The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

The Secret to Happiness and Brazilian Spiders

I’m working on a new project.

Remember my friend, Kristin*, who makes the movies? Well the movie I was an extra in is all wrapped and edited and lots of other movie term-type things that mean ‘finished’. She’s actually having a screening party for it tomorrow night that I’m attending. I’m probably going to wear sequins. I can’t wait to view it on the medium screen. I’ve already seen it, and my line was magnificent, if I do say so myself (and I have to, because no one else will), but it will be really fun to see it with a group. Plus I’m just really excited for Kristin to have a finished product presented to an audience. That, in itself, is a truly rad thing.

Anyway, now that she’s done with that project, she’s moving on to even bigger and better things. Kristin has decided she’s making two movies next spring and has asked me to collaborate with her on writing one of them.

I know, right? What kind of crazy pills is she taking? I don’t know anything about screenwriting and I say the ‘F’ word a lot. I’ve possibly been described as a ‘loose cannon’. Plus, again the part about not knowing anything about screenwriting.

But I’m no dummy. I didn’t remind Kristin about any of that, because DUDE, she wants me to help her write a screenplay! How cool is that?

It’s really, really cool. For reals. Because let me tell you a little secret about Kristin: She’s one of those amazing people who make fantastic, creative shit happen just because they’re internally compelled to. Yep, one of those special people.

Kristin has a plan. She’s figured out she really loves to make movies, but she needs to sell real estate to eat. So she’s decided she’s going to spend just as much time as she needs to selling real estate to feed her family, and then she’s going to spend the rest of her time and energy making movies. THAT’S THE WHOLE PLAN. Have you ever heard anything more brilliant and simple in your life? I don’t think I have. Do the job you need to survive, and the rest of the time, do something creative and fun and awesome just because it makes you happy. It’s like the secret to life and happiness boiled down right there.

In case you can’t tell, I’m completely inspired by Kristin. And not only because the premise she came up with for the movie we’re writing involves a hitman and the poison of a particular Brazilian spider that leaves its victims in a state of arousal. I mean how fun and weird is she?

I’m thrilled to be working on this crazy new project. I’ve already learned so much about collaboration, writing, filmmaking and especially how to kill people in interesting ways. And we’re only just getting started!

The point of all of this is two-fold:

1. Everyone should be more like Kristin. We should find a passion and all of the hours and minutes and seconds we’re not scrambling to survive, we should be striving to fulfill that passion. Which, sadly, means we should all probably drink less boxed-wine and watch fewer shocking MTV shows about online romances and how one of the people involved is most definitely not who he says he is (and possibly not even a he).

2. The movies Kristin is currently working on will probably need a small budget to get where she wants them to go. Eventually she’s going to solicit funds in something like a Kickstarter or possibly just with a tin cup on the side of the road. When she does that, I’ll be standing by her side shouting, “Give money to artists! Because they’re awesome and the world wouldn’t be worth living in without people who make art!” Or maybe something slightly more┬áconcise.

So, you know. Prepare yourself for the shouting.

*Jason says I’m unable to discuss anyone without using ‘my friend’ in front of the person I’m talking about if he doesn’t know them. He even calls a high school buddy of mine ‘My Friend Brody’ because he says I can’t say his name without ‘My friend’. I assert this isn’t true. There are plenty of people I introduce with ‘That bitch’ in front of their names.

7 Responses to The Secret to Happiness and Brazilian Spiders

  1. I believe that sequins were invented to be worn to Movie Premieres, especially to be worn by people actually *involved* with the Movie Premieres. Wear sequins.

  2. You should auction off cameos in the new movie as a fundraiser. I’m ready for my close-up.

  3. that whole “my friend” thing totally reminds me of something my ex-husband used to do. He’d never give anyone a name. He always described them as how he knew them… “my friend from college”, “the doctor I grew up with”, “my dad’s mechanic”. Even if they were people I had MET, he’d still use the description of them rather than their name.

    example:
    “When I was growing up my dad’s mechanic used to come over and hang out at the house all the time. I practically thought of him as my uncle. So one time dad’s mechanic did such and such a thing.” etc. Never a name. never any indication of a name. As if “dad’s mechanic” WAS his name.

    I used to stop him mid-story and say things like “did this person have a name?” and he’d glare at me and continue on as if I hadn’t said anything. To this day, I’m convinced it’s because he didn’t ever bother to learn their names. And if I did know their names, every time he’d use a descriptor in place of a name, I’d follow it up sotto voice with the name of the person in the pause between words. That made him glare even harder.

    It’s possible I am divorced for a very good reason.
    read: I am difficult to live with.

  4. Kristin is the shit! And I mean that in a totally meaningful and respectful way.

  5. You could adopt Jonas’ mode just say, “Friend…” and then when you aren’t happy with that person, you could say, “That person who’s not my best friend anymore…” I think it works – ask Dad.

  6. How cool! I think I sort of live like your friend to some extent though I have found a balance where I can basically make a good living and play an awful lot. If I had more free time I’d just waste it I expect. I make a lot lot lot less than I did at my last big-city job and rarely got to play even a little. It was not the life for me so I changed it. I am still deliriously happy about the change.

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