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4;00 PM - Thurs 6.09.23

Vero Beach Memoirs

(On the road at the Vero Beach Film Festival...)

Well, other than a flight delay which meant arriving at our lodgings at 2:30 am on Tuesday, this film festival experience has been great fun so far.

(The festival continues through Sunday. We head back to LA on Monday.)

I have to say, in terms of what's made this experience such great fun, the star of the show has been Gregg Hoffmaster (Gregg is in the film, just in case you haven't seen it yet. He left earlier today, after seeing the film for the first time and being quite taken with it).

When Gregg, who was picking us up at the airport in Orlando, got word of our troubles - at one point we were going to be delayed at LAX from 10:30 am until 9:30 pm, before an earlier flight became available - he drove ahead to Vero Beach, checked us into the Driftwood Inn, stocked the fridge with some lovely food and beverages (Wednesday night, he grilled a couple of killer steaks for the two of us, and made a great chicken dish for Jane), then drove back to Orlando in time to pick us up at the airport around 12:30 am.

(In comic book terms, I'd say his extremely above-and-beyond performance fell somewhere between Batman's butler Alfred and Superman.)

He stayed with us until leaving today, after the film's first screening.

I worried a bit - A little about whether he would enjoy the film (Though I strongly suspected he would), but mostly about whether he'd mess up me and Jane's little "film festival ecosystem".

And let's be honest - I was really worrying about him getting a bigger dose of Yours Truly than he's gotten up till now (This is only the fourth time the two of us have gotten together in person over however many years we've known each other).

But it was great - we meshed together fabulously as a trio (Good thing, since we were all staying together in a single room), and maybe even better as "brothers".

He's a good guy - While you'd think I was raised by wolves, in terms of my manners and life skills, Gregg's mama clearly "raised him right" (He was very thoughtful about his temporary roommates. And did I mention those steaks? He was also responsible for us getting lodgings at a fraction of what we've typically paid during our previous film-festival adventures because he's a man who knows things).

There are a number of nice memories I'll take away from this experience, but a big one was last night, when Gregg "borrowed" some deck chairs from the pool area so the three of us could sit on the beach and enjoy the waves rolling in (pulling our chairs further away each time the surf broke over our knees).

The two of us watched a selection of short films on Tuesday, and the winner for Best Narrative Film on Wednesday afternoon (Gregg was a little bummed when finding out it was a German film with subtitles, but we actually had a nice conversation about it afterward).

I didn't really start getting excited about our first screening until last night

At this point with film festivals, I get a little nervous about the Q&A - not a lot nervous, because I've done it a number of times now, and kind of know what's required of me - but more nervous about whether anyone's going to actually show up (We've invested a lot of time and energy - and in Jane's case, money - when it comes to Acting Like Nothing Is Wrong, so we both agree that it would be cool if a lot of people saw it).

I didn't do a head count today, but it seemed like a reasonably sized audience, considering most of the people here don't know diddley-squat about Jim Hoffmaster or Jane Rosemont
(The packed houses in Lansing and Santa Fe aren't something we can reasonably expect anywhere else...though we did have a decent audience in LA).

(We're in a smaller theater tomorrow, so the hope is we have at least a similarly-sized audience to today, so it will be a "packed house".)

There are events happening in and around the screenings; I was bored at last night's thing (Cocktail parties aren't really my jam), and tonight's wine tasting doesn't do much for me (I don't drink often, but when I do, it's much more likely to be beer).

I am, however, enthused about tomorrow night's "sock hop", as is Jane (She doesn't have a poodle skirt, and I don't have enough hair left for a Pompadour, but I expect fun will be had nevertheless).

I've gotta wrap this up - we're going to make an appearance at the wine-tasting, then go to the bar/restaurant across the street, which sponsored the showings of our film and wants me to stop by to take pictures and whatnot with the staff - but I have to say, I'm once again thinking about all the good things that have come my way, all thanks to saying "Yes" to Jane's crazy idea of making a full-length documentary about "a certain anxious actor" (As I say in the film).

And it makes me wonder about what adventure coming my way will I saw "yes" to next...?

Till next time...



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