March 25, 2013

Taking a quick break from writing pilot to say: You bet your ass I pre-ordered Save Rock and Roll.

Now back to my little world with characters who won’t quit making stupid decisions, and saying things you can’t take back - though you wouldn’t if you could.

January 3, 2013
The Toughest Scene I Wrote: Perks of Being a Wallflower Writer-Director Stephen Chbosky. Watching the movie, these pages (five total through the link) were exactly what I had wanted to see to compare the paper-to-screen translation. A great scene, and Chbosky gives excellent insight on changes he made.



On set, once I saw Logan Lerman delivering that performance, I realized that now I had my maypole to build my scene around. You cannot underestimate how when you write, “Charlie cries” — two words on a piece of paper — it’s not the same thing as this young man delivering this moment. I had to write new dialogue when his sister is talking to him on the phone, because my lead delivered something that was better than what I’d hoped. - Stephen Chbosky

The Toughest Scene I Wrote: Perks of Being a Wallflower Writer-Director Stephen Chbosky. Watching the movie, these pages (five total through the link) were exactly what I had wanted to see to compare the paper-to-screen translation. A great scene, and Chbosky gives excellent insight on changes he made.

On set, once I saw Logan Lerman delivering that performance, I realized that now I had my maypole to build my scene around. You cannot underestimate how when you write, “Charlie cries” — two words on a piece of paper — it’s not the same thing as this young man delivering this moment. I had to write new dialogue when his sister is talking to him on the phone, because my lead delivered something that was better than what I’d hoped. - Stephen Chbosky

September 28, 2012
Quote in the middle says, “Be in love with your life. Every detail of it.”
There’s something beautiful about getting older. The youth slowly, but surely, fading from your face. The increasing confidence in your decisions, even if your head is telling you it’s not quite sure, your gut is telling you - we got this, we’ll be okay, trust me. The big things become the little things, the little things are finally recognized as the big things. Friendships become more solid, more genuine, and natural gravitation pulls you towards the people who truly matter, and fade away from those that only bring frustration and heartache.
It brings the ability to look into the past - however recent and with as much hazy-eyed focus as someone still on the young end of life can - and recognize goals that have been accomplished, incredible memories that have been made, and the wisdom to distinguish personal goals from momentary lapses of fun. Never, ever cut out the fun. But the fun shouldn’t be at the expense of success.
My twenties so far have been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, as they naturally would be. All the things you’re supposed to experience according to basic cable coming of age dramas happened. I got my heart broken, once roughly, a few times more gently. I moved out for the first time - first with many friends, then just one, to now a beautiful dream place in Los Angeles where my father doesn’t look around at the neighborhood and shudder. Much.
I worked on television shows I had begged my parents to let me stay up and watch just ten years prior. The idea that someone not only gave me permission to be on set, but paid me to be there was mind blowing, and one of the first moments I realized, this is actually possible for someone like me. I could live in this city, this could be my life. Months later, a great mentor to many was lost. Part of that world, I’ve since left behind.
Traveled from coast to coast on tours with bands in the top 10 of my most played tracklists. We showered in the rain in Iowa, and raced from Philly to Camden after catching LFO play a dive bar - turning out to be the last time we’d see one of them alive - pulling the taxi directly in front of our bus so our driver couldn’t leave without us. Experienced racism fully alive in this country. Particularly twice to my face, once in Arizona, once somewhere in the Midwest, and once behind my back in the South. Shared a blissful, freeing moment in San Antonio, to a teary phone call bringing ones worst fears to possible reality somewhere in Canada. We threw parties, always danced, witnessed professional and personal relationships crumble from those trapped in drug fueled binges and relapses, cried, cursed, lost our minds, drove everyone insane, but celebrated our youth. It was the best of times, and at some points through our limited fishbowl scope of reality, was the worst.
And most importantly during these crazy twenties, I took the first steps towards a career I’ve wanted since I was a young child, barely in school, writing out stories filled with characters based on celebrity musicians and about my friends in worlds I’d grow up to actually live in. After years of keeping it private, not only was my writing encouraged by friends, but encouraged by creative professionals. As I begin another year of life under a shiny new age number, I look to my schedule of stories and series in development and events and festivals in the works and take a deep breath and, smile. This is magical.
"Things change as you get older," an aging actress told me once, a couple years back as we sat on a random soundstage waiting for the crew to need us. "You’re still young. You don’t realize life doesn’t become what you want it to be."
Maybe, for some people. For others, may we all remain blissfully unaware of any societal demands on where we should be at any given age. The typical, nuclear family-style path in life simply doesn’t work for everyone. May we redefine life as what is appropriate to us, and our desires, and live the life that is truly best for us. And if this post is simply fueled with foolishness and hunger from a youthful optimist, as I’m sure that actress would lament, may I always stay that way.
I will never profess that life is perfect. Perfection implies that something is complete, finished, and this life isn’t. Every day is a work in progress, a day in which dreams are chipped away, and molded into something different, something better. On the cusp of thirty, maybe I’ll look back and wonder, what the hell was I doing with my time? Suppose I’ll know on that day.
In the meantime, in the now, to whatever powers that may be upstairs - I’m thankful, grateful, and looking forward to aging with grace and dignity.
And plenty of vodka. I am still in my twenties, after all.

