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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Southern Circuit: miles to go before I sleep

(originally posted to Saturday, January 26, 2008)
The tour approaches and I feel like I'm in the fourth quarter of a season of 24. I remember looking at the clock today at about 4PM and thinking, that's it, twelve hours left, with 20 hours of shit left to do. I've been jamming ever since, and James has been good enough to take some of my errands off my hands despite having just had his wisdom teeth pulled and being in the middle of his own dissertation deadlines. But there's something hard and fast about a 3:55 a.m. shuttle pick-up and he took pity on me so I didn't have to do the laundry or walk the dog or wash him when he came back mostly black from the mud pit formerly known as Dolores Park. Last night's storm was of Biblical proportions so it was a miracle the Berkeley screening was so well attended. This reminds me I should print out the 10-day forecast for Greenville/Athens/Columbia/Beaufort South Carolina/Orangeburg area. Oh good, another errand. What else I did today: Voted (undecided until I marked my ballot--and then--sorry Barack), deposited checks, abortive pharmacy trip, abortive AAA visit for maps (they are closed Saturday because...), tested audio recorder, packed DVDs, paperbacks, t-shirts, e-books, started detailed itinerary, got audiobooks from library (Hemingway, Hammett, Sean Wilsey), fielded emails and phone calls, fed myself, lost my compact flash card, bought another one, made lists. I would list what remains to do before 3:55 a.m. but unfortunately I am pressed for time.

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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 R├ęcollets.