When I applied for my Masters of Social Work degree at the University of Southern California I had to answer some question that sounded like a smarter version of: “Which professors do you want to take when you come to school here?” I had not thought that far ahead, so I rapidly scoured the website profiles to bullshit my way through an answer. I’m not sure how I landed on Rafael Angulo, maybe just because his name begins with an A, but suddenly I was reading about a professor who was a trained filmmaker and had traveled to Bali. This was my guy.
I was in the process of changing careers. I had spent 15 years working as an actress, writer and producer of theater, film and commercial work, but could no longer manage the freelance lifestyle of the entertainment industry. I was looking for accreditation to work hands on helping people, but reading about Prof. Angulo and his class combining documentary filmmaking with social work practice encouraged me that maybe I didn’t have to completely leave behind my old life for this new one.
All that is to say, for three years I have waited to take this course, and it is a dream come true. (A literal daydream come true. As in, I wrote in my application about taking this class and spent seventeen minutes staring off into space at my old job picturing how this class was going to change me life.)
That being said…this is *&#% HARD!
It’s hard to open myself to the exquisite agony of the creative life again. Making art is vulnerable and exposing regardless of the content, and I decided to direct a film about RACE. The whys and hows will be saved for another post, but today I am confessing that whatever else I, or my producer Emmy, might say about this poignant, gnarly project, making a film is hard. Talking about race is even harder. I’m humbled that so many other brave and brilliant people have agreed to join us on this journey. Stay tuned…