Quote in the middle says, “Be in love with your life. Every detail of it.”

There’s something beautiful about getting older. The youth slowly, but surely, fading from your face. The increasing confidence in your decisions, even if your head is telling you it’s not quite sure, your gut is telling you - we got this, we’ll be okay, trust me. The big things become the little things, the little things are finally recognized as the big things. Friendships become more solid, more genuine, and natural gravitation pulls you towards the people who truly matter, and fade away from those that only bring frustration and heartache.

It brings the ability to look into the past - however recent and with as much hazy-eyed focus as someone still on the young end of life can - and recognize goals that have been accomplished, incredible memories that have been made, and the wisdom to distinguish personal goals from momentary lapses of fun. Never, ever cut out the fun. But the fun shouldn’t be at the expense of success.

My twenties so far have been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, as they naturally would be. All the things you’re supposed to experience according to basic cable coming of age dramas happened. I got my heart broken, once roughly, a few times more gently. I moved out for the first time - first with many friends, then just one, to now a beautiful dream place in Los Angeles where my father doesn’t look around at the neighborhood and shudder. Much.

I worked on television shows I had begged my parents to let me stay up and watch just ten years prior. The idea that someone not only gave me permission to be on set, but paid me to be there was mind blowing, and one of the first moments I realized, this is actually possible for someone like me. I could live in this city, this could be my life. Months later, a great mentor to many was lost. Part of that world, I’ve since left behind.

Traveled from coast to coast on tours with bands in the top 10 of my most played tracklists. We showered in the rain in Iowa, and raced from Philly to Camden after catching LFO play a dive bar - turning out to be the last time we’d see one of them alive - pulling the taxi directly in front of our bus so our driver couldn’t leave without us. Experienced racism fully alive in this country. Particularly twice to my face, once in Arizona, once somewhere in the Midwest, and once behind my back in the South. Shared a blissful, freeing moment in San Antonio, to a teary phone call bringing ones worst fears to possible reality somewhere in Canada. We threw parties, always danced, witnessed professional and personal relationships crumble from those trapped in drug fueled binges and relapses, cried, cursed, lost our minds, drove everyone insane, but celebrated our youth. It was the best of times, and at some points through our limited fishbowl scope of reality, was the worst.

And most importantly during these crazy twenties, I took the first steps towards a career I’ve wanted since I was a young child, barely in school, writing out stories filled with characters based on celebrity musicians and about my friends in worlds I’d grow up to actually live in. After years of keeping it private, not only was my writing encouraged by friends, but encouraged by creative professionals. As I begin another year of life under a shiny new age number, I look to my schedule of stories and series in development and events and festivals in the works and take a deep breath and, smile. This is magical.

"Things change as you get older," an aging actress told me once, a couple years back as we sat on a random soundstage waiting for the crew to need us. "You’re still young. You don’t realize life doesn’t become what you want it to be."

Maybe, for some people. For others, may we all remain blissfully unaware of any societal demands on where we should be at any given age. The typical, nuclear family-style path in life simply doesn’t work for everyone. May we redefine life as what is appropriate to us, and our desires, and live the life that is truly best for us. And if this post is simply fueled with foolishness and hunger from a youthful optimist, as I’m sure that actress would lament, may I always stay that way.

I will never profess that life is perfect. Perfection implies that something is complete, finished, and this life isn’t. Every day is a work in progress, a day in which dreams are chipped away, and molded into something different, something better. On the cusp of thirty, maybe I’ll look back and wonder, what the hell was I doing with my time? Suppose I’ll know on that day.

In the meantime, in the now, to whatever powers that may be upstairs - I’m thankful, grateful, and looking forward to aging with grace and dignity.

And plenty of vodka. I am still in my twenties, after all.

July 29, 2012
Writing by the Gulf.

Writing by the Gulf.

April 6, 2012

Anonymous asked: How did you get involved with Klean Kanteen and Vans Warped Tour? What's touring like as a girl?

