Today’s piece at Beacon discusses a new book for young readers written by one of my faves, Neil Gaiman, called The Sleeper and the Spindle.
It’s the story of a woman saving another woman, teaching that we can and should help each other, rather than compete. It’s the story of a queen who is unsure of marriage having an adventure and hoping to do something bigger with her life than just stick to the prescribed path of marriage-babies-death. It’s the story of a woman who sees something that needs doing and is capable of solving the problem herself, rather than calling the nearest man to do it. In a fairy tale setting, that’s huge, because so often, girls are taught to wait for princes.
To read the full article and/or comment on the article, CLICK HERE! That’s right! Whether you subscribe to me at Beacon or not, you can now read all of my posts for FREE for seven days. So feel free to not only read and comment, but pass the link around! Hopefully, you’ll like what you read enough (both my work and the work of some of the other talented writers at Beacon) to subscribe to me for as little as $5/month and enjoy all that Beacon has to offer!
And if you like what you read, don’t forget to click the “Worth It” button at the bottom of the article! :) Thanks!
It’s time for the monthly Hot List over at the HotPixel blog again! This time, I had the pleasure of interviewing the awesome Paul Osborne, writer/director/Executive Producer of the thriller, Favor, which I recently watched on Hulu, and was amazing (and slightly insane).
Favor, Osborne’s narrative feature directorial debut, explores the adage “A friend helps you move. A good friend helps you move a dead body” completely literally. Kip (Blayne Weaver) has always gotten everything he’s wanted: a thriving career, beautiful wife, and an affluent lifestyle, all of which is put in jeopardy when Abby, the waitress with whom he’s having a casual fling, is accidentally killed in their motel room. Desperate, he ends up on the doorstep of childhood friend Marvin (Patrick Day), an unemployed and divorced loser, and asks him for a massive favor: help get rid of the body. What comes next is an examination of how time and class affect relationships.
“I think we all have friends where the friendship has outlived its shelf life, but we’ve maintained them out of habit, and you have nothing in common anymore,” Osborne explains. “And I’m at an age when I remember a world before social media; where if you lost touch with a college friend, they were gone. Now, they’re around. So, people I knew from junior high are finding me on Twitter and Facebook, and I don’t really have anything in common with some of them anymore. I go on my Facebook feed, and I’ll post something and responding to it will be someone I worked with when I was twenty, a high school friend, my mom, my daughter, someone I met at a film festival, and my wife. It’s very strange. So that’s part of what I wanted to explore.”
For the full post, or to comment, CLICK HERE.
There’s a new feature up at my Pop Goes Teresa column at Beacon where you can talk TV with me and fellow Beacon readers! (not to mention a special offer below!)
Starting later today (with Gotham), I’ll be posting discussions in the Updates section of my profile (subscribers will be emailed whenever a new discussion posts). They’ll go up the day after each show airs every week, and I’ll start each discussion thread with a topic or a question to get ‘er going. This way, you can stop by and discuss the current episodes with me and your fellow Beacon readers! Look for [SHOW TITLE IN CAPS]: [Title] [date] in the list of discussions, and keep coming back to join in the chat about the shows you love!
If you want to check out the full list of shows I’ll be writing about, you’ll have to subscribe to my work over at Beacon! Starting at only $5/month, you’ll be able to access all my pop culture criticism, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists writing about the topics you care about. Check it out! Once there, please click the “Worth It” button on the bottom of my article! (That is, if you actually like what I’ve written.)
And if you’ve been thinking about subscribing to Beacon, but you’re not sure if you’ll like it, HAVE I GOT GOOD NEWS FOR YOU! Email me at theteresajusinoexperience[at]gmail[dot]com with “BEACON TRIAL” in the subject line, and I’ll have Beacon send you a free trial to the site! If you like what the other Beacon writers and I do and think we add at least $5.00 a month’s worth of value to your life, you can subscribe after the trial! (And hey, it’d be nice if you subscribe specifically to me so that I can go on doing the work I do. Don’t worry, you’d still have access to the whole site!)
