We are back from our wild 12 hours in New York, where “American Dumpling” was warmly received at the Chashama Film Festival, despite it being a small venue, a ten a.m. screening, and a rather damp, drizzly day.
Never mind that as we crossed from New Jersey into New York, over the Verrazano Bridge, and off at 38th St, we heard a really bad dragging sound. I was hoping it was the rather mangled road we were on, but no such luck. It was still dark, and behind us, the bridge was still glowing blue in the 6 a.m. pre-dawn sky.
We made a left onto 4th Ave,. pulled over, and Tomas got down on his hands and knees in rain pooled gutter, only to see that the ‘engine splash guard’ had come partially off, and was not about to budge, either back into position or just do us a favor and break clean off. We only had to go down to 17th Street, where director Aminta Goyel and her husband Michael lived, so after a bus went by and splashed all over Tomas, who was already dressed in his good clothes, we decided to park the car on 17th and deal with it after the festival. Buses splashing water on a person who dressed up is something you laugh at in a movie, right? It is a sight gag. Do not try this at home.
We staggered down the street to Aminta’s, where we were greeted with great joy, hugs and kisses. Her husband Michael was wonderful, totally easygoing and welcoming, considering we were two strangers who were so tired our eyes were rolling in our heads. Seriously, how many people let anyone in their house at the ungodly hour of 6:45 a.m., and be nice to them?
They made us coffee, and we all sat in the living room and talked excitedly until Michael realized it was time to go. I had changed into something decent, and did my best with eyeliner and mascara, which can work miracles, well, sometimes.
Onto the Subway, into the city, where we made our way to the venue, below.
When we went inside, we immediately collapsed onto the chairs, offing jackets, scarves and purses, when I realized I needed to see if our Dumpling cards were placed with the other films cards. Sadly, Eileen, the director, had not had the time to make up new cards and get them out, so below is a very tired me peering down at the stage, wondering where the cards are. A very tired Tomas took the picture, and I think it is perfect, as the out-of-focus shot is physically how I felt.
As I was wondering where the cards were, I heard my name being called behind me, and to my great surprise, an on-line friend I had invited showed up with his wife – what a treat to finally meet someone you have only known through cyberspace. John and his wife Eve were delightful and John took the time to write a review of the film on his blog, which you can read here. They also gave a DVD copy of the film to some entertainment reporters they knew, in the hopes that they would write up a review in an actual newspaper. We were overwhelmed.
After the film played, Tomás and I did the Q&A, which was being filmed, and to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what we said. Aminta reasured us that we did fine, but we were blithering idiots at that point.
We met a lovely woman, Louise Chu, who works publicity, marketing, and promotions for film, theater, and special events. She had some excellent suggestions for “Dumpling”, and gave us her card. I passed this information along to Eileen, and we shall see what comes of that.
Tomás and I extend our thanks to Ariel Vered and Rick Kariolic for their support and enthusiastic reception of “Dumpling”. You guys were great, and we hope to see you next year.
Afterwards, the six of us went to Chinatown, where we indulged ourselves in Vietnamese food and drink, and had so much fun we could have stayed until closing time. Eve expertly herded us through the city into the subway, not an easy task, let me tell you. She noticed I was weaving a bit at the corner, and I wrapped my arm in the crook of hers, and together we made all made it to Chinatown. Somehow she multitasked propping me up, while making sure not to lose either of our husbands or Aminta and Michael.
Regretfully, was time to go, as we had a long drive ahead. John and Eve headed towards their subway entrance, and we headed back to Aminta and Michael’s, where we had to deal with the car, and then wound up recapping the day, along with about a thousand other topics. We left their flat at around 6 p.m.
The drive back was a challenge, we got lost on the New Jersey Turnpike, just as the skies opened up with ferocious intent. Once we crossed from New Jersey back into Pennsylvania, we felt like we were home! Well….not quite. There was still the whole state to go through, more storms, a deer in the middle of the freeway which was a near miss, luckily, no one, man or beast got hurt.
All in all, we were up for forty hours straight, and although we made it, it has taken a few days to get back to a semi-normal sleep pattern. As you can see, my eyes refuse to open, but I am still smiling!
Tomas took some spectacular pictures of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and people, but we will sprinkle those throughout other posts. For now, we are back, and back to work. As I wrap this up, Tomas is mixing cue 1m5 for “Ravana’s Game”, to send off to director David Eblen tonight. David was very understanding concerning this trip, and we appreciate it, as he knows that if he needed us to do something like this for “Ravana’s Game” long after the score was written, we would do it in a heartbeat.
All in all, it was a wonderful time, and we want to thank John, Eve, Aminta and Michael for adding an extraordinary human touch to what would have been a nice, but ultimately grueling experience.
Oh, and I forgot, as Aminta and I were standing on the corner down the street a bit from the festival, waiting to go in, a young woman with a smart blond ponytail and a brisk step, walked by me, and her yoga mat smacked me firmly in my lower back, nearly causing me to fall flat on my face.
Aminta gaped, then laughed and said, “Wow, I’ll bet you felt like you were back in L.A., huh?”
Actually I didn’t. The Los Angeles twenty-something blond perky yoga matties walk the 9 steps from the yoga studio to their gigantic SUV’s where they throw all of their ‘portable yoga gear’ in the gaping maw of the back of the SUV, right next to the bags of groceries from Whole Foods, bottles of wine from Trader Joes’s, and assorted items ordered from “Mommy and Me”.
I have been hit with a lot of things in my time, but never a yoga mat. To add insult to injury, it was pink. Bashed by a pink yoga mat. Another new experience to cross off my list. Tomas got a shot of the corner, but he missed the attack of the pink yoga mat. Ah well, at least we have the footage of where the scene of the spiritual crime occurred.