Peace on Earth, Peace in Space…

peace in space
Oil painting by Robert McCall

My dear friends,

This past year I have really gotten in touch with how much I have to be grateful for.¬† Even tonight, even when things weren’t going so well over my Christmas dinner out, I found touch points of gratitude and that was the gift of my 2017.¬† I could always find something to be genuinely grateful for.

For 2018, I think we all need a little more PEACE.¬† We ask, and sing and talk about “peace on earth” year after year that I think that it becomes tinny with the repetition.¬† However, I think we need to find a deep and profound peace more than ever.¬† Even if we disagree with something or someone politically, we need to find peace.¬† Even if that someone or something, manages to irk us every single time, we need to find peace.

This Christmas Eve, I am committing my 2018 to creating, fostering and maintaining peace.¬† It was St. Francis of Assisi who popularized what we now call a creche or a manager scene.¬† And it was also St. Francis who prayed, “make me an instrument of Your peace.”

I love this painting above by Robert McCall.  It points to how small we are, how small many of our problems are, compared to the vastness of the cosmos.  However, I think if we all do our small part to be the peace we are seeking, that can also do so much good.

My Christmas wish for you is to find the peace you are seeking.  If you are seeking peace of mind, I hope you find it.  I hope you create it.  If your heart is at unrest, I hope for you to have a peaceful heart in 2018.  Seekers are finders and I hope you seek peace and find it.

Happiest Holiday to You & Yours!

Much Love,

Kristin

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What Made 2017 So Great…

At this time, I like to pause and focus on what IS going right.  It is so easy to get bogged down. Thank you for sharing in the joys of my year.  It is at this time I am truly thankful for all who have touched my life in ways large and small.

Check out my Storify recap of this year!

storify 2017

Behind Hollywood’s Stereotype Hype

Powerhouse producers & directors came on What Women Want Talk Radio to show us what more inclusive filmmaking can and should be. Listen to this compelling interview with the teams behind two successful films, Murder in the Woods and Seeking Valentina.

whatwomenwantradioblog

11.22 Behind Hollywoods Stereotype Hype

Scintillating conversation from Hollywood’s latest directors, filmmakers and actors about how they are breaking ground for ALL cultures and backgrounds to star in non-typical roles and become more mainstream.

Director Armin Nasseri from the movie ‚ÄúSeeking Valentina‚ÄĚ and the creative team behind ‚ÄúMurder In The Woods,‚ÄĚ Yelena DeLeon and Luis Iga, come together to define how the meaning of ‚Äúcasting against type‚ÄĚ and promoting cultural significance in leading roles for films is revolutionizing the film industry.

http://latalkradio.com/content/women-112217%20#audio_play

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Not Just a Hollywood Problem

I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of women in the world.¬†¬†¬†Hollywood was reeling over the avalanche of harassment and sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.¬†¬†The #MeToo hashtag is near-constant in my various feeds.¬† I am saddened.¬† I keep asking myself, “How do I take action?”¬† And more importantly, how to take action that reverbs beyond just Hollywood?

I see Saudi women claiming their right to drive and wanting more of the rights that we in the USA take for granted.¬† There’s been significant action to stop child-marriage in India.¬† ¬†Men are expressing remorse, sympathy and solidarity for the women brave enough to tell world their “Me Too”.¬†¬† There IS progress.

I had a conversation with Nada Nasserdeen of Rise Up For You this morning.¬† ¬†It will be up soon.¬† We discussed so many things and one of the things that came up was the pay gap.¬† What Harvey Weinstein did was horrible, and once the headlines fade on this, we still have to keep pushing for economic equality.¬† Abuse of power is intimately tied to money. Having money does not give you the right to abuse other people.¬† One of the things that stands out about the Harvey Weinstein debacle was how¬† he was perceived as¬† a “golden goose” to quote Scott Rosenberg, a long-time associate.¬† If you haven’t read Rosenberg’s comments, read it.¬† Weinstein’s ability to make box office money left him unchecked. Considering how little progress has been made to include more women in the decision-making process of commercial film and television, it’s no wonder that he would-be-Harvey-s would feel invincible.

