Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fasting and Getting Things Together

September 1 through 30 marks the holy month of Ramadan, for the non-Muslims of the world, Ramadan, is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. The Month of Ramadan is also when it is believed the Holy Quran "was sent down from heaven, a guidance unto men, a declaration of direction, and a means of Salvation". It is during this month that Muslims fast. It is called the Fast of Ramadan and lasts the entire month. Ramadan is a time when Muslims concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. It is a time of worship and contemplation. During the Fast of Ramadan strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Muslims. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. Smoking and sexual relations are also forbidden during fasting. At the end of the day the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is customary for Muslims to go out visiting family and friends. The fast is resumed the next morning.

You're probably wondering why I began with an introduction to Ramadan, one of the reasons is I'm fasting with my boyfriend Karim. I believe this is my third or fourth year participating in the fast. Although I am a non-Muslim I still do the fast to support Karim in his practice of his religion and also because I think the principles behind it are sound. It's so easy to get lost in this crazy world, especially with Sarah Palin and John McCain bamboozling voters in key battle ground states. After eight years of Republican rule, a struggling economy, and major corporations getting bailed out, I can't understand how folks still believe that Republicans have all the answers to our nations problems. While this political season has my stomach turning, this blog isn't going to be about politics, there are more than enough people on the right and left jabbing each other.

Today marks my 16th day of fasting. Besides being hungry I've been focused on the activities I've been involved in. Somehow how I managed to keep my energy up enough for rehearsals of Anton in Show Business (opens 10/10/08 at the Oddfellows Playhouse and then moving to the Little Theater in New Haven for the following two weekends), continue with preproduction on After the Headlines, and other miscellaneous projects (staged reading of Return to Darfur). It's a lot and with only two meals a day I find myself focusing on these items that much more.

Last Wednesday, I had my first read-through with the cast of After the Headlines. We met at the Weist Studios ( in New York City. I had an opportunity to connect with the cast and get their feedback on the script. It was so cool to hear the words come alive by actors. It really moved me as well as reminded me why I decided to write this story and go out on a limb to produce the film myself. As the deadline gets closer my anticipation builds, I still can't believe I'm producing a film and in a little over a month will be directing it. Thank God, film is a collaborative process. I'm getting a lot of help from a lot of people. The actors are working for free, and most of the key crew positions reduced their rates or are doing it pro-bono! The fact that I have people willing to go the extra mile for me reinforces that they believe in the project and my ability to see it though. Come hell or high water (no pun attended) I will get through it.It's hard trying to pull things together, but like I said I have a team of folks who are supporting me.

Today, a couple of my colleagues asked about Anton in Show Business, they wanted to make sure they get fliers so they can come and support the show. While it adds to the stage fright, its good to know people want to support me.

As disgusting as the world can seem at times, it's in my fasting, my work, my family, and in my relationship, that I realize the potential I have. It's never easy taking on a project or in my case projects. However, getting things together is my calling and I'm crossing my fingers that the ends will justify the means.

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