Some collage art I made in 2019 I think.

“Appalachian Candy Crown” (2019)
“That makes girls feel” (2019)
“Just another stupid vision board or whatever.” (2019)

I like to collage.

Documukbang

My best friend Loren Steinberg and I made a film for the 2020 Easter Seals Disability Film Challenge. It’s called Documukbang. Check it out below and be sure to like and share =]

The Wind in the Willows BINGO Game!

The Wind In The Willows | Cosgrove Hall Wiki | Fandom

In the throes of the global pandemic and sheltering-in-place, I have returned to the things that brought me comfort as a child. One of them is my favorite book of all time, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

As an American child in the mid-1990s, I was able to purchase the stop motion film adaption by British animation studio Cosgrove Hall, as well as nine episodes of the adapted TV series via catalog. I quickly became obsessed with the show and its characters – Ratty, Mole, Badger & of course Toad – watching the VHS tapes over and over again. My friends still refer to that period in my life as the time I had “Toady Fever.” I simply couldn’t get enough of the book, the movie and the TV show.

Toad, Badger, Mole and Ratty from Cosgrove Hall's stop frame ...

So imagine my surprise twenty years later to discover that Cosgrove Hall had made more than nine episodes of The Wind in the Willows.

As in…a lot more episodes.

As in 52 episodes of The Wind in the Willows series, a second movie called A Tale of Two Toads, and a spin-off series called Oh, Mr. Toad! consisting of 13 more episodes.

All I can say is, thank God my eleven year old self didn’t know all this additional content existed. In 1996, YouTube had not yet been invented, and I know she would have had a massive fit at being limited to the (now measly-seeming) nine episodes she had on VHS.

Original figurines from the beloved 1983 Wind in the Willows film ...

As you can tell, I have a very special place in my heart for The Wind in the Willows and Cosgrove Hall’s adaptations of Kenneth Grahame’s book. And what better time to catch up on the dozens of episodes I didn’t even know existed until I was in my thirties? 

So for the past couple of weeks, I have slowly been making my way through the show, one episode or so per night.

They’re only twenty minutes long each and – praise be to YouTube! – the complete series including second film and spin-off are available for your viewing pleasure right here.

You can also purchase the complete series on DVD here.

For those of you who haven’t seen this adaptation yet, let me tell you that the show is lovely. It’s beautifully made. It’s quiet and soothing. For me, it’s like visiting with an old friend.

Last night, I was watching the episode called The Labyrinth for the first time, and I became inspired to create a The Wind in the Willows BINGO Game for all my fellow Cosgrove Hall TWITW fans out there. It’s perfect for the classroom, to play with your kids, or just for fun on your own.

Download your free BINGO cards here, click here to start streaming an episode, and play along!

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I have always felt that the beauty of The Wind in the Willows is that you can read and enjoy it as a child for one set of reasons, and read and enjoy it for other reasons as an adult. I hope you watch the show (or read the amazing book) and find as much joy and laughter and warmth in it as I did then, and still do now.

With affection and a side of scones & jam,

Gina Rose

Howl & Coyote (my new play) June 14-17

“Well, I’ve never been out in public before today. You know, I rode the subway for the very first time just this afternoon. Is it normal for people to scream and run away when they see you?” – Gordon the Ape

Did you like that quote? Well, it’s from my latest play, Howl & Coyote. In March I found out it was officially selected to be in the Piedmont Center for the Arts One Act Play Festival in June 2018 in Piedmont, California. Beth Sheridan (the actor who played the character Bliss in my 2016 play Mollusk, Not Dead) is directing and I know it’s going to be a nice production!

I first started writing Howl & Coyote in 2007, right after I graduated college. It’s a play I’ve rewritten and retooled so many times. I’m super excited to finally be able to share these characters and this story with an audience. And the world!

Stay tuned for more details.

Mollusk, Not Dead

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Back in 2011, I was interning in the Department of Psychiatry at a Kaiser Permanente. On Fridays, I would borrow this one therapist’s office (he took Fridays off every week so it was empty). I believe he specialized in substance abuse recovery, because I remember one week sitting down at his desk and seeing this flyer for an event called “Sober, Not Dead.” I believe it was a picnic, or maybe some kind of potluck. In any case, it was a gathering of people in recovery from alcohol and/or drugs to remind one another that even though they were sober, they were “not dead.”

