Monday, October 25, 2010

Day Four of Casting

Sitting in the hotel in New York about to go to bed after my fourth day of casting, in my third state this week. And I am praying HARD that the cast we have chosen accepts the offers that will be going out in the next few days, with every cell of me. I just cannot describe the astonishment with which I saw brilliant actor after brilliant actor of all ages come into the room (several of them met me on Skype too!) . . . just flabbergasting how many extremely trained and talented folks are interested in our little film. I can't describe it. It is unprecedented in my experience.

Larry was with me in L.A. and Charlotte was with me in NYC, and oh how wonderful it was to be able to bounce opinions off of them.

Today we saw film and Broadway royalty, last week we saw film and TV royalty, and my heart is full of inexpressible joy. May every actor who blessed us with his or her talent be richly blessed. I love every one of them. Their graceful and generous gifts to me will always be remembered.

Also my weekend visit in Williamstown was strange but wonderful as I sat around backstage at Tallis' "Trojan Women" 10-out-of-12 techs. He managed to fit in a few wonderful meals too. All in all a wonderful reconnection with my adult boy punctuated by gorgeous drives through the Berkshires.

This morning I had an amazing dream about Madeleine, in a room liked with books, a wonderful dream indeed and I hope a good omen.

Tomorrow I get up at 5 am and go to LGA to fly to Spokane and put in half a day with my team there.

Good night and may God bless all actors!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Update - Tal is Sprung!

The story:

Terry sprung Tallis from Beth Israel and drove him to Williamstown, where he is beginning to hobble about the campus on either a cane or a walker, depending upon his pain level. He is on both oral morphine and one other narcotic (did Terry say Percoset??) - great for studying Biology and Greek and for remembering lines . . . not. This morning Terry magically procured a cancellation at the Williamstown rheumatologist, where Tallis got a Humera (sp?) shot to try to calm down all the inflammation. As far as I know he is still going to hobble through "The Trojan Women" which opens in a week or so with or without him. Terry will be flying home tonight or tomorrow, and after my L.A. casting sessions this week I fly to Williamstown next weekend (was already scheduled to) to go to Tallis' "First-Year Parent Weekend" and attend his classes and watch him do technical rehearsals for the show. IF he still is in it. Then I do some NYC casting on Monday and fly back to Spokane, where my team will be in high gear, as we will be three weeks out at that point.

Theo is safe and well at the Nolte's House, and many folks have helped hims have a good few days, including Ginger and Rosh and Mom and her ladies. We really cannot believe how folks have stepped in to bless all four of us. God bless our friends!!!!!

I am nervous this morning as I prepare to meet some very prominent actors who are doing me the honor of reading for my movie. Some of them are actually heroes of mine. I am in a state of utter thankfulness and flabbergast at the chance to see this beautiful story of Madeleine's realized at last. But sooo much depends upon me casting it well.

If you feel so led, please pray for the actors, that they will do well, and for me, that I will have divinely-inspired discernment. I am humbled and nervous when faced with this task. But I am comforted by the fact that Madeleine always used to say that NOBODY in the Bible except Jesus was ready for the task they were asked to do. Mary was a child. Moses had a stutter. Gideon was hiding in the grain bin shaking when the angel called him a "mighty man of valor". I am clinging to her wisdom right now.

May angels attend this week of auditions and hallow the process!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tallis STILL in Hospital

They finally finally did Tallis' MRI late yesterday after a three day delay due to bad pain management. And then it wasn't that definitive because they missed a section . . . we are so spoiled with Seattle hospitals!

They found a tear in his "Labrum", the cartilage cover on the ball of his hip joint, but the orthopedist said that probably is not the problem as those happen often with no symptoms. They say the want to treat the Spondylitis first and then worry about that. But how to treat it?

Terry and Tallis are working on an adaptation of "Waiting for Godot" called "Waiting for the Doctor Who Never Ever Comes". Terry is trying to figure out how to spring Tallis out of the Third World Country that is a New York City Hospital and drive him up to school. They gave Tallis a walker today to facilitate this. Hard to use that onstage though . . .

In other news, I had a great work day reviewing tapes of actors, very encouraging, and a great meeting with the team re: the Staten Island Ferry shoot.

Am very tired.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Prayers for My Kid PLease

Tallis has now been in Beth Israel Hospital for days on a morphine drip - they can't figure out why his Spondylitis is flaring up like this - he literally can't walk because of the screaming pain.

I am heartbroken to not be able to go, but am comforted that Terry flew to NYC after three days of hearing the stoic reports from the hospital bed, and the fact that Tallis' MRI has been delayed for two days. Our wonderful friend Sandy was "parent in situ" until Terry could get there.