Happy reading, everyone!
If you’ve been following my blog or social media feeds at all, it’s likely that you’ve heard me talk about being involved in a digital series called Incredible Girl. Now, as our growing production team has started ramping up our pre-production and fundraising efforts, I figured it might be nice to keep you posted by keeping an Incredible Girl production diary!
But before I can keep you posted on where we’re going, I wanted to fill you in on where we’ve been so far.
I attended the Ms. In the Biz launch party at the Tropicana Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel where I met lots of wonderful female creators including actress/producer Aurora de Blas. As we chatted, she mentioned that she had recently produced a short film called Incredible Girl, which she’d entered into film festivals. When I went home and watched it, I thought it was really cool – and it also seemed to me like the beginning of something. When I asked her if she had additional plans for it, she said she didn’t, but that she wanted to. She thought it a shame for the festival circuit to be the end of the line for this short film that she’d poured her heart and resources into.
She asked me what I thought it was the beginning of. I messaged her some initial ideas. We wrote back and forth. We agreed to meet up.
And when we met up, after a long, great conversation, she asked me if I’d be interested in writing a web series based on her short film. It would be a paying gig to write something really interesting and thought-provoking and work with an awesome person whose values and work ethic I share. I said yes.
And so it began.
MAY 2013-JULY 2014
I started developing some ideas inspired by the original film. The sexual energy that surges through the film inspired me to bring the world of BDSM into the story. That led to Aurora and I meeting regularly to hash out what the story and characters should be. Our conversations led to the introduction of a religious element in the mix – after all, a great way to examine an extreme lifestyle is by contrasting it with its extreme opposite. We named the “Innocent Girl” of the short film Sarah, and gave her a family, a life, a conflict. The character of “Incredible Girl” stayed Incredible Girl, but this time for a reason, and she, too, was given a life, friends, a conflict. They were each given a love interest (or two, or three!). Aurora and I went through about three drafts of the 10-episode series.
We had the opportunity to read Episode Two of the series at the December 2013 International Academy of Web Television meet-up, and received a wonderful and generous response! The gathered writers and producers seemed to really enjoy the script, and while they had some notes for me, all the notes came from a place of being really interested in the story and wanting to know more about the characters. Of the four scripts read that night, Incredible Girl generated the most conversation. That night was the first night that I really registered that we really have something here. :)
And then came Sabrina! :) At the beginning of 2014, Aurora reached out to potential directors, and we met and fell in love with the talented Sabrina Doyle. She had the vision, the storytelling ability, and the personality best suited to work on this project, and after meeting her once and checking out her previous projects, I knew she would be perfect for this story. She’s also been amazing to work with, and despite not having filmed any episodes has already made the series better. After the initial three drafts, the scripts have gone through two more courtesy of Sabrina’s insightful notes and way with a story. Through Sabrina, we’ve added key elements to the characters and story that have made the series as a whole stronger, more specific, and even more daring.
Once the scripts were, for the most part, locked, we started moving on to other production matters – making contacts within the BDSM community both to build our fanbase and seek funding. We’ve started pooling our resources and seeking out sponsors and locations. We’ve shot a trailer that we hope to be releasing soon! We’ve been meeting with additional producing partners, because Aurora and I both know that the scope of what we hope to do with this project is bigger than the two of us can handle on our own, and I think we’ve found some great ones in Lauren Fash and Susan Graham, with whom we met a couple of weeks ago to come up with a plan of attack and next steps.
First step of that plan? Raise the funds needed to produce a kick-ass pilot episode.
And that’s where we are! Between now and the beginning of next year, we’re focusing on fundraising – but we’re going to stay away from crowdfunding for the moment, so you don’t have to worry about being bombarded with Kickstarter/IndieGoGo links just yet! We’re hoping to take a more intimate approach to building our fan base and creating this one episode by doing in-person fundraising events and approaching supporters one-on-one.
