Friday, June 30, 2017

i love you, davis square. ❤

Oh gosh.  Get over here and give me a big electronic hug.  How've you been, pookie pie?  I missed YOU.

As has become our custom, let's jump into an update.  Because I'm pushing hard, and although my body is exhibiting signs of wear, I'm proud of the progress being made in my private wilderness of endless donkeywork.  So with stress-induced red bags under my eyes, but without further ado, let's hit it:


After about a decade of living in Cambridge/Somerville, I'll be moving out of the area.  I have so many memories attached to this zip code zone.  I've taken so many late night walks when I couldn't sleep. I have consumed so much falafal from the sandwich shop one block away.  I know where everything I want it is at.  I know how much it'll cost before I get there.  I am familiar with the face of the person who will probably assist me.  For ten yrs, I've had the same three librarians at my teensy branch.  When I first moved to Somerville, my goal was to plant down roots, and I think I've definitely achieved that.

In fact, I count my life in Somerville as a dream come true.  Small dream, but still a dream.  When I was growing up across the Charles River in Roxbury (which is now the South End), I'd tell family that I wanted to live in Somerville when I grew up.  Then in high school, I'd ride the train to Davis Square and take pictures of the neighborhood with my pentax camera slung around my neck - I liked this area that much.  So during my 20s, I felt very happy in Davis.  It was a psychological match for me. There's a reason The Architecture of Happiness is my second favorite book, and I mostly agree with this article and its cited quotation by William S. Sax: "People and the places where they reside are engaged in a continuing set of exchanges; they have determinate, mutual effects upon each other because they are part of a single, interactive system."  A friend recently claimed that Somerville is Boston's Brooklyn and, whether or not that's true, it's a fact that "Somerville is home to a thriving arts community and boasts the second highest number of artists per capita in America."[1]  I'd certainly credit Davis Sq., West Somerville with being one of the prime forces that led me to this exclusively creative life path.

[1]  City of Somerville.  Retrieved 2013-03-22.

Next month I'll move to North Andover.  To spare you tedious background, my motivation is to spend the next year rent-free.  I'm at a point where it's necessary to take a break from rent.  I completed a survey sent out by the City of Boston, and I ranked/tanked at 250% below the City's level of poverty. My income is so nonexistant, that the $650 per month which I work so damn hard to put toward rent must be redirected to neglected bills.  I need to repay student loans.  I need to repay my friend Iryn.  I need to repay my friend Jenn, and my friend Jenny.  I need to pay medical bills.  I need to repay everything. So I am sacrificing West Somerville and rent, and instead I'm gonna redirect that meagre $650 to other expenses and debts.  My explicit vision, for August 2017 thru August 2018, is to live rent-free so I can pay bill after bill after Iryn after bill after bill after school loan invoice ... on and on and on.

