Thursday, March 15, 2012

There's Always Room for Jello

Today I had a visit from award-winning screenwriter Jane Shepard, Well, that is one way to look at it - another is that ol' Jane Shepard from junior high and high school stopped by. She came to borrow an easel for the independent film she is working on. She has been kind enough to share wonderful updates on Facebook and it looks like it is going to be great. I'm can't wait to see it.

She is trying to do this film with a very tiny budget. One of her updates was a wonderful video clip of her making homemade breakaway glass from sugar and breaking a plate of it over her own head. It was wonderfully funny and 100% Jane.

For those of you who have no idea who Jane is, she wrote the Showtime movie Freak City. She has also written the book Five Kickass Plays for Women (available on Jane and I got to know each other in the 9th grade when played Eleanor Roosevelt in Sunrise at Campobello and I played Franklin's secretary Missy LeHand. We have both pursued the passions that we had found early in life, her in theater and film, and I in writing (my books are also available on Amazon).

After she left I returned to my gardening and the early spring cleanup where it started to occur to me how many people in our high school graduating class are successful in artistic/literary endeavors. There is artist Briggs Geister, who creates incredible collage art. Rick Reilly is well-known among sports fans for his column in Sports Illustrated and now in his roll on ESPN, and has authored and co-authored ten books. Adam Eisenberg, a good pal in my senior year, now a Seattle DA, has written a book about police women. Eliza Cross, from both high school and church camp, has written four books on cooking and lifestyle. Gretchen Peters, whom I really knew only in passing, is Country Music Award winning songwriter and singer.

And I cannot forget the one I knew starting in grade school, punk rocker Jello Biafra of the erstwhile Dead Kennedys. Or as I knew him - Eric Boucher. In fifth and sixth grades he took great delight in teasing me.

I know that I have probably left out someone who is also accomplished in artistic endeavor. These are just those who ran across my mind in my musings this afternoon. What was it that brought about this level creativity? Was it that we were living in a unique city filled with diversity and open thinking? Was it the amazing teachers we shared? Was it in the water here?

Most of the people I speak with can't say that there was anyone well-known with whom they went to school. Somehow we seemed to have beaten the odds. Wouldn't it be wild if one day we could bring all this talent together in one big amazing project?

Thanks to Facebook I have been able to reconnect with some of these people after more than thirty years. Who are the fellow creators in your life and from your past?

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