The Dance of the Landlocked Manatee

Weird day. Rainy and overcast until early afternoon. I sluggishly ran through my mind just how far I could go with procrastination. But putting things off is a bad habit I fall into so easily. Take Sunday. I could have done all sorts of stuff. But all I managed to do was head out to Woodlawn Lake where Christy was holding her dance auditions. I hasten to add that I was there in the capacity of video technician — I fear I'm about as graceful as a landlocked manatee.

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Seven people showed up. And in retrospect I think we should have put the word out, not just through the dance community, but also into the acting world.

There were two who Christy felt strongly about. I think she's leaning towards casting them. And there were two others that seemed to her as having potential.

I enjoyed the opportunity to watch the process of a dance audition. I know so little about the art form that I was rather in the dark as to what Christy was looking for. One thing that became quickly apparent was that she was putting these people through their paces to see how they went about become familiar with the dance routines. It, at times, had the feel of a class. And I could see why Christy is in demand as a dance teacher. She is patient, encouraging, playful, but clearly focused on getting the best out of the people she's working with.

Afterwards, I headed home and started a short story. I got bogged down by introducing too many characters. I want something I can read at the next Gemini Ink free monthly writers workshop. It's going to be Monday the 27th. The problem is that the pieces you bring are supposed to be four pages or less. I either need to lose a character or two, or read just a piece from it — and I hate that.


My useless Monday of procrastination had me single-mindedly working through a pot of coffee and watching a couple of recent episodes of Democracy Now, archived on the internet. I enjoyed a banana and a couple of brownies my mother recently mailed me, as if I were stationed in Fallujah … or Joliet. Damn good brownies, by the way.

Eventually I decided to embrace the day and, dammit, do something. As I was heading to the shower, I got a phone call. It was Clint Hale, a reporter from a freebie weekly entertainment tabloid called 210SA. I confessed to him that I'd never heard of it before. And yet he still wanted to talk to me. His call was in response to the Meet the Maker press release. And so I found myself blathering on about … god, I don't even know. I hope he excuses my glib pontifery and somehow manages to find his needed quota of material in my halting spiel.

After he thanked me, I showered, dressed, and prepared to head down to the Target on the southside to finally take advantage of a Christmas gift card. I needed underwear, boot-laces, VHS tapes, and a new tire gauge (this could indeed be the recipe for an entree of the next Dada Dinner Party). I had just enough time to visit Target, get a very late lunch at Pepe's Cafe, and make it to Nikki's place for a 5:30 appointment.

I got in my truck and drove off. When I was about seven blocks away, I got a call on my cell.

It was Ray Santisteban. Ray's one of the more accomplished local filmmakers. I'm quite a fan of his work. And even though I've met him maybe twice, I have a feeling he doesn't remember me. But we now have a connection, as he's slated to show some of his work at a film event I'm curating June 1st.

“Erik, hi. It's Ray. I have a DVD for you. You said you're in the neighborhood. So, I could come by and drop it off. What is your address, again?”

“716 E. Guenther,” I said, smiling to myself.

“Oh, well I guess I could just walk.”

Yeah. Walking would be a good idea. I can see Ray place from my kitchen window. He's across the street, four houses down.

“I'm in my car. But I'm just a few blocks away. I'll meet you at my place.”

As I doubled back, I made it to my street just as Ray was stepping out of his yard. I called his name. Introduced myself. And he handed me a DVD of four short pieces with a full run time of 20 minutes. And, no, I didn't get a sense he recalled having met me before. But I don't hold it against the guy. He's super-nice, and, as I've said, damn talented.

Target was a mild ordeal. And Pepe's Cafe was tasty.

I made it to Nikki's place on time. She's been running acting classes for kids. One of the classes is with two very talented girls, Marina and Caroline. I'm a bad judge of ages, but I think they're 12. Tonight was the final class, and Nikki wanted them to run through their paces in front of “industry people.” Now I have no problem with Michael Druck as a person of importance. He might be fairly young, but as the most important person to know at a certain local talent agency, you'd be a fool not to extend puckered lips in the direction of Druck's posterior. And then there was a representative of the acting community. Anne Gerber is clearly the highest profile local actor. She lands the lead with appalling frequency in local theater and film. Yep. She's at the top of the acting food chain. And this brings us to “industry” person number three. A representative from the filmmaking community. Me. Me? I wouldn't have been my first choice, I know that. But in retrospect, I guess it seemed justified. Nikki did have her students watching at least one of my short films.

In fact, one of the girls wrote a review of “The Treasure of the Perro Diablo.” Not my best work. An unfocused piece that barely makes sense. But the child was polite.

Here we have Marina, in her own words:

“The Treasure of the Perro Diablo is an interesting and intriguing independent film directed by the one and only Erik Bosse. This Short Ends Project film stars Nikki Young, Rosalinda Coto, Carlos Pina, and Kathleen O'Neal. Nikki Young played Jackie and was believable in her performance. Nikki had great facial expressions. Rosalinda Coto played Angela and had an overall good performance. Rosalinda seemed to be using the Misner method of acting although there were times I didn't find her character believable. The Perro Diablo was a foul smelling, glowing green-eyed dog that followed people around who eventually died mysteriously. This film will keep you guessing and ends with a cliffhanger. Possible sequel??”

How sweet. My first review! Thank you so much, Marina! A bit, um, harsh on Rosalinda…. Who, I should point out, is one of my favorite actors — she always gives me the performances I want, and then some.

Having said that, I really enjoyed the evening. The two kids are very talented, and lucky to be working with Nikki and PrimaDonna Productions — I'm convinced I witnessed the beginning of two great careers. Later, when they pitched to me that I should write a script to feature the both of them, don't think I'm not giving it serious consideration. They're fun, spunky, and blew us all away with an improve experiment.


Here is my flyer for the Meet the Maker film series I'm curating. It's a thumbnail. Click on it for a larger image.

If my local blog readers aren't doing anything on the night of June 1st (and, yes, I know (now) that that's First Friday), please head over to El Tropicano Hotel downtown. You might want to find a parking space on the street somewhere. The hotel charges 10 dollars for parking. Yeah, you heard right. But, please, come on out. Park a few blacks away if you're poor like me. The headlining film is good. It's about my favorite place in the world. And my good friend, Enrique Madrid, will be there to talk about this film … and he can also talk about a few other films made in the La Junta region. For instance, he was the local liaison when Tommy Lee Jones took his production of The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada into Enrique's turf.

It's going to be a fun night!


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