Our first attempt to do just that is TOMORROW! :)
Tomorrow is our first fundraiser, courtesy of Veggie Grill in West Hollywood. If you stop by that location tomorrow between 5-10PM, whether you’re staying or grabbing food to go, and mention Incredible Girl (or our fiscal sponsor, From the Heart Productions), 50% of the proceeds from your order go to our effort. So if you want to help out, PLEASE:
1) RSVP at our Facebook invite to let us know if you’re planning on coming!
2) SPREAD THE WORD by spreading THIS FLYER to anyone you think would support our project and/or go out for a vegetarian dinner. Remember, they have to go to THIS location tomorrow night between 5-10PM in order for it to count.
That’s it! Easy-peasy. What’s more, Aurora and I will be there, and will be handing out Cupcake Dominatrix buttons, so you’ll be able to take home the first-ever bit of Incredible Girl merchandise for free as a Thank You for supporting our cause.
I hope I can count on my Los Angeles peeps to come out tomorrow night! But don’t worry – those of you not in L.A. will have plenty of opportunity to show your support later! Stay tuned to this space for regular installments of my Incredible Girl Diary, as well as future fundraising efforts and events.
Last week was a bit wonky for me schedule-wise, so I didn’t get my usual Beacon post up, so I’ll be pulling triple duty this week! I’m trying to write about all the show premieres this week – both new and returning shows – that I’m watching and giving you my two cents! So here’s my sum-up of last week’s offerings! Shows include Gotham, Black-ish, How to Get Away With Murder, and Transparent! (You can expect my take on last week’s returning shows and this week’s offerings later this week!)
The last time I laughed this hard at a comedy pilot was for New Girl, and I think the reasons why I laughed so hard then are the same as why I laughed now. These characters and the way they view and experience the world felt very familiar to me. I’m not Black, but I am Latina, so I’m no stranger to having grown up in a minority culture, valuing that while also valuing mainstream success, and what a delicate balance that is. Creator Kenya Barris captures all the nuance of that balancing act with humor and kindness. There is so much love in this show, and though many of the jokes are very pointed, it’s never coming from an angry or malicious place, and it’s really the first show I’ve ever watched that captures that balancing act this accurately (if anyone has any other recommendations, let me know below!). The characters are also a lot of fun – I can’t wait to see more of “Pops” (Lawrence Fishburne plays him like a gruff teddy bear), and the kids are as nuanced as the adults.
If you want to read and comment on my full post, you’ll have to subscribe to my work over at Beacon! Starting at only $5/month, you’ll be able to access all my pop culture criticism, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists writing about the topics you care about. Check it out! Once there, please click the “Worth It” button on the bottom of my article! (That is, if you actually like what I’ve written.)
I haven’t been very prolific on the blog front lately, because this has been a huge time of transition and success for me! New writing opportunities, new part-time job, and ramping up production on Incredible Girl!
I’ll be writing more about all of this next week, but right now I wanted to tell you about Incredible Girl‘s first fundraiser and how you can help! (If you live in L.A, this one’s for you!)
Veggie Grill has graciously allowed us to do a fundraiser at their West Hollywood location! It’s super-easy: if you go to the VeggieGrill at 8000 Sunset Blvd on October 2nd, purchase dinner and mention Incredible Girl or From the Heart Productions (our fiscal sponsor) – or print out or show THIS FLYER on your phone – Veggie Grill will donate 50% of what you purchase to our project that night! Anything we raise will go toward recouping costs on the recent Incredible Girl teaser we shot, toward hiring a graphic artist to create an Incredible Girl logo, and other costs that are starting to creep up as we move forward with this project.
Whether you stay and enjoy your meal, or quickly grab something To Go, IT ALL COUNTS! But Exec Producer and star Aurora de Blas and I will be there the whole time if you want to stay and eat and say hello. :)
And if possible, join the Facebook Event for the fundraiser! This way, we can have an idea of how much help we’ll be getting on the 2nd. It’ll certainly boost morale over at Camp Incredible Girl!
So, if you’re in L.A. on October 2nd, consider having dinner at Veggie Grill and mentioning our fundraiser! It would be a huge help and be a great start to what I know is going to be a long, exciting journey!
Thank you so much. :)