Sunday, December 30, 2007
Best Sex Writing 2008 interview (and diary)
Best Sex Writing 2008 is out, and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel is posting interviews with those of us in the anthology. Here's mine, about my Nerve story on volunteering for a study to determine how much sensation men lose after circumcision.
By the way, I feel I owe the readers of this blog (whoever's left) an apology. I've been under one of the nastiest deadlines of my life trying to complete the Messiaen book in time for January screenings, tentatively scheduled to begin in LA Jan 19th! I spent the week of Thanksgiving preparing the transcript, the subsequent weeks pulling stills from the movie (watching much of the film frame by frame, and that's 30 per second for 52 minutes), another week arranging text and image in Photoshop, which I sized improperly so it all has to be done over once I have the director's commentary finished, and that's what I've been doing nonstop for the past eight days. Meanwhile I also ordered a 15-page proof so I can see how colors and layouts look on the page. So I've been busy! And stressed out! Behind in email and other commitments! I have managed to get to a couple of holiday parties, however, including an elk feast prepared by Martin's brother Friday night and the Underworld Party at Space 550 last night. Remember that public-speaking strategy for not getting nervous, to imagine everyone in their underwear? I wasn't nervous all night.
- Paul Festa’s first film, Apparition of the Eternal Church (2006, 51 min), captures the responses of 31 artists to the apocalyptic music of Olivier Messiaen (with Justin Bond, John Cameron Mitchell, Harold Bloom; screenings: Grace Cathedral, Barbican Centre, Library of Congress; “Remarkable”—The New Yorker; “Stunning”—Chicago Sun-Times; “Sublime”—Globe & Mail; numerous awards). Festa performs the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, opposite members of the San Francisco Ballet and The Cockettes, in his award-winning second film, The Glitter Emergency (2010, 20 min), a silent-film drag ballet comedy (“Enormous visual and musical inventiveness…full of pleasure and joy...Festa gives a bravura performance."—Film Threat). He produced, wrote and edited, with director Austin Forbord, and was chief archivist, for the Emmy-nominated documentary Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco (2010, 80 min: with Robin Williams, Bill Irwin, Peter Coyote; screenings: Geary Theater, KQED; “Intriguing...entertaining...a valuable record”—Variety). Performances as violinist and actor: ODC Theater, Center for Performance Research, Kunst-Stoff, TheatreFIRST, North Bay Shakespeare, Albert Fuller's Helicon Ensemble (Merkin Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall). US, Boston, NYC, SF, LA and DC (Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress on the “Betts” Stradivarius) premieres of Messiaen’s Fantaisie for violin and piano. He is the author of OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever, based on Apparition of the Eternal Church, and several anthologized essays, and has written for The Daily Beast, Salon, Nerve, and The New York Times Book Review. Current projects include a novel and Tie It Into My Hand (2014, ca. 80 min), a documentary feature that has screened as a work in progress at the Cannes film market and at ODC Theater in San Francisco (with Alan Cumming, Gary Graffman, Peter Coyote, Mink Stole, Robert Pinsky; "A fascinating exploration of the artistic life, as rollickingly entertaining as it is insightful and stirring."—San Francisco Bay Guardian). Education: Yale (B.A.; prizes, honors, distinction), Juilliard (Cert., Adv. Cert., scholarships). Residencies: Yaddo, MacDowell, ODC Theater, Centre des Récollets.
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