If you’re in San Antonio, it’s hard to think of a better place to spend New Year’s Eve than the roof of the Cameo Theatre. You get a great show, and if there’s room for you up there, you get a fantastic view of the downtown fireworks. Much as I loathe the term “bucket list”, seeing in a new year at the Cameo, alongside friends both old and new, really is one of those things you just have to do.
For me, standing on that roof last night, watching those fireworks unfurl, became a strange kind of meditative experience, much like staring into the candle. That moment when the old year and the new meet is one of the few times when you can simultaneously look back and look forward. And there was a lot to look back upon in 2010, just as I know there’ll be a lot to look forward to in 2011.
When I last wrote you, far too long ago, I was getting ready for my debut as a playwright in SATCO‘s annual TheatreASAP playfest. It goes without saying (so of course I’m saying it anyway) that I was pretty nervous about whether I could create something worth seeing in a mere 12 hours. But once I was actually in the process, in the writing of it, I felt none of that. All there was was the play itself.
And that play (a dramedic characterish piece titled “Some Other Beginning’s End”) got a far better response than I could have anticipated, with kind words from Deborah Martin and a wonderful vote of confidence from fellow ASAP playwright James Venhaus. Having been a fan of his for years (and judging from the accolades he earned in 2010, I’m not the only one), I’m honestly not really used to the idea of being a colleague, so his support really means a lot.
So, after surviving my debut as a playwright (and following my stage acting debut in Rumors earlier in the year), I guess the next step was inevitable.
I hadn’t actually signed up to act in the SA 48HR Film Experience. Originally I was there to assist Nikki, who (after appearing in two films for the international 48 Hour Film Project back in August) was determined to break her own record and appear in three for the local competition. Of course, she pulled it off, with featured roles in very enjoyable films by Chris Garza and Dago Patlan.
First, however, were Pete Barnstrom and Team Uncle Dynamite (the mash-up of Mistah Pete Fun, Parker Creek, and Lone Bannana Productions, with assists from Paul Vaughn and the inimitable Brant Bumpers, whose performance would elevate the film to new comic heights). And as we were on our way to meet with the team and work out the script, Pete made sure to tell me, “You’re going to be acting in this one.” Given that he’d drawn Telenovela for his genre, and further given that only one member of our team had a working knowledge of Spanish, we really had no idea what we were getting into.
As it turns out, what we were getting into was this:
Working on La Vida de Noche was the most fun I’ve had on a set in quite a while. I’ve had so many people tell me how much they enjoyed my performance. And I’m thrilled to see that the audience and 48HR judges shared our enthusiasm, as our film won both First Place and the Audience Award at the SA Film Commission’s holiday party. To all who have supported us, thank you.
From that night at Sunset Station to last night at the Cameo, it was a fitting end to a year that saw me abandon my admittedly narrow comfort zone. I’ve been forced to completely reevaluate my conceptions of what I’m capable of. I’ve developed a renewed appreciation for the work of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. And I’ve come to better see my place in what is, and what can be.
So we move from then to next. As PDP returns to its roots as a production company – moving forward by moving back – we have a lot of projects lined up (including an application to this year’s Luminaria). And as a part of those projects, I’ll be tested still, and tested more. TheatreASAP was only the beginning.
Of this chapter…
And so, once again, thank you for sticking with me this far. I hope you’ll join us for the rest of it.
Until then, for all the good or ill 2010 might have brought you, I hope you make the most of the Tabula Rasa that is 2011. Take care, and “be seeing you…”