Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Comedy in a Dark Room

One of the most exciting things about being an artist is seeing your friends succeed.

That's right, showbiz isn't always the dog-eat-dog world you see in bad movies. For me, there's nothing more inspiring and joy-filled than seeing my contemporaries rise in their careers.

I had the opportunity to celebrate some friends last week when the Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theatre (APAFT) held an event called "Honoring Comedy" to celebrate the seriously funny careers of actors Deborah S. Craig and Aaron Takahashi and playwrights Prince Gomolvilas and Paul Kikuchi.

NOTE - The restaurant where the event was held was lit for romantic dining, not picture taking, so these images are terrible! But they capture what was a thoroughly enjoyable celebration.

The evening started with host Helen Ota, Cold Tofu founder and a successful comedienne in her own right, performing "Taylor the Latte Boy" --

Then playwright/storyteller/honoreee Prince Gomolvilas shared a hilarious story he recently told at TEDx --

Finally, the irrepressible Deborah S. Craig sang a song from Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days - this girl has crazy talent --

Panel time! Helen moderated a discussion with the four honorees --

Then came the presentation of the awards. Group shot!

I can't remember where I met Deborah S. Craig, but I've loved loved loved her fearless comedic style since then --

I've known Aaron since we did the East West Players' theater for young audiences tour back in 2004. Seeing him get recognized for the comedy career he's built since then was such a thrill.

If you don't know who these funny people are, here's some of my favorite videos from each --

And this is the exact story that Prince Gomolvilas told that night - so fantastic --

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Writing Flood Gates Are Open

I love the expression "When it rains, it pours." It speaks to effortless abundance and I believe that the universe is filled with plenty.

Case in point - my writing has been flowing like crazy! A welcome change for me, because if you remember from Crawling Past the Finish Line post, my last pilot took me several months to write. Correction - several months of beating my head against a series proposal before moving to the writing phase for several painful months.

After finishing that script, I became a pilot reading machine through staffing season and focused on acting and Early Retirement stuff, and before I knew it, it was mid-May and I still needed to write a spec script of an existing show for the ABC, NBC, and Warner Bros. writing programs. Darn you, ticking hand of time!

What's a writer on a deadline to do? Bear down and get to work! 14 days to a completed script. I gave myself 7 days to beat out the story and outline and 7 days to write and revise.

And you guys -- I did it. I wrote a script in two weeks.

Don't know if it's any good, and at this point the applications are in, so it's doesn't matter. The important thing is that I did it. It makes me particularly proud because that's what writers on staff have to do - turn around scripts quickly - often in two weeks or less. And I did it.

And a wonderful thing happened --

My writing hasn't stopped flowing.

Since sending in my applications, I've revised and finished a short film script I haven't touched since last September. I developed and wrote a first draft of another short film script. I wrote another chapter of my sci-fi romance novel. I did a revision pass on a short story after getting notes from my editor. And I developed a nine-page series proposal for a whole new pilot for a producer I'm collaborating with - premise, characters, the pilot story, and an outline of season one.

And it's only Wednesday.

I hope I can keep this going, because this is how I want it to be all the time. I open the flood gates and words come out. And I go to sleep feeling like a writer. Awesome.