Monday, May 08, 2006

It's Over!

In the immortal words of Strongbad.

But yes, I am safely back in the States, though just a bit jet-lagged. But probably only because as my luck would have it, my body decided to get a sore throat at the airport, that turned into a cold by the time I went to bed last night around 10pm, which was actually 3am for me. I was really tired.

Plane ride was good. Had an aisle seat, with no one in the center seat, so I could stretch out. Food was good. Customs and Immigration were beyond simple. Family was there when I got to arrivals. Ate at Perkins on the way home. Oh, Perkins. The food choices were so American, it was crazy. I don't think the waitress realized why I was so excited that I could order root beer. Came home, saw my Dad, slept. Slept. Slept. Slept. Almost 13 hours. Which still meant I woke up at 10:30 am today. But it was good. Despite the cold. Which feels a lot better now since I'm rested and took some good American, cold medicine.

I could see the New York skyline from Immigration, so NYC is still there! To all my people in NYC I mentally waved and said hi to you, although I'm pretty sure you didn't see me. Today I've already put my laundry in the washer. The American washer.

Tonight is Red Lobster!

And thus ends my travels through Europe.

To follow my continuing adventures please adjust your dials back to:

http://www.xanga.com/dakfinv

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Packing...

...is what I should be doing, which I have started, but I'm just taking a break. Dude, what is it about packing that makes it tiring? You're really not doing any heavy work. Maybe it's because it's tedious. Maybe it's emotionally draining. Maybe it's because I didn't go to bed until 5am this morning. That could be it. Yesterday was a great last day with the guys. We went to see Mission: Impossible 3, which is absolutely fantastic. Okay, it's pure popcorn movie/action/cheesy dialogue goodness. But that counts. We were probably the most annoying people in the theatre. We didn't talk through it, of course, but we were getting really into it. Laughing at parts, where we shouldn't really have been laughing. But it was fun, so it was all good.

Then leaving the cinema, we saw Mimi, Lisa, Willa, and them heading out for Lisa early birthday dinner. So I went with them and we ate at Wagamama's. It was so good. Delicious. Good company, too. Finished there around 10pm, then Mengfan and I were able to track down the guys sometime after eleven. We all walked across the Millenium Bridge to the Thames, and sat on these gigantic, concrete steps leading down to the bank. It was absolutely beautiful, sitting directly across from St. Paul's Cathedral at night, Big Ben to our left, Tower Bridge to our right. Ethan got some good pictures, so when he settles back down in the States, I expect him to share. It was just a perfect night, sitting there with everyone. A good end to the semester.

We walked back around 1am, and I hung out in the guys' room watching Arrested Development, until they had to leave at 3:30am. Most of them are traveling around Europe for a few weeks before returning home. I'll admit it, it was sad. Especially saying by to Imran and James, since they don't go to NYU. Well, James might in the fall, he applied there for grad school, but due to NYU technical difficulties, he hasn't found out if he got in or not yet. That would be awesome. I'm going to hang out with Nick and Ethan in their Brooklyn apartment in the fall, and meet up with Zach in July in NYC. I'm going to need a long weekend for this. I think I'm going to go up after work on a Thursday, since it's only a 2 hour ride, spend all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and leave late on Monday. I have so many people I want to spend quality time with there: Ashley, Hyun, Lara, Zach. I can't remember if Colin's going to be back in July or not. If so, Colin. I'm gonna need all that time.

When they left and I went back upstairs, I ended up talking to Klara for awhile, shooting the breeze, and we both realized it kept getting lighter outside. By the time I finished writing in my journal and went to bed, it was 5am, but it was totally worth it.

Now what I have to do today is...go to Bedford to check my mail, and check-in for my flight, take pictures of Exmouth Market, finish packing, watch Doctor Who with Willa and beer. Can I accomplish all these things? Surely, I can try. Actually, I should probably go to Bedford now. By the time I get there, I'll be able to do my online check-in.

