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10:35 PM - Sun 12.09.18

The Story And The Storyteller

Some quotes I want to get in here, so I can throw away the scraps of paper I wrote them down on:

1. "No story has a happy ending unless you stop telling it before it's over." - Orson Welles.

2. "Not every story has a happy ending, but that doesn't mean it's not worth telling." - Lucian

3. "You're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway" - "Atticus Finch" (Harper Lee)

4. "We're born into a losing struggle." - Christopher Hitchens

I know those don't come off as the most uplifting quotes ever, but they speak to what's on my mind these days - My life as a "story" that will not have a "happy ending". And, that being the case, the question of how I proceed (Or perhaps more to the point, why "proceed" at all?).

Part, though not all, of this contemplation, is coming about because of the documentary.

Have I mentioned there's going to be a documentary? It's been so long since I last wrote, I don't remember if I've mentioned it in here or not (And I'm too lazy to check).
But anyway, some time back, my friend Jane Rosemont broached the subject of doing a short-subject documentary on me for the film-festival circuit.

I had - and have - some trepidation over the idea, but pretty quickly decided to do it. Because even though I feel anything but interesting at the moment, I do think there's an interesting story to be gleaned from my life...even if I'm not exactly sure what it is.

(At the moment, when I think about my life, one of the main things I find myself considering is how seeing my life as a "story" saved me as a child, and has wrecked me as an adult - What happens, how does one cope, when realizing the story you told yourself as a sad, lonely child, the one that had the "happy ending" where you end up rich and famous and happy and loved by all, isn't remotely going to happen?)

Never having been the subject of a documentary before, I haven't exactly known what my "place" is in the project. Basically, I've wondered what is the nature of our "collaboration"?

Are we "collaborators"?

But something rather pragmatic - or is "prosaic" a better word? - gave me a sense of perspective on the matter:

She's footing the bill.

She came to LA for a few days last month, and we spent a good chunk of time together. She took pictures of me, we checked out The Last Bookstore (Which she wants to use as a location), I read her portions of my case file (And she took some pictures of the pages in question), and we just generally hung out and talked.

And she paid for a couple meals, and reimbursed me for the Lyfts I took to go downtown (She was staying at the Biltmore).

And in a few weeks, I'm going to New Mexico for a few days, where she lives, to meet/hang out with some friends of hers, check out some locations, and maybe shoot some B-roll stuff. And I'm flying on her dime (Her frequent flyer miles, but still, that's a free trip she could have used for her own travel at some point) and staying at her place.

So while, yes, I will kinda-sorta be "working", this is basically me getting a little vacation.

All that's to say she is assuming the financial risk here - Naturally, she is (with my help) going to seek investors for the project (Another reason for my trip to NM)...but this is her deal.

Saturday night, I saw a SAG screening of At Eternity's Gate, a movie about Vincent Van Gogh starring Willem Dafoe (If you want my review, I thought it was pretty great).

Afterward there was a Q&A with Dafoe, and he said something that struck me as quite relevant to what I'm talking about here, to the effect that, whatever the level of collaboration in a project he's involved in, at some point his work is done, and he has to give up control to the Director and Editor.

He said his job was to present them with honest, true stuff. And even though I'm not an "actor" in this instance, I think my role in this project is just that - To give Jane honest, true stuff,,,and let her take it from there.

Clearly, it's my story, to a certain extent, because it's my life. But it's going to be my story through Jane's eyes, through her sensibilities.

I expect to weigh in on occasion, to have opinions or suggestions or what-have-you, but she's the Director and it's gonna be her take...well, on me, basically.

Well, this is pretty short, but it's gotten late, I'm dead on my feet, and for some reason, I'm afraid I'm going to lose this entry if leave it to be "finished" tomorrow

So I'm going to post this now, then go to bed, and think write another entry tomorrow.

Till then...


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