Friday, February 21, 2014


I'd have to say I'm fairly good at blocking the sound of my day out, but some days you're just open to the world, you know? The singing of the train tracks in the morning, the hum and rumble of traffic, the squeal and sigh of the train as it skids to a stop, protesting all the way.
The office is quiet, staccato barks and clicking keys, water poured and sipped and gulped. The murmur of new hires 'thankyouthankyouthankyou' and the shifting weight of the building as coworkers swish by, swiftly, quickly, rushing to business or busy-ness.
Walking home is squeaky shoes and the flap-flap of bags too heavy, legs and feet sore, slapping the sidewalk. Train bells and snippets of radio, bass too loud or too low, thrumming through your bones. That's the way the bus feels, too, as it labors over the potholes, whining and shaking, a lumbering beast  working hard to be oblivious to the world around it.
Home is two paws thumping, two paws scratching, big excited gulps of air too fast around a chew toy. Its the jangling of keys and the jangling of the leash and the burst out the door to the nightly walk.
Once we hit Ninth Street the sounds of the city fall away and we're left with lonely cars and squeaky garages, quiet little plots, house and home, carefully tended and watered by hand. We descend again to the city, leaving the mountain stillness where it was- exposing ourselves to the buzzing neon lights and seven o' clock train horns.
I hear it every day but I tend not to listen. What else in the world am I missing?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

And the Oscar Goes To...

I saw my name on the big screen. I had seen my name projected in the theater at Chapman, but this was different. Then I was a student; this time I was a professional. And on the screen at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills it looked great.
                 I worked on a documentary that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the guys who give out Oscars every year) had made for Turner Classic Movies to kick off this year’s Oscar month marathon. It's called And the Oscar Goes to... I did some assistant editing work as well as some office work for the production (gotta start somewhere, right?). This wasn't my first professional project, but it was the first time I had the opportunity to go to a screening of something I was paid to work on.  I also worked on a movie last summer, Wish I Was Here, directed by Zach Braff, which should be in theaters in September, 2014.
                Dressing up and going to the premiere screening was an awesome experience. There were celebrities in the audience, as well as people I know and work with. But when I saw my name come up in the rolling credits I didn’t react the way I thought I would. I thought I would be proud, excited, scared… but more than anything I felt calm. It didn’t feel like as big of a deal as I thought it would; it just felt… right. I’m not sure how to explain it.
Brie, me and one of our LA besties Ms. Clay, Mr. Nelsen couldn't be there.
                I am not trying to become part of this industry to make millions or become famous (although I will not turn those down if I am lucky enough to get them), for me it’s about being part of something that will touch people. I want to tell stories and I think that filmmaking is the best fit for me as a storyteller.

I guess when I saw my name up on that screen I felt calm because it reminded me of all the love and support I have at my side. It was a gentle whisper that said, “You can do this.”

Thursday, February 13, 2014

On Why Lindsay Lohan Will Always Mean A Lot To Me

I made Mr. E sit through Mean Girls again- partially because he swore up and down he'd never seen it and partially because The Constant Gardner wasn't doing it for me. This may not be the best movie, but I think it has it's place as more than just a teenage comedy, mostly because it reminds me that I am sometimes a Mean Girl.

Is that awful?

I think that's the beauty of the silver screen. In a day and age where we are increasingly impatient, we receive our information in computer generated portions. Here's THIS commercial, read THAT billboard, listen to THIS ad before your next crazy cat video. It's all packaged and gift-wrapped to have the most appeal to us, the biggest impact. In this, movies are king.

For a short amount of time we're transported from our routine drudgery to a reflection of our own world. It's prettier there (or dirtier, depending on what you're watching) and stories wrap themselves up neatly into picture perfect endings. The myriad of characters we meet in our own lives are portrayed by beautiful people, boiled down to stereotypes and ambiguous life choices. We watch the story and we fall in love, or out of love, or rage or laugh or cry as we see fit and in the end- in a perfect world- we all learn the lesson we can relate to and we are able to face our lives once more.

Thus, I'm able to say with complete confidence that I am a Mean Girl. I'm also a Nice Girl and an Outgoing Girl and a Shy Girl, but mostly I'm just a Complicated Girl which I think everyone else may be, too. I don't fit perfectly into that Mean Girl slot, but I think that was the point of the movie. It was fed to you with fluff and comedy and so many high school tropes I could DIE (over-exaggeration was definitely present), but the message is so profound I wish I could sit my own kids down to watch it every day.

Judging others doesn't make me any prettier. It doesn't make me any smarter or any more successful than they are, it just makes me a big old ball of negativity. Maybe that's common sense or maybe you learned that lesson years ago, but I'm imperfect and I think I need constant reminding.
Mean Girls GIF
Especially when I'm confronted with the opposite message every. single. day. Magazines, commercials, even blogs can't escape the compulsion to show that enviously perfect snapshot. We're shown trends and fashions and diets and lifestyles to aspire to, disregarding all of the complicated ways we live our unique, individual, perfectly imperfect lives.

I need reminding that those lives may be pretty or organized or on-time and work for those people, but that's not my life. It doesn't reflect me or my values or the things that I want in my life. And sometimes, it takes an hour and thirty-seven minutes of watching high-schoolers cat-fight on-screen with perfect hair days and endless legs to remember that.

I can be a Mean Girl, but that's not all I am, either.