Monthly Archives: June 2007

These Two People have the same illness as me.

You know, Bipolar Disorder is practically the Hollywood disease. I can think of no other illness that lends itself so readily to the film industry. I mean, a 15 hr day for six weeks at your job, you practically HAVE to be manic to be able to do that. The reason no one noticed my illness in film school is that in many ways, I fit in.

Kay Redfield Jamison was one of the first psychiatrists (and also has bipolar) to do a major investigation of creativity and bipolar disorder in her book Touched With Fire, which I recommend for anyone studying the connection between madness and the arts. In fact Emily Carr was probably the best school for a person like me to go to, not only because it’s one of the top art schools in the world, but also because I just clicked with the student body.

Saskatoon is kind of a goofy city to live in

I mean, if you are a queer filmmaker and there isn’t really much if any of a festival here. Gary Varro does the fest down in Regina and apparently that one festival was enough, NOT! Oh man. So anyway, I do most of my filmmaking career outside of Saskatchewan, obviously, even though there is so much pressure to keep people here.

Did you know we had a Pride parade and it got barely a mention in the news? I mean, we’re not Winnipeg, that’s for sure.

And yet I have gone through the awkward 1st year back, with not, well no, there was trouble. For one thing I had a racist co-worker at the job I moved back here for and when the boss wouldn’t act on it I up and quit. Then my cousin died a week later. Then I moved back in with mum. Now I’m staying in a care home temporarily and having friends outside of who my mum knows. It’s pretty nice. I’ve got a date for canoeing! And, well what else? Oh, I have a new place to live starting September 1.

It’s funny that I am nervous about where I am living based on what I know of Saskatoon,
compared to my one year in the downtown eastside. I kind of think once you’ve done the Downtown Eastside that’s a kind of razorblade type of living that is hard to shake off. I mean, the street savvy don’t look anyone in the eye kind of living. You’d be amazed at the shit I walked past and survived. Well, maybe not if you read my old blog. I think Fit Of Pique is kind of an ode to that part of Vancouver and that part of my life. It’s old stuff, scary stuff. And I made it out alive, more or less. Broken maybe. No, not really, not anymore, but it did leave a lot of anger in my mouth, and the taste of righteous disabled broke anger is not something you can just spit out.

Class is a powerful thing, more so when you feel like someone doesn’t understand you because it feels like they never understood what being lower class is like. But at the same time, I think most everyone can understand discrimination. Someone once called me middle class. It was funny because at the time I was doing pharmaceutical market research AND being fucked over by Zyprexa.

So really, in the end, I think in this world we all feel disabled and powerless, especially when we look at the news. And still I think a lot of people are Mother Joneses and Ghandi’s and so on and so forth. Who knows if I even spelled his name right.

As for myself, I am merely a 29 year old punk filmmaker who’s newest film was censored in the bin. Oh boy, did they ever not want me to show it there. All the nurses watched it apparently. They also saw HELPLESS MAIDEN MAKES AN ‘I’ Statement. Which is a funny version of a real thing that happened to me eight years after I made it.

Pat Mills asked me if my favorite film is still Troop Beverly Hills. Ha ha! Yeah man! I love Pat, this is what he agreed to sing along to on Facebook.

The joke is . . .

I always sent my KFC comments to Save the Children at 56 Sparks Street care of Morticia Addams!

And now I’m in trouble!

On the National Day of Action, I’ll be eating KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN!

And yet Toonie Tuesday is the only democratic vote for the poor, who often have no choice but to shop at KFC, including many psychiatric survivors.

Can my friend Mikiki convince the government to help abuse survivors AND therefore psychiatric survivors by intervening in the hunt for the Dangerous Bird?

