Monday, April 20, 2009

Brush with Greatness

Now I'm just trying everything. 

Even the most unlikely strategies - like the obvious ones. 

Last week, I tried getting my project to an actor by calling ... his agent. In Hollywood. At one of those agencies so moving and shaking, it just goes by initials.

And at first I was buoyed by the seeming ease, respect and efficiency with which my inquiry was treated. I left my information with the agent's assistant and was given an email address to which I could send my project. Easy as pie. We were so IN!

It just kept getting better, because the same day - that very same day! - the agent himself called me back.  My own mother rarely returns my calls that fast. But any fantasies I had started spinning about adult adoption quickly evaporated once the agent and I got into a conversation - or, more to the point - once we got into a scene straight out of "Jerry Maguire".

And since right now I have no money to show, our version of the scene was a relatively brief one. And fairly unsatisfying all round.

But on the upside, I got the completely opposite response from a different actor's manager - just as quick, but far more receptive.  So, maybe this is a business of individuals after all...

Even higher on the upside (and here's where the brush with greatness comes in), I had the privilege of sharing a few pints of Guinness at a favourite neighbourhood bar with author, Miriam Toews this afternoon. Miriam wrote the Governor General award-winning novel, "A Complicated Kindness" - as beautiful and brash a coming of age novel as "Catcher in the Rye" in my opinion. With as beautiful and brash and broken a protagonist as Holden Caulfield - but in a girl's body. Gorgeous, affecting stuff.

But it was actually Miriam's appearance in Carlos Reygados' film, "Silent Light" that led to her walking into my particular gin joint on this particular afternoon....  I had already fallen in love with her books when I saw her purely by accident in the Mexican film that won the Jury prize at Cannes a couple years ago. And I got the bright idea that she might be interested in being in my film too. So I tracked down someone who knew how to contact her and we began an email and phone conversation that led to her reading my script (Miriam Toews read something I wrote! Wow) and ultimately meeting me while she was passing through Montreal. 

What a gift.