Saturday, September 15, 2007

beaufort (and belatedly columbia)

It's been two days (or three?) since I last had a moment to post (and internet access for posting), and in the interim I've read Eric Patrick's Circuit blog, which was fairly intimidating. In any case, here's what else has transpired since my report from Athens.

The show in Columbia was great. I live in Irmo, SC, a relatively isolated Columbia suburb, for about 10 years. I've rarely gone back to Columbia since leaving 20 years ago, but this visit made me think I was a fool for taking such a long break. The room was full of people--many of them students cajoled/bribed/bullied into coming by Larry Hembree, Andy Smith, and Laura Kissel--and it was definitely nice to see a big crowd (however they were made to come). Andy at the Nickelodeon was the steward of my visit & he couldn't have been a better host. I saw a handful of old friends from high school & got to make another handful of new ones (some of whom, it turns out, I may be seeing again next month in New York). Columbia is really a very different town than it was when I was there--and that's a very good thing.

The next morning--after unexpectedly crashing on Andy's couch--I was supposed to make an appearance on a local Fox-TV morning show, but because of crossed wires with the person who set the appearance up, I ended up showing up too late & got bumped. It's too bad too, because the other guest that morning was Master P (né Percy Miller), the rap impresario who was pushing the new book he's just penned. I would've liked to have talked cinema with the man behind _I Got The Hook Up_ and _I'm Bout It_, but oh well...

From there, I grabbed a quick bite with Andy again (including some memorably great grits) & raced off to Bluffton High School where I was presenting my films to an auditorium full of high school students. Note to self: high school students at 1 p.m. on a Friday are likely to be VERY bored &/or restless--DO NOT FORGET THIS. Anyway, once the films started rolling, they seemed to get into them, with laughter in the right places, &c. I ended up unspooling about 30 feet of TB TX DANCE so they could see what 16mm film looks like & they seemed mostly into that (or at least more into that than they were into my prologue). It was an interesting experience overall, and I'm glad I got to see my work through a different set of eyes.

I then rolled northward to Beaufort, where I was escorted to the amazing guest digs they had set up for me. JW Rone was my guide for this part, but once I got installed there, he handed me off to Jay, another member of the Beaufort arts crowd. Jay led me down to a great free dinner at Panini's Café--consider this a plug, I guess, because the warm chocolate cake was pretty stellar (and more so for being free). We then worked our way over to the show, where JW reappeared to introduce me. The room wasn't full, but I really got nice feedback after the show, and I felt good about the way things went there. I got to go back to my luxurious digs afterwards & managed to get a full night's sleep finally (10 hours!) for the first time since I left Wilmington, NC over a week ago.

I'm in Charleston, SC today, enjoying my day off & getting ready to grill chicken breasts with one of my girlfriend's old friends. Her 2 1/2 year son is presently demanding that I rejoin the fun, so I guess this is where this post ends.

For now,
R.