“Prisoners” Screening & Talk Back

Christian and I attended a special screening of Prisoners tonight at the Museum of the Moving Image followed by a Q&A with actors Melissa Leo and Jake Gyllenhaal, director Denis Villeneuve, and screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski.

Christian loved the movie. I liked it too, mostly for the stellar performance by Hugh Jackman. I expect some nominations in his future. Jake was charming and Melissa was quirky. Both were funny and I loved their interactions with the director and screenwriter.

I love this museum so, so much and am grateful to have such a unique resource within such a short walk from home. I always wonder what the A-list actors, directors, writers, producers, etc. think when they hear the pitch for a museum Q&A gig in Long Island City. Happily, they say “yes” time and again and I think they leave pleasantly surprised at what a lovely space it is and how generous the audiences are. And I’m certain they enjoy the stellar view of Manhattan on their way back home.

To me, a membership is a no brainer, but I’d highly recommend it for anyone in NYC. If anything, it’s worth a visit and super cheap and yummy happy hour at 5 Napkin Burger or a brewski at Sunswick. But if you do that, you gotta drop me a line so I can join you. :o)

Prisoners AMMI

I Need Botox, Y’all! And Other Lifetime Movie Network Observations

Thank you to everyone who tuned in to see “Family Secrets” last night on Lifetime Movie Network*! If you missed it, it re-airs on Friday, November 8th at 8AM EST.
I need Botox, y'all!

Part way in, my cable box froze & rebooted. Murphy’s Law! From what I saw my dentist will be very angry that I have rebuffed his repeated requests to fix my bottom teeth, I need Botox, my family was upgraded to the suburbs and no one really knows or speaks sign language in the reenactments.

But my cable box came back to life quickly and the rest I saw was really well done. Even if it had been awful, I am grateful for any opportunity to share my story.

Seeing how they edited my interview was very interesting. They condensed it into an average domestic violence case (What? No shed? No trailer? No Deaf Culture commentary? Just a dude who beats and tries to kill women?) and yet still made it compelling.

Of course, personally, my  CODA / Deaf experience and my dad’s childhood and our collective isolation and poverty is what fueled my story for my book, so that’s important for me to still tell and get across should I get another chance. And I learned a lesson to make sure to understand the angle the producers are going for, so I can speak to that and they won’t have to edit so much!

Paquita on LMN

My sweet Paquita made a brief posthumous cameo. She is looking longingly at Christian who is lavishing love and kisses on Griswold. Awww.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it and thank you again for all the kind words and support!

xokambri

*The collective outrage of the women posting on Lifetime Movie Network’s Facebook page about the movie network not showing movies is worthy of being a Lifetime movie.  If I -and all of you lovely people- didn’t have a life with better things to do, I’d suggest we flood the LMN Facebook page with overflowing praise. Hopefully we’ll still get a movie made and we can tell the whole white trashtastic tale and satisfy all those disgruntled LMN subscribers. So much time on their hands these women! Sad.

I’m on Your Tee Vee this Sunday!

LMN Family SecretsMany months ago, I was cast in a docu-drama pilot called “Family Secrets” for the Bio Channel. It never aired & I thought it was dead in the water.

But…lo! It is scheduled to air this Sunday, Oct 27 on Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) at 10PM EST and again at 2AM Monday, Oct 28. Since it’s a pilot, it doesn’t even have a logo or show page on Lifetime’s website, but the description and name matches what we filmed.

I’m honestly terrified to watch it because they have re-enactments by non-Deaf people and, well, re-enactments are usually kind of cheesy to begin with. I’m mostly worried about having my story in someone else’s creative, editorial hands. Who knows how they’ll piece together my words and spin it? We shall see this Sunday! And if it’s truly god awful, well, it will make for a fun story to tell on stage.

Classic NYC Week

Highlights from my classic New York week in a nutshell:

— Worked on “The Following” where I cheek-kissed Connie Nielsen about 20 times & ogled Kevin Bacon for 12 hours.

— Ran 7 blocks through crowded streets in Queens & raced up 3 flights of stairs at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts to vote in the mayoral primary with only 30 seconds to spare before polls closed. It was as intense & stressful as any chase scene in a movie. I should’ve had German techno music playing in the background.

— Finished my Playwriting I class with a 1st draft of my solo show script.

— Invited to perform on the first ever Solo Comedy Festival #SoloCom at The Peoples Improv Theater with the script from ^.

