Progress of a MONUMENT

Posted: July 21, 2012 by Angry Patron (James) in Plugs & Events, Producing, The Mind of an Angry Patron

Press Photo: James Haro/Julie Mercik

This one’s from James :

Just a quick update from my last post about the show I’m currently producing. As I write this we have raised $1,485 of our $2000 goal. We are beyond thrilled and we know we can reach our goal.

COULD YOU PLEASE HELP!

Our production is called “MONUMENT,” a piece about an architect tasked with building one final and lasting structure for all of humanity. It is a devised piece presented by the Drexel Players, Drexel’s student theatre organization, and directed by Cara Blouin.

This piece marks a step forward for the Drexel Players. We have never self-produced a show of this size. Also, this is our first piece in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. We are extremely excited about this opportunity, but we are still looking for contributions from our friends, family, colleagues and peers.

So with that, I’d like to invite you to be a part of the creation of this production by contributing to our IndieGoGo campaign and taking advantage of our perks, some of which include:

To learn more about our project and how to contribute, please visit our IndieGoGo page HERE. 

MONUMENT runs Sept. 13 +14 @7pm, 15 @1pm and 6pm, and 16 @1pm. The Rotunda is located at 40th and Walnut, Philadelphia.

Tickets are NOW AVAILABLE at TICKETLEAP.

Thank you!

XO,


Our official Fringe Guide image. Photo by Danielle Leigh Brief

This one’s from James :

Greetings all!

So you know how in my bio I’m all like “I want to produce plays!” (in so many words)? Well, I’m doing it!

Our production is called “MONUMENT,” a piece about an architect tasked with building one final and lasting structure for all of humanity. It is a devised piece presented by the Drexel Players, Drexel’s student theatre organization, and directed by Cara Blouin.

This piece marks a step forward for the Drexel Players. We have never self-produced a show of this size. Also, this is our first piece in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. We are extremely excited about this opportunity, but we are still looking for contributions from our friends, family, colleagues and peers.

So with that, I’d like to invite you to be a part of the creation of this production by contributing to our IndieGoGo campaign and taking advantage of our perks, some of which include:

  • A quality framed print from our press photos!
  • A personalized 5 minute video thank you card from members of the cast and crew!
  • Personalized weekly video updates for 5 weeks leading up to the show!
  • Even the chance name one of the characters in the piece!

To learn more about our project and how to contribute, please visit our IndieGoGo page HERE.

I’ll be updating on the blog about our progress in the near future. It’s a really exciting time for us and I can’t wait for the piece to get rolling.

MONUMENT runs Sept. 13 +14 @7pm, 15 @1pm and 6pm, and 16 @1pm. The Rotunda is located at 40th and Walnut, Philadelphia. Tickets will be available online through TicketLeap by mid-July.

Thank you!

XO,


Image provided by Pam Liou's Photoshop skills.
Read her take on GIRLS here: http://humanmaterial.tumblr.com/

This one’s from Monet:

If you have a computer, TV, or anything that connects you to the outside world, chances are you’ve heard about 25-year old Judd Apatow protégé Lena Dunham‘s new series on HBO, Girls. The series premiered this past Sunday to staggeringly high numbers and my Twitter feed was out of control with #Girls #FirstWorldProblems  — all a product of weeks of what seemed like endless hype and speculation.

I’m torn on this series. As a feminist, I’m thrilled to see that a young female writer is being profiled and getting work in such a cut-throat industry. But, as a 20-something female artist of color, I’m perturbed. I’m highly disappointed in the fact that out of the four major roles of seemingly unknown female leads (who coincidentally have famous fathers?),  there is not one woman of color to identify with. Admittedly, when I first saw the ad, I thought, it was a show about 4 white sisters. When I finally watched the trailer for the series, I felt duped when learned that they actually weren’t related.

