|Austin-Bergstrom International Airport|
Ode to CICADAS
by Jerry Delony
I guess this should really be titled "Who Was That Masked Man?" because you see, it's like this, I had been invited to Kat Candler's birthday party by Brandon Howe, one of the Leads in "CICADAS" (who did a dynamite performance by the way) and Kat is the Director/ writer of that Film. I told Brandon a few days earlier that I was so moved by the film I was going to write a letter about it to John Pierson on the Independent Film Channel: which I did. However, at the last minute before the party The Poet in me came to the front and tossed off a bit of prose which I thought might please Kat and all those connected to the film who might be attending. It was my gift to them that evening. I arrived at a congenial gathering of above average talents and intellects who were kicking back in the backyard (about fifty people in all). Now Imagine this (1) She doesn't even know if I can spell dog much less write something appropriate to a party (2) I don't know a soul (I later find out 50% recognized me so the paragraph where I mentioned "SLACKER' made sense!) and finally (3) It's dark and the only lights are too dim for me to read by. So Brandon gets the idea to hold a flashlight over my head so I can read my "Piece". All went off well and applause was generously given--Thank God! Well I left soon after. And many swore they heard a voice shouting into the night air "Heigh Ho Silver--Away !!"
I believe every act of creation is a "Love Letter" in which we try to show our best side to the world.
This which I have written is merely a "Thank You Note" from one Artist to Another!
I am having brunch on our patio now; Friday Nov.10th 2000, twenty one days since I saw the Film Festival Screening of "CICADAS" (how it does linger in my mind). It's a beautiful fall day today, mildly cold with sunny blue skies. What was there about October that gave the film such a perfect setting, at least for me, I wonder? Was it the subdued colors of orange and mustard yellow that always give October that cornucopia feeling of something new and bountiful a-borning? Or did it evoke the ghost of Halloweens past with their revelry lost now but fondly remembered ? Mostly, I think, October means the harvesting of those promises planted so much earlier in the nourishing womb of the Earth. it speaks in the silence at the very center of me and says.."The time is now, the work has been done well and the time of glad harvest has come".
Perhaps it was all of the above that gave me such a warm accepting feeling that night, but I must include the mystery of synchronicity and being in the right place at the right time, which would include not only me being at that showing (for I was scheduled to go on a vacation trip that day but felt compelled somehow to attend the screening that evening) but the cast and all members of the crew drawn into the production. Timing is everything; in love, in war and politics and that especially applies to everyone who struggles in the world of creativity !
Well; whatever these prosaic thoughts might imply allow me to go past that, pull it all together and clearly state what I believe to be true about this particular film. The subject of ''CICADAS'' is metamorphosis, yes, but a particular type of change, one that pushes all danger of the unknown aside, gaining momentum as it moves upward into a realm of undreamed of possibilities. It seems that in nature the cicada labors slowly in the bowels of the earth burrowing in the darkness, for nine tenths of it's life span, becoming familiar with this blind waiting life. Then upon some mysterious urge begins to climb out of the dungeon and latch itself on to some tree branch. Taken over by the secret commands of evolution within transforms into a winged creature who leaps into thin air and disappears leaving its hollow shell behind like worn out clothes left on the shore by those who dive naked into the shining sea and are never seen again.
Timing is so important. Cicadas live long in the ground because they must, and because they firmly believe in the work they do there; so it is with us who live in the world of Art. Most of us blindly do the work because we must and because we believe in it. Hoping that somehow, some-when, "Something Wonderful" will happen and give us a "leg-up", a boost up some shadowy rope ladder hanging down from that silver shining space ship called "Success" hovering silently above us! But, unless we have that urge to grab that ladder when it presents itself and reach for the dream; unless we have the courage within us to let go of our old life of a "Wanna-Be" and risk losing that self we will never gain our true nature of "Unlimited Being"!
Anyway, I can speak of that change, that time of opportunity fondly, for it happened to me. The brass ring of success came my way while I rode the carousel of "SLACKER"(an earlier film of Richard Linklater's). It beckoned to several of us in that film for in it were many memorable performances. I must say some acceptable and very appreciated recognition and acknowledgment has come my way since the Film hit the Video Stores and has been played on A&E, Bravo and several channels regularly including the Independent film channel, so believe me, I'm not complaining. However; we didn't get into General Release with the 35 MM print provided by ORION productions, nor were the photographs of us (already taken) for the cover of People Magazine ever published. Because ORION went bankrupt one month before the release. Thus and therefore; SLACKER laid on the Shelves for five years while the trend we had started was reproduced again & again to great success by other film makers--yes, timing is everything!
'CICADAS' is a film of an earlier time (perhaps from the director/screen writer's own life) but it has a universal feel. It is played out in a particular town and state but the dream like quality of the script made it Anywhere USA. This film's fresh change of pace with a theme harkening back to an earlier and gentler time of less complexity was very welcomed by me and I feel that 's something needed by our jarred and jaded age. The acting was truthful and straight from the heart. Everyone was believable as a sunrise and as natural as an apple ripening on the tree. It was quite astonishing as the movie carried us past the empty shells of who we thought we were and also helped us " to Remember...and Follow " while it simultaneously gave us wings to be who we all would like to be in some new time of our lives. Timing is everything. so to the cast and crew and the writer/director andproducers Your time is now! "Carpe Diem" Seize the rung of that ladder and climb! baby climb!
All my best to all of us on this wonderful merry-go-round called "Show Biz"