Things to do on August

No Filter ends on August 2 (insert sad face here) and while we are gearing up for our last weekend, I’m also looking ahead — as far as August — to get my life back together and, of course, there’s a lot of work to be done. I have to get back to a state of financial stability. There are a lot of articles I can write, things that need to be reviewed, online writing jobs that I can pick up to sort of get back on my two feet and restart my savings.

Yes, that’s all definitely on the table but I’ve tasted what it is like to be a part of something wonderful and I definitely want to continue this and never have to go back to doing corporate jobs again.

Lucky for me, there are many offers for new things to write. Good friends want to sit down and collaborate on films and plays and whatever else and I’m so excited to be a part of these projects. There’s a musical in the pipeline, a one-act play, two films, and maybe even more. It’s all out there. I just have to manage my time properly and I know I’m more than stoked to get on them all. There’s just not enough time in one day.

No Filter cast, prod, and creative team during one of our rehearsals and we all decided on pizza for an early dinner -- I will miss these guys SO much, I'm frightened

No Filter cast, prod, and creative team during one of our rehearsals and we all decided on pizza for an early dinner — I will miss these guys SO much, I’m frightened

On a personal note, I think it’s time to start reading fiction again. I haven’t read fiction in almost three years now — preferring creative non-fiction and memoirs — and it’s time to get back to reading fiction. I haven’t done it in so long and I actually have The Goldfinch by Donna Tart in my iBooks and it has been there for two years now and I still haven’t opened it. I heard so many good things about it and The Goldfinch actually is referred to in No Filter. So I think it is funny that I haven’t read it yet.

And then I really want to study and read other poets and try to break away from the old way I write poetry. I’ve put it out in a book and I’ve already enough for a second book of poetry and I think it’s time to grow and evolve as a poet. I’m also galvanised (using my director, Toff de Venecia’s words) to make at least one volume of Spoken Word pieces, even just fifteen or sixteen poems, because I’m so inspired and amazed at how brilliant my co-head writer, Jam Pascual, is as a poet.

In poetry, I’ve stuck to the Romantic poets and I’ve always wanted to get out of that frame of mind and be more aggressive with my language. I’m too languid. I’m too soft, as a poet. I want to strike harder and be more deliberate. It’s really time to grow and this is the best time to do it.

Remnants is out now and I’ll probably be marketing that book like crazy on August. Right now, my head is all on No Filter but when the show is done, it’s a good way to distract myself from the eventual depression that I am bound to feel when the cast and the team no longer have a solid reason to see each other. I’m so sure we will see each other and set up meets or whatever but there is the certainty of a prescribed schedule like rehearsals and shows to ensure attendance. Now, it all depends on everyone’s availability.

If it isn’t as frequent as I am comfortable for it to be, I’ll have Remnants to run to for distraction.

And really, if I plan to earn money through my e-books, I better get my memoirs moving at a faster pace. Because people have been asking for it and I think that it’s time to put that chapter of my life to rest. My past, it seems, will not stop hounding me until I’ve put it out there. That memoir — Positive/Negative — about my HIV diagnosis and what happened afterwards is going to sell. I’m just really sick of that story. I don’t really want to have to tell that story AGAIN. But maybe if I finally get it out there, I can be done with it. Maybe it will stop chasing me and forcing me to tell it again and again.

So, yeah, there’s a lot of things to do when August starts and it will continue on until after August. The rest of 2015 will be an enjoyable exercise of being a creator again; of finally being able to call myself an artist and not be ashamed of it. I always say “I’m trying to be an artist” as if that would absolve me from any mediocre work that I put out. But, no, I’m an artist. I engage in it and study it and learn from it and, when I can, teach what I know about it.

And that is something the whole experience of No Filter has given me. I keep talking about it and even I’m shocked at my inability to restrain myself. But what can I do? It has changed my life. Being in this production, being a part of this production, has made me grow so much and it has become this point that I will always go back to: “That was when things changed for me. That was the time it all changed again.”

“Because we’ll have changed.”

“And we’ll keep changing.”

“So we’re always just beginning?”

— “So I’m a millennial” from the original play No Filter


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