The tone of a name like “Sober, Not Dead” struck me as a bit angry and rueful…but in a good way. Like you had gone though this ordeal to get to the other side (sobriety) and you made it. You survived. You were not dead, even though you felt at times that the process of getting there would actually kill you.

But what happens after you’ve walked through the fire…and lived the tell the story?

My short play Mollusk, Not Dead explores the aftermath of surviving a different kind of emotional ordeal: getting your heart broken. Because even after you’ve gotten through the worst parts of heartbreak, you still have to decide whether to emotionally shut yourself off from others forever, or open up again…with the risk of getting hurt one more time.

Mollusk, Not Dead will be performed in Lake Merritt Park on Sunday, August 21 as part of The Aluminous Collective’s first annual Flash Mob Short Play Festival.

Here are the details!

Where: Lake Merritt Amphitheater (at Lake Merritt Blvd in Oakland, CA)
When: Sunday, August 21 @ 1:30PM – 3:30PM

Catch the other two Flash Mob plays at 12PM (Lake Merritt Boathouse) and 3PM (Lake Merritt Pergola).

Performances are FREE to the public.

For more info, click here:
http://www.aluminous.org/flash-mob/

Maybe I’ll see you there!

July 26 was a good day.

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Needless to say, it was a wonderful piece of news to receive in my inbox!

So my play (the actual title is Mollusk, Not Dead) is officially part of the first annual Flash Mob Short Play Festival produced by The Aluminous Collective, and will be performed at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater in Oakland, CA on the afternoon of Sunday, August 21, 2016.

Three plays will be performed throughout the day, and I believe mine will go on second (and repeat 5-6 times total, as the plays are only 10-15 minutes long).

I will post more updates and information soon. But in the meantime, I am feeling very encouraged and incredibly grateful for this awesome opportunity!

the play’s the thing

anna-quindlens-quotes-7What if I write and write and write and make movies and make art and put myself out there emotionally time and time again and nothing ever comes of it?

As in: I never get published, no one cares, I get hella rejected…hopes dashed, dreams shattered, crushed by disappointment…

You know what I’m talking about.

But recently, the author of one of my favorite blogs Hiya Tootsie wrote a post called Why I Keep My Heart on Display While I Chase Down My Dreams. In it, she talks candidly about her own insecurities and the necessity of being transparent about the former while chasing your dreams.

And as per usual, I come to the conclusion that vulnerability and humanness is the source of your greatest strength.

I’m still figuring all this out. There is such a strong temptation to appear calm, cool and collected. To put your success on display but not reveal the scared, flawed, insecure person underneath it all.

So, in keeping with the theme of LIVING vulnerability, not just talking about it, I’m using this post to announce that on Monday, I submitted an original play I wrote to the Aluminous Flash Mob Short Play Festival in Oakland, California.

I find out on July 25 if my play was selected. If it is, the play will be produced and performed for an audience in August.

I have not submitted my writing to anyone/thing since 2013. And I have not had anything published since college.

Right now I’m happy that I actually submitted something, but I do have fear. Namely an image in my head of people reading my play and cackling: “I can’t believe she had the nerve to submit this worthless tripe!”

Maybe my worst fears will be realized, maybe they won’t. Maybe something completely unexpected will happen.

Ten years ago, I would never have told anyone that I put myself in a position to possibly be rejected. But there’s something in me now that wants to share this part of my experience.

So watch this space for an update next week.

 

 

I made another movie. Here it is.

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Enrique and I slaving over a shot that didn’t even make it into the final film.

Between turning 31, renewing my psych license, applying to the CAAM Documentary Fund, making a freakin’ movie (see below) and…oh yeah, working an office job, I’ve been far too crazed these past few weeks to keep up with blog posting.

March madness, indeed!

But I’m back and I have updates! Heaven knows I have updates.

My Acting for the Camera class required that I self-produce a two-minute video displaying some “unique talent or skill.” We seriously weren’t given any more instruction than that.

I have no unique talents or skills (at least, none that would make for an interesting film), so I decided to rely on special effects to do the trick. My friend and #costar4life Enrique was nice enough to star in it with me and wear what is possibly the stupidest hat that ever came into existence. Thank you for being a friend, Quiqs.