There are a few folks participating in this transition and all of its tedious background.  (My brief notes of gratitude might come off as glib or garbled, but I am trying to wrap up this segment of the update.)  
  • Thanks to my boss who took me to lunch yesterday and paused her meal to say "I want you know that I really appreciate all the intentionality you invest in your work and in your life."  I began to tear up over my omelette and hash.  I'm grateful for this supervisor who sees me as a valuable human resource.  Meaningful work and doing a good job are important to me, and I rarely sync up with a boss who is as empathetic, kind, supportive.  While crying over my omelette (because it's been a super rough month) I mumbled, "Thanks.  People don't always like that."  More about work soon.
  • Thanks to my friend Damien.  You know nights when you grow so anxious, dinner feels like the worst idea ever.  It was an evening like that, and I really needed to talk with a friend.  Damien is a busy dude, saving the world by getting people homes and putting out fatal fires.  He didn't have time to talk until late at night - like around 10pm - and then we talked for a long while, processing every private detail that I could not figure out on my own.  That was a "call the helpline" kind of night, and Damien was my helpline.  Damien and I often drive each other crazy!  (laughing and in fake boxing stance)  But like Damien heroically runs into buildings ablaze with fire, Damien heroically ran into my private wilderness ablaze with uncertainty.  xo
  • Thanks to Vera and Mike for giving me a room in their house.  I actually checked with blood family about staying with them rent-free, and they promptly said nope. Vera and Mike, who have been chosen family for about twenty years, didn't bat an eye before saying "Sure. When?"  I warned them that I need a year.  I warned them that I stay up very late listening to Bob Dylan and making mugs of hot chocolate.  I warned them that I have a book collecting addiction.  Yet they still didn't bat an eye, and they repeated "Okay.  Sure.  When are you coming?  And we eat dinner at 6pm.  Does that work for you too?"  My anxiety hasn't stemmed from a lack of choices.  My anxiety mostly stems from disappointment in myself because I am financially weak. Thanks to Mike and Vera for giving me the option of idyllic North Andover, and I hope that my recent fits of anxiety have not eclipsed my profound gratitude.
So, I'll be departing Somerville.  The transition has tossed me into a rabbit hole of doubt - self doubt, geography doubt, and a strange concern about CVS locations.  I was brushing my teeth and planning to scout out CVS stores in North Andover.  (rolling my eyes at myself)  It'll be ok.  I just worry alot...

...Ahmmm.  I guess, let's move onto the movie and film company.


I found a lighthouse.  Should this location process continue to productively progress, it looks like I'll be using Pemaquid Point Lighthouse as my external setting.  This lighthouse is in Maine.  In August I'll be making my first presentation to the Keepers of the Lighthouse - meeting them in person, discussing the production process, and discussing property insurance for when we shoot the film next summer. Not the lighthouse I envisioned in my imagination, but it is beautiful.  It offers several gorgeous angles, and I am grateful to the lighthouse keepers for saying yes.  (So many lighthouse keepers said no.  Or even more infuriating, they would say "That sounds like a great project!  ...  But no."  Just say no aaaah.)

                                           Pemaquid Point Lighthouse at Sunrise  (© VINCENT MISTRETTA)

I doubt I'll go for a look this washed out, but it's a second image showing how helpfully manipulable the aesthetics of this location will be.  We can go with dark and broody, or with a brightness promising innocent familial bliss.  

In addition to Maine, I hope to go to Brooklyn in August.  There's a financer in NYC called Gamechanger Films, and they provide mentorship to women directors who are producing narrative films.  (Bishop raises hand in the air.)  That'd be me.  (Bishop points to herself.)  Gamechanger is a team of producers, who also function as advisors - as I understand from their website - but this team isn't responding to my messages.  I want to clear a week in August, when I go to Brooklyn and visit the Gamechanger office so I can get some sort of helpful information.  ...  My anxiety has recently peaked because - and I mean this seriously, word for word - if I do not source $100K, I cannot make the movie I spend my entire life producing.  This movie will not be made, and that cannot happen.  I'm not making any assumptions that the Gamechanger team can solve this finance problem for me, but I feel confident that they must have someone in their network of equity financiers who is interested in first-time directors.  Debut films happen all the time.  This film is my debut, and I need someone somewhere to lead me to the funding.  I think the door into this equity finance world could be Gamechanger.  So I want to spend a week being in Brooklyn - presenting myself in person and the film and simply saying, "Hey I am making a cool film, and I am looking for a cool Executive Producer.  Can you point me in the right direction?  Please."

By the way, Gamechanger financed one of my favorite horror films, The Invitation.  It'll feel very exciting to be in the space where production meetings were held for this modern exploitation film.  BLOOD AND GORE!  (twin peaks sort of snicker)  I'll take a picture of myself in front of the building!!

Alright bebe, it's time for me to sign off for the last time from Somerville.

Davis Square, I love you.  Thank you for being my home this past decade.

Waving goodbye to darling YOU, and cueing in the 1970s rock band Devo.
                big urges big love big hugs and see you soon xoxo