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“What? Another webseries announcement?” A few years ago I came up with the idea of pulling some of the dating horror stories from the blog and making them into an original series. It would take place in three cities! It would involve a cast of thousands! Well, then reality hit as I did the math and realized that this was a really ambitious project for my first time out of the gate. I’m still in love with the idea of How To Save Your Own Life, and it’ll always be percolating in the back of my mind until I have the resources to execute it properly.
I was happy to direct this 4-minute short for the Shorty Shorts Film Festival in Portland, but I was even more thrilled to work with this talented, generous cast (credited at the end of the short). Thanks much to Gula Delgatto for including my short, and Donovan Edwards, Ace Hotel Portland, and Pepe Le Moko for donating their resources and locations. Hope you like it!
Once in a great while, an artist comes along who pushes boundaries, gives viewers opportunities to rethink their paradigms, and creates bold, brave art that’s sometimes not fully appreciated in its time. Occasionally, that artist is honored with a retrospective, and given a chance to participate, bringing their beautiful creations to a larger, more mainstream audience. That artist was Marina Abramovic.
But now, we have been graced with the Björk retrospective at the Museum Of Modern Art. This quirky singer, originally the lead singer of The PixiesThe Treaclies The Sugarcubes, debuted her solo album in 1993. It was called Debut. She’s known for her unconventional style and eclectic production design of her music videos. She’s also known by basics-at-large mostly for wearing a dress that looks like a swan to the Academy Awards in 2001 (seriously, people can’t let that go). I visited New York last month in balmy February, and was given early access to what is by all accounts definitely a retrospective. Continue reading Björk at MÖMA: A (Fake?) Review→
I studied theater in college, because of course I did. I mean, I didn’t get this weird entirely on my own, right? Then I fell in love, moved away from Albuquerque to Chicago for a few years, fell out of love, and eventually found my way back to New Mexico. It was then that I really immersed myself in the theater scene there. I helped found a Shakespeare company, directed for the first time, and found a passion for theatrical production design.
I moved to Los Angeles in 2001, ostensibly to start an acting career, but also because all of my friends made a mass-exodus to the west coast. I quickly found myself discouraged by the constant rejection. This isn’t making art, I argued in my own head, this is a business. There were so many other people who wanted it more than I did, and were far better at it than I was. I stepped away from pursuing acting, put my nose to the grindstone at my retail management job, and didn’t look back.
As I posted recently with as little fanfare as possible, I released Part One of my first novel, The Tropic of Never last month. It’s very “me”: a gay sci-fi epic with a main character, Edgar Locke, thrust into an unfamiliar world full of wonders, on a city-sized ship that shouldn’t exist. Recently, I asked three artists whose work I admire greatly to read the book and create art from it (with minor, but barely minor spoilers). I couldn’t be more honored to have these talented people interpret my words. Here are their creations:
The above is Edgar Locke’s beginning of his passage through The Spikes, interpreted by Nick Fauble, a Portland-based artist and graphic designer. This passage was easy for me to write, because it was a sequence I always knew was coming and I had lots of time for the ideas to marinade in my brain before I typed it out. I’m really looking forward to future collaborations with Nick, do check out more examples of his awesome work here!
It’s not for lack of material that I haven’t done a “4 Things” post since my big announcement in February. I’ve been living in between two cities since then, and working on the book a lot, so it’s been tough to consistently write for BLCKSMTH. But I think I’ve reached an equilibrium, and saw 4 amazing things recently that gave my creativity a boost (click here to check out previous “4 Things” posts). Here are this month’s, in no particular order:
1) SpaceX! Wow, I had no idea what I was in for. A new friend, Meharban, showed me the SpaceX warehouse in Hawthorne, CA. SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, who gave a really excellent TED interview a few months ago (ya know, the guy who also invented PayPal and Tesla Motors? Yeah, that guy). As we entered the vast front office space, Meharban gestured casually over to a large open cubicle: “Oh, Elon’s here today.” OH HOLY SHIT, ELON’S HERE my brain shouted as I nodded casually, noting the intense man hunched over his monitor. Continue reading 4 Things That Set My Brain On Fire: June→
Fourth and final in a series. Here is Part 1, Part 2, where I speak to the inspiration and construction, and Part 3, where I interview the playwright.
The project I’ve put so much of myself into, alongside an amazingly talented cast and crew who did the same, is finally up and running! Designing the set for Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere” (adapted by Rob Kauzlaric, see my interview with him here) has been a dream project, I’ve learned so much from it, and it’s strange to suddenly be done.