— Got into a screaming match with a cab driver.

This week I’ll work on “The Good Wife”, hang with my protégé after school & accompany Christian Finnegan to his headlining gig in Virginia Beach. No screaming matches allowed.

Yappy Hour Script

(Wo)Man’s Best Friend

by

Christian Finnegan & Kambri Crews

Originally performed by Christian, Kambri and Paquita in front of a live audience on “Yappy Hour” at UCB Theater on 11/1/10. And, yes, Paquita performed this exactly as scripted. Remarkable little girl.

~~~~~~

INT. ROOM
SFX: Sexy music

Kambri is laying on a bearskin rug, wearing a nightgown,
pouring herself a glass of wine. She spritzes perfume on
herself.Paquita Yappy Hour
There is a knock at the door.

KAMBRI
Come in!
Pause.
KAMBRI (CONT’D)
I’ve been waiting for you.
Come to me, Paquita. Come to me now!

Paquita comes running in and leaps into Kambri’s arms.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
Oh, I’ve waited so long. Kiss me,
you fool!

Kambri and Paquita kiss passionately.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
No no stop! No need to rush. I want
to savor every moment of this. Have
some wine.

Paquita drinks from Kambri’s wine glass.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
And can I offer you some…cheese?

Paquita perks up.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
I knew you’d like that. But I’m
going to make you earn it, baby.
Let me take a look at you!

Kambri gets Paquita to “go around” and “roll over” a few
times, periodically feeding her cheese.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
The way you move, it’s so sexy.
It’s like your some kind
of…animal! Not like my husband,
that pathetic little worm!
But he’s out of town on business,
which means we have the whole night
to ourselves. Isn’t that wonderful,
darling? High five!

Kambri and Paquita high five.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
Enough with all these games. I want
you. But I need to know you want me
too! I need you to speak! Speak!
Paquita barks.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
Oh, I can’t take all of this sexual
tension. Take me! Ravage me! Let’s
make our own gravy!!

Paquita starts humping Kambri’s arm. Kambri begins writhing
in sexual extasy.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
Yes! Yes! Give it to me, my little
chorizo!

CHRISTIAN (O.S.)
Honey, I’m home!

Christian enters, wearing his jacket and carrying a
briefcase.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
Great news! I was able to close the
Mortensen deal, so I took an
earlier flight…

Christian stops, in shock. Paquita and Kambri continue their revelry, unaware.

Paquita Yappy Hour 3

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
What…the…FUCK IS GOING ON
HERE??

Kambri snaps out of it and clutches Paquita to her chest.

KAMBRI
Christian? What are you doing home?
I…um…
CHRISTIAN
What is the meaning of this? My wife?
And my…BEST…FRIEND?

KAMBRI
Nothing! I mean, Paquita just came
by to…I mean…

CHRISTIAN
I knew something was going on!
After all I’ve done for you, this
is how you thank me? By two-timing
me with this little bitch?

KAMBRI
She’s twice the man you’ll ever be!
Yeah, that’s right–Paquita is my
lover. And she does things to me
you could never dream of? Don’t
you, Paquita honey?

Kambri and Paquita kiss.

CHRISTIAN
Stop it! Stop it! I can’t take this
anymore!

KAMBRI
Yeah, well what are you gonna do
about it? Ha ha ha! What a loser!
Right, Paquita?

Kambri cackles while she and Paquita high five and kiss.

CHRISTIAN
I can’t take it…can’t take it…

Christian slowly pulls out a gun (his hand). Kambri notices
and is mortified.

KAMBRIPaquita Yappy Hour 2
Christian…? Where did you get
that? What are you doing?

CHRISTIAN
I’m a loser, huh?

KAMBRI
Christian, don’t! DON’T!

CHRISTIAN
If I can’t have you, no one will!
Die, you canine-loving whore!!!

Christian points his finger at Kambri and “shoots” her
repeatedly.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
BANG! BANG! BANG!

KAMBRI
NO!!!

Kambri writhes as if being shot.

KAMBRI (CONT’D)
(With her dying breath,)
Unh…unh…Good dog, Paquita.
Good…dog.
Kambri dies.

Pause.

CHRISTIAN
And you. You happy now, Paquita?
Was it worth it? Ruining my life,
just for a little bit of cheese?

Christian dangles a baggy of cheese. Paquita runs over.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
Look at you! Even now, it’s all you
can think about! You were supposed
to be my best friend! Well fine,
eat up.

Christian tosses her a morsel of cheese.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
Consider it your last meal…bitch.
Christian pulls out his “gun”, stoops down and…

