DUDE, the semester is OVER, and I’ve been away from my Weekly Hustle posts for two whole months!
As you can tell, things have been super busy, but now that grad school is over, Christmas is around the corner, and New Year’s is down the block, it’s time to start taking stock of this past year.
So for a JUST couple days, I’m BACK with two posts on the horizon:
- this Weekly Hustle post for weeks 45-52 (10/31/16-12/26/16), and,
- my annual 2016 Creative Achievements Review and Round up!
When the New Year rolls around, I’ll also be posting my annual 2017 Creative Goals post! But as of 12/26/16 to 12/1/2017, I’ll be away from both my Weekly Hustle blog and my Creative Journal blog. Because it’s time to spend some time with the fam (and writing my projects, of course)! 😉
THOUGHTS, RAMBLINGS, WHATEVS: Weeks #45-52 (10/31/16 – 12/26/16)
These last 2 months in life and grad school definitely had their ups and downs. I really struggled with trying to pin down what my creative journey could, should, and would be as a generative artist. On top of that my disenchantment with scholarly work continued to deepen, LOL.
In order to literally survive this semester, I had to do some serious mental gymnastics, trying to find ways in which my academic classes could speak to my creative spirit. And luckily, I DID! I basically ended up using the scholarly work in my classes as a preliminary foundation for future grant proposals for a larger project I’m working on. With that simple change in perspective, I actually ended up getting some great work out of my scholarly classes, which will then be repurposed for use in my creative
With that simple change in perspective, I actually ended up getting some great work out of my scholarly classes, which will then be repurposed for use in my creative endeavors.
Still, I think the disconnect I feel between the scholarly world and my creativity needs to be addressed in a constructive way. Through the help of a good friend of mine, I realized that while I have my own plans on how this degree is to serve my interests and creative endeavors, that the program administrators have NO IDEA what I’m thinking, lol! So it’s time to work on my communication; it’s time to let them know what my master grand plan is and how I see the degree serving that plan. The people in this program only want to help us achieve our dreams, so I’m confident that we can work together in order to find pathways towards my end goals.
However, this is a scary leap for me. In my last graduate program, I was traumatized by the lack of support and receptivity my ideas and trajectory received. Not only did my research interests fall on deaf ears to an extent, but I also felt as though I couldn’t be upfront about my dual identity as a scholar and an artist. I got a clear message that if I focused on both, I would not be taken seriously as an academic.
So, I felt I had to “steal” what I needed in a cloak and dagger way (not literally, but intellectually): I registered for classes outside of my department without informing my superiors, I stopped talking about my creative projects and my research with my peers, colleagues, and senior colleagues, I withdrew socially and spiritually from my department, and I pretty much lived a double-life, which was slowly being taken over by full-time creativity. I was a lot happier, but definitely more isolated and less trusting.
And now, even though I’ve moved on from that program and disconnected myself from academia, and now that I identify wholly as an artist,when it comes to approaching my administrators about my needs I still feel those vulnerabilities creeping up on me. This is not their fault; these feelings of insecurity and shame are just lingering intellectual wounds and traumas which I’m only recognizing and dealing with now. So it’s my goal in 2017 to trust more in my program and in the people in it and to NOT pre-judge anything by my former experiences. New program, new people, new slate, new life!
So, SOLUTIONS! It’s my goal in 2017 to trust more in my program and to NOT pre-judge anything or anyone by my former experiences. New program, new people, new slate, new life!
That was the main epiphany I came to in the past 8 weeks. That, and that my identity as a “pure” artist has only been reaffirmed through the program and outside of it. And speaking of stuff going on outside of the program, I absolutely could not WAIT until the December break, where I’d literally just ART, every day, ALL day for five weeks straight, lol. Now that I’m smack in the middle of December break, I know even more that writing, educating, making films, designing games, and being a creative coach, all from home, on a flexible schedule, catered to my lifestyle is EXACTLY the life I want.
Now, it’s pretty much up to me to design that life, that career, and my f’empire on my own. So here’s to the next 2.5 years! In the meantime, I’ll be here keeping track of my progress on the blog and in life!
Gotta end the year strong with my last Weekly Hustle post of 2016. Let’s check out my:
LAST 8 WEEKS’ HAUL (10/31/16 – 12/26/16)
What I wrote these past 8 weeks:
- 4,597 words for The Iron Maiden (Books of Ezekiel #3). YES! I know. So sad and not at all what I would’ve preferred, but c’est la vie! At least the story is moving forward, lol.
