Pirates without Mothers

I’ve been absent for a while– trying to focus on writing 🙂 but I thought I’d post a little excerpt from one of the episodes I’ve been working on. Nothing fancy…just Hook and some of the other pirates discussing their woes about being ‘Motherless.’

hjghjg

Two quick notes:

  1. The word mother is capitalized throughout because in this case I’m using ‘mother’ as more of an idea than a person…
  2. The beginning scene is largely transcribed from JM Barrie’s original work, which I then took in a slightly different direction from the original. A big part of the reason I want to make this a TV show and not a movie is the opportunity to really expand on the central character’s lives and motivations that Barrie hinted at, especially the complexities of Captain Jas. Hook of The Jolly Roger

 

Check out the pdf here:

Motherless Pirates

 

“Hook’s Mother”

Lately I’ve been working on Episode Two of The Gay Adventures. Hook has just come face-to-face with Wendy, and although she’s roughly 30 years younger than him, she is the first “female” he’s seen in two hundred years, and he immediately projects all his ideas of Mother onto her

Unable to return to or even fully remember his real mother, Hook is desperate to get Wendy to fill the void his real mother never filled.

This episode is not only inspired by text from the book Peter & Wendy, but also my research into JM Barrie’s own past, and his eternal quest to get love from his mother which she never quite gave him.

[note: within the script I’ve capitalized the word ‘mother’ every time, since it’s representing the IDEA of Mother, rather than a specific person.]

Check out the first few scenes here [which includes excerpts from Barrie’s writing]:

“Hook’s Mother” – beginning of episode

 

Finding Neverland lyrics

I like to listen to music while I write. And while I still don’t agree with what the story of Finding Neverland did to Peter Llewelyn-Davies, I did kind of fall in love with the soundtrack of the musical adaptation:

It’s also rather inspiring to hear some of the lyrics while I’m working…

Song: Believe

  • “It’s so frustrating when no one else sees everything you see.”
  • “Prefix ‘ordinary’ with ‘extra’ “
  • “Our life’s calling was never meant to be boring.”

Song: We’re all made of Stars

  • “If I could write ev’ry single day I would write all my cares away!”

Song: When Your Feet Don’t Touch The ground [I would HIGHLY recommend listening to this song]

  • “When did life become so complicated?
    Years of too much thought and time I wasted
    And in each line upon my face
    Is a proof I fought and lived another day.”
  • “When your feet don’t touch the earth
    You can’t feel the things that hurt
    And you’re free! There’s no need to come down…”

***

On a slightly separate note, in the song The Circus of Your Mind, Barrie’s financial backer, expresses his deep dissatisfaction with the play Barrie is creating:

“You say I will adore it, but I’m paying for it
A little more reality and less of this insanity.
How am I gonna to face it?
Such a disgrace, yet
Here we go again and again and again!”

It’s a good reminder that sometimes when you’re trying something new—something that means a shit ton to you—not everyone is going to think it’s a good idea. Some may even think you’re off your head…

Nearly everyone involved in the original staging of Peter Pan thought is was going to be a critical and financial flop. Even the actors.

How wrong they were.

 

2ec42ae91c

Why I Don’t Identify with “Gay” TV

This is a personal thing. I’m most definitely NOT trying to say that all TV made by queer people for queer people is the same, or that it’s not good or not worth watching.

I’m really glad it’s out there.

But you know how sometimes one extreme leads to another? I think queer people feeling the need to HIDE who they were from society for so long made our TV shows into a kind of one-trick-unicorn.

At the moment, it seems like Queer TV can–for the most part–be broken up into two categories:

  1. Over-the-top reality shows (contests, drag race, hunky hunks, etc.)
  2. Ensemble casts in the big city having-lots-o’-sex and dancing at night clubs

I don’t happen to identify with either of those types of shows. I’m sorry to say it, but glitter gets everywhere. And one of my favorite colors is gray.

drag-race-2017-billboard-1500

I’m not really interested in sex, and would much rather spend the night in, reading a book, rather than going to a club. As a not-very-sexual (or romantic) person, I find myself thinking “Isn’t there anything else in the world we could focus on right now?” There’s more to the queer experience than relationship drama.

Isn’t there?

All I’m saying is that I wish queer TV embraced variance among queer people a bit more. We’re not all the same. Shocker.

My whole life I’ve felt like an outcast both with the popular kids and the outcasts. And that’s still true. That’s why I want to make a show for us betwixt-and-betweeners.

I didn’t fit before and I don’t fit now, and I’ll probably never fit.

I’ve always wanted desperately to make the kind of media I want to see. And what I’m most fascinated by is the human experience as a whole.

I want to write about the experiences we humans have which make us feel the most alone, yet which are arguably the most universal:

Why does no one love me?

Why do people seem to like me better when I don’t act like myself?

Why is every single person in the world happier and more successful than me?

Why do I feel so alone?

What is the meaning of it all?

As I’m writing these down, I’m realizing you need to have a certain amount of luxury to worry about these things. I’ll definitely take that into consideration.

