Category Archives: Inspiration

“Murdering My Youth” and Y&R

You might not believe it, but it’s a totally BIZARRE coincidence that I am both releasing my book, “Murdering My Youth,” publicly, and having my first air day on Y&R TOMORROW, April 16th. I assure you, I planned to release the book in March, and then one hundred and one things got in the way. When I was able to get down to the nitty gritty of dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” it took far longer than I anticipated. Then Michael Logan asked when it would be ready and I forced myself to set a date. Which I missed. Then it just happened that his article and my release date coincided. Magical, weird, wonderful… and SCARY!

Yes, being on Y&R has been a whirlwind: great writing, incredible actors, an amazing directing and producing team… it’s really a dream come true. And let’s not forget the fantastic Peter Bergman, who has been my sherpa, so to speak, helping me get into the groove of the studio et al. I count my blessings every single day.

As for the book: I am offering a better price on my website (order form below or just email me at blueglitterfish@aol.com) for those who want an autographed copy, or just want it cheaper.  It may take me an extra day or two getting to you, but it will cost $9.99 plus shipping from me. I have to ask a bit more on Amazon and Create Space since they take such a big bite out of the price (I see 5 bucks from the $15.25) however, you will be able to buy the ebook version there, which I can’t provide, and the book itself will probably get to you much faster.

I must warn you: the book is intense. It is also FUNNY, (as they say, “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Fart, and you fart alone”) but I don’t want to sugar coat it. It’s my story of my upbringing and it’s a real one. I won’t blame you if the book is not for you, (I’ve thrown one or two books across the room, myself) but I DO hope you check out Y&R if you haven’t already! I’m having a BALL and I think the story is wonderful. Good, old-fashioned, daytime DRAMA!

Yea SOAPS!

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My Book: “Murdering My Youth”

cover design by Andre Provedel, photo by Courtney Lindberg

Cover design by Andre Provedel, Photo by Courtney Lindberg

Cover design by Andre Provedel, Photo by Courtney Lindberg

I just had the honor of being interviewed by Michael Logan for TV Guide. Look for his article in the April 21st issue!

In the article you will find out that my book, Murdering My Youth, is being released April 15th.

You will be able to buy it through my website or on Amazon. I am doing my best to make sure it is at a reasonable price as things are still tough out there.

If you would like to pre-order or have a signed copy write to me at blueglitterfish@aol.com or use the contact form below.  I will contact you to arrange payment and shipping.

Thank you in advance for your support of this book.  A warning: it is a fast read but not a light one. Issues of child abuse, death, trauma, and grief are dealt with in detail. Yes, there is humor, and sometimes there is strong language but I do not mean to offend, minimize, or sensationalize. My hope is that in sharing my story those who can relate will feel less shame, those who once judged will feel more compassion, and those who suffer in silence will consider reaching out for help.

 

 

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Artist’s Rights

Definition of Courage Being an artist isn’t always easy. For one thing, people tend to assume they know your true identity based on your work (as if you were trying to hide it from them!) It’s an easy mistake to make, but the fact is, we are so much more than our personalities, our history, our knowledge, or even our experiences. If you allow yourself to experience the process and practice of making art, in whatever form it appeals to you, you are really being a kind of channel.

This channeling is available to everyone, anytime, and anywhere. It is a fact of being human.  We make things.  As the great but totally goofy George Clinton said at Voodoo Fest one year, “This is what we do.”

The marvelous Keri Smith posted a wonderful list of things that would make an artist miserable. Chris Roberts-Antieau wrote an artist’s statement on “Trusting Direction.” I thought I might make a list that I will call “Artist’s Rights.”

1. You have the right to not care about what other people think. These days, it seems like criticism is both endemic and a market for those who don’t/won’t think for themselves. Spending too much time trying to please everyone results in pleasing no one and will make you inefficient and unhappy. Bottom line? Screw ‘em if they don’t get it.

2. You have the right to require time alone. Much of the work that creative people do is done alone.  Allowing yourself precious private time is essential, as is keeping people who are full of shit out of your circle and your headspace.

3. You have the right to take your time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Some books/films/paintings take years. Art that is personally authentic and substantial is worth waiting for, and you have the right to insist on taking the time you need to make something beautiful.

4. You have the right to claim some authority over what you’ve spent time doing. You are allowed to insist you know what you’re talking about based on your considered experience with, and practice in, your art. You don’t have to have a phD to get people to listen to you if you have clearly devoted yourself to a practice.

5. You have the right to grow and change artistically.  People often tend to categorize an artist based on the first successful thing they did. If Ron Howard was expected to be Opie on “Happy Days” the rest of his life, what a disservice that would be to the incredible filmmaking he has accomplished as an adult. People will continue to pigeonhole you. Change anyway.

