Wednesday, August 18, 2004


So, where was I? Shortly after my arrival on Friday. Phil and I ended up hanging out on Dom's back porch into the wee hours. Dom was not only my host, but my one man promotion machine in the weeks building up to the festival. He busted his ass trying to get us press and spreading the word to bring in an audience. Dom always takes his work very seriously. Even when he made frequent appearances in high school as his hula shirt and bandit mask-clad alter ego Captain Aloha, he treated it with a solemn air. His declaration senior year that Captain Aloha has made his last public appearance was a grave event. Later on, when a fellow classmate named Larry dressed up as Robin and crashed a Chicago DJ's local broadcast, and all he kept saying on the radio was "I'm the Boy Wonder" over and over, Dom remarked with sincerity, "At least he stayed in character."

The first screening was on Saturday afternoon, at the historic Biograph Theatre, where Dillinger was shot. I was warned that this festival was extremely disorganized, even more than normal, and this held true: I discovered the projectionist was about to show my submission screener (which has "Property of Buttleman Productions" across the bottom of the screen for the entire movie). But disaster was averted, and the turnout was great.

When I first arrived I was a little overwhelmed, confronted with all these faces I hadn't seen since high school. Afterwards Dom hosted a party at his apartment. Some surprising discoveries: Everyone looked great. The people that gained weight needed to gain weight, and the rest of them basically looked the same. Also, a large number of them are still pursuing the artistic dreams - acting, or music, etc. - that they had in high school. I pretty much expected everybody would be doctors or accountants or something. It's too bad my friend Matt, who was out in L.A. for the premiere, couldn't have been there. Matt's dad was our drama teacher in high school, and he would have appreciated seeing how many of Mr. Martello's final group of students - he retired as his son graduated - are still in the arts. I met Matt the summer after sophomore year, when he transferred to our school and played Jesus in "Godspell". It seems oddly fated that he missed the impromptu reunion because he was in Michigan directing a summer theatre production of... "Godspell".

Gotta go, getting a little woozy. I'm being asphyxiated by sandalwood/vanilla incense that my zen-minded coworker is burning. Ah, peace. Suffocating peace...

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