Monthly Archives: June 2016

Winner Winner! (Chicken Dinner!)

Well the last week was INTENSE! I presented my screenplay that I wrote at Ryerson (currently titled Evil Fire) at the Female Eye Film Festival and although people kept thinking it was a comedy (probably because I am a bit goofy when I talk I guess?) it got a lot of interest and I won Best Low Budget Screenplay! I also showed my short 2 Spirit Introductory Special $19.99. Which went awesomely. Such a whirlwind of events and I didn’t have time to do my laundry until yesterday when it was all over. Things got pretty lean!

Tomorrow I have another screening of the same video as part of the Toronto Queer Film Festival. So that should be awesome!

ALSO finally finally tomorrow I am going to see a Gynaecologist about this ovarian cyst which keeps growing and I want to have surgery to get it out this fall. I hate surgery. I hate going under. BUT I also hate having something growing inside me just to be an asshole. My asshole cyst. Once when I was reading this trashy magazine (fuck what was it called? OH Bizarre) there was a picture of a woman getting a 32 pound ovarian cyst removed. That is my NIGHTMARE! That’s like, bigger than both of my dogs combined! And this thing is already over five inches. So out out out!

Tonight I overcame my reluctance to go back to something I still don’t totally understand, because it’s a new skill, and worked on my video game in Unity. I’m trying to make a three part game about bipolar disorder, and I needed to work on the second part. So I put in the background, made some box colliders so my character wouldn’t spin off into space, made sure the camera follows the character, made sure the character can move around, and fixed an issue that was making my world spin around when the character got going. Now I have to scan and edit some game objects that my character can collect or try to avoid (but probably will collect anyway) and end it with the police coming to take her/him away to the psych ward. That part will just be a screen with some text and a picture of the police or a police car or something. And then I have to do the third part, which is in the hospital where you talk to other patients. That part will be tricky, because I am going to try and incorporate video. But we will see. I have until August 18th to finish it, so time is ticking, but also I got all of that done in three hours today by referencing work I had done in the first part. So I think it’s doable.

I also found out I AM going to be presenting a workshop in Berlin, and some other pieces have to fall into place, but yes it looks like I am going to Berlin this summer! So that’s exciting. I miss Berlin! I honestly think it’s my favourite city outside of Canada. I have some work to get done in time for that.

I saw my psychotherapist on Friday. I was talking about how overwhelmed I felt with all this work I have to do. Like it’s all important and it WILL get done and I am glad I am doing it. But ALSO it’s stressful to see all these deadlines and things coming up. And although I am getting paid for some of it (like I did have grants this past year) I wish I had more regular income coming in, like some steady money.

My Mom is basically in the same boat. We have all these projects and they are getting attention and accolades, but figuring out how to keep money coming in regularly is hard! I have gotten Canada Council grants before, and other grants, but the living allowance they give you is really not very much, it’s not even above the poverty line. And if you ask for too much living allowance from some grant agencies, they get all suspicious because of course you should want to put all the money into your project. But damn, I gotta eat too ya know!

Anyway, I have four eggs, half a loaf of bread, almost a whole carton of milk, some cheese, and some cereal. And I leave on Friday for Vancouver for the weekend. So I am not gonna starve just yet.

The one thing I can definitively say is that whether you are rich or poor, money is always a temporary thing, and that goes for having it or lacking it. And I know some cash is coming my way.

Honestly though, if it wasn’t for the money/feeding myself worries, I would actually have a lot of fun with this highly creative lifestyle I’ve got going on. I like working on projects, I like learning new things. And I have someone interested in producing my feature with me now! So working on multiple things is awesome. I am glad I have a wealth of ideas right now. A few times in my life my creativity has dried right up, and those have been the most depressing points of my life.

Hustling (in a film way not a sex worker way)

I’m trying to figure out a way to survive as a full time artist, and ideally it would involve getting my own gigs and things to keep me afloat. But my rent is subsidized and it depends on my income and so I would have to go talk to the office about fluctuating income and what they suggest. Ahhhh sigh.

In actual fact I have at least TWO possible gigs this summer, one shoot and a possible short film commission. So that’s really good. But I’m not entirely sure of the monetary rewards for doing them. The shoot might be $400 and is just a day. But the short film, I’m not sure, plus I have to pay cast and equipment and crew. So obviously I need to find out more about all of this.

But really, I just want to live off of short term projects. People put a lot of stock into having a full time permanent position somewhere, but I think personally short term projects that pay fit in with my filmmaker lifestyle better. Like, I might go away this summer for a week for a work related thing. I can’t just do that with a full time forever job.

