Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Flowers, They're Goldblumin' (or I Prefer My Shakes Maltin)

I have a quick confession to make. Due to the rigorous nature of the festival, I may not be able to update the blog as much as I would otherwise like to do. It's currently 1:23 A.M. in Telluride, Colorado, and I've already got to be up for breakfast and a discussion at 7:30 A.M. -- yikes. Prepare not to sleep if you ever come to Telluride. By its very nature, especially relevant to Student Symposium, you are out and about at all hours of the day and the night -- it is (blissfully) unrelenting. I have absolutely no complaints.

I have a lot that I plan to write here, personal anecdotes and may venture into the realm of using videoblogs to condense information, but since I won't have time enough to prepare oratory on the subject matters, writing things down here or in a notebook seems to be a more appropriate way to store my thoughts for the time being. I've always been a writer first and an actor/improviser second, so I'll opt to stick to my guns on this one -- the deliciously serendipitous (and not-so-serenditious) occurrences here at Telluride deserve a meticulously and thorough relation, with careful attention to details.

A story might be fun to hear in person, but my one experimental venture into videoblogging (or vlogging) resulted in a fairly circuitous, rambling and incoherent relation of several anecdotes, including but not limited to a brief and spastic tour of my condo (by means of spinning my computer around in a circle). So. Let's put that brief bit behind us, ignore it for now, and hope for the best via the textual relation of my stories to all of ya'll.

A brief note that I will expound upon after the festival's close comes from our class discussion with filmmaker Peter Sellars -- Sellars, in his forty-five minute lecture to us all, talked of the importance of praise and of understanding intentionality. His focus with these two main core subjects was on defining who you are in the truest form, and admittedly having to go through some relative hell or tumult to arrive at a sense of peace or appropriate purpose in one's life. He said something to us all that really struck a chord with me -- I may be paraphrasing a bit when I transcribe this quote from my hastily-written notes, but the sentiment that follows is a near perfect illustration that my life has taken in the past year.
"It's when you're in a miserable state in your life that you really realize what it is you want and who you really are (and who you need to become) -- also, how to come to a place that mirrors that."
-- Peter Sellars
What Sellars said to our symposium is outstandingly relevant in the sense that a less than favorable state in my life led me to realize exactly what it was I needed to be doing with my life. I was in a situation where the circumstances were unfavorable, where I was making choices based on the concerns and opinions of others instead of first consulting myself.

I am being purposefully cryptic because I intend to expound on this a bit more in a later post, but trust me when I say that in the past year (since having realized the changes that needed to be made), life has been close to ideal. A place like Telluride makes me (at least) realize that everything I have come to believe in the past year of my life and have realized as aspirations, goals and wants, is intensely valid if potentially less poetic than the linguistic stylings of Peter Sellars, filmmaker and honorary motivational speaker, in my book.

Also, I have some additional quick notes for further explication. Look forward to hearing about the following:
  • My Chance Meeting with Leonard Maltin
  • Meeting Jeff Goldblum (complete with pictures to prove it!) + Bonus Random Anecdote
  • Symposium Discussion with Ken Burns
  • Symposium Discussion with Peter Sellars (in further detail)
  • Paul Vester's short film In The Woods (and aftermath)
  • U.S. Premiere of Waltz With Bashir & Meeting with Director Ari Folman (w/ Folman's video introduction that almost got me kicked out of the Chuck Jones' Cinema -- sorry, Telluride Staff, I honestly didn't know that it was forbidden!)
  • U.S. Premiere of A Private Century by Czech Director Jan Sikl & Meeting Afterward
It's true what they say about Telluride, in that you have every opportunity to meet anyone who is in attendance. The Ari Folman story, in particular, is an excellent illustration of how making the right choice (what would normally be considered going the extra mile) allows that which is unbelievable to become a distinct reality.

Everyone here really is within an arm's reach. The opportunities can slip away as easily as they present themselves -- but, thankfully, I have rarely been one to turn down an opportunity. And, since being here in Telluride is such a special honor, I'll be damned if I am going to walk by someone I respect or who has inspired me in some way without at least introducing myself. Some are content to observe from afar and say, "Hey! It's Jeff Goldblum." But, I got to talk to the man, all because I made the effort to do so. It's not hard, per se, but it takes some courage.

For me, the fact that I am here in Telluride is courage enough. Cheers.

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