Thursday, September 17, 2009

Notes--'To Be Young'

Two 13 year-old kids, Pedro and Luci, sneak under the school's chain-linked fence and into the shambled construction lot where a new playground is being built. They quickly pass through the lot and hide behind a tree in the mango grove. They embrace and tongue-kiss for maybe 40 seconds. Pedro says they should get back and that he'll walk ahead of her so it doesn't look strange.

They make it back safely. Pedro tells Felipe. Felipe gets pissed because on Friday Luci agreed to be his girlfriend and on Sunday he heard she was at the mall holding hands with Kevin on Saturday. Pedro can't believe it and apologizes to his friend. They agree that Luci is a bitch and a slut, and they will spend the rest of lunch telling the school.

Word gets around quickly that Pedro and Felipe are bad mouthing Luci and writing about her in the bathroom. Luci starts crying. Gabi and Ana console her, rubbing her back and stroking her hair. They go and tell.

Pedro and Felipe get called into Mr. Aeillo's office. They vehemently deny everything in a panic: "It wasn't us. It wasn't us. They're lying. It's not true!" Mr. Aeillo tells them how disgusted he is with their behavior, how their parents will be getting a phone call and how could they say such things about a young girl. Pedro becomes sweaty in defending himself, but Felipe has shut down. He is quiet and brooding in smoldering rage. Pedro is getting louder, his voice quivering until Mr. Aeillo says he has had enough. Felipe awakens from his darkness and screams, "BUT SHE IS A SLUT AND A BITCH! SHE IS!"

"Excuse me!" Mr. Aeillo hollers back. "She is a young girl who--"

Felipe hostilely interrupts,"Is a bitch and slut!" His hands and body pleading for Mr. Aeillo to understand.

"How can you say these things, Felipe?" asks Mr. Aeillo

"She said she was my girlfriend and then she goes and holds hands with Kevin at the mall," Felipe's quivering voice finally cracks. " Then makes out with Pedro behind a tree!"

Calm and cautionary, Mr. Aeillo says, "She is just a young girl trying figure out who she is, Felipe. It is normal for young adolescents, especially your age to explore their sexuality. I'm sure she didn't mean anything by it, or intend to hurt you. This is a confusing age for young people."

Now sobbing, his hands making one final dramatic plea, Felipe wails, "But she is those things! She is! She is!" and his wet face collapses into his hands. Pedro put his hand on his friend's back.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tom Waits

Today I read an interview with Tom Waits. Here is what I took from it:

Q: What is a gentleman?

A: A man who can play the accordion, but doesn’t.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spanish Sword-Fighting

The day I won a Spanish sword-fighting competition
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Scripting a Pilot: The Whistling Contest

Cal: I have this idea about a 15 year old mexican homo-embarrassment story
Brett: Thats what I'm talkin' bout!
Cal: So like, one boy named Pablo is dating Lupe, but Pablo is secretly gay and is in love with Jorge, who is Lupe's brother
Brett: Did they meet at a Quinceanera?
Cal: No, they met because they're probably related
Brett: Oh, ok.Cal: So, the unique aspect of the story is that there is a whistling contest coming up that everyone in the neighborhood participates in and Lupe is the winner 2 years in a row, but, because Pablo is in love with Jorge, he starts abusing Lupe with silence and she loses her ability to whistle
(they've been dating for 2 months)
Brett: Wait a minute!
1) what does a whistling contest entail
2) how does silence hurt her whistling ability
Cal: a whistling contest entails different whistling categories. There's a category for police notification whistling, white people are around whistling, bird whistling, and then, Lupe's category, cat calls at boys.
So, she loses her ability because her mouth dries up when the silence overwhelms her and she stops speaking except to say Si o No
Brett: This is unbelievable material!
But like in a good way
Cal: It takes place in Oxnard, California
Brett: I think i can weave in a duplicitous meaning because whistling kind of goes with silence, yet it is silence that crushes her whistling skills
Cal: Yes
Brett: OK, continue
What about the gay love?
Does that matter?
Or is it just a vehicle to drive the story?
Cal: So, when Pablo comes onto Jorge at a bbq at a park while taking a break from handball, Jorge turns him down without even knowing that Pablo is even coming onto him because machismo obscures the possibility of gayness altogether
and Pablo is crushed!

Jorge doesn't even notice the tension
Brett: OK. Got it. Continue
Cal: So, Pablo is forced into intense introspection where he has to realize one of three things 1) he is generally gay (this will turn his own life and his families upside down 2) he is only gay for Jorge and needs to continue to pursue him, or 3) he should stay with Lupe
Brett: For number 2, we would definitely have to mention the word "loins"
Like when you are not generally gay, sometimes your loins can momentarily lust for another man...but not your heart
Cal: Exactly, and that's really what's happening, he's just lusting, which is the first step toward general gayness, so he does what most young gay boys have done, he chooses to stay with Lupe. And just in time too!
Brett: So he goes back to her before the big showdown!?
This so romantic!
Cal: Because she cannot whistle and has not entered the contest, so Pablo returns to her and kisses her sweetly, tells her he loves her and wants to get her pregnant, she whispers, "I already am" and then takes the stage and whistles her little heart out
The story ends right there, as she's whistling
Brett: Oh. My. God.
Cal: It's a good story
Brett: One more question
Cal: sure
Cal: How do you imagine a whistling contest? Like in someone's backyard?
Are there judges or just mob approval like when Eminem raps in 8 mile
Brett: No, it's in the downtown square. In Oxnard there is an old gazebo where mariachi bands play during special events
There are judges
Brett: And seats?
Cal: No seats for the crowd, because they gather around the gazebo, they simply surround the whistler in community support
It's very cultural
Brett: Tamales?
Call: Oh yes, the smell of tamales and rice and helado
Brett: I can't wait to start this...this one wont easy but twice the fun
Cal: Well, the structure is there so working on it will be easy because you know all the parts
It's just a matter of finding your mexican voice
Brett: Ya, thats the trick
Cal: You have to write it very seriously, without jokes