truth and explain everything she has would be impossible, that’s all. She has peace. And anger. She’s been missing from her own life for two days and all Jones can ask about is a baseball game?
            “Well, look. I’m gonna call the executives and everybody. I’ve sort of been covering for you the last 24 hours, only because I knew you weren’t bailing. But when I get there, girl, we gotta talk about you blacking out and losing time. It’s not safe and I don’t feel good about it.” Jones lets out a big sigh.
            “Ah, Jones, I didn’t know you cared,” she says. She is kidding. And she is not kidding.
            He sighs. Big sigh.
            “I’ll see you in a bit.”
            Click.
            Lily listens to her voicemails. Mostly they are David; excited, then worried, then pissed, then scared. And they are Jones; excited, then worried, then pissed, then scared.
In one, he sounds drunk. It is in that one that he says, “I love you, Lily.”
            Her mother left a simple message: “I watched your show, my love, and although I am proud of you no matter what, I am worried about where this is going. Call me.”
            Lily stops listening at that point. She can’t deal with any of the rest of it. She puts her phone in her purse and scrunches her toes in the sand.
            She closes her eyes, listening to the echo of the sound of the waves reverberate against the cliffs behind me. It feels like she’s inside the waves.
            She feels a hand closing over her hand, a warmth. She opens her eyes and sits up straight. No one is here. The phone rings. It is David.
            “Hello?” she answers.
            “Finally!” He is relieved.
            “Yeah…”
            “Lily, I’ve been worried about you. Where have you been?”
            “I don’t know. I lost a day.”
            “What do you mean, you lost a day?”
            She sits with the waves for a second. Perhaps they can answer for her.
            “Are you at the ocean?” he asks.
            “Yeah.”
            “What do you mean when you say you lost a day?”
            “Sometimes, David, time just… One minute I was walking home from the Bungalow Club and suddenly I wake up and I’m on the beach at El Matador…”
            “In Malibu?” He interrupts.
            “… yeah,” she continues, “and I’ve lost an entire day and I have no idea what happened or how I got here or where all the time went.”
            “Oh, shit, Lily! That’s not good.”
            “I know.”
            “Well… I mean, how often does this happen? Often?” David is very stressed out.
            “Yes,” she sighs, “Often.”
            “Often. Oh. Okay. Well, we are going to have to have someone with you all the time if you go disappearing. Not just for the show, but for you. I mean. What happened!? Where did you go? Do you have split personalities? I mean, what is it?”
            “David. David!” Lily interrupts. She needs him to hear her, now, to understand her. Now. “I do not have split personalities or any mental disability of any kind. When I was a girl my parents had it all checked out and then, well this is why I really don’t tell anyone these things happen to me. Because everyone freaks out, and…”
            “But it’s not safe,” he says.
            “Nothing is truly safe, David,” Lily answers. “Nothing. Safety is a lie of the culture in which you live, a culture that makes money off your fears.”
            This catches him. Lily listens to the waves again. While she doesn’t know what to say, they seem to have so much to offer.
            “I love the sound of the waves,” he says.
            “Me too.”
            “Well, we should discuss this with Phil and…”
            “No.”
            “I mean, Lily, he’s the Executive Producer, he needs to know…”
            “No. I will walk. This is between you and me, and Jones knows. No one else.”
            “Phil is totally trustworthy. He’s my stepfather, Lily. He’s a good guy.”
            “And he has a steep financial interest in having me not go missing. Look. I don’t want to go missing, either, but it’s really not up to me.” Heat rises up from her belly into her chest.
            “We have to have some solution…”
            “Lily!” A voice is shouting behind her.
Lily turns and sees Jones climbing down the steps along the steep cliff of El Matador to the beach. She waves at him.
            “Jones is here to bring me home,” she says.
            “Oh,” David says. Suddenly it strikes Lily that he is in his car.
            “Are you driving here to get me?” she asks.
            “I was.”
Jones is nearing her.
            “I would rather have you drive me but it’s too late. I just happened to… he called just as I…” she is embarrassed to admit this and stops talking.  She feels ashamed. Jones is so sweet to drive all this way and in record time. “Why don’t we meet, the three of us, and discuss this?”
            “Yeah…” David is tender again.
            “Hey girl,” Jones says, walking up to her. He grabs her tight and squeezes her. Hard.
            “Jones, I’m talking to David,” she says, moving her mouth away from the phone ever so slightly.  “I told him about going missing. He wants the three of us to meet and figure out how to… keep me around.”
            Jones nods.
            “Lily,” David says on the phone, “I’ll just come there. Are you hungry?”
            “Ravenous,” she says, realizing it as she says so. She looks to Jones, “hungry?”
            Jones shrugs.
            “We’ll be here,” she says.
            They hang up and now, truly, Lily can fall into Jones’s arms. Now, release. And the tears. And the tears. And the tears.