I started the month with a trip to North & South Carolina - could anything be finer...? According to the responses on Facebook, yes, quite a lot of things could be finer. Anyway, the trip was motivated by a friend who had tickets to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Greensboro, NC. Being the Easter weekend, flights were crazy expensive so we opted for a bus instead. Big mistake! We waited in a street in Chinatown, patiently waiting with what seemed like hundreds of other people for our bus to announced. Most of the other passengers were African American and one guy had his set of ear phone wrapped around his neck booming like speakers and I'm pretty sure the rapper was playing was just screaming the 'N' word repeatedly as fast and as loud as he could. Every now and then a little Chinese man would come out with a megaphone and yell indecipherable destinations to the crowd. The scene was kind of like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry, Elaine and George are waiting for a table in the Chinese restaurant and instead of calling 'Costanza', the host calls out 'Cartwright'.
After a LONG, freezing cold and cramped, 13 hour bus journey we finally arrived in Greensboro where we proceeded to the Car Rental Establishment only to be told that they had given our car away. Now, I was tempted to do a Steve Martin impression from Trains, Plains and Automobile but luckily they found us a car. We drove down to Charlotte for a theme park hit at Carrowinds. Another theme park to check off my bucket list! Tick!
The next day we headed to Chimney Rock for a nature hit. This is also where The Last of The Mohicans was filmed with Daniel Day Lewis. And then we headed back to Greensboro for the Red Hot Chili Pepper concert. The concert was fantastic! They are a band that has transcended time. They played all their hits past and new and there were kids as young as 9 in the audience rocking out!
The next day before we headed back to NYC we did some historical touring of the city. The International Civil Rights Centre and Museum was an unexpected find. The sign still says “F. W. Woolworth Co.” in bright gold letters running across the building on South Elm Street, just as it did 50 years ago. It was here, at this "white's only" luncheonette counter, that four 17-year-old freshmen at the all-black Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina arrived on Feb. 1, 1960, sat down and ordered some food. And when they were refused, refused because they were black, because much of Greensboro was racially segregated, and because Woolworth headquarters had decreed that the company policy was “to abide by local custom”, the four students continued to sit in mute protest. They were abused verbally and physically but held their ground.
They returned the next day and the next. Within a week 1,000 protesters and counterprotesters packed the store. By the end of March “sit-ins” had spread to 55 cities in 13 states. By mid-April the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee had been established to expand student involvement. And by the end of July, when the Greensboro Woolworth’s counter was finally desegregated, this form of nonviolent protest had become one of the central strategies of the American civil rights movement.
This museum was a heartbreaking and thought provoking look into human cruelty and stupidity in the USA and all over the world, in a not too distant past.
Back in NYC I began week 3 of my internship with Washington Square Films and Big Vision Empty Wallet. I volunteered at A BVEW Screening and I also got to attend a crazy PR Dinner with one of the Executive Producers from Washington Square Films. This was a French Themed Dinner with lots of crazy Agency people. The CEO of the PR firm refers to herself as a "Cruise Director"! And when we arrived we had to decided whether we wanted to have a French beauty mark or mustache drawn on our face. I'm not a freak so I went with a tasteful mustache and matching goatee. This PR agency also has a Chef on staff and we were served a gastronomic French extravaganza served with a side of crazy q&a for the whole table guided by game cards on the table. A most interesting night. And yes, I forgot to remove the mustache before heading home on the subway but I don't think anyone really cared anyway, this is Nw York City after all.
April also brought with it the Tribeca Film Festival. I splurged and bought tickets to see several movies and I attended many of the talks and presentations. All up an inspiring week that reconfirmed my path...again. I saw some great films and some horrible films (that help reconfirm my belief that I have a chance in this industry). Films I recommend include Polisse -
Grounded in documentary research and naturalistic performances, this disturbing and very human film explored the solidarity that helps hardened vice cops face the worst of society every day in the French Child Protection Agency. And Eddie - The Sleepwalking Cannibal...need I say more!
I begin a Sketch Writing course at the Upright Citizens Brigade this week and I am also working on a short film with a director and producer that I met at NYFA last year. Keeping up with the job applications, still hoping to get some paid work soon...not sure if it is a myth or not yet, I have heard rumors that support both theories.
That pretty much wraps up the most exciting April morsels. Let's see what's install for the coming months. Bring on summer!