Mother Jones columnist Maya Dusenbury (is it worth noting that she’s a white woman, too?) wrote a pretty glowing review of the pilot episode.  A large part of Dusenbury’s article is based on her response to fellow MoJo columnist Asawin Suebsaeng‘s review of the much anticipated series. Both are really fantastic reads that raise valid points about this series and the stories that are being portrayed. Riffing off both reviews, I wouldn’t classify anything that’s being discussed or seen on Girls is necessarily “groundbreaking.” I do think the “frank portrayals” of “passionless sex, STIs, casual abortions, boring boyfriends, gay boyfriends, drugs, money woes, body image” are refreshing in the sense that they’re seeing any airtime in conversation at all, but something is missing in how it’s being conveyed to the masses. I think a big part of the problem lies in the fact that I can’t identify with these “girls” — not really — and this is supposedly a show for my demographic. It’s not just me — other 20-something female friends of mine of various races feel completely isolated from this show. The characters seem like younger, less self-aware versions of stock characters that I’ve seen before and haven’t done anything (as of yet) to keep me vested in their lives for an entire season. The writing is decent, but again, it didn’t blow me away or have me completely glued to HBO-Go for 35-minutes. And at first I thought, “maybe that’s the point -apathy and irony?” but then I thought, “then, why bother to have a show on major cable network?”

Age, class, and race in creative media always irks me. I try to be conscientious of it in my own work, and I’m not saying that I’m perfect at it, or that everything I write has to have an agenda behind it, but I do think it’s something important to take note of — especially if we’re trying to live up to the “cultured” and “diverse” society we as Americans have painted ourselves out to be.  I can’t fault Lena Dunham for being born into privilege, and therefore, I can’t expect her to write truthfully about cultures and experiences that are not her own. The New Yorker has applauded Dunham on her ability to make her experience seem “prominent” and “significant” because she is “self-consciousness about how to give them form.” Agreed. Ever since Tiny Furniture she has proven that she is very capable at capturing her lifestyle.  In fact, she is so good at capturing the privileged-white girl-turned-artist story that I fell asleep. Twice. Why? Because it’s not that interesting of a story no matter how well you write it.

My biggest complaint with Dunham is not in her talent, but in the fact she has been presented with this amazing platform on which she can voice the “20-something experience” and yet we’re getting such a narrow view of it. In an city that is populated by so many different cultures and shades of the human experience, why are we boiling it down to the experience of 4 white girls who are cut off from their parents and trying to “make it” in The Big Apple?  Girls has been grouped as the female Entourage and How to Make it in America and called the younger, more hopeless version of Sex and the City (all shows I admittedly don’t watch except when “nothing else is on.”) So,  maybe the question becomes, “Why does HBO keep returning to the same tropes? Why does that sell?” in regards to the representation of minorities in entertainment.

Jezebel brings up a really well-rounded concern for the future of this show, and I don’t think I’d do any justice in expounding on it further, so I will just leave the link here for you to read.

Post-premiere, a male friend of mine (who is of color) professed that he really enjoyed Girls. When I asked him why, he said, he “knows those girls” — that they are literally shades of our female friends. He, like MoJo’s Ms. Dusenbury, thought Dunham hit the nail right on the head when it came to defining this generation’s 20-something ladies. Vomit. And here’s why:

Because there is — or should be — more to defining 20-somethings than this acceptance of apathy that we’re drowning in. Is this really what my generation is interested in seeing/creating? Is this really how we want to be seen/remembered? And if so, why aren’t we pushing ourselves to be better?

xo,


This one’s from Monet:

Hello Patrons! Long time no blog.

I’ve been stuck in an odd limbo lately — caught between spreading myself way too thin, not having anything to say, or patience to actually sit down to say it.

I’m turning 25 on Thursday and it’s getting to that point in the week where I start taking stock of where my life is going and what I’ve been doing for the last quarter of a century.

Right now, it’s looking a lot like this:

My life at 25.

