July Heats Up!
The male muse is an unaccountably rare thing in art.
Where does that leave female artists looking for inspiration
- Kate Christensen
New York Summer. Ugh! The humidity and the heat rash - just awful. For the most part I have composed my July newsletter to you with two ice packs: one strapped to my chest, the other cradled between my feet. That day when the humidity was off the charts, I finally succumbed to getting an AC! Ironic that the power went out in the whole building after ten minutes of cold air was blasting on my face!
Some "Actor News" to share with you:
Meet Liz Samuel! In January, we came together as accountability partners through the Dallas Travers Workshop and rapidly discovered that our energies compliment each other down to a T! We have studied each other's "maps" (tracking our individual progress), egged each other on, inspired, encouraged, and held each other to all the short and long term goals we have as professional actors. Without her, I wouldn't have met Ari Blinder (my on-camera acting coach) and without him, I wouldn't have met Hamilton Matthews (my dialect coach).
She recently wrapped her pilot Momtress as showrunner, co-producer, writer and lead actress! I am so damn proud of her! Shot with an Arriflex camera and directed by Jeremiah Kipp (short film screened and favorably mentioned at Cannes). I was her production assistant for the first day of her shoot and watched her totally slay it. Valuable insight: by being 100% there for Liz during the shoot, I realized that the series I have just written is possible.
My web series UNRAGED is finally complete! The universe I created is a peculiar character comedy about loneliness. It has dark components mixed in with silly unexpected light moments... still trying to put my finger on it; the tone of it. This is where I release my inner world to the outer world and shift focus to the development side of the series and bring on a producer (more about that next month!).
A table read is still on the horizon where I invite people I've connected to on an artistic and professional level, also inviting key friends who are able to give me the priceless gift of honesty. During the whole writing process I have looked out my window and daydreamed over the shades of grey of the apartment building across the street. It is there my friend and actress Adelyne Liu and I met on a Sunday morning at 5:30am and did a test shoot for stills and a possible trailer/ teaser, just to see if we can capture something visual about my series. What you see (so far) is a test poster for UNRAGED. Thanks Ade for helping me out!
The experience of having a muse to guide me in writing this series so struck me that that I had to Google more about them. Interesting that they are personified as women; "goddesses" of the arts and sciences. Not mine! He's a dude, elderly, semi balding with a wee comb-over (no, he's not Trump! Mine has kind eyes). He is deliberately nondescript with an all beige wardrobe, speaks very quietly - I hardly see his mouth move, his hands are often clasped behind his back unless he is gently tapping my shoulder about something, and the most outstanding attribute? He is very patient with me! You might think I am crazy because in reality, he is invisible to the eye, but all my other senses tell me otherwise. I have no idea who you are but I greatly thank you Mr. Muse!
Now, in the past I usually have "Fun Stuff" to share but I am changing it up! This is something personal and special (from Australia), a gift from me to you.
Written below is my Mum's voice. Back in the day she was a graphic designer working at Deakin University. She wrote a piece in a staff newsletter about her grief over the death of our beloved dog Tosh. Work colleagues around the world responded to her with love and support.
The Coldest Night by Wyn Diep:
It started with a bang, precisely. A very brief moment of realization. I screamed and cried. I heard he cried too. Death walked in.
"Nothing can be done! He died of a sudden heart attack. Pity, he is a perfect picture of health" the young vet said.
Tears were still running down his motionless face. It must have been painful to die of a heart attack but I like to believe that he cried because it was time for us to part.
It made a strange murder scene in our backyard as we started digging his grave. The murderers cried their hearts out in a late, cold winter night. GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY... eight and a half years feeding the damned dog many homemade muffins, contemporary Asian cuisines, an array of diversified dishes from all continents and deadly Belgium chocolate (for special occasions).
In my life I have had much experience of and felt deep sorrow in many separations. I have been away from my parents for so long, for so many stupid reasons (wars, money and politics). When they died, I wasn't even there for their funerals. I wanted to cry for them so much, every teardrop would trace every track of my childhood memories, but dried tears made my heart heavy, very heavy indeed.
This was the first time that I ever witnessed the death of a loved one right in front of my face. As I was holding his very cute paws in my hands for the last time, I felt deeply privileged, I felt unlocked and uninhibited. I could stay in the garden and cry all night to make up for the funerals I didn't attend.
I leave you, for now, feeling like next month is a definitive new chapter of my life. I never really understood the power of writing my own material until now. Although I performed my own published piece Desirable in In Full Color back in March, it was a small piece to a puzzle. A long, long time ago, I graduated with a BA Honors, major in Film. Who would have thought that watching those countless masterpieces, written and directed by the greatest auteurs of the world, finally kicked in and helped me find my own voice as a screenwriter and a possible showrunner of my own series? In addition to Phase 2: Development, I now also seek funding and a core team with diverse skill sets who believe in this project! More adventures and so much to learn on the horizon!
Love Dianne xxx