6. You have the right to NOT talk about your work. Art can make some people uncomfortable.  Intellectualizing art is a great way to avoid feeling the emotions that can come up when experiencing it. When someone insists you explain your story/song/picture you are not obligated to tell them. Really. Allowing yourself some secrets will preserve you as a creative person.

7. You have the right to not market your work. Not everything worth making must be sold.  Structuring your work for the biggest dollar can put instant limitations on work that could otherwise be groundbreaking. Similarly, you have the right to not “follow the rules.” It can help to know the rules, but it really isn’t a requirement. What some call “Folk” or “Handmade” Art has a deep wisdom to it.

8. You have the right to not be a role model. Making art that puts you in the public eye should not also demand that you become a saint. The best work is often made by people who have explored all the vagaries of the human condition. Give yourself a break.

9. You have the right to be passionate. Some artists can get consumed by their work. These moments are like an illness that overtakes them for a time. If this happens, try and allow yourself the experience. Censoring your passion so that others will feel more comfortable doesn’t do you, them, or the art any good.

10. You have the right to keep your own hours. The muse strikes when she is good and ready, and often it is in the middle of the night. If you tell her, “Come back after I’ve had a cup of coffee,” she probably won’t. Don’t let other people give you a hard time about WHEN you need to write, edit, practice, draw, or compose. If you don’t listen when the call comes, who will?

Wishing you a joyous, liberating, delicious, frustrating, indecent, fascinating, immersing, trippy experience with whatever art calls to you!

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“Write the Dream” Conference

I am very excited to share that I have been asked to be the keynote speaker at a groundbreaking writer’s conference in Kansas City March 7th through 9th, called Write the Dream.  I will also be teaching my four hour “Dreamscaping” seminar, both Saturday and Sunday.

The conference is to not only help jump start YOUR dream of being a writer, but to share with you all the tools you need to get your story out into the world.  I believe so much in what Leanna Brunner (the head of the conference and Studio Z Publishing) is doing, that I am self-publishing my long awaited book, “Murdering My Youth,” through her process.

At the keynote speech, I will share some of the secrets of how to deal with the landscapes of creativity, production, and (gulp!) criticism.  There is an art to being an artist, and I can’t wait to help you reach your true potential.

My workshop, if I say so myself, is a lot of fun. My goal is to help you allow yourself to dream like a kid again – within a framework that will open up one or more stories that are both deeply personal to you, and meaningful to the reader.  We then mine your personal instincts for how you want to tell that story, and get into action on making that a reality!

There are many more classes available at the conference that will help you learn more about the booming world of self-publishing: everything from the basics of novel writing, to cover design, to marketing and promoting your finished work.

I hope you will consider coming to join us, March 7th through March 9th, for a fun and inspiring weekend!

And PS: I will also be signing copies of my book!

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The World of Film

Poster art by Dylan PierpontAs you may or may not know, I have finally completed post-production on “Flip Fantasia,” my short film that I wrote, produced, and directed.  I am so lucky that the MORE show has done some great promotion of the film, sharing some behind the scenes moments with all of you.  Now I want to share with you where I am at with releasing it into the world.

I was strongly encouraged to submit this film to film festivals, even though I refused to even consider this option while I was making the film.  I didn’t want to allow my creative process to be influenced in the slightest by the idea of what others might want or expect from a short film.  I feel like if you listen to all the “should’s” and “must’s” you can totally end up freezing your creative impulse.

However once the bloody thing was finished, I felt it was time to perhaps test the waters, so to speak, and put it out there to festivals.  I know that the festival audiences are really wonderful, true supporters of independent works of art, and that part of it I feel is really worthy.  I also know there is a business side to it, where you can meet like minded people, form relationships, and even perhaps find future funding for the next project.  So I am letting a little bit of time pass while I await hearing back from these festivals.

Therefore, I have only shared the finished film with some trusted friends and colleagues, and of course with the cast and crew.  What is AWESOME has been the response.  Here are some of them:

“Like Kafka mixed with Weekend at Bernie’s

“It’s darkly twisted and hilarious… My kind of movie!”

“Its beyond all my expectations and hopes and down inside, it matters.”

“It’s so beautifully, professionally, very creatively produced!”

“Great music, great visualizations…”

“I totally dig the way all the music fits the film and the actors did a wonderful job.”

“You’re even more twisted than I thought…..I LOVE IT!!!!”

I am so happy that these folk are “getting” the film and I hope that you will too!  Thanks for staying in touch and interested in the process.  As soon as I have more news about the next step, you KNOW I am going to be sharing it with you!

MEANWHILE, check out a little Suzy Fcking Homemaker on TOLN, where she interviews Thorsten Kaye from All My Children.  Yes, I am completely f-ing nuts.

