Arranging a fake radio show for THE HUMAN WAR. Anyone want to be a fake radio caller to the program and give your opinion on the impending war on March 23, 2003. You'd have to be time sensitive. Just email me at piroozkalayeh[at]gmail.com.
(James Roehl walks across deserted street in Manhattan)
Some people have been asking for an update, so here's the nitty-gritty. As it stands now, we're rushing to finish a final edit for Sundance submissions in September. If luck will have it, we'll be premiering at the festival this January. Keep your fingers crossed!
In other news, we're hard at work finalizing a final movie poster with comic book artist Jeffrey Brown. Once we have a final version, I'll be sure to give you the first sneak peak.
Here are some pics from this summer's theater class. We had a good time practicing acting with Paula Wilson, learning a bit about screenplays from Jaeho Lee, taking speech lessons from Kenneth Drennen, and learning the inspirations behind being a director of photography from Tommy Upshaw.
I started off the class bold and brave. Thinking about illustrating the importance of voice, I pretended to be Robot 7.632, as I typed verses from my mainframe. Then the class was encouraged to write their own robot narratives.
Many of the more timid in class expressed their dismay at having to perform so soon.
"You want me to do it in front of the class?" a student asked innocently.
"Yes," I said diabolically.
As classes went by during the summer, students got more and more brave with each other, making critiques, and putting themselves into performances and writing exercises.
By the time we got to the end of the course, students were performing their own scenes from Julia Cho's BFE (see above).
The performances were so good that I think I'll have students start scene studies earlier, and drop the Shakespeare study. If we had more time, then maybe we could talk more about William, but, for now, I think it's time to say goodbye.
I really liked watching the students problem solve. That is the basis of creativity. In one performance, students had filmed performances, and then presented the piece as a retrospective from the guise of a talk show (see above). In another, students used flashlights, fake mustaches, and backdrops in the room to help transform a classroom into a convenient store. Both were solid pieces and showed who the true stars of the course were - aside from our celebrity guests - the students. Regardless of the exercise, or fear of performing, they were willing to offer their best everyday. I found that particularly impressive, especially when a majority of students were biology majors, and more interested in earning "credit" initially (as was confided to me).
"What inspired you to take this course?" I asked one medical student.
"Honestly, it was for credit."
"Yes," he laughed, and then quickly added: "But I like it now."
The class responded with more laughter.
"F for you," I said with a smile.
I'm glad students who were less inclined to perform found an avenue towards performance. I'm also happy the class got so close. On the last day of class, as I left the classroom, I could sense that the class was still going. No one was leaving. I got a few waves. Some nice smiles.
"Uh, professor," one student said. "I'm going to stick around and chat with everyone."
"Sure," I said.
"That's okay, right?"
A bunch of students were sitting on desks reviewing the performances they had just completed. A few others were standing in semi-circles off to the side in open space, practicing some acting exercises Paula Wilson had shown them earlier in the semester. The class had become self-sufficient. That's when it hit me. The class will continue without me.
That's what theater is all about, right?
I'm in Long Beach now. Tomorrow I go to L.A. to visit Stacy Dacheux and talk about art. Then I'm off to New York to finish editing the film and hang with friends. It's nice to have so much to do with buddies here in the states, but I can't help but miss all the amazing students who became my friends in Seoul.
Just a short while ago in Korea, I had the pleasure of eating Korean BBQ with our friends from Sweden and China. As is typical of a visit to Korea, we showed folks how to roll up pork and beef in lettuce, pick-up kim chi with chopsticks, and drink soju.
Usually, the first indicator that you've gone too far on the soju is pictures with people's heads cut off.
Drinking should end there.
But if you let other people take pictures from then on out, maybe it's okay.
What else are best friends supposed to do?*
*This is the end of cutesy posts. Tomorrow it's all about pain and terror.
I've been so busy with the move back to California that I haven't been able to put up photos in the last couple weeks. That's why we have a whole slew below. We'll start with the Jeju Island photos and then progress to others.
Here is the family playing a game of horseshoes meets arrows and a bucket. Sogee won, sending her father and brother to drink copious amounts of alcohol. I stayed out of the escapade. I could sense doom. She had a certain swagger about her.
While we were in Jeju Island, we stopped by a folk village. It had wax dummies in traditional huts.
It also had crazy bugs I've never seen. Apparently, there are several species of animals, insects, and plants that are found on the island and nowhere else.
We also stopped by a waterfall that my in-laws went to on their honeymoon.
The prime spot to take a photo was a major clamoring pool of tourists. I thought that was more interesting than any photo of a couple, but there was an insisting father-in-law who got a shot of us before we were pushed out of the way by an older couple who had been waiting too long to wait another minute.
We are here in Long Beach! Everything is set. Well, it took some adjusting. When we first arrived, the apartment I had rented from Korea was in a dangerous neighborhood. After we asked some police officers about safety, and they warned against talking on cell phones because children might snatch them from our hands, I made an executive decision: "We shall move says I!"
I made a costly exit from my two-day old lease, and headed east of Redondo, as I was advised, to a corporate complex with pool and tennis courts. It really was the tennis courts that made me want to come here more than anywhere else.
Now Sohee is about to accompany me for her third tennis lesson of her life. She is deathly afraid. According to her, I am too militant. That can be true. I admit it. I like to become a drill sergeant when I get a chance. I'll have to conjure my ultimate teacher now though. Sohee will learn to be a Wimbledon master, I say to myself. I will learn to be militant only when it comes to eating tacos. That seems like a safe time to be militant.
I will start posting other pics when I get a chance.
I had a dream I was a football player in America. I was battling this one guy on the line. He was bigger than me, but I started taunting him.
"You are nothing, Washington!" I yelled through my mouthguard. "You might as well not even get up."
"You better watch what you're saying," one of our coaches warned me. "You don't want to get this boy mad."
"Oh, I've got no worries about cream puff here," I said. "He can keep trying all he wants."
Washington got up from the ground and squat down into the puddle of rain beneath him. He cocked his ass high in the air and let it bounce up and down a few times to loosen the action. Wasington grunted and then charged. He hit me square in the chest and lifting me slightly off the ground before I recovered and began pushing him back on his heels.
That was my dream. Now I head to America in less than six hours. We will land in LA. Then fly to Denver. Then get a moving truck and drive to Long Beach. I will document the adventure. It might be strenuous. I'm hoping for delightful.