- More story development and plotting for Rose n’ John Does (The Hitmen of Happily Ever After #1). Though I admit, I need to spend a little more time in the world and be able to visualize it before I can really write in it. But that’s coming soon!
What I read / watched / listened to these past 8 weeks:
- I’ve been staying up on my usual podcasts. Nothing new here.
- I’ve been on a Marvel TV BINGE, though! I finished the first two seasons of Daredevil, and it was AMAZING!! Especially the first season. The second was also solid, but the storyline went from gritty to a little sappy and strange. In all, though, it’s pretty much the perfect series, and I’m studying it intensely as I develop my “Design and Write a Badass TV Series” course for The Bohemian Badass.
- Also finished the first season of Jessica Jones, and it was also pretty awesome! It’s a solid series, well-done, and I also LOVE how it deals with PTSD, trauma, and psychological and emotional damage (rather than physical damage). Also, I’m totally rooting for Luke and Jessica to get back together!!! (Which, SPOILERS, they will, in the most permanent way possible.) JJ is
- pretty much the only show out there that attempts to actually deal with emotional and psychological abuse and work it out, rather than just using it as a cheap plot device (::cough:: Homeland ::cough cough::). Breaking Bad used to do this, but it’s no longer airing, and one’s dealing with drug abuse, while a central theme, was often only explored in some select episodes through Jessie’s storyline. But in Jessica Jones, we don’t just see the traumas happen, we also see people dealing with it in different ways (or not dealing with it). There are even support groups on screen. Anyone with a traumatic past or emotional issues can relate to Jessica and her journey to both hide from and yet stop her killer. Some parts can be triggering, so watcher beware!
- I’m also catching up with Arrow. I’m almost completely through Season 1. Arrow is a DC series that I really enjoy, but it doesn’t strike much of an emotional chord for me. I’m not sure if that’s because of its execution, or if it’s because all the main protagonists are pretty much rich assholes. (Probably the latter, because the execution is pretty good!) Anyways, it’s what I watch when I basically want to be entertained, but I don’t want to think.
- I also saw a swathe of movies I’d never seen before, including The Handmaiden, The Babadook, The Thing, and Bladerunner. And I also revisited a bunch of classic favorites, including The Matrix, Alien, and Aliens. As an emerging director of horror, sci fi, and action movies, I continue to watch and analyze both as many new and old movies as humanly possible. It’s been fun discovering story and process thus far, so that will certainly continue!
What I’ve developed the past 8 weeks:
Soo, after doing a major assessment of what I’ve been working on the past two months, I realized that SO MUCH has happened that I need to divide this section into SUB-sections, lol! But first, an update on the developments I told you about in my LAST Weekly Hustle post.
UPDATES ON R&D FROM THE LAST POST
- The Hitmen of Happily Ever After: More worldbuilding, story building, and brainstorming for Rose n’ John Does. That’s about it!
- Production Book Portfolio for my Stage Management class: We’ve now officially completed the entire class! WOOT! So NOW, I have two different portfolios: a Stage Management portfolio and a Company Prospectus for The Doll Theatre, a female-identified SFF/H theatre company that may or may not be developed under the Rebel Ragdoll brand!
- Am still moving forward with my dramaturgy on the CREEPS production! We had our first production meeting before the semester ended, and a lot of ideas were getting worked out in vivo. I was able to procure a DP and an Editor for the show, which was really exciting, and we were also able to get the script translated! We also have a schedule, some research ideas, a pending callback with strong talent, and a heading, so everything seems to be chugging along just fine. I have A LOT to do as the dramaturg, including creating actors’ packets, doing research on former productions, creating a website, taking photos and videos, organizing the necessary film shoot, and more, so I’ll have my hands full once New Year’s is over.
- Working on the ALPHA version of both my writing courses: Writers UnBlocked: The Pre-Writing Edition and Writers UnBlocked: The Chapter Writing Edition! I’ve set up the email templates (and am still working on them), have started creating ALL the powerpoints, am upgrading the worksheets with graphics, layout, and design, and I’ve also fine-tuned the hardware and software that I’ll need to record the videos and presentations! I have a feeling that I’ll be finished with the pre-writing course by the end of the month, and I’ll follow up with the Chapter Writing Edition towards mid-January.