Demanding an Apology from the Canadian Government on behalf of Residential School Survivors: A Collaboration with Mikiki of Montreal

Last we heard:
Stef Llewellyn, my erstwhile camera person, was shopping devotedly at Toonie Tuesday every week, due to extreme aboriginal poverty in respect to psychiatric disability. This in turn set off my old code from my high school days, and Morticia Addams was sent to Save the Children at 56 Sparks Street in Ottawa which has since moved. In it’s place was the bookstore Smithbooks where she picked up a book on AIDS in Africa. She then sent Wednesday Addams to The Lion’s Den to meet Ken and Junior, an African Safari Lion who was born and raised in Winnipeg. At this point the Addams family decided to check in with the Lesbian Rangers, who had pointed out that Colonel Sanders looked an awful lot like David Suzuki, and that perhaps the reason so many bananas kept showing up was due to some lesbian witch in Saskatoon advocating eunuchs to stop the AIDS virus. In fact, the question became one of the possibility of Morticia Addams doing a spell on David Suzuki’s penis in question in order to prove that witchcraft could stop the AIDS virus. Morticia denied it by setting herself on fire and declaring herself the reincarnation of Great Aunt Calpernia, who never went to college.
Meanwhile Mikiki was drafted to stop my cousin Luke from ordering from KFC because the rumour was that David Suzuki was taking a tour of the rainforest to find his own rubber tree to make his very own dildo and to travel back in time via Stephen Hawking’s old wheelchair to before I ever sent my KFC comments to Save the Children C/O Morticia Addams to save his penis from the inspiration of one Miss Valerie Solanas.
In all the ensuing melee, Britta Boden was dispatched to Lesbian National Parks and Services to solve the mystery of the plantains, a type of tranny bannany which only appeared on the scene in April. Mysterious in their fruity goodness, the Lesbian Ranger Corps only wanted to know if these new bananas were lesbian friendly, to which Louis Cruz declared they were, and even Alice upon further inspection agreed.
But still, Luke was on the hunt for the Dangerous Bird, and the Dangerous Bird was on the hunt for Thirza Cuthand, because she didn’t like the ending of Helpless Maiden Makes an “I” Statement. Can Mikiki do something fabulous for abuse survivors in time for the Sacred Chicken Dance?
Only time will tell!

Back to my career

John Cameron Mitchell is going to be in Vancouver at Out On Screen this year and I won’t be there! Such poopy pants!

My career is fine, I am going to finally get in touch with Outfest (L.A.) to curate something for them. My curator buggered off to Venice and Dokumenta (I probably spelled that TOTALLY WRONG!). And my email works again. Hurrah! Plus I found one model for Mintage, a vintage clothing store in Vancouver, and if my devious plan goes well then she’s going to Paris Fashion Week with them. Because, I love Robin Williamson who is NOT a folk singer but is an amazing best friend.

Nina Hagen is singing about CBGB

Okay, now I’ll try to do the cheap-o explaination of CBGB’s by detailing punk through . . . Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

CBGB’s is a classic old timey punk rock club, the Studio 54 of the punk set. And Nina Hagen is considered the grandmother of punk. Which is why every self respecting punk knows her name. And CBGB’s had a little queercore son called Squeezebox.

And Squeezebox is where Hedwig’s character was workshopped. Which makes sense in a roundabout fashion BACK to our grandmother of punk, Nina Hagen, who I really did almost meet.

And this is Nina Hagen doing genderfuck in the classic ode to junkies, Smack Jack.

I’m still inspired by this gender trash revolutionary video.

And so is the rest of the world, This is Nina Hagen at the Berlinale in 2006 And this is where my screenplay was last seen before I decided to amend it so that I could do a Canadian German co-production with Cosma Shiva, who can be seen here and who Maureen Bradley recommended in a roundabout way.

Because I need someone awesome for Cassandra AND an excuse for the main character to not only be learning German, but to also have Nina Hagen sing New York for the Sept 11 related psychosis scene.

So what’s my relation to punk? Well, I’ve done DIY for twelve years and seen a bazillion punk shows and was willing to go see Lydia Lunch on my own in Vancouver and bought the Nick Zedd book and basically, yeah man, I’m a punk, I’ve always been a punk, I probably always will be, and irregardless of what you wear, punk is a frame of mind.


I hate trying to find people through Agents. Meh. Lucky me has various ins with the Industry though, so it’s going to be okay.

I think the hardest is trying to find someone to play Miranda, the neurotic, giddy, totally hot nerd who works for the Invertebrate Zoo. I actually wrote the part specifically with Parker Posey in mind, I think it’s every filmmakers wet dream to work with Parker Posey. She’s just totally amazing.