I kid, I kid. Kind of.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about where the economy has tossed 20-somethings like myself in the last 5 years in various news articles, and the topic of defining “success” is always brought up in some form. I recall reading a New York Times article a few months ago (and of course I’ve been scouring the internet to cite my source for the last hour and have turned up empty handed — sorry) and in it they interview 5 different 20-somethings who either have low-income jobs, are on unemployment, or are living back at home after having gone to Dartmouth or some similarly expensive & prestigious university. I remember the article being somewhat bleak because these 20-somethings were just SO frank about working some shitty/no job and, essentially, tossing their dreams aside in order to just survive and make it to the next month. The NYT stated that 15 years ago, graduates who hit 25 were well-established within their fields, had stable incomes, gotten married, and owned a car and/or house, or were well on their way to doing so. Then came the scary statistics — The NYT estimated that people graduating from college within the next 5-10 years will experience huge financial set backs that will cause them to take less risks when it comes to major life investments or finding better job; not to mention the fact the average debt repayment schedule will increase by almost 50% — all this is supposedly going to add up over the next 10-20 years. So, basically when I hit my mid-to-late thirties, I’ll be more or less on the way to being stable, whereas my current 40-year-old counterparts were living it up when they were my age.

It was pretty depressing. I had a momentary freak out in my office and questioned my sanity (or lack there of) for working my ass off to stay in one of the most expensive cities in the world for a shot — not even a guarantee– at “making it” in my chosen field.  But, then I remembered that the above supposed markers of “success” never really applies to artists because they’ve always been poor-ish. So, I felt a little better. I went to a bar later that night and in the bathroom stall I was peeing in, someone had sprawled across the wall: “You Are More Than Your Paycheck.” I took a photo of it and set it as my desktop wallpaper at work. Bathroom wisdom from a hipster bar that isn’t as pretentious as it probably was meant to be.

Then, last week I had to answer the following question in an application for a playwriting fellowship, “How do you define ‘success’ as an artist, and how will this fellowship help you achieve it?” Again, with that word: “Success.” What the hell does that even mean, and why is it at the forefront of everything I encounter these days?

I wrote something along the lines of “Everything is in process.” It really is. I used to think success was measured by what accomplishments you’ve had and how you are defined by those accolades.  Maybe that isn’t so true these days. Perhaps in this nebulous time of shifting uncertainty, success can no longer be measured in that way. Success is a process; it’s ongoing. Like the art we create, it’s constantly shifting, morphing to fit its environment. Isn’t that how we measure the weight of a great play or painting? Tony Kushner, Aphra Behn, Shakespeare, Brecht — all these playwrights’ greatest works are remembered and defined as “successful” for their ability to be retold over and over again to different audiences throughout time. These are just a few examples, the list could go on across all disciplines. Just think about it. Who inspires you? Have they been around for a while? What about their work do you like? What sticks to you? Why does everyone keep doing Hamlet year after year? When they re-mounted Angels in America last year, it was sold out for almost every single performance and extended — FOUR times.

So, here it is 20-somethings (and 30-somethings, and 40-somethings, etc etc etc): Let’s just all calm the fuck down.

We can’t be “Generation Why Bother.” It’s all about process. Success is not immediate — or it shouldn’t be. That pressure about working your ass off to get straight A’s in high school so that we could go to the best college to have the best life that we were spoonfed all our lives was just that — pressure. It’s crippling and I’m embarrassed that I’ve allowed it to transfer over to every other facet of my life. I shouldn’t have to constantly remind myself that just because I don’t own my own apartment, doesn’t mean that I haven’t done some pretty amazing things.

I’m only 25.

Just think what could happen over the next 365 days….

xo,

Adventures in Devised Works

Posted: March 27, 2012 by Angry Patron (James) in The Mind of an Angry Patron

This one’s from James:

I had to reflect a bit before I knew where I was going to go with this post. I might be a little rusty, so bear with me.

