I was working with the writer and actor (and my partner) MaryLee Herrmann on making her poster photo for the Hollywood Fringe Festival where she will be presenting her solo show she wrote, Schmaltzy & Princie: Diary of a Not-So-Great Daddy’s Girl, and will perform in June of this year.
Using a single Chimera lite panel light, I worked with MaryLee to create the set, (yes, it’s my typewriter), and directed her to draw out the proper expression for the poster photo. The thing is, we made a hundred frames before this one, and this expression isn’t one she was trying to make. This wasn’t one she planned. This is one the muse tossed her way.
See, she did this expression as a result of feeling frustrated about trying to eke out a good expression. She thought she was being silly. Ridiculous. Over the top. I had the muse working with me to expose the frame at this exact moment to photograph this very real expression.
Realizing it was a good pose for the poster, we went on to try and replicate it for additional choices for the poster, but none could compete with the one that just came, the one that wasn’t planned, the one that just happened and worked out so well thankfully.
To me she has a bit of a Lucille Ball frustration on her face. It fits the show. It’s genius.
I heard the show during a table read and it’s a strong story from a brave writer, a story about a woman and her fear of success and the need to kill our dreams (Dreams are for losers!) and become do-ers, ones who get to where we want to be, who accomplish our goals, not just dream about them.
Schmaltzy is her Dad. Even the title of the film, Schmaltzy & Princie: Diary of a Not-So-Great Daddy’s Girl” was delivered by the muse. We were brainstorming titles and she joked about putting “Schmaltzy” in the title, and I said, “No, that’s no joke. That’s good. You have to keep that.” And the title was done.
Trust the muse. While you’re working, try some ridiculous ideas. Consider “out there” possibilities. They often aren’t that far our there, but delivered by that bit of inspiration I call the Muse.
She loves to get to work. She wants to help when we let her.
Here’s to MaryLee breaking a leg in Hollywood in June!