In my delusional 20s, I was certain I’d make a dramatic splash of James Dean proportions, somehow leaving a lasting legacy and a beautiful corpse. I stopped dating girls, stopped fooling myself, and stopped lying to my family about being gay. I cheated on a good boyfriend. Mom beat colon cancer and it just seemed like some surreal role she was playing to increase her range. We all knew she’d kick it. Continue reading ‘From the Edge of 17 to the Edge of 40′
Archive for the 'Damages' Category
<< Just weeks, or even days, before.
There came a point in my post-molestation experience a few years ago, while the man (for the record, a conservative Republican) was being prosecuted, where I was faring much better than my Mom. I had found a place of relative resolve; she was still as mad as hell. It was hearing the man deny the facts, categorically, repeatedly, and convincingly (to most of our home town) that was particularly maddening.
This whole LiLo as MaMo thing rings a little hollow. Clever PR, but how can this juxtaposition really say anything good if it’s saying anything at all? Similar drug dependencies? Remotely similar cultural significance? Lindsay is the new Marilyn? A foreshadowing? God forbid.
You’re gorgeous. We get it. We’ve been getting it since The Parent Trap had suburban Dads with prurient interests insisting on a trip to the theater. I never thought the girl had chops until Sam and I saw Bobby on the flight back from Spain. Given the right material, she could act her way out of a safe.
Not enough good roles? Damages has a great role for her. Maybe her people should contact my people. Let’s make it happen.
Maybe Billy’s just cranky and it’s just the fantasy come to life of a little girl to walk around in a legend’s scarf, or a quasi-interesting way for her to finally bare it all, but it looks more like young Hollywood has run out of ideas, identities, and images, and regurgitates this kind of sensationalist stuff. And again, this is coming from someone who LIKES Lindsay Lohan.
If this isn’t a good reason to further celebrate the end of the WGA strike, nothing is. Let’s get pen to paper, writers. Talent needs something to do.
For those of you who don’t know, Damages is the story of an actress, her teenage son, and the man who molests him, the damages they inflict upon each other, and the path to justice and redemption… told in the style of Moulin Rouge, through 16 songs by Queen.
Yes, it’s autobiographical, with names changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike.
I am fortunate to have a fantastic team behind this project: Amy Schiffman, Larry Taube, and Stafford Arima. Not only are they keen professionals, but dear friends. We share a deep, heartfelt passion for Damages, as many will, and their guidance and encouragement has been invaluable. I love you guys.
Have a taste: fivepages.pdf
Once upon a time there was a hot, young, blonde star in her twenties, captive to her overbearing manager. He controlled her utterly, criminally: what she said, what she did, what she wore, where she appeared, and how thin she was when she did. He drove a wedge between the young woman and her family. She wasn’t allowed any phone calls and weeks would pass without her family knowing her whereabouts, except for what they were able to see on TV. He had dirt on her; compromising photographs to keep her frightened and tractable. He drugged her regularly and abused her with inconceivable cruelty, sexually, physically, and verbally. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and valuables were stolen from her during his occupation. His control was absolute, and soon, so was her hopelessness.
I’m not talking about Britney Spears. I’m talking about my Mom.
Having exhausted every other path to help and solace, she lay in a bed in her home in the Hollywood hills and overdosed with a bottle of Valium.
It’s time I post this video too. For those of you who don’t know the other ‘big’ story behind me: I was molested as a child from the age of 12 to 18, by my family’s attorney. It went on for so long because I was in love with him, and didn’t really realize that a crime was being committed against me, and – no matter how ‘normal’ it felt at the time – it was damaging my psyche in ways that would persist for years. I didn’t come forward about it for a number of reasons, the largest of which were humiliation, the fear of not being believed, having to explain my own complicity, and that I’d have to come out. The statute of limitations is 5 years for this crime. Which meant I had until my 23rd birthday to report what had happened to me. That day came, and passed.
When I began to hear about this happening to other boys, I decided to expose him. I filed a complaint which was picked up by the papers, and ultimately landed on the desk of Governor Jeb Bush, who called an investigation. In the course of the four year investigation, about 40 of us were discovered. All ages. Some of us were fine, some were a mess, some were institutionalized, some were incarcerated, a couple had committed suicide. The oldest of us was well into his 40′s. The youngest, a freshman in college. I was one of the luckiest ones.
The latest news from the Damages front is that SA’s agent has read it and loves it. He wants to move forward. So, we’re going back to the Producer who referred us to SA in the first place to see if he’s interested in producing now that SA is on board. The next step is getting the two partners of the Production company on board, and then we’ll have a deal, or at least I’ll have an option. For those who don’t know what an option is, it’s an agreement that a company has rights to ‘first crack’ at a project for a given period of time. Once the option expires, if the project isn’t made, the rights revert back to the writer and the project can be optioned again or sold.
All of this could go to hell tomorrow, or not. It’s so important to remember that. I’ll just keep repeating it to myself, but hopefully.
Yesterday I got a call from my agent, Amy. She’s brilliant. She’s been talking to director SA about my screenplay, Damages. Evidently, he loves it. SA’s agent doesn’t yet, because he hasn’t read it, but he will. So far, everyone who has read Damages, has sat down to read ‘some of it’ and then suddenly found themselves at the end, an hour later. In fact, the best compliment it’s been paid was by my potential Producer who said he was traveling, in New York, when he drew a bath, and put Damages into the pile of magazines he would read while soaking. He picked Damages up first, and then found himself an hour later sitting in a cold bath, ‘riveted’, he said. ‘Riveted’. I’ve heard the word a thousand times, but never like that.
So when SA’s agent loves it, and the Producer agrees to it, we’ll meet about rewrites, and about casting. Whom we’d like to approach, etc. That will be fun.
So we continue along the long and winding road that leads, or doesn’t lead, to the movie theater. Hopes are up now. Hopes could be dashed, only to be up again. It’s hard to say where it will lead and when, but like breathing, I can’t live without it.