BEAR... (Yeah, I was not missed)

By the way, I’m glad to be back from blogger’s purgatory (aka, life). I sure missed Angry Patrons, and now it seems things are starting to take shape again around here. I’ll divulge more on that at a later point in another post. But for now, here’s my spiel:

Fucking, fuck-fuck…what a ride.

Six months ago a healthy portion of my fellow Drexel Players and I took advantage of a wild opportunity. We registered for a Special Topics class called “Creating Ensemble Theatre.” Pepper in a few unfamiliar faces and you have a group with no idea what was ahead of them. We were charged with the task of helping to devise a piece of theatre with a professional playwright. We had no script, we had no characters, we only knew what it was (loosely) supposed to be about:

Shakespeare.

This was an ambitious experiment for a growing theatre program. The class was conducted by Adriano Shaplin, playwright and Artistic Director of The Riot Group, the company in residence at Drexel this year through MPiRP. Previous residence companies include 11th Hour, Azuka, New Paradise Laboratories, and Pig Iron. We didn’t know what to expect from Adriano and I’m sure he didn’t know what to expect from us either. He threw us text, he made us think, he made us create, he made us sweat and dance and mold. We started to birth an ensemble. We saw the glimmer of promise in the process. We were still pretty far from the finish line, but we knew we’d make it there eventually. We would have to, right?

Cut to this past weekend. Some of those Drexel Players from the class, along with a few that joined later on, as well as our talented and capable tech crew, took the product of half-a year’s worth of work and frustration and inspiration and laughter and staged it in an Off-Broadway venue, Abingdon‘s June Havoc Theatre. 98 seats, 14 students, professional actor Brian Osborne, director Whit MacLaughlin, producer Nick Anselmo, and 80 minutes of a meta-theatrical-mushroom trip-Shakespearean-something or other-tragicomedy-parable and you have yourself 2 NYC showings of “The Poet Laureate of Capitalism.

The “tour” to NYC was pretty much just icing on the cake of a very successful Philadelphia run. We performed the piece 4 times on the Mandell stage having created our own 98 seater by placing our audience in chairs on risers on the stage with us, replicating our eventual Abingdon run. Having Adriano and Whit and Brian involved meant much of Philadelphia’s theatre community came out to see us perform. The Drexel Players with an audience of our peers and role models and local idols. It was invigorating to say the least.

The most positive part of this whole experience is how it empowered every young artist involved with it. Adriano, Whit, and Brian guided us through this project and made us feel purposeful in it’s progression. We wrote some of the dialogue, we choreographed some dances (many dances), and were given a lot of freedom to improvise and make suggestions and play and be big. A lot of people remarked, both in the Philly and NY runs of this show, that we did very brave work, and perhaps we did, but it never felt like we needed to be afraid or apprehensive or whatever the criteria for courage entails. The reason for that I’ll contribute to how comfortable we felt in the process, the trust we had in our leadership, and because we believed in what we were allowed to create. What exactly that was I couldn’t say definitely, but I know for certain that it aided tremendously in my development as an artist and as a theatre professional.

And in the vein of “devised works” I’d like to also credit Applied Mechanics‘s “Vainglorious” for my newly found love for this kind of work. “Vainglorious” only ran for a week but made an immediate impact. Directed by Rebecca Wright (coincidently, her and Adriano Shaplin are married), this project brought together more than 25 Philadelphia actors and put them in turn of the 19th century Europe. In under 90 minutes Philadelphia audiences saw/walked in on the French Revolution, Napoleon’s rise to power, Beethoven’s struggles as an artist, the influence of Talleyrand, the scandal in Germaine’s salons, and a myriad of other detailed and abstract and lovely and sad moments. This immersive, voyeuristic, “Sleep No More”-esque experience left me touched and inspired, and what’s more, I had some context as to how this piece might have been created. I am more in love with theatre now than I thought I could be. In a way, as well, it lit a fire under my ass and brought me back here to Angry Patrons (now you know who to blame).

