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Archive for September, 2007

Back in the swing

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I’m not sure how its happened, but all of a sudden I’m back in the saddle and things are moving again. Maybe its the Phillies; I think I’ve displaced all of my I-want-to-believe-but-I’m-not-sure-if-its-safe-to-believe energy on to them as they head down the stretch run.

However this turnaround has come about, I looked up this week and the finish line seems unbelievably close at hand. Sharon has been doing amazing things with our rough cut, and it looks like we are going to have a new, much stronger, 100-110 minute version of the film ready in the next 2 weeks or so. We’re lining up all the finishing works. Even the money situation, which always seems bad, doesnt seem impossible. Im actually really believing that this thing might be done and ready to submit to festivals in December.

In my always-trying-to-think-10-steps-ahead way, I’m already starting to worry about what comes next. How much do I love the process of making a film and would I want to put myself through this again? And how substantial do I honestly believe will be the social and political impact of this project, of me trying to do the work of First Person that goes far beyond the screen?

Trying to not attempt to answer that, for now. There is too much to worry about immediately each day, and I am as a rule terrible about allowing myself to enjoy things as they happen. And right now, damn it, it is friggin amazing to watch this thing actually come together.

Picking up the pieces

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

So we didn’t get the ITVS LINCS funding. Still saying that to myself, still trying to accept it. Its not that I expected we would get it — I didn’t. And its not even that I hoped we would get it — although I certainly did. The thing that has been hardest to accept is that I truly just was not prepared to not get it.

That is quite unusual for me. I pride myself on being prepared both logistically and emotionally for every eventuality, on always having not only a Plan B, but a Plan C and a Plan D, too. On taking rejection and setbacks and crazy circumstances and turning them quickly and seamlessly into fuel to drive the project where it still needs to go.

And over the four years of this project, I can’t tell how many times that’s had to happen. When Temple University withdrew their support and First Person was temporarily homeless and unable to raise money. When Fresh quit the project. When my anal retentive ways had alienated my entire crew to the point of mutiny. When all the countless crazy and unjust things that happened to each of my kids happened and there was nothing I could do to change it. When we got rejected from ITVS the first time around. And a million others.

With each of them, I flipped out, then moved on. And maybe it took longer than I remember. But this time around, I seem to have flipped out, then stalled out. Its been painful and disconcerting to struggle so deeply to find the energy to be that guy right now — the guy who makes everyone else believe, the guy who keeps every one else’s spirits up, the guy who gets things done anyway, the guy who carries the load so other people can just do them, can just do their work. Being unable to do those things, being unable to get a damn thing done, is not how I like to see myself.

But I also think I was right in one respect about what this whole process around ITVS LINCS involves. Either way, it wouldve presented me with a set of circumstances that would force me to go back to what this project is really all about and where it really comes from.

Had we gotten the grant, I wouldve had to work hard to make sure that being on easy street represented an opportunity to reach as many people as possible–especially the students from the film and urban high school students in general.

Having not gotten it, I’ve found great solace and motivation in the examples and support I’ve received recently from the young people Ive had the chance to work with through this project. Macho called me the other day just to say whats up and update me on his life. Nothing big or unusual, but just a much-needed reminder that the relationships Ive built through First Person go beyond any grant.

Been thinking back on the toasts Steve, Shalisa, Malikka, and Fresh gave at my recent wedding. Now that made everything worthwhile, no matter what happens (and maybe Malikka will be kind enough to share her notes, if not with the world then at least with me!) And working with our College Ambassadors this summer…well, that’s another post for another time.

As unprepared as I was for the funk that hit me right after ITVS did, I know the fog is slowly but surely lifting. Aint nothing to do but get back in the saddle…as Kurtis’s mom always tells me, “giving up is not an option!”

Its been a long time

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

SO i was at work a few days ago and this lady recognizes me from first person. it was weird at first because she thought i went to high school with her. but then it hit her like ” omg you are that sexy, adorable, polite, and cool guy from that documentry” an d i was like yes i am, she was like i would love to take you to dinnr some time. meet me on 2nd street at about seven. AND THAT THE TOTAL TRUTH.LOL, OK MAYBE PART OF IT . but it felt good to hae someone recegnize me from the dvd. i think she said she viewed he teacher recruitment dvd.. it was cool .but other than that i am moving to greensburgh,pa in october. its the emancipation of steve parr. i gotta grow up. so what better way to do that then move all alone( well with my home boy dantzler of course). as far as the ladies i am still sinngle and looking and it is getting frustrating. but i want to wiat until i move to find some one. but that all i got for now

All work and no play makes little Macho a dull boy

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

It’s been a while since I posted, nothing new really going on in my life.
One thing is for sure, life is definitely not panning out how I had planned for it to.
Not in school right now, I’m actually waiting for January to come so that I can apply to become a union worker for the Local 542. It’s actually something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but wanted to do it as not a first or last resort. Its not a bad gig though, It actually deals with heavy equipment operations and engineering, and the pays great, they send you to college and everything. I figure it’d be a way to get school out and over with and still be able to build a strong financial foundation for my future when I get ready to start out on my own and maybe start a family. That last semester at school I fumble pretty bad, my GPA dropped and everything. Sad to say this is not a new experience for me, there has been instances in the past where I’ve had the same thing happen to me, life gets rough and times get hard and I focus on other things more than school and it does ultimately affect my academic performance. But I’ll bounce back just like I’ve done in the past, I just get frustrated because it gets to be a bit repetitive at times. Like taking two steps forward and three steps back.
In the mean time I’m still working for Transit Aide I’ve been there for about 9 months already, I hate it lol. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a day other than a Sunday off.(Everyone knows that there’s nothing to do on a Sunday) This job is too demanding and soooooo not rewarding. And it’s like I could just say screw it and leave but then again I can’t, because although I should be making more money than I am currently (I think so anyway), the money that I do make allows me to provide for my family. Its like I can’t say no when it comes to helping out my family with anything, selflessness sucks ass. Sometimes it feels like I work for nothing, I’ll spend over forty hours a week working and at the end of that week when bills and family is taken care of I have a few dollars that I have to stretch out to get me through the week. I can’t remember the last time I really spoiled myself and just blew my money on me. Out of everyone in the family I have the least amount of clothes, can’t remember the last time I went out and just bought me a whole outfit (Fitted hat, sneakers, nice shirt or fresh white T, or new jeans), and went out to a club or something and enjoyed myself, sometimes I feel unhappily married with no wife and no kids. I know it sounds crazy but thats how I feel. I just can’t bare to see anyone I love in need of anything, and not do anything about it,I’d rather be without before I let one of them be without.
Summer’s over now, thank god, my summer sucked anyways. All I did was work, which is all I ever do anyways, or avoided drama trying to make it to the next day. This summer was depressing, now that Philly seems to be the murder capital on the east coast. Makes you not wanna go out anymore, I know what a bullet sounds like when it whizzes by your ear, it sounds like a bumble bee if your close enough, so in a way my boredom is a blessing in a sense that I’m not out with the risk of not coming back home. I thought I was a goner this summer myself, to make a long story short I had a disagreement with someone on someone else’s behalf and got a big ass shot gun pulled on me, which made me madder by the way because I know I would’ve kicked his ass if the gun never came into play.
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This right here was the funnest time I had all summer and it didn’t come till the end of the summer, the family planned a trip to six flags and it was my mom, bebop,mimi, neddy, and my lil cousin daisy, dewey, and two of bebop’s friends who originally planned to go, and bebop called and convinced me to call out a day from work to “enjoy life” so I did (even though I spent a shit load of money I was saving, go figure lol)
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Tuesday, September 4th, 2007


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