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
BANG!

Paquita plays dead. Christian keeps his gun on her for a few seconds, then looks away. Paquita gets up.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
Oh, still alive, are you? BANG!
BANG!

Paquita again plays dead. Again, she eventually gets up.

CHRISTIAN (CONT’D)
WHY WON’T YOU DIE?? BANG! BANG!
BANG!

Paquita dies in Kambri’s arms.

THE END

Extra! Extra!

Since leaving the 92YTribeca, I haven’t been able to commit to any gigs or new clients because of my book tour and speaking gigs. So, to make a few bucks and get out of the house during the time between tour dates, I’ve worked as an extra (or “background” as some prefer) on a ton of TV shows filming around NYC. I even booked an AARP commercial. I was not the RP, thankyouverymuch. I was a jogger that the RP was checking out. That said, I did get a callback for a menopause relief medicine. See also: definition of “bittersweet”.  /ˈbitərˌswēt/

During a meeting with a commercial casting agent I was told I’m “a big girl” & “older”, had a great look that was perfect for soccer mom roles & pharmaceutical companies. It was a weird few minutes of feeling bloated, old and ugly, but hire-able because I’m photogenic and not morbidly obese. I can’t imagine embarking on this journey when I was an insecure 20-something. Now I’m a totally secure 40-something who just needs to lose weight, get Botox and a tan. This feeling is strongest after I see myself onscreen. Blech!

At least it wasn’t me who Wardrobe point to and said “Okay, so you’re my ‘lady of the night’. You look great.” She was *not* a “lady of the night”, simply a bar patron. Oops. Oh, schadenfreude, you make me feel so young!

But I’m having fun, getting paid when I’d otherwise be day drinking. During down-time on set I’m able to watch tons of “Cheers”, read dozens of books, and meet great people from Liza Minelli and Annie Potts to other everyday folks like me. I’m not loving New York City much these days, but where else but here could I truly swing this odd balance of freelance entrepreneurial gadabout?*

~Kambri
*Seriously, tell me, because I’d like to move there.

Life’s Tough. Laugh More.

My first week as Director of Publicity at Comix, I came up with an ad campaign idea tied around the phrase, “Life’s tough. Laugh more.” I dubbed it as our official tagline after seeing it in an email from our videographer thinking he sure did sum it up quite nicely. Now, two years later, the campaign has finally started coming to life. First up, a commercial to air on Time Warner (or RCN / Verizon Fios) beginning in the next week or two. Coming soon, more commercials and a site where you can submit your own funny examples of just how tough life can be. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy our first attempt at the theme with a piece I wrote loosely based on Christian’s real life experience and starring me and Sean Crespo:

Kambri

About Last Night

Last night marked the 15th time I’ve gone on stage in NYC as myself. Sure, I’ve been on stage hundreds –maybe even thousands– of times as an actor back when I used to do that sort of thing, but that’s different. It’s an entirely other beast presenting something you’ve personally created to an audience with no 4th wall to protect you. Each time gets easier and I am, I think (hope), better and more confident.

Beginning next Friday at “The Family Hour with Auntie Sara” I’m going to try telling a longer story divvied up into “episodes”. I hope this will help me craft more details and jokes into my stories that I always feel like I have to rush through because we only get 6 or 7 minutes on stage. The next story I will begin with next week should wrap up in three weeks total giving me a good 21 minutes worth of new material. I might even video tape them for my Love, Daddy blog and add captioning for my hearing impaired readers. It would be time consuming so it’s a lofty goal. Don’t hold your breath.

Meanwhile, tonight at Ochi’s Lounge begins a new open mike show called “Ochi’s Motel” run by John Morrison, creator of “Morrison’s Motel.” It will be every Saturday from 6:00 – 8:00 and you can throw your hat in the random ring by emailing John at ochismotel[at]gmail.com. Drink at Work follows with their hit variety show and ends the night by challenging audience members to Guitar Hero. I love the little performance space I’ve created. John loaned us some fancy lights, we’ve expanded the cheap menu and the comedians and audiences can’t say enough about how warm and fun the room is. I think you should come check it out soon, don’t you?

Kambri
How about on Monday the 3rd when I perform on “Slumber Party”?