I am needed here quite a lot . . . scouting continues and we have three precious days with Larry now as he was able to get away for a little bit of pre-pro.

Fingers crossed that Terry can be of help to the poor guy, all I can do is pray and bake cookies to send. I made three batches last night after work, and now am trying to find a Spokane post office. Not that it helps. But I had to do something . . .

Monday, October 11, 2010

Difficulties (of Course!)

Things are going well here in Spokane; I just had a great conference call with current department heads for an hour, so my third week of living here (fourth of work) is starting off well professionally.

However, the attacks in the physical realm are many. My Mom is fighting an Undefined Thing that results in newish symptoms and a two-week delay on the chemo (agh), my son Tallis just called from Beth Israel Hospital in New York City where he is currently on a gurney with "the worst pain of his life" from his Ankylosing Spondylitis, my brother is of course still completely AWOL, and I have a nasty cold, (the least of these things by far of course!).

The weekend was mixed; it was great to spend the day Saturday with Mom and to go see a movie and have dinner at our house covered with cats - I also interviewed her about her baldness for "Hairstory". Theo was ... mad at me ... not that that is normally infrequent, but it broke my heart to leave him and to leave Terry as I won't be home at all now for three weeks.

I am feeling vulnerable and cut off from home. I know I am supposed to be doing this, but I want to be at several bedsides right now - thank God Hilary is with Tallis in the NYC hospital. But Mama wants to be at that bedside . . .

If you have some prayers for physical bolstering of the family that would really be appreciated.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Two Weeks Into My Spokane Residency!

I am sitting in the North by Northwest Studio Production Office at my desk by the window looking out over Broadway, in Spokane, WA. My desk has a picture of the Four Moores, a picture of Mom, Madeleine and Dad, a picture Ben made me of Orcas, and a postcard for "The Dark Horse" - I need to stick a "JourneyQuest" one there too and then I will have the perfect collage. (If you are interested in the project my company collaborated on with two other companies this last year, please view and share our free webseries freely!

I have been living here in Spokane for two weeks now, as I am directing my feature film "Camilla Dickinson" - I have to be in Spokane on work days. I fly home each Friday night. It is odd, but it is sort of working for Terry and me, as he is about to start rehearsals for "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol" at Taproot. I miss being in Theo's and Terry's and Mom's daily lives more, but all of them are really pulling for this movie to succeed, most especially Mom, who rather insisted that I not stop working and that I go ahead and direct it now, when the studio has a window. So, with a lot of guilt and a lot of joy and several daily check-in calls, I am doing it. I really can't believe that I am actually here, getting to do this, after so many years of trying to put this together.

For the last two weeks I have been doing a lot of location scouting with Vince DeFelice the Production Designer, as well as meeting with potential Directors of Photography and Choreographers. In the last couple of days I have met with other Department Heads, to try to begin the prep work that will hopefully pay off in the long run. At this point we are five weeks from Principal Photography, and it kind of feels like five minutes, since we have to create 1948 Manhattan in Spokane, WA!

I am deeply honored and blessed to be here, doing this right now. I am very aware of the impossible privilege of finally getting to sit in this chair again.

Re: Mom's cancer treatment: she is doing much better, which is so fantastic that none of us can fully believe it! She continues her chemo treatments every two weeks or so (depending on her white cell counts which have been really great lately), and her energy and attitude are better, for much of the time, than they have been.

She is in treatment until further notice, and Doctor Kaplan is monitoring her continued progress as she beats this cancer.

No she does not have hair. Which is par for the course! That is one reason that I put so many pictures of her with hair up on this site - she is not fond of wearing hats or scarves ("too hot!") but also is not fond of pictures of her bald head, so I am trying to honor that.

I have managed to be at all but two of Mom's chemo Fridays so far, but now alas those days are over - she goes in tomorrow with Cathy, which is fine of course as Cathy and Teresa ROCK! I am just sad for myself, because I love those sweet times just sitting with her and visiting or dozing, with no agenda and no time pressure.

In the weeks before I left town, Mom and Cathy and Teresa and I went to the mountains on a fabulous botanizing trip, and to a horse show, which was great fun. This Saturday Mom and Theo and I may go to a movie. It is a weird life, but we are making it work. I try to call her twice a day and check in, but I really wish I could be home more - and write in here more! And of course when I do get home, I am covered with cats and needing to attend to a very needing-to-see-me 12 year old.

Things continue to improve, and Mom may indeed be headed for a remission; if you think of it please send good thoughts that that is the outcome! She is still on a lot of Lasix for the heart failure, but so are many people in their 80s, and we are hopeful to get that under control as well.

Back to pre-production! *happy dance*