Summer (fall, winter, spring) in another city, part 2
Last summer I had the wonderful pleasure of cavorting in, and around the back roads of my home state of Mississippi. I was preparing to make the transition from New York City to Los Angeles with every intention of staying down south for only a month. Instead I stayed for four. But I did get to Los Angeles last July.
And after a year. I left.
Since arriving back in Mississippi after a magical, interesting, dangerous, eye opening, yet confusing final 2 weeks in LA in addition to a 6 day trek across country, I have been typing up a Southern storm.
“A year survived in Los Angeles.” (don’t worry, it’s a working title)
Not a “bravery” piece exactly, not a weepy “whoa is me” memoir, and certainly not a ”take down” of people I believe to have wronged me. It is a tale of what can happen to one person in a year in Los Angeles. Simply that. It won’t be too damming I swear. After all, I plan to venture back to LA. But right now I am back in the safe comforts of Mississippi negotiating and discovering if my plans will be better served in these cushy comforts. And how they will change from what I had determined them to be just over a year ago.
So, what are these plans? Well in the next 2 hours I hope to finally transcribe a play written by a good friend “Wrath/Mercy” that I have wanted to direct as a short film for…I don’t know 18 years or so…. It is a pet project that I wanted to act in for years and years but somehow shifted to a short film I want to direct. I always imagined it in NYC, but I now believe that the Gothic Southern locale of New Orleans might be the exact spot it should come to fruition. Why today? Well, today I also start my lovely day job in the Ole Miss college town of Oxford, MS. Gotta pay the bills while I reconstruct the design of my film/Oscar coverage, my acting career and my previously mentioned directing ambitions.
Some of you know that I did my very first play at the First Baptist Church in Corinth, MS. (When I was touring with “Romeo and Juliet” I would eventually tell audiences this when they would inevitably ask what my first play was. Well…the real truth was I played a lamp in kindergarten, but what a lame answer, right?. So I reverted to the 2nd production. The First Baptist musical play.) I was originally furious that I was not given a solo, and instead given the lead acting role. The reality…it changed the course of my life. (As many things have over the years.)
Long story short (too late): it was at Corinth Theatre-Arts, the local community playhouse where I really got my start. Where Murray Chase, my director of “1776” and “The Music Man” told me at the ripe old age of 16, “if you can do anything else, do it.” For years I have thought about that statement. Because, like many others in this business I can do many things. Which has lead to a great deal of doubt. What Murray should have said was, “If you can do anything else and stay out of the mental hospital, do it.” AHHH….now I understand.
So…back to Corinth Theatre-Arts.
Not to go all Sean Young (remember her bid to play Catwoman in Batman Begins?), I hope very much to act in “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Corinth Theatre Arts this holiday season, all while managing to keep my amazing day job…and have already interviewed to direct “Rabbit Hole” there come February/March.
Yes, March. In the midst of Oscar season. Last year they were on the 2nd, I believe. A day that I will never every forget (The LA memoir, hunnies. Patience…it will all be in the memoir.)
How do I intend to stay relevant in the Oscar conversation a year after almost disappearing from the world completely? Well, I am not sure yet. There have to be critics in the South and they have to have screenings, right? And I have a post office box all set up to receive screeners. So, it can happen. And if it doesn’t, oh well. I have a new mantra to apply to relationships, whether they be with people, situations, jobs…what have you. An application, if you will. One that is truly helping me get through each day.
Reason, season, or lifetime….
Use it, enjoy it. Apply it. I will give you this one for free. It’s been a while. And I owe you, dear readers. See you very soon.