There will probably be at least one more post here, before I switch back to my Xanga site. So don't de-bookmark this page yet! Word. Gog and Magog.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Surreal

This is the best word to describe these last 2 weeks in London. Partly because after getting used to the sights from Kamen to the ICA, you don't expect to see a giant wooden barrel, the size of a small house, crashed into the pavement in the parking lot behind the ICA. It's for some Jules Verne art thingy, we learned later, but it's still pretty weird, and cool.

It's also been surreal because, well, I don't know how to describe it but, especially these last few days, it's like I've had a glimpse of what my future could be, if I am a successful writer. Working and rehearsals during the day, a little bit of partying at night. Doing what you love, loving what you do, that sort of thing. If I could pinpoint a time for the start of my career, it would be 12:30 today. When our Tisch program director told me that the one American/British film producer, who happened to come to the presentations during my presentation, asked her for a copy of my script. Yeah. Seriously. I think I'm still dreaming. I'm going to take Roy's advice and start mailing copies out to production companies. I'm also probably not going to apply to grad school. Especially since apparently NYU doesn't like to take people for their graduate screenwriting program who are just out of college.

But until I have the check in my hand, this all means nothing. I have one year of college yet, and I'm going to be a college student. I owe my parents a ton of money, I'm going to work 9-5 five days a week in an office all summer, I have $80,000 in student loans, I live in a dorm, and I still hate monkeys. The real world is still very real, and until I'm rich enough to afford my giant ball pit, velcro wall, and Astor Place apartment, I'm going to have to live in that world.

That being said, I had wanted to update more this week, but there just wasn't any time. Tuesday night I did a second read thru with my cast, only the first 50 pages, though, because we didn't start until almost 2am. James' rehearsal started at 10:30, then there was Colin's, and I was able to get people to stay up for mine.

Wednesday, everything went awesome. My cast - Imran, Whitney, Nick, Rick, Sam, Colin, Renee, Zach, Ethan, and James - were beyond fantastic. And so I can prove this, Mimi taped it for me, so I'm going to get it transferred to DVD this summer. Everyone's script went really, incredibly well. No one sucked, out of all eight of us. What are the odds of that? Gog and magog. If you don't know what that is, I can't explain it. You have to experience it.

Wednesday night was more rehearsals, and more drinking. Responsibly of course, Ashley. And I got to bed around...3ish? I think? Thursday, yesterday, our final huzzah at the ICA! Again, all the scripts were fantastic, Ethan's was just off the wall. Philip was the perfect Bob Ponte. Then we had the boat party that night! I came home, showered, and...brace yourselves...wore. a. dress. The proof is in the facebook photo. I hope you're still with me there. Yeah, the boat party was great. Although the sunshine clouded over, it didn't rain, we got 2 complimentary drinks, and we were having a party, on a boat, on the Thames, with the view of the RNT, London Eye, Parliament, and Big Ben behind us. And we were on a boat! The after party was also great, everyone, surprisingly, behaved themselves, as much as Tischies can. And "Freaks and Geeks" at 2am is pretty good.

Today I got up at 11am and took my printer back to the ICA. It's an absolutely gorgeous day outside. And, I took the bus, all by myself, so that I wouldn't have to lug the printer for 40 minutes. I walked back, since it's amazingly beautiful outside, and took pictures of the walk. Also finally went into Forbidden Planet. Such an awesome store. For geeks only, really. Got myself a Doctor Who poster. Heck yeah. And a little Ghostbusters pin.

Rest of the day involves going to see "Mission: Impossible 3" with the guys later day. They all leave for Amsterdam tomorrow morning, so it'll be our last London hang-out. Going to...I don't know, do something until 4, when we leave for da movies.

I'm still excited about coming home, but getting even more excited for next fall, when we can all party in NYC. Word.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mr. Smith Goes To Hell

A much better title. Thanks to the guys for coming up with that one. It was so obvious, I can't believe I missed it. So, I need to change the title pages of all the scripts before the read thru tonight. That's okay. It won't take long. And it'll be worth it for a better title.

