Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Grease 3 - This Time It's French!

As a fan of Grease 2 on Facebook (What, you're not?!) I was informed that yesterday was film's 30th anniversary. My sister in-law asked me if I really liked it better than the original. For me, that's like asking if you prefer Star Wars or Spaceballs. One is a beloved classic, the other a silly, over-the-top spoof. Of course that's not what the creators of Grease 2 intended, but it's what they ended up with.

I'll admit I love the sequel more. Way more. Grease shows high school kids in an idealized light. The T-Birds are cool, smooth and perfect, with the bravado of teenagers who have it all figured out. Compare that to Grease 2's T-Birds who try to be cool but are dorky, insecure and mess up a lot. I appreciate the more realistic depiction of immature teenagers over the fantasy that an immature teenager would hold - that anyone in high school has a clue what they are doing. Plus, Michelle Pfeiffer straddles a ladder. While singing.

But enough social analysis of a cheesy flopped sequel. On to the greatest movie never made: Grease 3: A T-Bird for France. In the early 1990s my high school friend Michelle introduced me to the wonders of Grease 2.  We loved that movie. We even convinced our sophomore class to perform "Girl for All Seasons" in the school talent show. Serious love. So of course we wrote our own sequel. These days you'd call it "fan fiction" and maybe get a book deal. Back then we were just dorks with too much free time.

This screenplay combines our love of French (we were Madame Takala's favorite students) with our passion for watching and re-watching Grease 2. Our tale has Dolores Rebchuck, the tough little sister from Grease 2, running the Pink Ladies just as she predicted. There is one spot open and the Ladies are holding try-outs to see who's pink enough. Pinky has dreamed her whole life of being a Pink Lady but starts falling for Jean-Pierre, the new French foreign exchange student. Trouble! Pink Ladies can only date T-Birds, so this causes a dilemma of epic proportions. For a teenager anyway. To complicate matters there is also a female French exchange student, the sultry and sophisticated Brigette. She's caught the eye of all boys at Rydell - including the T-Birds - and she wants JP all for herself!

We penned a few songs, intending to have Michelle's boyfriend Brian set them to music. We started picking friends for the cast, though never actually mentioned it to them. I was to play Dolores and Michelle would be Pinky. We had Parissa, now an international tango star, in mind for the part Brigette - it could have been her first big break! We scouted out filming locations at local schools. I remember a playground painting of the USA was to serve as the backdrop for a number called "Coming to America."

For all this planning, we only tapped out seven pages on Michelle's Macintosh Classic before the project stalled out and we went back to the concerns of normal high school nerds, like studying for the PSAT and joining library club.

But the time has come. The world needs..... A T-Bird for France!

You're welcome.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Failing with Intent

Fully living up to the name of this blog, I have failed to write much in the past 6 months other than Half-Baked Birthday posts, and I'm even lagging behind on those. I love to write. I write well. And I never make the time for it because I am a giant wimp.

Facing fears is no fun, but the whole point of this blog (and probably of life) is to go beyond what's safe and easy and boring. All the goals I set for myself are meaninglessness without a way to overcome this basic fear that I'm no good at this, that I'm too old to start making a go at writing, that I'll end up taking the safe path back to a job I do well but don't care for much.

So my new goal isn't framed as motivation or designed for success. What this lady needs is a lot more failure. My plan is to receive at least six rejection letters before the year is out. In order to be rejected by publications, I must submit writing for publication. Since my goal is to fail, I'm freed from the worry about what it will mean if I get rejected. I just have to write and submit, write and submit. And fail.