Of course now that I’ve written this somewhere in an easily searchable corner of the internet, probably some potential employer will google me and decide I’m too risky to hire because they think I just want to bugger off.

I have a lot of creative projects on the go, that I have to finish. For instance, I have to finish this script about addictions at Christmas by July 31st, because I need to do a final report so I can apply again in the fall for MORE MONEY! I have to get two shorts about 2 Spirit life done this summer so I can apply for more Toronto Art Council grants. I have to come up with a new project and write another grant for the Ontario Art Council this fall. I have to do my Mars webseries, which needs four actors and a green screen. I have to do so damned much! AND I also need to get serious about getting development money for my Evil Fire script (Cree name “Macîskotêw”) because it’s a good project and I think it would be awesome to make, AND it’s my first feature that actually has a chance of being produced. SO THERE!

I made a list of all these things I was gonna do this week, which is mostly getting my pitch ready for next week’s Female Eye Film Festival, and writing a paragraph proposal for the short film commission (which I did!), and writing 40 pages of script for the addictions film (I wrote ONE! ONE!) and making Huevos Rancheros. So I still have a lot to do. I haven’t actually pitched in a while, not since ImagineNATIVE way back, like 2 or 3 years ago. OH YIKES and I have a videogame to finish. 1/3 done! I was gonna make all these drawings of household objects, but now I am wondering if I should cheat and use pictures of household objects. Hmmmmmmm.

++++++++++++Much later++++++++++++++

Well, I still only wrote one page of script. I kind of had a hard time being motivated this week, although I DID do a lot of arts admin stuff. AND not only that, but I came up with two totally new ideas for future projects, so that is kind of fun! I just need to get all this shit done! It’s a bit overwhelming!

Next week I have a screening, a pitch rehearsal and TWO pitches to do for the same project, and a script reading. OH and I think I am doing some kind of Q&A too. In two weeks I’m gonna be in Vancouver for a Queer Arts Festival doing a panel. So it’s a busy month ahead! This next week ESPECIALLY!

Sometimes I don’t know what to do when I feel overwhelmed. I really need to get back to making lists and goals. Two of my pals are out of town the next few weeks, so that’s a bit of a drag but I am sure they are having fun.

It’s a good life though. Being creative and working on projects is really amazing. As is having them be appreciated when they are finished.

Sad

Well, I am back in Toronto. Spent time with some friends tonight, chatting about all kinds of things including queer parenting. I’ve decided by the time I am 45 I want a wife and two kids, so now I have like, a deadline to meet.

Grief is weird. I’ve been thinking a lot about Grandpa, I didn’t see him much the last year and some because I was so far away, but we were always very close during my life time. So I think it still hasn’t sunk in that he’s gone. I found some old emails I used to send him, and his replies. They were nice to read.

I know it’s gonna hit me at some point. I haven’t had a good real hard cry about it yet. I didn’t feel safe enough to cry at Mom’s house, and I’ve only been back home not even two whole days yet. I brought back some photos of Grandpa, and Grandma. I was gonna put them up someplace. I don’t know where. There’s a nice big mostly empty wall across from the couch though.

And there was someone I really liked, in like, a romantic lesbionic way, but I never said anything and I think the moment has passed. Which is also such a true bummer. I feel like I am so full of feelings that I keep inside and it’s probably not good for me. I’m so shitty at taking risks ever since the last time I fell in love I got my heart stomped on and ghosted.

AND AHHHHH I really just want to have a partner who wants to have a family with me and get on with my career and live a good happy life. I mean, all of that is still possible. Someday. I just feel so tired of waiting for it to happen. And I always wanted my grandparents to meet my future wife, and they never did. They never met any of my girlfriends. They knew I was queer. They were supportive. I just never had anyone serious enough to introduce them to.

And that bums me out too, I’ve had a bad habit of dating white women and part of me feels like being Native means they never took me seriously as a potential partner because of their own racism. Anyway whatever, I haven’t gone on a date in a REALLY long time. I’m so picky. And the women I AM interested in aren’t usually available for whatever reason. I just don’t want to turn into my mom and be single for like, ever. I feel like I have a lot of love to give, I am just particular about who to give it to. And when you are single people decide to give you all kinds of crappy shitty advice they would never dream of following themselves, so I don’t want that either. BLARG!

But life is alright aside from grief and stuff. I still need a job, that is a bit of a bummer. I’ve got a lot of film stuff to do, and I have to finish this video game, and script, and other things. I just sent off a proposal to do a workshop in Berlin, so if I get accepted then I have to apply for a travel grant as soon as possible. It would be nice to be back there this summer.

It’s 1:10am! OMFG! I should go to sleep. Snore. My dogs are all tuckered out and sleeping, I should take them to bed.