Wait, it’s 2011? How did that happen?
2010 was a year of moving, movie-making, new frontiers, disaster, recovery and introspection for me. Below, a recap:
Travis and I made the move from Madison, Wisconsin to San Francisco, CA. SF has always been my favorite city in the US, so it is thrilling to be living here. My big sister Meg, who was previously living outside of Portland, Oregon, joined us and lives in the middle floor of the house. Trav and I are on the top floor, and our recording studio is on the bottom floor. Between us we have SIX DOGS, which is smelly and noisy, but FUN!
I worked on three fantastic independent films in 2010, directed by three wonderful people…
The first, Doggie Boogie, was a blast. It is a family comedy about competitive dog-dancing. It was shot in San Francisco, and was written and directed by my neighbor (and now friend) Romanus Wolter. This is his very first experience as a screenwriter/director, and I am so proud to be part of it. The film is funny, sweet and visually stunning. In the film I play the bossy-but-kind Dottie, who runs the ShanGrrrLa Dog Spa.
Happily, in addition to acting, I got to contribute the THEME SONG to the movie! I am so proud of it. If you’re curious, you can purchase it on Itunes.
The second film I did is called The Casserole Club, written and directed by Steve Balderson. You may know that I have been in several of Steve’s film (I’m part of his “stable”!). This one is based on real-life events. A group of neighbors form a weekly dinner club where everyone brings a dish. The club ends up morphing into a swinger’s party, with long-reaching (and sometimes tragic) consequences for all involved. In this film I play Marjorie Lavon, a churchlady-type that ends up at one of the parties, and is appalled to discover what’s going on.
We were having so much fun on set daily, that the cast (with me and a few others leading the way) ended up filming a very funny series of fake commercials each night after we wrapped. Because the movie was very casserole-centric, we started making faux-ads about PYREX dishes (you know, the baking pans made of special glass that can go in the oven and the freezer). No, it doesn’t make sense, it was just a whim that turned into an obsession!
The commercials came out so well that we are now shooting some additional footage to link them all together. The finished short film, tentatively entitled THE PYREX TALES, will be my directorial debut!
The final movie of 2010 I acted in was Billy Clift’s “I WANT TO GET MARRIED!”. Billy’s previous film, BABY JANE, was fantastic, and I am a big fan of his work, so I was immensely flattered to be asked to be a part of IWTGM, which is about a shy, adorable, successful gay man that wants to get married! It is set in California during the days of Prop 8, and is touching, thoughtful and funny. I play Tess, the lead character’s invaluable secretary.
Besides all these films, I also had my THEATRICAL DEBUT in the Golden Girls Christmas Episodes, which ran (live) in San Francisco the month of December. The Girls were played (hilariously) by drag queens. I was so nervous about this (afraid I’d forget my lines) but it ended up going great, and the experience really helped me understand acting more.
After three years of threatening to do so, we finally got my Lady Robotika comic book series out there. This comic is a collaboration between me and my dear friend Bill Morrison. We’ve been working on it FOREVER, so it was especially thrilling to see it become a reality. Making comics is a lot tougher than it looks. One of the biggest problems we faced was trying to get the artwork done. To do it quickly, you need lots of artists. We did that for the first two issues and ended up spending over $5.00 per copy getting the books out. Since comic books wholesale for just over $1.00, this ended up being crazy-people math! I am hopeless at artwork, so now Bill has taken over the art 100%. That means we have a new problem: because Bill has a REAL job (working for The Simpsons/Futurama) his time is extremely limited, and production of Lady Robotika has ground to a screeching halt. We are determined to press forward, even if we get out just one episode a year! I love our story of the sci-fi heroine Lady R (based on moi, of course!) so much, that I wrote a musical about it. Some day, Dog willing, that musical will get made. Meanwhile, my job is to nag Bill to DRAW FASTER!
The Go-Go’s had been slated to do our Farewell Tour in July when Fate interceded. As I’m sure you know, on May 21, the night after my birthday, I fell off a cliff while hiking at midnight. We were having a light saber battle (I know, I’m so mature) and on the way back down the very hilly park, I plunged to meet my destiny: a ruptured ACL (knee tendon). I also rolled through Poison Oak during my descent, which made the ordeal much much worse!
So in June I had a ACL transplant surgery, and have been recovering ever since. It is a long process, and I am happy to report that I now get around pretty well, though my knee never has felt “right” again and I often limp. While this is not ideal, it is much better than what the alternative could easily have been: death, becoming paralyzed, etc.
In September I informed the girls and management that I was recovered enough to reschedule the Farewell Tour, if everyone wanted to do so. We are now talking about doing our final tour this Summer (2011).
I would just like to state for the record, that my choice would be to tour constantly, and to never retire from being a Go-Go. Please understand that this is a band with five members, and decisions are reached with everyone’s input and wishes. I remain hopeful that the band is “The Beast That Wouldn’t Die”, and that there are further adventures in store for the five of us in the future!
Having spent many months in bed last year, I had a lot of time to think and reflect on life and what it means, what I’m doing here, etc. I am newly determined to continue my course of bringing fun to the world through my performances and writing, of striving to be a kind thoughtful person, of trying to make a difference through my work with various charitable organizations, and of working being a good friend and family member.
This seems like a pretty solid plan to me!
Happy New Year Everyone,