I was going to update yesterday, but the internet was being all wonky, and wouldn't let the page load. So, yeah. That's what I'll like about going back to my xanga site, the page loads so much easier. But I'll stick it out with ol' blogger til the end of the week. Gah. End of the week. Whoa.

So yesterday was...interesting. In the morning at least. You see, I woke up, and my computer battery wasn't working. Figures it would blow out the last week I'm here, on the day I need to print off my screenplay. But wait, the oven clock isn't on either. Hey, there's no electricity in the whole of Kamen! It wasn't my computer. Thank goodness. But Minerva has electricity. So, I pack up the printer into my backpack, and carry over my computer, paper, everything I need, and print it off in the Minerva study lounge. First time I've actually set foot in there, besides just looking at it. But it worked. So, then I took it to the ICA, made my copies. All eight of them. And I didn't bring another bag to put them, so I get to carry the equivalent of 2 and half reams of paper up Regent St. So, I decide to take the 38 to Roseberry Ave. Yes, the bus. By myself! Jerica was proud of me.

Of course, though, the bus got diverted because some roads were still closed for the May Day protest parade. And so, the first place I could get off was Angel, not Roseberry Ave. So I still had a 20 minute walk back home. But it was easier then walking all the way to the ICA.

Still had no electric when I got back, so I spent the time punching holds and binding my scripts. Finally at 3:30, the power came back. Allelujah. Had my first read thru at 6, and it went really well. Rick is the perfect Mr. Jiffy. Just as I pictured him. Tonight my Zoey and Renee will be here, so it'll be even better. And it won't be til after 11, and everyone's going to be real tired. That always makes it fun. Then watched Incredibles with the guys, got them all excited about the special features, then realized I left the special features disc at home. In America. And had the mickey torn out of me for that. Such is life.

Today was my last Brit Cinema class, and it was cut short because Wendy's back was killing her. Tonight, also, James's reading at 10. Coolness. Tomorrow's the big day. See if an audience responds to my script. Woot. For now, to change the title pages.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Thus, the countdown begins

Exactly one week from now, my plane will have just arrived into Newark International Airport. But that's still a week from now, and this week's gonna go out with a bang. Well, a lot is going to happen at least. Today wasn't one of those super exciting days, though. I spent about 3 hours in Starbuck's reading the most fantastic book: Book of the Dead - The Complete History of Zombie Cinema. I bought it at the ICA bookstore at the beginning of the semester, but haven't had time to read it. It's really fascinating. Well, for people like me anyway. I'm still deciding what screenplay I want to write this summer. I have it narrowed down to two ideas, and one of those involves zombies, so this is good research.

Last night I stayed up til after 3am, watching movies with the guys. They were so excited I brought "10 Things I Hate About You" it was kind of scary. I don't think I'll stay up that late tonight, not that I need to get up in the morning. I have to go to the ICA and make copies of my script for my cast. Yes, it's finished. I just need to print it off and make said copies. Then later I'm having my first read through with my cast.

Now I'm watching "My Wedding Day Ruined My Life" and it's great.

One week.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Elementary, my dear Watson

As it is with all things in life, as soon as something reaches its end, its way too soon for it to happen. I was already to go home 2 weeks ago, and now. What? I can't leave now. This is ridiculous! Every study abroad student is warned about this, and yet it still happens anyway.

So the past few days have been pretty relaxed and productive, ever since I handed in my Brit Cinema paper on Tuesday. Wednesday I brought in the rest of my screenplay for class. It went over well. And it was so nice have a complete draft. That first one clocked in at 118, my shortest yet. Zach finished his, too, and we were going to go get some drinks after class, but we both ended up falling asleep in our flats by mistake. Oh the exciting lives of writers.