I also realized that I might be trying to make entertainment for the introspective. The overly-introspective. The introspective-to-a-fault types. Which is most definitely not everyone.

I love the idea of making mindless entertainment which is not mindless. You can enjoy it without thinking, but if you want to think, there’s plenty to sink your brain-teeth into.

What’s more, the highly dysfunctional characters remind you that you’re not alone. If you can learn to love and empathize with characters who are so imperfect, maybe you can empathize a little bit more with yourself.

So let’s keep being ourselves, in our many, many forms. Let’s begin to recognize that while it’s absolutely fantastic to embrace our sexuality, there’s also people out there who don’t really relate to that.

Yes, I did take time out of my usual gay agenda to complain about the overuse of hunky, shirtless men on TV.

the_hunks

I hope I’m not alone here, or the show I’m developing will have no audience whatsoever.

It’s a very tricky task to represent everybody. And there certainly are shows out there which portray a variety of queer identities and types of people, and do an amazing job with it.

But I want more…

Proper “Indian Names” for White People

Since white people always seem to want to be Native American, even to the extent of wearing headbands or announcing at every party they go to that they’re 2/87ths Cherokee, I thought I’d help out.

images
Blake Lively: part “Cherokee”

Here are some names to consider [for WHITE PEOPLE ONLY!!!!]. Please pick the one that suits your spirit animal best:

  • Bird that Falls off Branch
  • Bird that Sings off Key
  • Bird that Poops on Clean Car
  • Chair with Three Legs
  • White Man
  • Slug that Slimes upon the Leaves
  • He Who Takes Land of Others & Kills Everyone

people-who-have-very-little-native-blood-and-claim-native-are-a-danger-to-real-natives

Character Sketches

My friend drew these, which was so wonderful! If there is any question if I drew them or not, visit my Meaning of Life blog & you will see that I definitively CANNOT DRAW.

 

Peter for Website
Peter Pan

 

“I don’t believe I ever make promises. I certainly don’t keep them…”

 

 

 

Hook for Website
Captain Hook

 

John for Website
John Darling

 

Wendy for Website
Wendy Darling

 

Smee for Website
Smee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My subconscious is none of your business.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I don’t wear my pajamas more often than most people; I just happened to be wearing them when you kidnapped me.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“No, I don’t know where we are, John, but I’m pretty sure there’s not a phone handy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I find it very classy of you, Captain, to formally threaten Peter before kidnapping his newest recruit and holding him hostage.”

 

Tigerlily for Website
Tigerlily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Shut up, I’m helping you.”

I have a ‘niche’ idea

Let me translate: I have an idea for a TV show which is too queer for mainstream studios and “too big” for queer studios. Is it the flying budget?? Because I will fling the actors off of high structures if needed.

…but then we’d have to keep hiring new actors, so that wouldn’t work.

***

I have now attended a total of two [2] pitchfests. Which is roughly two too many.

A ‘pitchfest’ is like a low-budget horror film, where you live out your worst nightmare: an eternal hell of five-minute meetings where you bare your soul to strangers and they reject you. OR, they lead you on and ask to see more and then reject you later, when they have time to do it properly.

PitchFest-Room

As a card-carrying introvert, I was also able to be around large crowds, loud noise, and a constant flow of unfamiliar faces and small talk! It was the WORST.

What I was told at the conferences more than anything else, was that I have a ‘niche’ show. This was not really news to me, but—as I mentioned in my Millennials post—The Gay Adventures is less about sexuality or gender, and much more about being human and accepting yourself.

To be fair, not many people can relate to that.

If I was pitching a show with a strictly cis-gendered, straight, white cast, would it have had a better reception? Would it have come across as a show for “everyone,” despite the fact that only a small slice of the population could relate to those characters?

**Someday I hope to be rejected because my idea is weird and terribly written, NOT because it’s queer. But it’s only 2018, so I may have to wait a while.**

But seriously, saying “No” because the show is queer may have been an easier excuse than “I hate it,” or “You’re ugly.” Seriously. I can’t rule that out.

Dive-in-shot-PitchFest-@-London-Screenwriters-Festival-2013-620x413

Here are some of my favorite responses to my pitch (so far)

  • “I’ve never heard anything like it.” [“No.”]
  • “It’s very…creative.” [“No.”]
  • “What if the characters weren’t gay?”
    • They say to be open to suggestions, especially from seasoned professionals in the media industry, and to always be polite, but that you don’t have to take suggestions which would change the integrity of your project. I think this comment falls under the second category. Not all my characters have to be gay, but, um…some of them have to be gay.
  • “What if they weren’t, all, you know…dead?”
    • This was said to me by a doe-eyed man representing a LGBTQ+ segment of a production company (which specialized in light-hearted, feel-good pieces). I felt kind of bad for him. It looked like I had broken his brain.
  • “Um, we’re looking for French Crime Dramas.”
    • I met this guy in the standby line, and had no idea what he was looking for. Turns out he was looking for French Crime Dramas.

If you are also trying to pitch a movie or show, I only have one piece of advice: don’t do it!!!!! Just keep your dreams bottled up inside you where they belong.