Saturday, July 13, 2013

I Hear Voices

There's that chilling moment at the end of Hitchcock's Vertigo that inspired this title.  I won't screw it up for you if you haven't seen it.  I hate spoilers.

This post is about why I write.

The First Time I Heard Them

I'm in the middle of research for a screenplay I've been meaning to write for some time.  I won't get too into detail; it's still gotta be a surprise and the plot is still bare-boned, and missing several limbs, by the way.  Only hint, which is no big spoiler: it's about saving people who need help.

When I was seventeen I joined a Catholic seminary, where I stayed for the next seven years.  Seven years of silence, work, and study and some of the best and most terrible times of my life.  I learned a lot and am bitter about much of it, but that's another story for another time.  Everyone asks me why I did it then, and why I didn't leave even when I hated it inside.

It was the last night of camp.  I was seventeen, strong, full of a future.  I was one of the head counselors and I stayed up late that night talking to a friend of mine.  We were talking about life and shit like that.  I got this feeling, when we were talking about what to do with life, that a million people - I don't know how many but a lot - like a ton of people were looking at me and counting on me to do something for them.  At the time I thought it was become a priest.  It wasn't.

It was surreal.  I remember it like it was five minutes ago.  I could see their faces.  Like they were really there.

Rescue Me

I believe in God.  I believe everything happens for a reason.  I hate talking about religion and politics, especially politics, so that's all I'm gonna say about that except I feel like I was meant to write to help people.

I got a lot of ideas for films that involve social justice issues: child labor and the sex trade are in the top three.  That stuff gets my blood boiling.  Blood Diamond wasn't the best movie ever, but it was good and it made a point (and I almost cried when Leonardo DiCaprio breaks down after telling the story about how his parents were killed and then says, "I don't think God will ever forgive us for what we've done to each otha.'" It's a chilling scene, very well-acted.).  I always wanted to write the Blood Diamond for both those issues I mentioned.

Film, and the written word, are powerful media.  Drama brings catharsis when done well and can touch hearts as nothing else can, open eyes, and set minds straight.  That's the power of a good writer, if he (or she) can pull it off.

I feel like I've got all these things inside of me - great works of art - that just have to come out and do what they were meant to do.

My Eyes Won't Stay Open

I just ran like madman through the city of Syracuse.  I had shit to do earlier, so I drove to work.  I never drive to work - I run.  I run 4 miles there and 4 miles home.  5 days a week.  I'm getting pretty fit and I like that.  My adrenaline is always ready to pump for that trip, so if I drive, I'm bouncing off the walls at work.  That's how tonight was.  So I had to run when I got home and did, like crazy, through the city from James to Armory Square and up the stairs at SU, jumping up and down like Rocky Balboa, and then home.

Feeling a little better now.

My knees hurt and my eyes won't stay open so I'll end this and fall asleep watching "24."

I wrote five plays for a high school in Dublin while I was living there.  Got to direct one, produce the others.  There is nothing more magical then seeing what you have written performed dramatically on stage.  I knew every word that was going to come out of their mouths, every motion they were supposed to make, but when I saw it happen, it was so incredibly more awesome than I had penned it, it was nothing short of magic.  That's the only way to describe that.

At the end of the year, one of the young actors in the plays came up to me.  The plays were all about living a good life, etc., to help the kids.  Anyway, this kid tells me to my face that his life was changed for the better because of me.

That was one of the best things I ever heard.

I'm gonna write these movies.  I'm gonna finish them.  And someday everybody's gonna be able to see them.  And I'm gonna help those people that needed me to help them.

In the heart of every man there is a purpose, and in every writer it becomes a strong thing; it burns.  We don't fix pipes or design buildings or fight fires (per se); we write stuff.  Most of the time it's shit too.  (Hemingway said the fist draft of anything is shit, so this is too; and I'd agree with him.)  But some of the time, we make a splash, hopefully for the better.

Many a great thing has happened - good and bad - because somebody wrote something.  I wanna write something like that, good of course.

I will.

There's these people that are counting on me.  I believe it anyway.

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