I’ve answered a couple questions about this before, including as part of WATK’sHow To Get On Warped Tour" series, so forgive me for not going in depth about the first question.

As for the second… and pardon the fact that this is so long, but thinking about this question made me really happy in reminiscing some moments:

Many times, at least in my experience, it depends on who you’re touring with. The easy, and obvious, answer is, you’re ultimately there to do a job, so, it shouldn’t really matter if you’re a girl or a guy, just get your job done, and carry on. In reality, that’s not always the case. Some guys are really cool with girls on the road. Some are really against it. I’ve missed out on tours before with the reasons that the guys didn’t want a girl on the road because they didn’t want to be “tempted”, or have their girlfriends suspect anything. (In fact, one musician spoke to me just once during an entire tour, because his girlfriend was the extremely jealous type and had spies. Seriously.). I’ve also been asked during phone interviews what I wear to sleep - they wanted to make sure I wasn’t “one of those girls” who wear thongs and bra tops to bed, or something.

I’ve been drunkenly, and sober-ly, propositioned by guys I’ve worked for (nothing has ever happened). I’ve been flashed genitals and asked if I was “interested”. I’ve been asked extremely personal questions about my love life, and had plenty of comments made that in a normal office would have resulted in an immediate sexual harassment case. There was one guy who took delight in randomly screaming at me out of nowhere. One time, on a sidewalk in front of a venue on the East Coast, he asked if I was requesting to use the loaders because I was “a weak, b-tching girl, PMSing, or just f—king lazy?” Found out a couple days later, aside from a history of being sexist and racist, he had been relapsing on drugs for most of the tour (so I’m sure you can imagine why I’m not saying anything identifying about him. You know, that whole pesky, people claiming “slander” thing, though it’s absolutely true and they know it). There was another time I was offered a tour manager position, then, right before flying out, they decided I was “just” going to sell merch. The manager felt a guy who had only worked security at a venue—and had zero tour or management experience—would be able to better handle the job than a girl with experience.

But, on a personal level, touring as a girl can also be amazing. I’ve worked with some guys who’ve made it a point to look out for me, sometimes without me even realizing it’s happening. On my first club tour, the band I had initially started working with was leaving early, and another band on the same tour had hired me to stay on with them. The next show was in Detroit, and before the guys left that night, I overheard one guy single out a couple of the guys in the new band and say, “Look out for her. She’s like our little sister. Don’t let her go anywhere alone in Detroit”. One of the guys looked him straight in the eye and said, “No worries man, we will.” And they did.

Then there are people like Nick. Who stand on stage, look to the other guys for quick validation, stare straight to the back of the venue where merch is set up, and basically says to the sold-out audience, “See Jasmine there? She’s going to kill me for this, but, she’s single, and just so amazing, and to all the guys here - she needs to get laid before the tour ends”. Coincidentally, I think that show was also in Detroit. Girls came up and apologized for him (thanks to Nikki for paraphrasing in a tweet way back when). I didn’t hurt him for the remarks, fyi, and you can hear what I’m sure is an incredible new album from The Spill Canvas, Gestalt, on May 22nd.

April 2, 2012
"I don’t believe in luck. But I do believe in hope."

I had planned to do a write-up about the film, Bully, earlier this morning. Then I woke up with just enough time to throw on yesterdays outfit and make it to the car before street sweeping hour came (avoiding that nasty ticket is worth the risk of looking like I didn’t come home last night), walked into the office, received emails from execs written in large, 42pt, bright blue Comic Sans script, notice of a death, followed by an upcoming birth notice, and decided I couldn’t work another second without coffee. Then I opened a Twitter app and read about the Oakland school shooting in progress (with solid reporting from Reuters Deputy Social Media Editor, Matthew Keys).

It’s funny in that unfunny way of how much you can block something out. I came across a quote on the Go Into The Story blog from Ann Beattie that said, “People forget years and remember moments." There’s much of my school years I don’t remember. I attended enough schools to make every face and teacher and class impossible to keep in memory, but what I do remember, without a single blur? Walking into my theatre class on my first day at the small town high school I ended up (barely) graduating from, and a girl taking one look at me and saying, out loud, "Freak".

This isn’t a post about my school days, though, or whether or not I was bullied. It’s about the fact that in a theatre only about a third full, a grown man sobbed as a kid listened to his sister tell him people at school teased her, because he was her brother. It’s about a mom in the row behind us who loudly voiced her disgust at a teacher who asked a boy on camera to shake the hand of his attacker who had threatened to kill him - and criticized the boy when he wouldn’t shake hands, because the other boy “said he was sorry”. It’s about a woman who cried when a counselor asked a young boy how he knew if she had disciplined the kids who bullied him - had they smashed his head with a seat since? No, the boy admitted, they hadn’t. Right before the screen fades to black he mumbles they had just found other ways to torture him, instead.