Here’s the thing: there’s something to be said for plays that are written singularly in a room in solitude, but there should be more said about the plays that happen out of nowhere with a lot of somebodies creating something out of nothing. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen a few SITI Company shows and I’ve loved every minute of all of them. It struck me while in the process of TPLOC how amazing it was to have been a part of something similar, to however minutely a degree. That said, I am so proud of my fellow Drexel Players. We did this thing together. And Whit and Brian and Adriano became a part of our family, and they helped to strengthen our resolve as artists and taught us about overcoming adversity and having to love what you do. I am so thankful for all of it.

We all know that much of theatre doesn’t get seen. I’m not talking about Broadway, either. Many shows live the quiet, brilliant life of a star in a light polluted sky. Some shows are self serving and aren’t worth very much. They burn out quick in our memories. But then there are those shows that shine impressively hard and are still only enjoyed by a handful of eyes at a time, but these are the ones that are remembered. And much like how all runs must eventually come to an end, stars must die. But in the explosion, the gas and atoms combust and form up again from cosmic dust and burn anew in a new shape, and those who witnessed the living star get to say they were a part of something special. Stars out of stars, art inspiring art, people inspiring people, as we all cycle through and reinvent and re-imagine and reprocess. Out with the old, in with the new. It’s a forever sort of thing.

I’m in it again, Angry Patrons. Let’s get to fucking work!

XO,

New Logo Drafts

Posted: September 4, 2011 by Angry Patron (James) in The Mind of an Angry Patron

This one’s from James:

Here’s a quickie post because we wanted to share! Monet and I have been kicking around the idea of self-branding for a good year and we’ve been wanting to design a logo for a while now. Finally we have some things we like and wanted to get some feedback.

Here are some sketches that we gravitated toward:

The font will probably not stay but you get the idea. The “XO Face,” which is what we’re calling it for now, is an attempt to put a little of the blog into the logo. Since the beginning we’ve been signing out our posts with an “XO,” and we liked the idea of having a rough looking, beat up “Angry Patron” representing our “brand” (weird to use that kind of language but bear with me). We didn’t want him to look mean or sinister, rather a little dirty and rough around the edges, a figure that has scars and wears them.

Here’s a more detailed look:

And here’s one which we might not use but thought you’d like to see . The word bubble with “F#@K” may be a little too heavy handed, but here it is anyway:

Well that’s it for now.

We’d love to hear what you have to say about them. We’ll consider critique and all that. We hope you like!

We’ll be back with more posts and podcasts soon, we’re just trying to get life in order for ourselves.

In the meantime, listen and download past Rant&Banter episodes, read old posts, and enjoy the site!

XO,


Melinda Prisco: Filmmaker. Actor. Writer. Producer. New York City. 2011.

AP: Tell me about yourself, Melinda.                                                          

MP: My name is Melinda Prisco. I just turned 24 earlier this summer. I work on many things – the question of “What do you do?” always leaves me puzzled, as well as “Where are you from?” Let’s start with where I’m from.

Most people call me a mutt, my friends call me eurotrash (even though I am not eurotrash). I was born in Switzerland to an Italian father and a Hungarian mother. Soon after that we moved to Holland, and when I turned 6 we moved to Madrid, where I stayed until I graduated high school. Most Christmases were in Budapest and we speak Italian at home. My education was always in English. I have an accent in every single language I speak.

What I do… I love acting and I love  writing. Even though I have had success in both areas, I have realized that my biggest talent lies in producing. So yeah, I’m a producer who likes to act and write. I produce shows for a German theater company here in NYC; I also helped start a Brooklyn based film production company. I have produced several short films and public access shows in the past couple of years, and I am now producing the feature film MOM, for which we have received a lot of support.

