I wrote my first short story at 7 years old. It was a murder mystery solved by a female detective. I think it was Scooby Doo-ish and I added illustrations at the end which were just a bit more sophisticated than stick figures. I remember my mom dragged me to the mall to go shopping while I was in the middle of writing it and I lagged behind her with my paper and pencil trying to write about a “cleverly” disguised ghost as she tried on clothing. This wasn’t for a school assignment – it was strictly for my own enjoyment. I continued writing stories throughout elementary and middle school. I tried my hand at poetry in high school but for the most part sucked at it. I did get one into the Scarlet Letters, the poetry club magazine that only members of the poetry club and high school newspaper read (they consisted of the same people).
I think the best poem I wrote was in 4th grade about Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live: There once was poor Mr. Bill, who everyone liked to kill, though he would beg, they’d break off his leg and grind his poor arm in the mill.
Fast forward to my mid 30’s when I was visiting friends down at the Jersey shore for a few days and six of us were bunking in a cheap hotel room. I brought my Panasonic camcorder with me and started filming my friends in various states of undress as we got ready to go out clubbing. My friends began to shimmy and shake in their towels and undies and I was yelling out “It’s middle aged women gone wild!” Needless to say a few of them were offended but an idea was born and I knew that one day I would make an epic parody of Girls Gone Wild.
Fast forward again to my early 40’s when I joined a social networking group focused on filmmaking. Fortunately, the leader of the group agreed to shoot a series of raunchy/funny and I’ve been told disturbing scenes that came together to bring my dream of Middle Aged Women Gone Wild to fruition. I didn’t own an HD camera but I owned some wacky ideas that have become a bunch of short comedy videos on my YouTube channel called Mile High Nancy.
(This is a photo of me shooting a scene in my web series Mile High Nancy in which my daughter pretends to inhale from a helium balloon with the pretense of it being like a joint – I may not be mother of the year but I’m not going to jail.)
I call filmmaking the hardship to which I’m addicted. I’ve worked with shitty camera people, had actors bail on me at the last minute, busted my ass to find locations like bars and offices that would allow me to shoot there and pulled out my hair while editing. I’ve raised my blood pressure while trying to direct and act at the same time. I’ve made no money making comedy videos and they only way they’ll go viral is if my computer gets hacked. But I can’t seem to stop no matter how painful it gets. That’s why I call it an addiction. Sometimes it’s not even fun. But if I don’t do it I go through creative withdrawal.
I tell myself it would be easier to convey my stories through writing a novel so I would’t have to worry about lighting, sound, actors, locations, etc…But I’m too lazy or unfocused to do that. In fact, I’m spacing out right now while writing this blog post.
I love seeing the ideas from my head become reality in video. I like hearing people laugh at something I wrote. And somehow in most of my videos, I get to do a bedroom scene with a young good-looking guy (wink wink). So until my warped brain stops streaming images connected to stories, I’m stuck with this needle in my arm.