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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Southern Circuit 6: Columbia, S.C. ROCKS!

What day is it? I’m writing all these entries in the early hours of the next morning, and Blogger doesn’t honor the idea that the day before and the day after are distinguished by my having gone to bed. Technically today is Friday, February 1, 2008, and yesterday, or earlier tonight, was the screening of my film at the Nickelodeon.

Think of the Athens screening as having taken place among the sarcophagi in the museum, and Columbia as the middle-of-the-night show when the dead are raised and the liquor comes out. My first screening with beer in hand! Public screening, anyway. (There was free Dewars in New York, but only after the screening.)

So much laughter, so much connection, such great questions afterward, and such good sales at the Bar Nothing Boutique, where several people ordered fully illustrated copies of Oh My God. After all the all-nighters and the relentless, monumental stress of turning that thing from idea to book between Thanksgiving and Southern Circuit, I couldn’t have been happier if Knopf came up to me after the show and offered me a half a mil for my novel (which doesn't mean I would turn it down).

Afterward I had a terrific time with my Nickelodeon hosts, despite the fact that my guardian angel art yenta Laura had to skip out early with a migraine.

Like John Mitchell and Harold Bloom,
Laura got a headache from
Apparition of the Eternal Church

The rest of us went to some fabulous underground tavern and then to the Strom Thurmond memorial and then to the Art Bar and then the Nickelodeon’s Andy Smith--

--who, it turns out, went to Swarthmore with my boyfriend James—took me to the old theater, now a beauty shop, that they bought and are raising money to restore. Here are pictures:

Sorry no time for more detail or captions (this one is "ghost theater")—it’s well past 2 in the morning and I have to drive three hours tomorrow before reporting to Beaufort High School by lunch hour. Caffeine is my friend.

Columbia, S.C. ROCKS!

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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.