One day I was commuting to work in New York City from New Jersey when I had a thought. I was in the midst of finishing my first book so I was mostly swirling in thoughts about that, but today I had a new thought. One I hadn’t had before: “I should write a screenplay”. That was the thought. I didn’t know what I’d write about, but the thought, “I should write a screenplay” was clear.
Nearing the office, I saw a text from a longtime friend, Trisha, appear. I was surprised because we rarely connect, as she’s a mom now and no longer lives in the area. I make a mental note to check what’s on her mind when I get to the office.
By the time I arrive, I also see that I have a voicemail. I check the voicemail first to see if it’s my husband with an emergency, but it turns out to be Trisha. “What gives?”, I think. “A call and a text? I hope she’s alright”. I listen to the voicemail and hear Trish query as to whether or not I’d be interested in writing a screenplay. Her text included an extra detail saying, “Would you be interested in writing a 5 minute film?”
I was floored! I’m not a screenwriter and no one thinks I am. I just had the thought for the first time this morning! Because of the crazy freaky occurrence of my thought being immediately followed up by a script request, I felt I had to accept the challenge. When I told Trish about the crazy freaky nature of her asking me to write this she responded with something to the affect that “it’s meant to be”.
So I say “Yes I’d be interested in writing a 5 minute movie, just tell me when you need it”. When she said, “Tonight” I envisioned a “spit take”. For those not well-versed in movie jargon a “spit take” is a playful device, usually done in a comedy, where someone says something and the other person spits out whatever they’re drinking.
“Tonight?”, I say. “Trish, I’m at work. I don’t have time to write a movie”! Why the tight deadline?” So Trish explains that she’s submitting a film to something called 72 Hour Shootout hosted by the Asian American Film Lab and the whole thing had to happen in 72 hours. She had a cast in place and location options already chosen. All they needed now was a script. She explained that at least one lead needed to be Asian American. So I said, “I don’t have any ideas off the top of my head, but I’ll see if we’re slow enough today so I can try to do it over lunch”.
Trish sent photos of the cast and the locations to stir some ideas. Seeing the cast and location choices, I suddenly was struck with a funny (to me, anyway) idea! I sat for a moment marveling at how Trish had thought to ask me. I plunked out a script and sent it to Trish. She was thrilled, sent it to the cast, and we were slated to shoot the very next day.
Well, long story short, our little film is recognized among the top 40 of their submissions (I think they had hundreds) and we’re invited to the Asian American Film Festival’s awards ceremony tonight!
All I can say is “God is amazing!” I believe he synchronized mine and Trisha’s thoughts that morning. And now we’re on this really fun journey! I can only wonder why he wanted me to be involved. That will be revealed as we go, I suppose.
Open up to new things. Who knows where it could lead? Open up, open out, I say. What new ideas have emerged for you lately? I’d love to hear any mystical stories of yours!