How do we move forward beyond this week?

  • Reach out to a woman in entertainment and let her know you support her.¬† Let her know that you care.
  • Go to a play or movie directed or produced by a woman.¬† Support women in the arts.¬† There’s an old maxim that “You’re only as good as your last picture.”¬† Let’s support women making art.
  • Do not tolerate bad behavior, “locker room talk” or any action that demeans a woman or girl at home, work or school.
  • Support women globally, especially to empower them economically.¬† A threat to women’s freedoms anywhere compromises women’s freedom everywhere.¬† One of my favorite ways to do this is by funding a micro-loan on Kiva.

This is about more than the transgressions of one man.¬† There are more Harvey-s in every industry, every country.¬† This is not just a Hollywood problem.¬† It’s a power imbalance that manifests everywhere from gilded Hollywood to the most humble villages on earth.¬† As long as the pay gap is tolerable to the majority, women will still be a minority, even if women outnumber men.

 

 

We All Get Trapped in the Linen Cabinet

My day started off with a faint scratching.  It was cat claws on something, a milder version of the cringe-worthy nails-on-a-chalkboard sound.

“Catty, what are you doing?”

Nothing.  Silence.

I sip my coffee and begin to deal with notifications:  Facebook, Twitter, heaps of crap email.

That sound again.

“Catty, what ARE YOU DOING?”

I look around and no cat creating chaos.  I looked in on the cat box.  No cat creating a mess.  I looked around the living room where the cat sometimes rebels and poos anyway.  No mess.  I sit back down on the couch.

Nails-on-chalkboard sound.  CRINGE.

“Mercury?”

A faint mew.

“Mercury?”

I look around, doing a 360.  No cat in his usual spots.

“Mercury?”

A faint mew.

I open the linen cabinet. ¬†Mercury, sitting atop a pile of towels, stares at me. ¬†Somehow, when I was putting the towels away late last night, I had failed to notice he had gotten in there, and apparently spent the night there. ¬†I had serious cat mom guilt. ¬†I’ve spent most of the day hugging and petting this little guy.

I won’t be able to ascertain how long Mercury wanted to actually spend in the linen cabinet versus how much time he was actually trapped in there. ¬† However, I’ve come to appreciate something very important. ¬†Sometimes cries for help are faint. ¬†It was that soft mew that led me to him. ¬†If our furry friends have this issue, then certainly our human friends do too. ¬†We have to be better listeners and curious listeners, not just listening for the sake of hearing, but listening for the sake of learning and hopefully, helping.

Everyone has their own linen cabinet. ¬†For some it’s depression and for some, a rarely-spoken-of trauma. ¬†Some spend a lot of time in the dark, just waiting for a door to open. ¬†If you haven’t heard from someone in a while, are you listening closely enough? ¬†Are you giving them space to be heard?

Development Hell

If you’re an industry person, you may have heard this term or used it–development hell. Development hell refers to the often chaotic, messy, frustrating business of getting a script ready to go into pre-production. ¬†No script comes to a¬†producer perfect and camera ready.

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Draft 1

We like the script, but there are few things that we need to change. ¬†Here is what we want changed: ¬†add this character, expand another character, take away the annoying mom character–and can you get this down to 90 pages?

Draft 2

This wasn’t what we had in mind. ¬†You know, ¬†I had this really great idea for some comic relief at the beginning, since it’s a heavy drama…

Draft 3

This is a mess.

Draft 4

Why is the subplot so much more interesting than the main plot?  Should we go a different direction?

Draft 5

We should go a different direction.

Draft 6

Is this too political?

Draft 7

It’s coming together, but we need to find a compelling role for (insert expensive actor’s name here).

Draft 8

Repeat process, starting above.

 

Churchill said,

“If you’re going through hell, keep on going.”