Saturday, March 7, 2009

Partying with Diablo Cody

Friday was a big day at the Cinequest film festival -- it was the Day of the Writer, comprised of a series of informative and entertaining talks about screenwriting. I went to two of the talks, each by prestigious UCLA professors who have published books on the matter, and while there were snippets of good information, I had heard so many jokes pimping the UCLA screenwriting program that I was ready to... well, gloat. See, the BEA competition which I recently won, was national, and students from UCLA competed against me.

"We blew them outta the water," my screenplay teacher said last night. Ha!

Now I wanna win an Oscar for a script for the sole purpose of saying "Gosh, I'd like to thank the Academy, because it's been so hard since I didn't go to UCLA..."

But back on track, I skipped out on part of one of the talks in favor of going to see a documentary called Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison about -- shockingly enough -- Cash's 1968 album which he recorded at Folsom.

It was amazing. Boy is Cash ever missed.

After that it was time for a quick lunch while I listened to the conversations of my fellow film fest attendees, many from all over the world. The day was overcast and windy, but I didn't mind the chill.

"Lunch" = a cookie and frappuccino

Then it was time for Diablo Cody's Q&A, in which the interviewer, who I won't mention here out of respect for his career... I guess... maybe it's out of respect for his age, talked about himself for so long that the audience actually shouted "ask her a question!" It was one of the strangest interviews I've seen since the interviewer seemed to feel the need to put his two cents in whenever he could. One audience member asked "How do you suffer fools?" to which Diablo replied, "I must have the patience of a saint." The crowd roared in laughter, and by the look on the interviewers face, I highly doubt he had any notion that the joke was on him.

"I was two minutes away from jumping on stage and kicking him off," my screenwriting teacher said. "I had my glasses off -- if you ever see me with my glasses off it means I'm so angry that I can't even look at you."

I think that about sums up everyone's feelings on the matter!

Afterwards, however, my professor snuck me, my fellow screenwriter Sasha, and a lovely director, Cathy, in to the after party to meet Diablo Cody. The party was in the penthouse of an alumni, and the other two girls and I felt rather awkward being in our street clothes, surrounded by all these older (and often famous) people. We stayed in a clump, but still were served wine and got to each rich people food:

Rich people crackers

Rich people's humiliated potatoes

Rich people's view

Diablo Cody then arrived, and my professor was sure to introduce us to her as the girls he crashed the party with. "She won't say anything about it," he said, in reference to me, "but she's won every screenwriting competition that she's entered." I told her about my script, and was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have to explain the premise to her -- she knew about the Trojan War and Euripides. In my experience, that's rare!

She's a lovely woman and very easy to talk to. I felt fortunate that I wasn't star struck at all which helped me relax and be myself a bit more (unlike when I froze up when I met Sherman Alexie) though I still felt like a dork. I mean, I had my backpack with me.

Diablo Cody and me

Everyone was very excited to meet her, but soon the party winded down and was going to be moved to a club a few blocks away called the Vault (the outside kinda looks like Gringott's Bank!). Sasha and I figured that was our cue to leave, but then Diablo turned to us and said, "Let's go to the soiree, c'mon you guys."

Sasha had a salsa class to get ready for and I hadn't seen my sister in two days, so we both took a split second to think about it, then Sasha reminded me, "Diablo Cody just invited us to a party -- we don't really have a choice!"

We headed out with her and a few others, and when the bouncers tried to stop Sasha and I from entering the club because we looked young, Diablo stuck her head back out and said "They're coming in, they're with me." We showed them our IDs and they let us in after all. Clubs aren't really my scene, and while I enjoyed talking to other filmmakers, I had to wonder at why I felt so awkward. I realized that I'm more at home in a horse stall, or rather, on the back of a horse! I was wearing cowboy boots, too (as I often do). I think I'm too California Country for Hollywood.

At the Vault

I felt bad for Diablo -- people were crowding around her everywhere she went, asking for pictures and photographs (I was no exception). But watching her there, effortlessly and gracefully negotiating her way through crowds of people just to get to her fiancee made me realize... wow. I want to be a successful screenwriter, but I don't want this. I don't want people fawning over me, thinking I'm special, jostling just to share space with me. That sort of attention makes me uncomfortable. I've never been a social butterfly. I love being with my close friends, but there's only so much interaction with strangers that I can tolerate before it all starts to feel so... phony. Maybe it's that way with everyone. I guess this means I'll be the Joaquin Phoenix of screenwriting if I ever make it.

Diablo, in case you're reading this, thank you so much for befriending us and making us feel special for the night -- you're charming!

Mackenzie's momma, The Other Amanda, and Tracie -- thank you so much for your congratulations! And don't worry Padfoot -- I'm gonna buy my ticket to Vegas soon. ;)

1 comment:

Mackenzies Momma said...

Woo hoo!

Uhm this would be the part where I *should* be all "Its sooo cool you got to meet Diablo Cody" but uh, honestly I live under a rock and don't know who she is *blushes profusely*

I really sympathize with the being more comfortable in a horse stall than a club. My *one* club experience nearly two years ago made me feel much the same way(funny part is I was there for a Country concert).

I think I'll just stick to the relative anonymity of the photoshop world.