- FINISHED the preliminary handbook, grant proposal, and committee proposal, ALL IN ONE, for the 2019 Collaborative Arts Festival! I literally grabbed this bull of a grad degree by its horns and forced it to do my bidding, lol! I used my theory and methods classes to help me create a preliminary theoretical foundation for my festival. I will be applying for grants, and having some scholarly support is a great, just in case I’d need that research to boost my applications. I also used my Theatre Management class to inform my festival’s Mission, Goals, Core Values, and Vision. Also, through my meetings with my co-collaborators, I designed the structure of the program, including The Creative Institute and The Exhibition. The CAF is basically a mini Sundance but is located here in Tucson and will be steeped in the local cultures here. I am SUPER excited for this endeavor, and I love that I’ll be working on it for the next three years!
- WRAPPED pre-production on “Home”, the movie I’m producing!! I hunted down some free online film scheduling software and just went to town! After doing a thorough script breakdown, I was able to create a prop list, location list, actor list, call sheets, and lots more production paperwork that we’ll need for our day of shooting. I was also able to schedule the shoot for one FULL day, and that’s it! Pretty proud of myself, because it’s literally 7 minutes of script being shot in one day. MOST film shoots can only fit 1-2 minutes of filming in a day. But of course, I can’t brag too soon. Lots of things happen on set, so we’ll see how it goes, lol! Now we’re just trying to wrangle equipment and a shoot date!
NEW R&D FROM THE PAST 8 WEEKS
This is more of a bulleted list of R&D endeavors. I got SO much stuff done in the past 2 months, that it’d take forever to elaborate on all of them, but here’s a very detailed list!
FOR MY WRITING:
- developed and finished Horror Novel Writing template and Horror Screenplay Writing template from the “Creating Terrifying Horror Scripts” class at Screenwriting U!
- started developing Season 1 of the Ezekiel TV series… yes, an announcement about that is forthcoming, but not for another year or so 😉
FOR MY AUTHOR BRAND:
- created and soft launched the Colby’s Creative Journal series
- added 3 new horror concepts to the Rebel Ragdoll project slate, and ONE of them I’m planning to shoot in the first 6 months of 2017!
- updated and cleaned up a bunch of social media channels for the new year
FOR THE BOHEMIAN BADASS:
- created a film analysis of Aliens, which is the first of many film analyses that I’ll conduct and then offer as free downloads at The Bohemian Badass
- started developing 13-episode TV series template and a 13-episode serial novel template. For the TV series template, I’ll use that for planning out entire TV series and seasons that I’d like write, develop, shoot, and release as an indie production house. For the serial novel template, that’s the template I’ll use to write episodes and coherent seasons of future serialized novels (mostly sci-fi).
- soft launched The B-Badass Podcast
- completed outlines for four different courses that I’m developing for The Bohemian Badass, including the Breaking Badass 28-Day Challenge, the Novel Kickstarter course, the Writing the Badass Cinematic Novel course, and the Plot like a Badass course.
- started brainstorming on a craft reference book (and companion courses) that I’d like to work on in 2019 called Genre. This is a project that’s way off in the future, though.
OTHER CREATIVE PROJECTS:
- co-produced, co-curated, performed in, and co-launch a staged reading of After Orlando: An International Theatre Action
- started researching and shopping around for cameras, filmmaking supplies, and software so that I can start prepping for the films I want to shoot in 2017 🙂
- started development on my first two horror film concepts!
What I learned these past 8 weeks:
I really do stay up on my Creative Uni hustle, because I just LOVE learning new stuff! Here’s what I was jamming on the past 8 weeks:
- Creating a Terrifying Horror Script (FULL CLASS): as suspected, this class kicked every ass in the house. I. LOVED. THIS. CLASS. For about 7 weeks, we learned everything from how to create a solid horror concept to how to execute that concept in different stages and via different “layers”. The class was so amazing and insightful, that I used it to develop two comprehensive templates for horror writing: one for novels and one for screenplays. I feel super confident in my abilities to produce an amazing horror novel in any sub-genre, all because of this fantastic course.
- Breaking into Reality TV Panel: This was a delightful and yet unexpected event on the campus of U of A. The panel was organized by the Inside Track series at the Hanson Film Institute, and the panelists consisted of an unscripted TV agent, an unscripted TV exec, a reality TV field producer, and a reality TV contestant and winner. It was a lovely selection of folks from different parts of the industry, so we got a really comprehensive look at how reality TV works. They covered topics on putting packages together, pitching, and how to get your ideas bought in the room. Good stuff.
