I been swamped by two projects. I don't know how I've stumbled into the role of an event organizer. I'm not a terribly organized person. I mean, really, I can't keep my own life out of a shambles. And so I scramble to make the Josiah Youth Media Festival and the Meet the Maker film series successes (and as we get closer to August, I'll be doing the same with the 48 Hour Film Project).
(I doff my hat (and I know I have one around here somewhere) to my friends Nikki and Deborah. They both do excellent jobs planning events. It can be a real pain in the ass.)
Things took a weird turn with the Meet the Maker event last Friday. I'd like to blame other people, but that serves no purpose. Besides, my impressions of the events may well be distorted and ill-informed. Best to take all the blame myself — which could well be the case anyway.
It appeared that the schedule of films had changed at the last minute late Friday afternoon. There really wasn't anything I could do until Monday. I spent the weekend with a churning stomach. Luckily I had the silliness of Christy's Dada Dinner Party on Saturday, and Sam's short film on Sunday. They helped keep my mind off things.
Come Monday, I hit the group running trying to revamp most of the event. It was only by Thursday night that I was able to take a breather.
There was a time I naively applauded myself that, as a relative new-comer to San Antonio, I had somehow managed to make the equivalent of a decade's-worth of connections within this city's art, film, and non-profit sectors. In many ways this is true. The problem is that no matter how well I might know these people and organizations, I'm still learning the nuanced dramas and back-stories of the members of these communities.
A couple months back, I attended the last NALIP meeting at Casa Chiapas coffee house. I had been meeting with someone else over at Titos Tacos. I thought it was too late to head down the block, but I did. The NALIPsters were still hanging out. As I walked in the door someone (probably TJ) nominated me to curate the upcoming Meet the Maker film event. I said, sure. I sounded fun.
And it isn't (though I'm sure I'll have a different take when it's over). There are all sorts of potential problems when you find yourself in the middle of two non-profit organizations. Erik's tip of the week: Try to avoid these sorts of situations.
Anyway, after busting my ass (as I no doubt should have been doing in the weeks leading up to this one), it seems to be shaping up.
But, damn, I am beat. And demoralized.
I still need to keep working on Josiah, but the Meet the Maker seems to be in calm waters. Finally.
I invite all and sundry to El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel in downtown San Antonio on Friday June 1st. The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and The American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions (AIT-SCM) will present Alan Govenar's documentary, “The Devil's Swing.” Alan won't be able to make it. He's touring his Blind Lemon Jefferson musical in Europe. But my friend Enrique Madrid, one of my very favorite people (my guru in matters of quantum physics, enlightenment philosophy, archeology, et al), will be in attendance to talk about the film. He's in it for a couple of interviews. He provided the English translations. And he introduced the director to many of the citizens of La Junta de los Rios, that region where the Rio Conchos flows into the Rio Grande.
For an opening act we will have San Antonio filmmaker Ray Santisteban. He's offered to show three or four very short films before we move into the hour long “Devil's Swing.” I have enormous respect for Ray's work. He lives a block away from me, though I've never properly met the man.
It will be a great night of films. Also, it gives me a reason to hang out with Enrique. I haven't seen him in over a year. My plan is to drive down to Redford (about seven hours away) and drive him back to San Antonio. I hope his wife Ruby can come along. After the event I can spend a couple of days with them when I drive back to Redford.
I sent out the press release this afternoon. That act did wonders to settle my stomach. The date, the works to be screened, and the artists to attend is for the most part public record. The likelihood of people pushing for changes has pretty much evaporated.
Press release sent, I took a bike ride out towards the missions. I treated myself to a leisurely ramble around the grounds of Mission San Juan. These structures were built (under Spanish direction) by the Coahuiltecan people; in fact, the ancestors of the families who, under the recognition of the AIT-SCM, continue as the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation.
I made it to the NALIP meeting by 6:30. Roger was there. He had just made it back into town from a production gig in Houston. Lisa blushed a bit when we all applauded her recent Ph.D. Paul Ramirez told us that he's in the middle of post production on his third feature film. TJ has found himself in a writer for hire position that sounds incredibly promising.
When the meeting ended, I walked back home. Maybe eight blocks to my place. The air was cool, the neighborhood quiet. Twilight drifted into night, and the palm trees stood as silhouettes against the dark blue cloudless sky. Jasmine and mountain laurel filled the streets with their aroma. I made a conscious decision to appreciate the peacefulness. While it lasts.
If you're curious, here's a copy of the press release. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version.