Friday, February 15, 2002

"Attention Everyone!"

Sometimes I feel like I'm invisible. I can be walking down the street and it seems like if I didn't move out of the way, everyone would just plow right into me. I can go for entire days without having a single conversation with another human being. Whole weeks have gone by without even a message on my answering machine. I wonder if anyone is paying any attention to what I'm doing.

Then, all of a sudden, I get a call from a friend who's trying to put a band together and wants me to drop by their practices and tell him what I think of them. So I hang out with them, and the next thing I know they're asking me to play harmonica on a few songs. Pretty soon, I'm rehearsing with them on a regular basis because we have a gig coming up.

Meanwhile, another friend calls. He's helping his wife write a screenplay and would I mind taking a look at it and maybe offer a few suggestions. So now, on the days when I'm not rehearsing, I'm going over the script and giving feedback over the phone.

Then comes the gig: I'm standing onstage in front of a room full of people, all my friends are there, I'm getting all kinds of complements and attention. I'm definitely being noticed. And, at the next gig they want me to play a solo set. So now I'm rehearsing with the band and practicing my own stuff too. Oh, and the band wants to play one of my songs in their regular set. Which is pretty cool.

Then I get this email, out of the blue, telling me that my short movie Dante's View has been selected as a finalist in the DC Independent Film Festival and is going to be screened on Saturday, March 2nd as part of one of the featured programs. Well, shoot, that's just plain recognition.

And it starts to dawn on me that maybe I'm not completely invisible after all. That there are some people out there who are paying attention, and actually seem to appreciate what I'm doing. My friend Jimmy, who's music video I'm still working on, has gotten me back into playing music again and it's something I really missed. Jon and Ivana, who collaborated with me so wonderfully on Dante's View are involving me in their creative process as they prepare the script for Ivana's next film. Dave Todd has not only offered me a place to stay when I go to DC to attend the premier of Dante's View, but is also doing some advance local PR work for me. Speaking of PR, Beck Lee is helping deliver my movie to the selection committee for the New York/Avignon Film Festival, one of his illustrious clients. Not to be outdone, my sister Susan slipped a copy of the movie to Jeanine Basinger, Wesleyan's preeminent film maven.

Jeanine will be in town Monday evening for the annual reception in her honor at CAA, one of the biggest agencies in town. I am planning to bring my camera and shoot some footage of Ivana in character as 'Christina' the mysterious woman from Dante's View. We are thinking of doing a sequel, possibly based on the Purgatorio, that will focus on Ivana's character. For the past three years. I've been going to this party and feeling like the ultimate outsider, peeking in at the special people in their special world. It will be a real kick to be there as a director, using the party as a backdrop for a scene in my next movie. I wouldn't be surprised if I end up attracting a lot of attention.

I just hope all this attention doesn't get too overwhelming -- the solo gig, the film festival, the big fancy party -- it's like living in a damn fishbowl. I mean can't people just leave me alone? Sometimes I wish I was invisible...

Who am I kidding? I'm loving every minute of it.

Anyone who wants to come see the movie can come to DC and stay at Dave Todd's house. Right Dave?

Thank you all for paying attention.

Love, Hollywood Dick

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