Film School Nerd

Every great civilization and individual, experiences the dreadful dark ages. From this time of recession, a renissance of art & self-expression is typically cultivated. In the dark ages, otherwise known as high school, I underwent my own time of recession.

On a simply gorgeous spring day, my mom uttered the words, which would change my life. “You’re grounded. I saw your report card. Are you daydreaming too much again?” I shook my head. “No.” In actuality, I was jet setting into the land of daydreams, where fashion, interesting people and cappuccinos ran wild.

“No TV, no movies and absolutely no music,” said mom. My eyes grew wide open with fear. What’s my life without a riveting CD collection to keep my right brain in creative/arty mod? I read books, which luckily were not banned. However, I had to find a way to keep my stimulation away from Bermuda Triangle of boredom.

In the common world of American high-school students, I grew up in a cluster of track homes. I took my walks after school along an undeveloped land. It was a little hostess cupcake of nature, until I stared to the left of me. Freeways and more track homes reminded me, ” oh yes, I really do live in suburbia, tear, tear.” As the dust flowed into skies of grey, I decided to say  “Fuck it, I am going to write a movie.”

Not yet acclimated to lap tops, my father took me to the drug store. I bought a pair of inexpensive notebooks and a few magazines. Turning the dull notebooks into a lively piece of art, I cut out high fashion advertisements from the magazines. I then started working on my screenplay.

“Breakfast in New York, Lunch in London, Dinner in Tokyo,” was the title. It was a witty romantic comedy about a journalist doing a story on a jet setting Central Park West socialite. Act I was the typical “boy meets girl” fare. I plugged away with my pen, turning the white bland pages into a world filled with glamour and wit.

While suburban surroundings left me with a lack of stimuli, I turned to my characters’ lives for escapism. There were escapades in Madrid, polo matches in England. Quickly, my characters arrived in ACT II. The story progressed in Paris. In a most cliché manner, the journalist and socialite fell in love with the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower bursting into romance.

By act III, the story hit a less than fabulous speed bump. While digging through my backpack, I noticed act I went missing. It was nothing, but a silly notebook. However, as I writer it was though a body organ had gone into oblivion. I cried and realized the emotional connection I had with my work.

The next morning, I bravely asked my Spanish professor if I had left my notebook in class. He nodded “yes.” Fireworks exploded from my head in joyful glee. By the look on his face, I could tell he didn’t approve of the Versace ad adorning the cover, which made me feel very, very hip. The saga of “Breakfast in New York, Lunch in London, Dinner in Tokyo” commenced.

Act III took place in Tokyo, where the journalist loses the socialite’s love. He regains and they live happily ever after. At the end, they both ride camels into the sunset with a backdrop of Egyptian pyramids. After writing an entire 3 act film in long hand, I considered my fete, a huge accomplishment. I thought it was a film that could be made and change the world, even though it was formulaic romantic comedy.

Eventually, I was let go from being grounded. The whole screenwriting experience led me to film school, where I received a BA in film. I didn’t grow up to be the next Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson or Sophia Coppola. Instead, I found my calling in advertising.

Today, I work in the creative department of an advertising firm, with the goal of becoming a copywriter. I live in my own New York City apartment and enjoy the very stimulating environment. While my teachers and mom complained about my daydreaming, as I grew into a writer, I realized it’s called “being creative.”

Valley of Mommy Dearest

Mommy Dearest is visual camp candy for the eyes. In the film, legendary actress, Joan Crawford is cool and collected for the cameras. However, behind the scenes, she turns her kids lives into a mirror image of Hansel & Gretel (a living hell), sans the oven.

On the streets of the Upper West Side, which is home to plenty of nuclear families, a bit of neurosis can be found. On a most beautifully appointed afternoon, Kelly, Alicia and I strolled Columbus Avenue. It’s the kind of street, where you could grab a coffee, dessert from Momofuku and then get accidentally plowed down by the King Kong of baby strollers.

While walking along 90th & Columbus, a svelte, blonde mom passed us. Her entourage consisted of four boys, each mirrored a miniature Dennis the menace. Two boys rode their scooters at full velocity. The other rascal cried his eyes out, as though he had just sat through “Terms of Endearment, seven times.” While, the youngest just lounged in the stroller, while mom pushed away.

Our mommy dearest looked terribly stressed. I commented to my gal pals (who also noticed the high neurosis level), “somebody give that poor lady a Xanex.” Kelly responded ” I think, she’s gonna go to the wine shop to ease her troubles.” We happened to walk behind her and the Dennis the menace clones. As her anxiety levels elevated, there was a surprise announcement.

“Okay, kiddies, mommy needs to stop by the wine shop,” she passed the “Taj Mahal of wine shops. “That day, she lucked out. They were also giving free wine samples. The three of us burst into laughter. Kelly was right.

I pictured mommy dearest, sipping wine like a coca cola and reading “Valley of the Dolls,” Jacqueline Susan’s novella/tribute to booze, pills and glamour. From that moment on, parenthood didn’t look as appealing. I know I need a husband first, but geez, I’d rather get a puppy.

After the comedy relief, we took the crosstown bus to the Upper East Side. Coincidentally, we all had a craving for wine. I wonder why? Therefore, we had our own tribute to mommy dearest and drank a few glasses of white wine on a most marvelous Second Avenue sidewalk.