persona persona

Tonight’s the Night (World Premiere Feelings)

Posted on October 7th, 2016 in Uncategorized with 2 Comments

It’s one a.m. and I’m sitting in the room in my Airbnb in Buffalo, New York, less than 24 hours away from the world premiere of my debut feature film, Gold Star. And I’m kinda freaking out.

I’m fighting contradictory emotions. On the one hand, I’m thrilled an audience will finally see the film I’ve worked on since 2011. On the other, I don’t want tomorrow to happen. If I had it my way, I could freeze time for a bit. Part of me wants to hold onto this film so it can remain a mystery, so that my work cannot be judged, so that I cannot be judged, so that I can keep my “baby” and a period of my life close.

The film will be screening just shy of four years since my father’s passing. I am exhausted looking back and thinking of the grind day after day, year after year of getting this film going took out on me. I found my first gray hair this past summer. Probably from the film.

I’m trying to live in the moment, to cherish the now. I don’t have expectations for how this film will do, despite my perfectionist brain wanting the entire world to see it and love it. I know better. I made a specific kind of movie knowing the challenges that come with a film that is patient, a bit slow at times, not sentimental, and with a female protagonist at the forefront who doesn’t always make the popular decision, and who isn’t always kind to herself or others. But it’s honest.


I’m sitting on this bed, typing this sentence and saying to myself, “Breathe. You did it. You made a freaking movie. And you’re proud of how it turned out.”

I’m elated to say that the journey has been worth it. I feel like a better human because of seeing this film through to the end. I proved to myself that if you think of something, you can make it happen. I cared for my father while writing it. I said goodbye to him through the script, the filming, and still at this very moment. I learned how to work with all different kinds of people, to allow other voices and takes on the film take shape, and to challenge my vision, despite the story being extremely close to my heart. And I’m glad I did.

So tomorrow, I just have to remind myself to breathe. I have to steady myself. I have to remember that this is just the beginning of many journeys, with many films, and many screenings. I have to let go a bit. Tomorrow is a first of many. Thank you Buffalo International Film Festival, for kicking it all off.

For Dad.