I am very well read, very curious, very smart (not modest, as you can see); I will never take “no” for an answer. I didn’t have a regular 4 year college training, degree, whatever. I’ve done screenwriting, playwriting, fiction writing, digital filmmaking and in depth production courses at NYFA and the New School. I’ve been doing guerilla independent filmmaking for 6 years – this is pretty much where I learned all I know. Now, I’m living in Brooklyn (have been for quite some time), and “home,” where my parents are, is currently Hungary, even though last year it was Italy, and two years before that it was Spain. She laughs.

AP: What’s “Mom” about? What’s it like to produce a debut feature film?

MP: MOM, is the first film by Lonely Christopher, a young poet, novelist (and now a screenwriter), who has had a lot of fame with his latest collection of stories “The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse”. It’s a story about a young man named Try who hires a rag-tag detective agency to locate his biological mother in Brooklyn. In this fish-out-of-water situation, it soon becomes apparent that Try is hiding important details about his life and masking his confusion regarding his true motivations. A funny and profound adventure ensues as Try confronts his most repressed problems and desires, whether he likes it or not.

I’m not just a producer on this of this film; I’m also acting in it! Lonely Christopher wrote one of the roles especially for me, as we have known and worked with each other for a couple of years now. A lot of times I get the question, “What does a Producer do?” Many people think it’s the “money person.” I wish. I’m constantly broke. A producer, in my own very special words, is the mother of a film. It’s the person who works right by the director. And it’s the person who works right by the interns. It’s the person who makes things happen, from the very early development stage to the festival circuits. There’s hiring people, casting, getting funds, overseeing the location scouting and the production design, budgeting, scheduling, making very daring last minute decision that can change the entire course of the project. It’s a lot of logistics and administrative duty, and that’s why you need a lot of heart to do it. Especially in a very low budget indie film. I’ve been devoting most of time to MOM since January. That was seven months ago, and we start shooting in September. Which is scary and exciting and nerve wrecking, all in one.

AP: Why is this project so special to you?

MP: It’s all about the people. Right now, I’m working with a writer whom I respect above all. He impresses me every day, and I hate the fact that him and I are the same age. He’s a beautiful writer and has become a very close friend. The other producer and the executive producer of the film, Jakob Abrams and Jose Cavazos, are also my closest friends, and are the people who I have always worked with and leaned on. We can’t bullshit one another. It’s kind of amazing. I’m working with people whom I love, on a project that I love. Going to work and socializing becomes the same thing. We work very hard, very well, and are lucky to have a lot of support from different people in order to make the best possible movie that we can.

AP: What are your hopes for this project?

MP: My hopes is that a lot of people see this. That everybody sees this film. That when they see it they’re left in awe by it. That when they then look at the budget of the film are even more blown away by it. That we are then given more opportunities and resources to make even more movies in our own way, without people looking over every move. That this movie puts us on the map, and sets Lonely Christopher as one of the better writers of out time. Oh, and to make money. Huge smile and giggle.

AP: Why is being a young artist important?

MP: I think being a young artist is very important. I think making art is better than talking about art. I think that making a film with one hundred dollars is better than sitting on your ass and waiting for something to happen. I feel like now everybody just wants to be “famous” immediately. Someone wants to make it big in three seconds. Instant gratification. The process of being a young artist, the process of being constantly broke and surrounding yourself with people who make you want to create is very important. You learn how to do things the hard way, you learn how to get over your shyness, or unwillingness to ask for favors, to stalk people, to make a fool out of yourself.

I don’t know what I’m getting at. Let me try to explain this better.

Doing is better than not doing, no matter the outcome. I did a show for Public Access TV a couple of years ago with Jakob Abrams called “Lifecoaching”. We had no money. We got a camera for a window of 24 hours and had to shoot a whole episode. That was one of the most fun times of my life. It put me back in the creating process. I think many people concentrate too much on school now. Undergrad, Grad school, whatever goes after that. I’m not saying it’s bad, not at all, I’m jealous at times. But I am saying that sometimes people forget to “do”. You need to be a young artist in order to figure out the ropes of your business. You need to be an artist who can think for themselves and make things happen. I’m rambling. I’m happy to see that “art” is again very much alive. Most people I meet are artists. Or want to be artists. For a time more people were conforming and going more into finance and business. I don’t think it’s that way any more. Now I wish there were more scientists, I really do. Another huge smile.

