Brain Food At The Movies – Episode 1

Hello everyone, and welcome to a very special episode of Brain Food… At the Movies!

The movie that I reviewed? The Host!

No, not the awesome South Korean Sci-fi horror film from 2006, but the very boring, rather disturbing (for all the wrong reasons) movie based off of Stephenie Meyer’s book of the same name.

While not as bad as I thought it was going to be, I certainly did not come out of this sober…

My new shit

I recently completed a draft of my new play, Encanta. I like to describe it as Kirikou and the Sorceress meets Moonstruck on the island from The Tempest.

The story itself is pretty simple. Penzima is a pirate who washed ashore after a storm sank her ship. After making fast friends with best buddies Armando and Carlos, she soon meets Katrina, a powerful sorceress feared and hated by everyone. Sparks fly, and Penzima is immediately smitten with Katrina, who is in turn drawn to the charming, witty Penzima. Penzima vows to show Katrina that she is worthy of her love, but will that be enough?

What really excites me about Encanta is that it’s a play about the magic of love, lust, and romance that focuses on LGBTQ people of color. All the characters are Latin@ or Afro-Latin@.

I don’t want to give away the ending, but aside from being a joy to write, Encanta breaks the mold for “acceptable” narratives for LGBTQ people and people of color. You know the ones: the pain porn, the stereotypical bullshit, the Sassy Gay/Black/Latin@ Friend who has no live of their own. You get the idea.

Encanta is all about people who are being silly and crazy and in love and using magic who just happen to be LGBTQ people of color. Too often, we only get to suffer because it’s “inspiring,” and we only be funny when who we are is the butt of the joke.

Fuck that shit. I want my escapist fantasy too. I want passion and romance too. I want my happily ever after too. And since the powers that be seem more interested in not scaring off straight people and white folks, I made Encanta for myself.

Brain Food – Episode 21

Hello everyone and welcome to episode 21 of Brain Food, wherein I review the excellent anthology by Ankhesen Mie, Folklore & Other Stories.

This video is dedicated in loving memory to celticknotgirl, a wonderful Mass Effect fanfic writer who touched me deeply with her own writing and who considered me a friend.

I can’t believe she’s gone, and she will forever be missed.

The POCs of the Vampire Diaries

Over At The Bar, my girl Ankhesen penned a most excellent series examining THE EPIC RACIST FUCKERY the treatment of the characters of color on the hit series The Vampire Diaries:

 
 
Also check out Fangs For The Fantasy’s comprehensive analysis on TVD which also swings the vervain-laden cluebat.
 
What’s astonishing is that two completely different reviews hit the same points almost verbatim on the consistent fail that TVD brings.

Web Media

I’ve come to the belief that web media is the future of entertainment. With each passing day television is getting more and more irrelevant, especially with the continued subpar storytelling and whitewashing which has alienated countless fans. Web media is also more efficient as you can get a full story in an episode or short film which on average runs between 3-10 minutes. That’s ideal if you’re at work and between meetings or waiting to pick up your kids from school.

While I don’t think televisions should be getting thrown out of windows just yet for being obsolete, web media has definitely put the entertainment industry on notice. We’ve witnessed this with many television shows now being shown on the web and more than a few web shows getting network deals.

Web media has also come a long way in such a short amount of time. In addition to Sanctuary and Web Therapy, I’ve also discovered some excellent gems such as Sorority Row, Pink the Series, and It’s A Mall World among others.

We’ve also seen the unprecedented success of shows such as the Guild and Doctor Horrible.

Now while most web shows are far from perfect, one has to give credit at what these storytellers have accomplished with virtually no budgets or resources in comparison to Hollywood media.

When my buddy Ankhesen Mie forwarded me this recent article from Racialicious, I was immensely excited to discover there was quite a number of POC-centric web series out there, many of them sci-fi/fantasy.

For the past few weeks I’ve researched many of these shows and upon doing so I learned about many others. I then learned about some LGBTQ web shows that also caught my attention.

Some of these shows I previously knew about, others I learned through research, others I just happened to hear about in unrelated paths in passing over the last week or so. Of course at this point in my life, I don’t believe in coincidence.

So why did I compile the seemingly never-ending POC/LGBTQ web media post?

  1. It’s fun.
  2. I’m a firm believer in supporting marginalized media.
  3. I want to create a library for others who are also searching for quality marginalized and progressive media as well.

And here we go:

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What do portrayals of interracial relationships reveal about attitudes toward race?

The play I wrote, Tulpa, or Anne&Me, has at its emotional center an interracial friendship and possible romance between a queer Black artist and Anne Hathaway*.

(*In the sense that Being John Malkovich is really about John Malkovich.)

Strangely enough, it’s only been recently that I’ve started thinking about how that core relationship fits into the portrayals of interracial relationships in film, TV, and other media. Representations of interracial relationships are particularly revealing when it comes to how people understand race.

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Will you support queer Black women’s stories on stage?

“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid” — Audre Lorde

Earlier this year, I wrote and produced a play called Tulpa, or Anne&Me that debuted at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.

Since that first production, I’ve often been asked about what’s next for Tulpa, or Anne&Me. This is a great sign because it means that the play has touched people in some deep places and led to powerful moments of growth and healing for many. I feel a real responsibility to make this piece the best I can make it and bring it to as many places as I can where people want and need to see it.

Right now, I’m talking with someone who can offer me an opportunity for more performances in mid- to late April. Despite the fact that I’m based in NYC, there are still only a few plays by and about queer Black women being made. Although the world we live in wants me to be comfortable with feeling insignificant, I no longer have the luxury to deceive myself into believing that my work and my voice are not important.

I am raising $3,000 for the 2012 production of Tulpa, or Anne&Me. If I reach this goal, my work will have another chance to do what it’s meant to do — pave the way for healing and transformation in our lives, relationships, and communities. If you contribute to this project, you will be doing more than putting a story on stage, but creating a vibrant opportunity to honor those of us who are Black and woman and queer.

Will you contribute to be part of that process?

(*Check out the IndieGoGo campaign for a moving promo video from Hollowstone author and Ars Marginal contributor Dennis Upkins)