Thursday after our last class, Roy took us all out for drinks at Chando's on St. Martin's Lane (minus Colin who had a plane to Dublin to catch.) Drinking with professors is fun. You learn interesting facts like how Roy doesn't like sitting in front of doors, because he thinks in a previous life he was killed when someone shot him in the back, and he has friend who works at the BBC and has his loo papered with his rejection letters from agencies and such. Amazing curly fries there. It was like I was back in America for a second, or as long as it took to eat them. And they did call them curly fries, not curly chips. Curly chips don't really sound that appetizing. Roy had never had curly fries before, and he enjoyed them. After 2 rounds there me, Zach, Nick, Imran, and Ethan went out to Shoreditch and hit up to more places, some outdoor bar and the 1001 Cafe. Then we got back and watched Sin City. Oh, Clive Owen.

Friday was spent entirely on the screenplay. As in, when I woke up I printed it off, took to Starbuck's, got one of their new Banana Cream Frappuccinos, and spent a good 3 hours there editing the beastly thing. Cut it down another 2 pages, which is good. There is some stuff I didn't want to cut, but I couldn't let it run over 120, but my additions and cuts balanced each other out. Now I remember another scene I wanted to add, and I think its funny, but I'm not sure if there's a place for it, or a need. I think I'm just gonna write it and see how it works. Actually, I do think I need it. If I keep it short, I think it'll work. We'll see. There I go, thinking out loud again.

Saturday, which is today, Willa and I finally got to the Sherlock Holmes Museum! It was pretty cool. Great photo opportunities. The fake guard guy at the door was really lonely. While we were waiting to go in he kept talking to us about how he's going to NYC in the summer, and how he wishes they had a Ghostbuster's museum, like the Sherlock Holmes museum. He was really nice, just you could tell it was a lonely job. Inside there was an old man who was "Sherlock Holmes" but he was kind of creepy. He talked in a whisper and looked like he should have an Eastern European accent, not a British one. Willa almost broke one of the lanterns in the room. We took a picture, and when she stepped away it crashed to the floor. It didn't break, but we skidaddled out of there. Got some great pictures. They're already up on facebook, so check'em out. We stopped in the London Beatles Store, too, which was right next door. Very small, but they had some cool stuff to look at.

And now I'm back here, waiting for Doctor Who to start at 7:20. Maybe I'll write that scene. Maybe I'll play spider solitaire. Maybe I'll cook some Ramen. The possibilities are endless. 8 days until I'm home. 11 until I pick up my stuff from NYC and Hyun and Ashley are forced to be around me again. If only for a day. 8 days? Wait. Slow down. I need more time! It's not fair. The summer better quickly so I can back to school. I want a running start into senior year. Because I am determined to make it awesome. Less crack, more fun. Wait, that's Ashley's senior year resolution. Ha. That's a joke. Or is it...Now I'm just rambling. I better go.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It's all done, Pat Funn

That's not supposed to make any sense. But I am done with that Theatre in London essay, 2nd theatre review, and British Cinema essay. So what do I have to do now? Oh, I know there's something. Oh yeah, that's right. Some screenplay, thing. You know, the whole entire reason for me being over here. Yeah. That thing. I'm going to see if I can reach the end today. The end of the story. Not that I'll be done the screenplay, but the first draft, that will need to be severely edited. Yeah. We'll see how that goes. I know it would make Roy happy, that is if these last pages were good, and not just, like written for writing's sake. So, I think I'll get right on that. After a nap. Because after the nap, I'll be more awake, and I can stay up late and work on it. My better stuff seems to come out late, when I'm tired and I don't think it'll be funny at all in the morning. Of course, if my better stuff comes when I'm tired, then why am I going to take a nap? I believe it is a paradox. Yes. That's what I'm calling it. It's a paradox. Maybe my good stuff comes out only when I'm tired and it's night. Maybe it's a two part system. That could be. So, yeah. Nap time. This is why I need to be a professional writer. I'm not into normal schedules. And I hate getting up early. I wouldn't mind getting up early if I had to be on set or something. That's different. That is also not now. Now is nap time.

And this was long and rambling. Thanks for stickin' with it folks. You'll be rewarded in Heaven. Or something. Anyone have a title for me? Doesn't matter if you don't know the material. I'll take anything at this point.