Oklahoma, Guthrie, Kevin, and Me

So, I may not have explicitly stated it, but it’s reasonable to expect that this blog would follow the chronology of my journey. But for those of you expecting Miami madness…instead you get the glories of Guthrie!

This is not Guthrie, but it is Southwest, which I hadn’t flown in years before this morning’s journey.

But speaking of glories, seeing this article about casting for my first film, the thriller Black Bags, felt pretty darn good. http://www.hollywoodrevealed.com/olesya-rulin-and-laura-vandervoot-star-in-upcoming-thriller-black-bags/ And then listening to both leads absolutely slay the online table read Friday night felt even better! Laura and Olesya are amazing talents, and it’s an honor to have them bring my script to the screen.

Nope, still not Guthrie, but we’re getting nearer…and after another 4am Uber ride to the airport, I was getting sleepy…or do these clouds look like pillows only to me?

Anyway, this morning I arrived in Oklahoma, one of only two states I have never visited (Alaska is the other one, and there’s some dispute about Idaho, but I think I have set foot in it). The amazing director of Black Bags, Josh Brandon, who flew me and my co-writer Angela Bourassa here on his dime (or more precisely, his miles), has filmed in Guthrie before and raves about the town’s Victorian architecture and friendly people.

Getting closer…

So I arrived whistling Rogers and Hammerstein (under my breath… I bet they’re actually pretty sick of that song here) and was immediately confronted by something they’re clearly not sick of: the fossil fuel industry.

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More happily, I was also met by Kevin, a former race car driver (you know the movie Ford v. Ferrari—those kinds of race cars) who now runs craft (food) services for Black Bags and was here to take me to Guthrie.

Upon hearing my tale of Walgreens woe (they botched my COVID test back in Boston, which meant under Hollywood union rules I couldn’t actually go to set or meet with any cast members until I got a new one), Kevin immediately suggested a place in Oklahoma City I could get a free test, drove me there, waited while I got tested, and pretty much saved the first half of my trip.

This is Kevin. He’s the best.

That’s not an exaggeration. When Walgreens re-tested me, they said I wouldn’t have results until Tuesday, which would mean missing the first day of my first film, which is not something you can get back. Instead, I had results from the Oklahoma place by 8pm Sunday night, and all I missed was an initial production meeting, which I tuned into via Zoom while walking through Victorian Guthrie.

Guthrie had me at the giant, though not precisely Victorian, ice cream cone by the hotel.

I will save the obligatory Victorian shots for later—I’ve got to get to bed! My first film starts shooting tomorrow, and the director has said Angela and I can make an appearance as extras!—and close with a portrait I took that more precisely captures the tone of the script. More soon!

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