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Flip Fantasia and Why I Can Make a Movie

photo by Alex di Suervo

photo by Alex di Suervo

Well that was just about the most exciting week of my life.  I just finished producing and directing my first short film, called “Flip Fantasia.”  It’s about four guys and a dead girl, about love and death and what happens when your heart breaks and grows three sizes that day.  It’s a love letter to NYC and an homage to all my favorite films (or as many as I could fit in there) and a peek into what I understand about suffering.

So what in the hell qualifies me to direct a film?  Basically nothing, really, except that I spent my entire young life going to every weird arty, what-I-thought worthy, edge cutting piece of gorgeousness that I could find in NY.  I sought out art in every form: whether it was going to hear Ravi Shankar at Lincoln Center, or going to see the Whirling Dervishes at Town Hall, or going to see Pina Bauch and Robert Wilson at BAM, E.L. Kirchner at the Neue Gallery,  Barbara Kruger at MOMA, some punk band at CBGB’s, Shawn Colvin at Carnegie Hall, Selected Shorts at Symphony Space, movies at Film Forum, Marlene Dumas at The New Museum, or the hundreds of other shows I saw.  NYC was my education, in a way.

In film, I was blown away by the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray when I was 25.  Watching that I was hit hard by how film could create an connective and yet transcending human experience.  I also became a huge Francois Truffaut fan, gobbling up the Alain Delain series like an animal.  In a case of “From the sublime to the ridiculous,” I also loved the timing of Blake Edwards’ SOB and Victor Victoria, the incredible comic performances in Tootsie and the hilarious surrealism of Living in Oblivion.

My favorite artist is Laurie Anderson.  Most people have never heard of her but she’s awesome. Her kind of off beat storytelling is right up my alley.  I am pretty sure I have seen every performance she brought to the states post 1997, when I discovered her.  She is hard to pin down, too.  Performance artist doesn’t really cover everything she is.  She’s a musician, a poet, a writer, a storyteller, a performer, and an artist.  Why not?

So what is “Flip Fantasia”? Well it’s kind of a combination of these influences.  It’s funny, and heart breaking, surreal, and spiritual.  It’s full of color and pain.  It’s everything I love.

It’s not like I just pulled it out of my ass.  I studied directing with the late Curt Dempster, the artistic director of Ensemble Studio Theater.  After that I wrote and directed Mona7, a performance art piece that I did in NYC which was totally my vision.  Here is a picture from when Mona becomes one with the universe.  Sadly, my co-director took my vision and got herself a grant from Dance Theater Workshop without giving me any credit.  Not cool, but water under the bridge.  It was a long time ago.  I know it was my vision and I loved making it with her.  Too bad she didn’t know how to be a friend, that’s all.

Mona7

 

 

 

 

 

I also studied painting in the late 90′s early 2000′s with Nancy Chunn at the School of Visual Arts, then International Literature at NYU, then creative art therapy and fairy tales at The New School.  As you might know I just wrote a whole book called Murdering My Youth which will come out eventually.  Who knows, I may just turn it into a movie.  So doing something like a short film isn’t really a total shock.  I guess you could say my whole life has led up to this.  I’m an artist.  I make things.

That said, I believe all the art I have done (except my postcards) is totally collaborative.  I’ve worked with the great videographer Tal Yardan for Mona7, and the amazing producer and musician George Walker Petit for my album…  frankly, every movie, play, or TV show I have ever done is a collaboration with the director, writer and other actors, whether it’s with the writer David Ives “The Red Address,” the director Richard Benjamin on “My Favorite Year,” or Michael Knight on “All My Children.”  Making a piece of art that requires more than one person requires collaboration.  I have a great love and respect for it.  All that matters is that everyone brings their passion to the table.

Eden Marryshow at Smeg

For “Flip” I had the great luck to find Alex di Suvero to be my Director of Photography.  He’s got an amazing ability to find the beauty in the awful, which was the task I set before him.  I am thrilled with what we have created together.

Here is a photo of the character “Smeg” played by Eden Marryshow, who, as you might guess, is a seeker.

That’s my arm on the left.

One thing I learned about film making is that it requires an understanding and a feel for ALL the arts.  You HAVE to know painting, and music, and literature AND film.  If you don’t, you are really missing out on what film can be.  Well, let’s not put the cart before the horse.  I still have to edit the damn thing.  Oh yeah, and let’s not forget I LIVE with a filmmaker, and associate produced HIS first feature, so I’ve had a little crash course, you might say.

But I wanted you to know all this about me, so that you can see this film as something that is a part of who I am, because it is.  It is perhaps the most intimate piece of work I have ever made.  I hope you will like it.

Here I am with DP Alex di Suvero, and AC Nikita Carpenter in SOHO, NYC.

Here I am with DP Alex di Suvero, and AC Nikita Carpenter in SOHO, NYC.

 

 

 

 

 

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We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Inspired by Oz

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