Monday, January 25, 2010

Judy, Braxton & Tying up "Loose Ends."

Quote du jour: "If my dog were a man, he'd be hot." Girl in the Miracle Mile on her cellphone.
Hi guys! I am in the midst of watching "The Blind Side" on DVD at home, with my Gatsby cuddled up at the end of the couch, both of us under the afghan, and yes -- I am watching the movie again! After I juuust saw it Saturday night, but SB's performance in it is SO phenomenal and I LOVE all of the acting actually -- the lead make who plays Michael is sooo touching that yes -- I so wanted to watch it again! And this, my dear friends, is beloved moment in time. I was sooo sleeeepy today and this -- stopping the movie to blog -- is my treat!

And today was truly a groundbreaking day!!! First of all, I awoke to an email from Judy Clain! And though some of you are -- almost all of you -- are probably wondering who she is -- she is none other than the extraordinarily successful editor at Little, Brown who discovered Julie Powell's blog, Julie and Julia, and turned it into a movie! I met her last summer at the beautiful Breadloaf Writer's Conference in Middlebury, Vermont. She also graduated from Barnard College. And we talked for 45 minutes. She dug the title of my memoir, Mighty Forces Are Gathering on Your Behalf, which is what my Dad would say to my mom when she was sick and needing a prayer. He culled it from Winston Churchill's talks her gave to his British soldiers during World War II. Only my history-loving dad :)

Sigh. Happy sigh. Very happy sigh. When I met her in August, she gave me her card and referred me to a William Morris literary agent. I facebooked her and emailed her twice and didn't hear anything back. But I have to say, I knew like I was talking about yesterday -- when you truly believe your own story -- that she was going to get back to me. And though it took about 7 weeks, she did!

In her own words: Hi Kieren!

Definitely send your pages when you’re ready!!


I lit up like a child on Christmas morning! And the key here is to follow up, stay in touch -- with always gratitude and following your gut. I am STOKED to get my pages to her!!! This was the fire I needed to get me going. And I have to say, I thank my dear friend Kevin Flynn, talented screenwriter, playwright and director, for setting me on the focused path last Spring. He told me to focus on one thing at a time. He told me that you can send in an excerpt from your book. He told me that I have many talents and to not let myself get distracted. Thank you Kev. Since his words, I have gotten a 5 book series deal and now a MAJOR EDITOR interested in seeing my memoir -- which I, full circle moment, started at Barnard!

Second bit of news, I did in fact meet with the successful independent film producer, Braxton Pope. (He's the handsome bearded man below). Cornell Graduate, super-smart -- anyone who describes an interview for a college scholarship as having 3 older people "eviscerating" him is play in my book! We met for drinks at The Wilshire in Santa Monica at 7:30pm. I met him through my friend, the super funny screenwriter, Thomas Moffet who wrote Shrink. We met for an hour and a half and he gave me golden advice. He said, "You only get the first look once. So before you send your screenplay to the two main people you want attached to the project, have it completed and as perfect as can be." He also said he is going to send me some useful information about getting a film funded. We sat for an hour and a half and I asked him a ton of questions about his path and mine and what advice he had for me. He said, "You have great access. Just make sure you have the project perfected before sending it out." And he recommended I reach out to my prep school and to Barnard/Columbia to meet with "money people." And I can tell them that I have certain people "reading" the movie -- which I will shortly!

And this leads me to my 3rd great update! Bekah sent me the first 25 pages of my movie!!! And she said she had so much fun writing it! And that right there makes me feel very good about it. I shall dig into it tomorrow morning! And the picture I attached is because as I was telling Braxton over my glass of cabernet, when I did a reading in New York for Loose Ends, the modern-day classic written by Michael Weller, came and reviewed me. They said that I was "an unstoppable force." (below is a picture of me with two cast members from the reading). And Natalie Portman, with whom I co-starred in The Diary of Anne Frank on Broadway over ten years ago when we were just kids, came to the reading. We remained very close friends. And after the reading as she passed me a bouquet of flowers, she said to me, "You need your own star vehicle, Kier. That was amazing."

And as I sat alongside Braxton and sipped wine and questioned him about movie-making, smiling to myself, knowing that I had the beginnings of my script awaiting me at home, I thought -- "Natalie... I am creating it myself."

The happiest of sighs.

Good night all. And keep dreaming!

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