8 months pregnant here. This was one of the most creative times in my life. It sounds bohemian, but I don't intend to use the word - creative- as a whimsical glaze as if things were OK on all fronts. During this time I was scared. I was emotionally volatile. I was frightened and anxious to be a motherless mother. I was not raised by my biological mother, and my adoptive mother passed away when I was 19. I was experiencing the dualities of excitement and worry. I often felt isolated and resented the constant poking and prodding of others as they watched me blossom my own blossom. These feelings were persistent and at a very tangible peak when I took this photo of myself. I was able to tuck these emotions away in spurts as I worked with my partner - Dennis Dortch, on writing & producing the pilot for what would become our top viewed series from BLACK&SEXY TV - Roomieloverfriends.
Roomielover is based on a time when I lived with a guy friend - one night slept with him, and proceeded to fall into the "what does it mean???" phase. That one night turned into habitual occasions complicating our lives and everyone else we were dealing with. Years later I was able to carefully reveal to Dennis the parts of the story I felt our fairly new relationship could handle. He was intrigued, maybe a little turned on, and keeping it all business - felt it should be a series. I agreed.
A few months later some make up sex with Dennis resulted in pregnancy. Passion fuels creation! This news served as a motivator to get the pilot made on our own - no matter what. Prior to that we were trying to figure out the whole pitching game and taking meetings and phone calls here and there - hoping someone would give us money to film. I view going after networks to pitch like inviting yourself to a guys house to see if he might want to marry you. It makes no sense to me. Even if they agree to do it it's never the same as being asked. At the time we had filmed with our team the early minisodes of The Couple as well as some skits called Awkward Phone Calls - they were sitting on hard drives because we had nowhere to distribute all of this short form work. Roomielover would be a half hour, larger scale project, so we needed more money. For awhile we thought that the only way to do it was to convince some singular entity to give us the funds & thereby permission.
My pregnancy immediately had me thinking less and feeling more. I suddenly remembered my greatest resource - my intuition. If I felt it was right to move forward - that was all I needed to know. I announced to Dennis that I wanted us to do it on our own. We were in the kitchen at the time, the same room I told him I was pregnant in. He had a similar reaction - a nod of the head and an OK. That OK is the sound of the first wheel turning in his brain. I always hear it as an early yes because I'm pushy. For this I do not apologize for all creations require pushing.
So, Dennis and I sat down and made a list of every single person we knew who might give us $40. Then we went into separate rooms and called each one - no emails, no texting - only real phone calls asking our friends and family to support us as people. We didn't even talk much about what the project was. Nearly every person gave us the money or more. We had called on our second greatest resource - Relationships.
By the time my due date was approaching we completed the writing, casting, and filmed 2/3 of the script. We were out of money and Baby Rockwelle was on the way.
Next week I'll talk about what we did about that and how I faced my greatest fear - child birth.
See you Saturday morning 8am. Cali time.
Brands pictured here are IKEA furnishings in the background, Target towel on my head and a Leica Dlux camera in my hands. Self Portrait. 2011. I included this photo in part of my PRETTY LITTLE MESS photo and text series which exhibited at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco October 2014.