Sometimes I heckle myself for PR purposes. At my Emily Carr grad Screening I was known to yell out “This isn’t Josie and the Pussycats!”

“Bunnyhug” isn’t Josie and the Pussycats either, but at least it’s fucking hilarious in a sad kind of a way. I mean, I can’t really help telling jokes.

I told someone a really good joke several times and now she wants to kill me! No, I’m kidding, but I think she would like to see me in prison for describing how fucked up MONTREAL MADE ME1 The psych ward there I mean. Boy did that shit fuck me up.

I’m actually fine now.

My best friend Margaret Flood hates the word “actually.” She went off on me once about it.

“It’s an insult, like ‘Actually, that was a really good dinner’ or ‘Actually, you’re cute.’ It’s like they are surprised about it.”

And so, ACTUALLY Barb Powell is an amazing psychic, because she told me all this would happen. She didn’t much like who I was involved with in January.

Actually, she works with the cops, so she got a free ride!

And ACTUALLY, I’m going to be fine.

Because this was her big advertisement!!!!

Malfunction HK119

I think possibly as a trans performance artist, well, going to the ward is kind of societies way of making sure that performance remains just that, a performance, and something that can be taken as an art work rather than what could possibly be a dangerous intervention into the damaged soul of the world. HK 119 is a performance artist based out of Finland who I have talked about in a previous blog. Malfunction is probably how I seemed during this whole last spring, but really, I think I was more like Buy Me crossed with America Is Waiting.

It might sound strange to know that I want to be enlightened . . . and be a capitalist artist. But if you’ve been making short videos for as long as I have and still are flat broke, then I think you might understand why I decided to use my own manic episode as the biggest publicity stunt ever. Today I was sitting with a nurse, psychiatrist, social worker, councellor, and my mother, and had to defend needing a new place to live. And the funny thing is that my mother raised this issue of my hoax. And there was no hoax really, I just want to be the most famous crazy motherfucker ever to live, and to do it peacefully. And really, I just want to make my damn film. And you know, I’m getting closer to it, day by day it’s coming together. But I did sink hardcore into a psychosis again, the interesting part was that this time all the threads made sense, because they went back into a longer term business plan. I mean, I don’t want to do that with every film I make, but since Bunnyhug does address psychosis, it almost did make sense to end up back at that place so I could talk about it.

And I think the interesting thing too, with all of this, is that I am also talking about changing genders. And that IS a big deal. Because gender change is hard to do and goes to scary territories and I’ve been thinking about it since high school. The irony of course is that in certain ways I quite like my female body. I mean, breasts are kind of cool in a camp sort of way. I’m not a masculine guys guy, I’m pretty femmy. I mean, on the girl end of things I’m quite butch, but as a boy I’m more of a glam dandy, and that is funny. In some ways I want to keep my boobs just because they’re so spectacular. And I wonder if any MTF’s, well I’m sure some do, want to keep their dicks because maybe they like them. Gender is a funny thing. Not all of us fit it.

I’m using Sarain on this blog now because it’s my boy name, and really the name I would have had was I born male, but I don’t mind being called Thirza either. It’s tricky. Add to this the fact that in some years from now I want to have kids with a woman, and I want it to be parthanogenesis because then my DNA would be involved too. The bipolar thing is tricky, but all of us have weird genetic abnormalities. And in some ways also bipolar is just normal for me.

The good thing, possibly, is I finally have a psychiatrist who actually understands and respects art. And that makes me feel hopeful. It’s a bit weird feeling on the defensive but mostly this time around I’ve actually (ACTUALLY) had decent caregivers while in the ward. And no restraints! And some of them have had higher expectations of their patients than just expecting us to sort of waste away somewhere. I have GRANDIOSITY, so they say, and that is true some of the time but the fact is I also have ridiculously intense skills. Like converting my mac computer to unicode just on a whim. Never mind that now I feel like, ooooh, I hate unicode, but still it was an interesting Mac IT experiment.

Anyway, I’m on Facebook now if you want to be my friend. Because I’m waiting for a message.