Bridging Petty Divides

I hope I remember to get my IRS extension in the mail before the Monday deadline. I hate tax time. My returns are always so convoluted and daunting. But that’s not really the reason I have been filing extensions these last few years. The problem is that because all the work I do is of a freelance nature, and there is no employer withholdings, I tend to have to pay a sizable chunk to the IRS, even though I’m living at the poverty level. I did get a new camera and a new computer n 2010. Maybe if I completely write those off with no annual depreciation, I might soften the financial burden when I have to pay six months from now.

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I piddled away and did little of consequence today. Thankfully Deborah called up and asked me out this evening, thus pulling me from my malaise. She wanted to show off her new computer. We talked about our various projects, as well as Seme Jatib’s dance performances coming up which we are both helping out on.

I often find myself getting so pissed off that this wonderfully creative city can be so divided. We artists in San Antonio divide ourselves along class and ethnic lines. But we also divide ourselves along disciplinary lines. It occurred to me tonight, while talking with Deborah, that she has had an enormous impact on how I act around artists from varied backgrounds. She’s never allowed these old San Antonio divides to stop her from befriending and collaborating with artists from various backgrounds. And, certainly, there is no one in San Antonio more comfortable crossing cultures and disciplines than Deborah Keller-Rihn. Painting, photography, sculpture, dance, film, performance art, religious rituals, etc. She’s introduced me to so many incredible people. But also, she’s taught me, through example, how easy it is in this city to reach out to fellow artists and build rewarding collaborative work.

Also, Deborah and I know how important it is to use works-in-collaboration to try and bridge these petty divides.

We are both thrilled that an artist of Seme Jatib’s caliber was reached out to us to help on her up-coming dance performances. I will be providing video clips to be used for the multi-media projections. Deborah will work on the stagecraft design.

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Kiko Martinez wrote a piece about the San Antonio Neighborhood Film Project. I’ve only seen the online version of the article. I need to get the newspaper tomorrow. I’m curious if the group photo of me, Manny, Rod, and Scott (a photo, I believe, taken by Rod’s wife) is in the print edition. I have a couple of quotes. Pretty cool.

Click here for the newspaper piece.

I have no problem engaging with the media. I’ve been interviewed probably twenty times during the eight or so years I’ve lived in San Antonio. My pontifications have made their way to print, radio, and TV. Almost always I have been turning on the chin music, the balloon juice, the gassy blather to promote the works of other people. On rare occasion (like in this piece) I get to blow air into my own horn.

Follow the link above.

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I should be working on the first of two promo viral videos for the Push Pens. I was hoping the first would be ready tonight. But as it’s now “tomorrow” morning, I think we’ll have to wait until a Friday night release.

This first promo will be a bit of theater and a bit of music. We shot it in the theater. It will give people a good idea of what the show’s like.

Here’s a behind the scenes shot of the three Push Pens, with director Steve Bailey.

The second promo we shot last night at the PediCab Bar. It’s more of a music video. And we still need another night of shooting.

I was a lot of fun. I am so in love of shooting HD video with the Canon 7D. Stick a fast lens on the camera (I’m using a 50mm f 1.4 lens, which is longer than I really want, but it does look great!), and you’ve got a lovely look!

Bars are perfect places to shoot with these new breeds of HD video-enable DSLRs. Move your subjects around to the most flattering pool of light. Find a sweet compromise between ISO and f-stop, while keep the shutter speed at a 50th of a second (if you’re shooting at 24 frames per second).

The concept behind this particular Push Pens song, “Pretty Packages,” is that pretty people bring opportunities of love into your life often when you’re quite happily in another relationship. And the question is, how will you deal with it?

The Push Pens are Dino Foxx, Cros Esquivel, and Billy Munoz. Here Billy is the bartender. The two parallel stories are about Dino and Cros, two best buds, one gay, one straight. Dino is being seduced by a pretty guy; Cros is half-heartedly fighting off a pretty girl.

And there there’s Steve Bailey, the director of the up-coming Push Pens’ show at Jump-Start. He was there at the shoot, doing this great job of shouting out suggestions of what the actors should be doing. We weren’t running sound, so this was fine. But better than fine, it was a blast to have Steve on set. He helped to move things along fairly quickly. And he had us all laughing and at ease.

I’ve known that I would really like Steve for years, but he’s rather stand-offish. But lately I’ve been privileged to see him work. He’s just the sort of brilliant. committed, playful, wise, and sweet man I always wanted him to be.

Here are some screen-grabs fro the shoot.

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Saturday is usually my one time to partake of Fiesta (the two week San Antonio spring bacchanalia). This is the King William Parade. It’s a blast. It goes down my street. I love it.

But this year I’m shooting some video of Seme Jatib and her dancers for her up-coming shows in late April and early May.

Not hanging out at the parade seems so wrong! But I will be doing something equally cool.

I’m really looking foreword to this shoot with Seme!

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