I gotta say: 2017 was a rough year, one marked by increased personal, political, and everyday struggles. At least for me and most members of my creative community here in NYC. And while the news cycle was persistently littered with (grossly) normalized tragedies and polarizing politics, most us soldiered on with our lives, one way or another.
Art, hard work, and self-care were just a few practices that helped me through, and I'm pleased to say that by the year's close, I had a lot to be grateful for it. My heart and head were full, and verging on peace for the first time in a long time.
So here are some criminally late updates that make up my year in review – nothing like waiting to the last day in January to get started on the right foot!
I recently wrote a personal article about my return to therapy for my long-time collaborator Michelle Hammer, the curator behind Schizophrenic. NYC. I explain how a very difficult period in my life prompted my seeking professional help and how I'm all the better for it. Coupled with my luck in finding excellent care, the catharsis from the process of writing and sharing my experiences continues to have a lasting impact on my creative and personal life.
If you remember, I spent an incredible couple of days this summer playing Ben Burns in the Bloomquist Brothers 80s camp horror short, She Came From the Woods. The post-production turnaround was quick, and once everything was polished up real nice, our baby entered the film festival circuit.
I'm proud to say our most recent foray culminated in taking home Best Horror Short at the Chandler International Film Festival! I am constantly in awe of the waves this project is riding out there in the world – all thanks to the spirit and work of a topnotch team.
You guys rule.
I can't say much for now, but just know that this won't be the last time you'll be hearing from us and this story. Be on the lookout!
Poster by artist Megan Martinez
If you've been following my work at all, you'll know that You Look Great – a short film I wrote, produced, directed, and starred in, which centered around my experiences with eating disorders – took up a large portion of the creative real estate of my 2017 headspace. After a grueling half year of pre-production with my insanely talented friend and producer Tessa Byford, we wrapped principal photography in November!
I'll save the story of the MANY unexpected obstacles that cropped up during our shoot (since it would take an entire post... or more), but I can't explain how much this experience has taught me in terms of professionalism and self-producing. I had an idea of the stress we would face on such a low-budget production, but the large mantle of responsibilities that comes from wearing so many hats was much more daunting than I anticipated.
With that in mind, the gratitude I have for everyone who helped make this story a reality knows no bounds; I could easily write a novel thanking every cast and crew member and my family and friends for showering me with such love and support – because without their constant generosity, I don't know if we'd have ever gotten off the ground.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart. This project is just as much yours as it is mine.
We're diving into post-production in the coming months, so there's going to be a bit of radio silence, but please continue visiting the film's Facebook, Instagram, and homepage for the latest!
Now you're all caught up! Here's a gift collage for reading! More on this new hobby later...
mirror inside a lion's heart