AP: What are the challenges you face working as an artist? Does being from another country help or hurt you when faced with these challenges?

MP: Most of the challenges are either financially or competition. There are a lot of people with good ideas. There are a lot of people with a good community of friends that can make it happen. I don’t think that there are a lot of people with enough brains to make it out intact. Luck. That one’s important too. Who you know. I wish I new more people, were less of a loner, or wish that big crowds made me less uncomfortable.

I don’t know if being from a different country per se makes it less challenging or not. I’m not just from a different country. I’m a very big mixture of ideals and ways. I grew up in a very Mediterranean and liberal atmosphere. My mother is very Eastern European. My Dad is one of the smartest people I know, and taught me from a very young age to do it all on my own without asking for unnecessary help. I don’t have a big family, I’m an only child – I’ve relied on my imagination ever since a little girl. My school was international, I knew people from all over. And most were Embassy kids, so they came and went very often. I can love and let go very easily.

I think it’s these things that help me when facing these challenges. I can adapt to many ways of thinking, I can see every single situation through from a different perspective. I’m not judgmental. I speak a lot of languages and can carry myself in different cultures, even in different social or class circles. I never feel like the outsider. However corny it sounds, my upbringing has made me a citizen of the world, and I think that helps me. Oh, and brains, those help too. It surprises me how much people forget to use them. And the fact that a lot of people don’t dare to simply ask for things. I swear to God, a lot of times people fail just because they didn’t dare to ask for something. I’m very spoiled, I don’t have a problem doing that. I’m also very independent. It’s a mixture of cultures, I would think.

AP: What are the positives (benefits) and negatives of working in the US, as opposed to Europe?

MP: Well, let’s start with the negatives. I miss my parents and I miss my Dog. I miss Europe. I miss being able to go from country to country, as people go from Sate to State here. I miss the food. I miss the streets. I miss the language. I miss it a lot. And flight are expensive, so I stay here a lot. The biggest negative is being able to work here legally. I’ve never done anything illegal, so I’m good to go. I am, however, looking for a more permanent way to stay. That part is always hard, and it really shouldn’t be this hard. I understand that a lot has changed in the past ten years with immigration, but it’s really ridiculous how much you have to prove yourself to stay here. I’m doing it though. And I will do so until I get to go through the fast line at customs.

The positive of working in the US… I’m going to change this question to the positives of working in New York. This is my favorite city in the world. I’m in love with it. I don’t see myself anywhere else long term. I want to work in other places, but always come back to New York. I moved to Budapest for 8 months. That as three years ago. The day I came back was magical. That ride, in the cab, from the airport to wherever it is I’m staying is always breath taking. It’s very movie like. No wonder why that moment, the leaving or coming back to NYC is overused in cinema. I’ve met great friends who have become great collaborators. I’ve made “a collective of artists,” as my friend puts it.

Another benefit of NYC, I think, is that if you want to shoot something, you can shoot it in a heartbeat. You will know someone with equipment, or someone you know will know so. You will know great locations, you can get a bunch of extras, you can find all the props in the world. It’s a very accessible city. It’s not for everyone though. I’ve seen a lot of people leave as they couldn’t take it any longer, but I can. And I plan on making much more of my art in New York for a long while.

Melinda Prisco currently resides in Brooklyn, NY, after having spent her childhood in Madrid. New York Theatre credits include assisting in productions at The New Stage Theater Company and at The Galli Theater, where she also acted in several children’s productions. She has written, produced and starred in several short films and public access shows, like “Lifecoaching” (2009) and “Playmates” (2010). She is currently producing Lonely Christopher’s feature film debut, “Mom.”

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