Tag Archives: Abstract Absurdity Productions

Hell, no! I’m Not F*cking Exhausted!

Why would I be? Just because I never stop working?

Well, I guess there is that. But yesterday wound up being really cool. I got some great work done on Chapter 21 of Blessed By Light. And then Peitor texted, wanting an impromptu phone conference on one of our scripts.

That turned into a 2 hour call but it was fascinating, actually. He had more notes on our “big” project. And even though I love all of our projects, that particular one is going to be much more complex and I really, really love it. I think it is just brilliant in its absurdity, even if I say so myself.

All of our projects are Absurdist and micro-short: 3-, 5-, and 8-minute videos. And while they’re scripted, and have characters, we focus more on the absurdity of the premise of the story and the set-up of the shots.

The one we’re working on right now (today, actually, in a couple of hours) is very Bauhaus in terms of how we plan the shots, but more “absurd” than creepy – I guess, that’s not the best word to use, but a lot of that Bauhaus photography has that sense of doom or drama or creepiness in it. We do use those elements, and we use uncomfortable juxtapositions, and even though there is always an underlying theme or plot, mostly we just want to make ourselves laugh. So that underscores everything.

I love the Absurdist sensibility. I was 15 or 16 when I first began reading Ionesco‘s plays (in English).  And that was like having a wild wind come sweeping in from the Cosmos or something. It blew open all the doors of my mind and let some fresh air in.

Those were such difficult years for me. And even though I was very interested in music, film, theater, and poetry of all kinds and they were literal life ropes for me, my inner world was in complete chaos. Once I was released from the Mental Hospital, my life just went into this really dark, restrictive, messed-up place.  And I think the Universe decided I was in the best frame of mind for discovering Ionesco.

I love words, in general. But I really love when words are used in an unexpected way. Whether that’s in a really intense way (like Nick Cave), or in that whole other arena of Ionesco,  it really just thrills me.  Even while Theater of the Absurd, going back to Ubu Roi I think, was more of an outcry against restrictive social mores and abusive governments, the nonsensical stuff it creates can be really funny.

Anyway. Today, Saturday, is the day when Peitor and I have our usual, scheduled, conference call, and that’s another 2 or 3 hours, but dealing with our current micro-short project. And it’s mostly just setting up the shots in a script format. (You’ll never guess who does all that typing…Ibuprofen, anyone?)

Peitor is very good friends with a woman who is very famous – but not at all famous for anything close to what our main character in our current short is like. And because of that, I really, really want her to “star” in the project (I use that word “star” so loosely, gang). It would just be so inexplicably incongruous for her to be in that role, even though she could totally play it, and that’s what I love about it; it would just be so absurd. Normally, she would say yes to something like that. She has the best sense of humor. However, she’s just had a really tragic death happen in her family, so she might not want to come back to work yet, in any role at all. We’ll see.

Yesterday, I also discovered by “accident” (I don’t believe in accidents or coincidences or any of that stuff, so….) but I discovered stuff all over the Internet about my Helen LaFrance play, Tell My Bones, that really startled me and just sort of put pressure on me to make that the best possible play that it can possibly be – and as soon as possible. And then also some other stuff has come up re: the TV project I’m still developing out in L.A., and so, yes… I’m exhausted, gang.

Yesterday, I actually heard myself saying, Marilyn, you need to take a vacation. Which was really weird, because I never tell myself that. What would I do? Go somewhere  tranquil with my laptop and write? I’m already doing that here in the peace of Crazeysburg. There is peace and quiet, solitude and beauty all around me, 24/7;  I’m the one who brings the insanity the minute I wake up. My mind simply never stops. So why go on a vacation? I have too many deadlines looming anyway.

But maybe someday, right, gang? Can you even imagine it; me on vacation? No laptop, no nothing; just me, maybe in a cabin on a lake, sitting and staring at all the wonder of God’s creations? I honestly just don’t know what that would be like.

What I am gonna do right now is try to collapse for a little bit, drink my coffee and wait for Peitor to wake-up there out in West Hollywood so that I can get back to work!!

Okay, have a wonderful Saturday, wherever you are in the world, gang. I leave you with this – the insanity I woke up with this morning at 5am: David Bowie singing Cracked Actor. Why on earth would I suddenly be thinking about a song that I haven’t listened to since like, 1973? And what a message it has! At age 59 (almost), a song like Cracked Actor has a whole different spin on it than how it felt when I was 13. What the heck was I dreaming about just before I woke up to make my mind be singing a song like that?