- 7 Steps to Taking Control of 2017 Masterclass: This is a great masterclass that’s offered by Michael Hyatt every year. It teaches you how to choose, set, and stay committed to your goals throughout the year. He offers it every year to launch his larger goal-setting and time management program, and even though I feel like I don’t need the larger program, I always sit his yearly masterclass to reorient myself and my goals to the upcoming year! Highly recommended for those who need extra encouragement and support in achieving your dreams!
- 7 Steps to Writing Your Novel Masterclass: This class was offered by Joanna Penn as a part of her masterclass series. I honestly didn’t “need” the class per say, but I just love Joanna, her spirit, her brand, mission, and information so much that I pretty much take every opportunity I can to be exposed to her awesomeness. She’s holding two more masterclasses soon, and I’ll be sitting those as well!
- Horror Genre Summit: THIS was an interesting little summit, and in its own way, it gave me a bit of insight into the making of indie movies! It also focused on a Horror theme, which is obviously really awesome and helpful. I think they do this every year, and while I was selective of which panels I tuned into, I did gain quite a bit of insight.
- Producing, Directing, and Screenwriting with Rocket Jump Film School: Each of these areas was actually THREE entirely different educational tracks currently being offered at Rocket Jump Film School. So you can imagine just how much material I was absorbing, lol! RJFS, at the moment, is the most amazing filmmaking teachers (and doers) out there right now. They produce some pretty hilarious and VERY well done action-comedy shorts, and they then share their pro knowledge with us for free (for now)! Their courses and info is AMAZING, and I highly recommend burgeoning filmmakers to check them out ASAP. There are 8 learning tracks in total, so I have five tracks left to finish, including: Cinematography, Arts and Vanities, Visual Effects, Sound, and Editing and Post. Can’t wait to finish the rest!
- D4Darious Training: lots of educational filmmaking videos from D4Darius on YouTube. Not an official “class”, so to speak, but only because he doesn’t position himself that way. For me, though, he is one of my online teachers (though he is unaware of this, lol) who is really giving me an AMAZING crash course on filmmaking. He’s also a very talented actor and filmmaker, and he’s funny as hell!
END OF THE YEAR HUSTLE:
ENDING THE YEAR STRONG (AND GENTLE)!
What I’m doing for the end of the year:
Between December 25 and January 1st, I’m pretty much taking a long, much-needed break. Here’s a few things I’ll be mulling over though:
- Writing: I will be writing, but very casually. I’m aiming for my basic 500 words per day during the break, and I’ll be focusing mostly on writing The Iron Maiden and Rose n’ John Does.
- What I’m researching and developing: Technically I’m smack dab in the middle of developing the Writers’ UnBlocked Pre-Writing course, but I think I’ll be taking a break from that this week! I’m mostly focused on trying to relax as much as possible and also getting out the final 2016 Creative Achievement round up and the 2017 Creative Goals posts.
- Directing the MLK Day Segment: ALSO mentioned before, I’m co-directing and co-dramaturging a spoken word segment called “INkliNG” in the MLK performance this year at the U of A. That’s something else I’ll be working on a little more this break, but not until after the New Year.
- CREEPS Production: As mentioned before, I have a bunch of things to do for the CREEPS production that are going to be dispersed over the course of the winter break. I won’t be working on jack during my X-mas & New Year break, though. More updates after Jan 2, 2017!
- What I’m reading / watching / listening to: I’m going to try to finish up Divergent, catch up on a bunch of movies, especially horror, and listening to podcasts as they become available. Most of my podcast role models are going on vacay, though, so I don’t expect many episodes to come through! 🙂
- Creative University: I think I’m honestly going to take a learning break this week until January 2. You never know, though! We’ll see what inspiration brings!
WOW. Yeah, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted an update, as grad school certainly swallowed me whole. Still, I’ve learned, grown, and have accomplished SO MUCH. My next post will be a round-up-of-the-year post, followed by a “goals for 2017” post, so stay tuned! In the meantime, tell me: how are YOU ending your creative year? Strong, I hope! Leave your comments below!
Writing on, rocking on, and forever journeying towards creative badassery,