Making this movie was a lot of work. I decided to use the camera on my Samsung Galaxy, which meant that I had to find a mount to attach it to my tripod. I called around and mounts were selling at Best Buy for $30. For some reason, I decided I didn’t want to pay that and I used this tutorial to build my own mount instead. Of course, I almost went insane in the process and started killing everyone, but that’s another story. I don’t usually build stuff so this was a good experience, even if I had to go to seven different stores to make it happen.

My “talent” in this video is The Force. Telekinesis. It’s one superpower that I really wish I had in real life. That, and being able to make myself invisible (literally, not figuratively; I mastered the latter when I was about five). And flying, of course. To create the effect, I used editing and reversal of footage. Your imagination does the rest. Isn’t that cute?

Yes. That is Carrie. Stephen King’s Carrie, not Carrie Bradshaw, you sillyheads.

There has been a lot going on and I’d say that I’m looking forward to some downtime in April, but I don’t think I actually will have much of that seeing as how I have so many projects in the works. Plus, April tends to be a beast of a month…at least in my experience.

Making this video made me re-realize how much I love filmmaking and that I want to make more movies. Writing and filmmaking, y’all. That’s what it’s all about for me. Along with everything else in my life.

I have something special (i.e. a little weird) planned for next week’s post. Stay tuned…

Never try to seduce someone with your writing.

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Never try to seduce someone with your writing. Or with your art, in general.

Just. Don’t. Do. It.

In fact, I’d go one step further: don’t even let someone you’re dating, romantically, or sexually involved with even read your writing. It’s way too vulnerable – a minefield of emotional hazards. As Walter in The Big Lebowski says to Steve Buscemi’s character: “You’re entering a world of pain.”

In college, I wrote this short story called The Wind Storm, which I won the Howard Teichmann Writing Prize for. It was probably the best thing I’d written up to that point in my life.

The following year, I gave a copy of the manuscript to my then-boyfriend to read.

Months went by. He didn’t read it. One of his friends asked if he could read my story as well, so I sent it to him and the next day he emailed me with a full critique and comments.

If you don’t give people the opportunity to disappoint you, they won’t…because they can’t.

It’s the only foolproof way to protect yourself in my opinion.

Then again, if people are going to disappoint you by not reading your work, you probably want to know this about them sooner rather than later.

Then AGAIN again, sharing your writing with someone who does read it in a timely and respectful manner but still breaks up with you is going to be a severe blow to your self-esteem and to your self-perception as a writer. The rejection is going to feel two-fold. How can it not?

I guess the only reasonable conclusion is that you want to find someone who will read your writing in a timely and respectful manner, AND never break up with you.

That’s when I think you’ve got it made.

Of course, there’s always the issue of the kind of feedback the person gives you about your writing after they’ve read it and before they’ve broken up with you…

But that’s a blog post for another time. Maybe next week, my darlings!

 

the waters/ides/ideas of march

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Happy March!

Someone in my Acting On Camera class posed a really good question the other day that got my mental wheels spinning:

“Have you ever seen a student greatly improve over the course of a class, and if so, what do you think made it possible? ”

Our instructor replied that he had seen this happen, and when it did, it was because the person stopped judging themselves, stopped trying to exercise control over every single thing they did, and basically got out of their own way.

I feel like this advice keeps coming up at various points in my life. It makes so much sense in theory, but for a control freak like me, it’s an ongoing battle to apply in real life.

With writing, there’s this very seductive and appealing aspect that involves the creation of a world. It puts the author in the power seat, the ultimate position of control.

But having a controlling attitude towards your writing and your evaluation of yourself when you are in the process of writing is a recipe for disaster. Or, in my experience: unhappiness, frustration, and stagnancy.

I explored this theme a bit in a recent post, but I do tend to have my most enjoyable writing experiences when I just don’t really care, when I’m trying to be as weird as possible (and trust me I can get pretty weird), when I’m not being self-conscious and just kind of letting whatever comes out just explode all over the page. It’s the permission to make a mess, to experiment, to produce crap that frees me…at least, some of the time.

It’s our attitude towards ourselves and the process and the act of creating art that I think we need to attempt to loosen control over. But this is not always easy…at all. It takes a certain amount of suspension of self-judgement. Speaking personally, my default position has been that of My Own Worst Critic for as long as I can remember.

My classmate asked a question that I believe we all ask at some point. Who doesn’t want to exponentially improve? Who doesn’t want to blossom and transform beyond their wildest imaginings? But how much control (or, perceived control) are we willing to give up in order for that to happen?