Thursday, February 12, 2009

Introduction to a new project

(Note: I am working on a brand new web series, for while I have the leading, title role (yay!) and I was asked to write a blog post about how I got involved. I got a little bit tickled by my own response, so I thought I would repost here...)

Oh, boy. Where do I begin? Tyler and I originally met in 2003 when he was recording a demo of his "ahead of its time" rock opera, "Pop!" A dear friend of mine was originally slated to do the demo but had to back out, and she recommended me! The rest of the introduction was a blur, but I know it involved lots of brainstorming, singing, playing and sharing Guinness at an Irish Pub while he feverishly smoked cigarettes. 

Since recording that demo in a dusty, live recording venue, we have collaborated on a cabaret demo CD for me, a wildly successful benefit production of "My Fair Lady" (where I was the sole soprano, thank you very much) and other random musings and escapades. We'd seen each other at our highest and lowest, shared loves and disgusts, and then... he moved away! Leaving me in my native San Diego, Tyler moved to San Francisco, and though we kept in touch the music all but stopped. Since then I have been suffering a mild form of depression complicated by obsessive overeating of cheese. 

Fast forward to October 26, 2008, when I receive this message on my Facebook Wall:

"Hey, doll face. How have you been? Do you visit SF often? I may have a script for you... I actually wrote it thinking of you (Tim helped too)..."

It bears mentioning... I got this message while on a shoot for another web series, so I was feeling pretty full of myself. (It also bears mentioning that I just had to look up that phase because when I wrote it it looked funny on the page. I don't think I have ever written that before; I thought I might have been making it up. But, no. It's a real phrase. Thank you.)

Back to the story. I visited the website, all quirky and whimsical. Yummy! I downloaded then perused the script. Note that Tyler didn't mention which role to look at, only that he had a "script" for me. I quickly dismissed the idea of playing Dante, knew I wasn't wrecked enough to play Angelica... and then I got all excited. He was offering me the title character! Rad! Awesome! Stupendous! I tore through the script, eating up every last delicious line of dialogue, imagining the press junkets about my fabulous portrayal of this mega-bitch from hell, and then my heart kind of skipped a little beat. Not a huge beat, just a little one, kind of like, "Oops, I think you missed something." There was this little voice echoing in my head, faint but getting louder while my heart did a tango.

"I actually wrote it thinking of you..."


Last I checked, I was not the devil woman. How on God's green earth could an angel like me inspire a spawn like Elise (that is A LOT of God reference for an agnostic. You can see how serious this was.)

The rest, as they say, is history. I, of course, said yes, and since have met the incomparable Collin and Quyen. I have adored Tim since the inception of time and imitate him on almost a daily basis.  I worked with Duey on a feature in 2006 and immediately knew we needed her rock star self with our production company. I am bringing other folks into the mix as needed, and I have a fantasy that my clan will slowly take over indie filmmaking in New York; that I can offer work to every person who has helped me; that people will finally recognize the greatness of collaboration (particularly with actors like me); and those who won't play the game will fade away into the ether, quietly or loudly, as long as they bow down to the superior vision of teamwork and partnerships and leave us to bask in our greatness. 

Holy crap. I am Elise. 


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