Monday, September 19, 2005

09.19.05 Train Tour: The Kindness of Friends and Strangers

(Out the train window between Olympia and Seattle.)

The Seattle dates (4 shows at the super cool living-room-parlor-style Grand Illusion Cinema) were great because of the rays of sunshine emanated by the amazing people around me. The presence of these people made it OK that one of the shows drew an audience of only 4 people. Yes, 4, as in one-less-than-five. (Well, I said to myself, it's an absolutely gorgeous, sunny Saturday afternoon in a city where it rains most of the time, and besides, we have 3 more shows to make up for it.)
(Seth "working it" at the Grand Illusion.)

So who are these wonderful people, you ask? Well, one of them is my Seth, who came up from San Francisco to join me for the weekend in Seattle. He came, not only to share the experience, but because I had to “staff” the doors of the theatre in exchange for donation of the space. That leads me to Guerren, and the incredible all-volunteer staff at the Grand Illusion, who generously invited me to screen at the cinema and keep the entire proceeds. Amazing that once again I am screening at a place with a volunteer staff. One the one hand, it is a blessing to screen in places where people are that committed to cinema, but on the other hand it is incredibly sad that single-screen theatres have been so squashed by the modern mulitplexes that this is their only way to survive.

Finally, Seattle was amazing because of the human rainbow known as Shelly! Shelly read about the film in Tikkun magazine a while ago, and we've been kind of pen pals ever since. She is SO NICE. Not only did she help set up the screening, but she gave over her brand new only-lived-in-one-day apartment and bed to me and Seth, complete with a well-stocked fridge. She and I have too many quirky things in common to mention. She's a long lost sister for sure. It's meeting people like Shelly who make all the less-than-pleasant filmmaking and promoting experiences well worth their while.
(Me in front of the Grand Illusion Cinema. Hey! There's Shelly at the top of the stairs!)
In the end, we had a pretty good turnout for the combined shows, and because we were working the doors, I got to meet pretty much everyone who came out. So many nice and interesting people come to see my movie, and I absolutely love meeting them. There will be a lot of heartache, money, and time saved if I ever get a movie released theatrically without going on tour, but in a way I can't imagine just putting a product out there without this interactive step.

Seattle felt more like a vacation with a little work thrown in for good measure, because we had two days there instead of an in-out-quickie and Seth and I made it our business to be tourists at least for a little while. What a cool city!! Very walkable, independent-business-friendly, great views, a lovely waterfront, tons of local music, locally grown produce out the wazoo, and the COOLEST LIBRARY EVER. I don't necessarily check out the local library (no pun intended) every time I see a new city, but thankfully Shelly recommended stopping by and it was well worth it. The design nerd (designerd?) in me was in form-function heaven. I think I'd pretty much move in if I were a Seattle-ite.
(Pike Place Market, Seattle)

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