I made this video in under a week after receiving the kind of xmas miracle that you can’t really ignore – a request from one of my favorite artists to make them a video because they “like your weirdness.” As a film maker whose go-to for wisdom is “What Would John Waters Do?” this was all of the encouragement I needed, plus I probably owe it to Audra Mae for the amount of times I’ve loudly murdered her songs while in the shower, in cars, walking down the street…
It was still a hell of a challenge! I was all set to say no, to push this aside and just be drunk over xmas like a normal person. But then, of course, I listened to the song. Neldie is a beautiful waltz written in tribute to a girl who is looking to find her one true love in the new year, to which Audra Mae replies – your one true love is in you, which obviously made me cry like a child when I first heard it. I’d finished Roxane Gay’s book, Hunger about five minutes before I sat down to listen to the song, a book about a woman fighting against the odds to love herself. I know this journey, most people do, especially women, who are trained from day one to internalize oppression about our bodies and our minds.
So I decided to make a video by any means necessary, which was the only way to do it considering that I moved to Berlin from Seattle in September, leaving my tripod and the amazing network of artists, musicians and people who will turn up to be movie extras in exchange for a pint. Berlin isn’t my town yet, but I did have one ace in the hole – my sister in law Emily Sweetman, who is an amazing illustrator. Em is one of those people who will show up and calmly sketch beautiful charcoal and chalk drawings in moments while I freak out about having to act in my own film because I can’t find anyone else to do it. Em is one of those people who you can hand a camera to and she’ll press the button and get your shot while you’re dressed like a proto Courtney Love and Germans are staring at you in the Ubahn station. Em’s drawings are the jewel in this film’s crown. I also have my badass husband Baggy, who was with me for re-shoots and the last minute ideas that make everything gel together. They are my outer fairy godmothers, nurturing the one within.
Before I made this film I was pondering, what am I going to do in 2018? Will I make films? Will I write? Will I blog? Will my muse hit me up with some ideas? My xmas miracle has taught me to stop worrying about what I’m going to do and to just go out and do it, things will happen if you make them happen. Even now, as the last moments of 2017 tick away I’m making lists and poised to reach out to other artists to collaborate. I’m going to be my own fairy godmother and reach for the stars.