Love in the Time of Corona Part 1

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I flew to Los Angeles this weekend to do a wrap shoot on a Nick Oceano documentary on which I’m a producer. On my layover in Dallas, Nick called and said the shoot was cancelled because of the Coronavirus. The location backed out on us and several of the crew said they wouldn’t show up. Bummer. This film has been two years in the making and this was to be the last thing before final edit. Should I even finish the trip?  It looked like they were going to be able to put me on a plane from Dallas to New Orleans without any additional charges (love Southwest; they’re like the anti-Delta) but when I realized that no matter where my ass ended up that day, my bags were going to Burbank so I decided to go ahead and join them there. I’m long overdue for a visit to my former home of ten years and I love my family in LA.
I was supposed to go to London next Tuesday but that trip got postponed to the end of May/beginning of June and that’s when I’ll be at the Sundance Ceremony; that, I cannot miss.

A month from now, I’m still scheduled to fly to Belgrade, Serbia for a photo shoot, and then to Budapest with the other models and crew to celebrate. I spoke to the director today.  So far, the shoot is still no. It’s a wildly collaborative project between the Director, the photographer, the models (yes, we’re seen as more than meat but fellow artists), and the painter, Bratislav Radovadovic who works from the photographic studies rendered by the photo shoot. This series, as I understand it, will be spirit and style of Renaissance or Classical portrayals of Mythology, Martyrdom, or Scripture. There will be a lot of nudity. I want to do it for several reasons, among them is that I’d like to see Serbia and Hungary, two countries I’ve never visited. Also, because of all the nudity, it will be a big step for me, a guy who’s spent a lot of his life not being satisfied with his body. I want that to change. I believe that it has changed. Stepping out of my robe and onto that set will be a big spiritual step for me. Plus, I need the money. The Food Network show that shoots in New Orleans on which I have been a carpenter has just been put on hiatus for two months because of this fucking virus. How are people supposed to house and feed themselves if they don’t work? How will I? I mean seriously, I know what a terrible person this makes me but I’m not sitting on a stack of savings; I don’t know too many people who are. And I don’t even know if I have one roll of extra of toilet paper waiting for me back home in New Orleans; my friends back home tell me the shelves are stripped bare as they are here in Los Angeles. Since I got here, I’ve seen grocery store lines that look like they’re selling tickets to the execution of Donald John Trump; when 3.9 million people consider the possibilities of life without toilet paper and what the possible alternatives to that might be, they get up and get busy. The stores were a apocalyptic circus. They swim in serpentine patterns through aisles looking for even one errant bottle of hand sanitizer left behind in the beans or the beers by someone who changed their minds. Who am I kidding? No one would “change their mind” on the purchase of hand sanitizers. It’s become like clear, liquid gold to a California citizenry who, let’s face it, have had their share of plagues of late. Someone could probably get $30 a bottle if they advertised in the right Hollywood circles. I sincerely hope no one is.
Stop. Breathe. Don’t buy into the panic. That does nothing positive. Nothing. I remember years as a child when I lived in fear. That will not be the hallmark of my adult life.
Tomorrow I fly back to New Orleans. I look forward to navigating this challenge with you. Stay calm.


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