Actually, I was dreaming about Nick Cave. There was some sort of a code that you could put into the Internet somehow and then these really cool black & white video things of Nick Cave would come back at you, with another sort of personalized code.  In my dream, I was very excited by this, and I was waiting for my code to see what sort of video thing I would receive. And then in the middle of that, I woke up singing Cracked Actor and suddenly thinking about David Bowie. And my world was obviously completely back to normal so the day was underway…

Okay. Thanks for visiting! I love you, guys. See ya!

Happiest Day of the Week!

Saturdays have rapidly become my favorite day of the week.

No, not because I take the day off! I don’t know what it means to take a day off. If I do take a day off, though, it’s usually a Tuesday or something weird like that. (My biggest problem when I take a day off is that I think to myself, Man, I like this. And then I usually take the next day off, too. You see how it could escalate…)

But no. Saturday – mornings, specifically – is when I have my conference calls now with Peitor Angell re: our start up micro-short video production company. And not only does he make me laugh – really hard – but also when the two of us get creative together, it is truly remarkable what happens. I get so off on it, since usually I create all by myself.

We deal with the boring stuff, too; you know, the stuff about actually running a production company.  But mostly we are engaged in the actual creation of stories. Very short, ludicrous stories.  And I guarantee you, it’s usually the only thing about my entire week that’s truly funny. So even though it’s work, I really look forward to it.

He and I have been good friends for a really long time. He says 1984, I thought it was 1985, but he’s probably correct. We met at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. We were both in music back then – he still is. He’s writes & produces Dance music for other artists, charting a number of times for several different singers. And he composes for films and television.  But the music he composes just for himself – ambient, alternative – is just so beautiful. It couldn’t be more different from what he does for others and I could listen to it all day.

I remember the first time he gave me a cassette tape of a bunch of songs he’d written for a girl-group that he was producing – back when we first met. And I listened to the tape while I was taking a bath. (Yes, the same cast iron bathtub that was in my kitchen on E. 12th Street, mentioned in this post a few days ago.) The songs really transported me.  I thought he was so talented. He produced for Atlantic Records back then.

He produced a couple songs of mine for me, and I just loved what he came up with. It was so unusual and so fun to make and I loved how my songs sounded, how I sounded. And when I took it to the VP at Columbia Records who was trying to help me get a record deal there, he said, “Why the hell are you singing like that?! I can’t do anything with this. Bring me something else!”

But I didn’t want to do something else. I did bring him something else, from a really expensive Emmy-winning producer, and the guy at Columbia Records got me a manager then who was really top of the line, you know, his clients  were on the Tonight Show and stuff. But I hated how I sounded. Just hated it. I wanted to sound the way Peitor had made me sound – like some sort of wounded sex kitten from 1963 walking home on a rainy afternoon. In Paris, or London or something like that. It was just fucking cool. So ambient. So much reverb.

But anyway. I walked away from all of it.  It’s hard to believe now that he and I were only in our 20s when we were doing all of that.

Okay! Well, I am halfway done writing Chapter 20 of Blessed By Light. Yesterday was so productive. I couldn’t be happier.

And even though they say it’s supposed to rain like crazy today, right now it couldn’t be prettier out there. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and everything outside my window is so green. So I’m just gonna sit here for a while and drink my coffee and wait for Peitor to wake up there out in West Hollywood and just see what the glorious day winds up bringing.

Have a terrific Saturday, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with this! It’s sort of Nick Cave-y,  if you get the Red Hand Files newsletter… (I always thought this song was really sexy. I always thought KD Lang was really sexy.) Anyway. I love you, guys! See ya.

The coffee’s all gone
And my eyes burn like fire
It’s way past the hour
When most folks retire
You told me you’d call me
But you haven’t yet
And I’m down to my last cigarette

I’m down to my last cigarette
For I know what made you forget
You’re still out there somewhere
With someone you met
And I’m down to my last cigarette

I can’t leave this room
You might call while I’m gone
The minutes seem like hours
It soon will be dawn
And on top of all
Of my tears and regrets
I’m down to my last cigarette

I’m down to my last cigarette
And I’m trying so hard to forget
But you’re still out there somewhere
With someone you met
And I’m down to my last cigarette
Oh I’m down to my last cigarette

c- Harlen Howard & Billy Walker