From today’s Austin Chronicle: “Big day for the Travis County delegation and Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, as she coaxed the 81st legislature into actually passing a bill. “First bill of the session, first bill on the calendar, first major state bill, and it is House Bill 873, the film incentives,” she said.The only group that has come out against the bill is the Libertarian Party of Texas, which put out a press release demanding the abolition of the Governor’s Music, Film, Television, and Multimedia Office. However, Dukes said she had to stave off a last-minute attempt on the floor to derail the bill as corporate welfare but, as she pointed out, “even the conservative coalition supported the concept of the bill because of its potential for creating 4,000 jobs.”
Monthly Archives: March 2009
The heavily anticipated action film, The Watchmen, opens today. I’ve been reading and listening to tons of reviews of it because a.) I am a fan of the graphic novel, and b.) I am friends with one of its’ stars, Jackie Earle Haley. He is married to a good friend of mine’s sister, Amelia, and frequently when they come into town from San Antonio, we all go out to dinner. Jackie plays the masked anti-hero, Rorschach, and is being singled out across the board for his performance. I find this tremendously inspiring. He was a child actor and teen star in the 70’s (”The Bad News Bears” and ”Breaking Away”) and then worked sporatically in the 90s, finally moving to San Antonio to produce corporate videos when the rest of the work dried up. In 2006, his luck changed. He appeared in two films. And for his incredible portrayal of a just-released pedophile in Little Children, he was nominated for an academy award.
That’s it right? Success. You can’t get higher than that right? Your career path is now set, you are back from inobscurity. Well, no. Not in this case. For The Watchman, Jackie knew he was right for Rorschach, but the studio wanted movie stars. O God, movie stars. Jackie called in some friends, they made a crude Rorschach costume, and he made an audition tape in his house. He sent it to his agent and told him to get it seen. Well, it was, and I think that we all know what happened after that. I have yet to see the film. I really want to see it at the Alamo, and it will probably be sold out for a while. In every review I’ve heard of the film, and they haven’t all been favorable, no one has anything but glowing praise for Haley’s performance, singling out the scene where the mask comes off as being the most psychologically compelling moment of the film. I’m glad that the world is seeing that face. Hopefully, this time, they will remember it.
I came off the high of the rally this morning to get some great news about the other creative life I live. B and I won TWO AUSTIN ADDYs for some of the work we did last year (Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Mushroom Men)!!! This really came at a good time because we both needed some encouragement lately because the work we are doing at the moment does not allow us to be as creative as usual. This always weighs on me, although I know its part of the deal. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished. We were up against tons of big agencies, and we do all this work ourselves, just the two of us. So yeah, I’m basically patting myself on the back here. Well done.
I’m waiting for more pics and coverage of the rally to appear online. Click the image above to read what Austin actor/blogger Tommy G. Kendrick has to say about it. He actually got to speak to legislators and listen to committee testimony from director/writer Richard Linklater and producer/director Garry Brown (Prison Break). Both of whom have big projects they want to shoot in Texas, but can only afford to do so if the state offers more generous incentives. I really don’t see how this can’t get funded. It seems like such a win-win situation for everyone.
I am playing a small role of a French maid in the staged reading of Madame X presented by Austin Shakespeare. I practiced my French accent all week, but Ann scrapped it in rehearsal, “Let’s keep it simple.” C’est dommage. Here are the details:
Austin Shakespeare invites you to a staged reading of…
by Ann Ciccolella
Martin Burke, Gwen Kelso, Jennymarie Jemison
Nathan Jerkins & Jill K. Swanson
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Home of Ed & Helen Baxter
3215 Tarryhollow Dr.
RSVP by March 6 to Alex Alford
(512) 470 4505or firstname.lastname@example.org
$20 per person — Refreshments
Madame X is based on the subject of the John Singer Sargent painting.