The film received an “R” rating for ‘language’. For ‘language’? How about giving an ‘R’ rating for the teachers and school administrators shown left and right failing children the rare moments they do reach out for help? The ones who are looking parents in the eye and telling them that they don’t know where complaints about bullying on the school bus are coming from, because when they ride the bus, the children are as good as gold? Or, to every single person on that ratings panel who will give a PG-13 rating to a film that shows a young teen girl giving up her life so a boy will love her, or to a film about young kids forced to battle to the death, but then turn around and tell kids they aren’t old enough to see a film that could show them they’re not alone in the world, that there are people who are trying to help them survive - because of ‘language’. Possibly because of a moment in the very beginning where a boy calls another boy a ”mother-f**ker”, out of nowhere. Or, when another student threatens to kill another boy by shoving a broomstick… does it really matter where? Isn’t the death threat enough to showcase these kids need help? How about when that same boy gets strangled on the bus?

You think if kids don’t see that on screen, MPAA, then it won’t happen ‘in real life’?

These kids are already living an ‘R-rated’ reality, according to your classification. How is keeping them from a film they’re already living protecting them? They’re experiencing worse, every day.

Alex, one of the young boys featured, shares a wisdom he shouldn’t yet have for his age towards the end of the film. He was 12 years old during filming. At one point—right after a conversation with his mother in which she realizes he’s been bullied so much, he doesn’t even recognize it as being bullied—he speaks with the filmmakers. “I don’t believe in luck,” he says. “But I do believe in hope.”

The man in the row ahead of us audibly sobbed once more. The mothers behind us followed.

See Bully in theatres. Call your local theatre and request it, if they aren’t yet screening the film. Ask if they’ll consider allowing young kids who need to see this film with a permission slip, as AMC has been reported to allow. Take your siblings. Bring it up at the dinner table. Talk about it on Twitter. Start a discussion on Facebook. Get people talking about bullying, and what we can do, as individuals, to help kids feel safe.

(People has since reported an update on Alex. It’s worth giving a read.)

Have you seen Bully? Will you?

March 31, 2012

Saturday morning.

Script Frenzy starts at midnight. Cleaning, decorating, outlining, and prepping for the 100pg goal.

March 9, 2012

Updating here has been pretty non-existent over the past several weeks and I almost wish I could say it was due to jetsetting all over the world, hob-nobbing with the greats, feigning interest in caviar, and so forth of whatever is included in the new American Dream.

Instead, I’ve been here in Los Angeles, writing, casting, and finally: entering pre-production of my new internet series. I have my own version of the Dream.

You know that feeling when you wake up one morning and think, I just can’t continue doing what I’ve been doing. I can’t. I could, physically, but mentally, I need to grow. I need to do something else. So that’s what direction I’ve been turning in. And it’s scary, forging ahead on a new path when you were pretty comfortable on the one already well traveled. But ‘comfortable’ is for when I’m eighty with grandchildren sitting around my rocker asking for stories.

In the past month or so, I’ve been working on casting several new internet series and other projects, headed up to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival with the NewFilmmakers LA crew, saw Van Halen live in concert for the very first time (and can’t forget Kool & the Gang!), worked on a pretty disturbing short film with the wonderful actor Clint Howard, and have continued my exploration of Los Angeles. I now understand why people love Runyon Canyon. On a clear day, there’s no better place then at the top, sitting peacefully and taking in the Pacific Ocean to Downtown LA and everything in between. I love this city. Always will.

Now I must be off. I may not be sipping mimosas with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast, but I do have a pretty exciting shoot this afternoon. Followed by writing, casting, writing, casting… If I ever, ever complain, smack me.

December 19, 2011
How To Get On Warped Tour: Feature #7 Jasmine McAtee

wearethekidsblog:

My name is Jasmine and I’m a writer & actor living in Los Angeles. I’ve also spent years on the road, both with bands and working on the Vans Warped Tour. My Warped resume: A non-profit organization (2005), Boarding 4 Breast Cancer (2008), Reverse Daycare (2009), and currently keeping you hydrated…

Thanks for asking me to be apart of this, Natalie!

Friends: Check out a post I wrote for We Are The Kids about how I got my start working on the Vans Warped Tour.

December 15, 2011
In fifty words or less.

I’ve been working on writing projects, drinking too much coffee, having a blast at a convention or two, working with a film festival, and yapping non-stop over on Twitter.

And with that not-really summary, I’m back to updating this blog.

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