The photoshoot was fun and colorful, their personalities melding. We had no purpose except for playing. We played for hours and then he was gone.
Faures and I sat at the computer as I uploaded the shots in complete awe of the sexiness and fun the images showed. We laughed at how impossibly wonderful life can be when you say yes to things. Yes to new experiences and people. Especially when your gut is screaming YES! I saw so many boundaries being pushed in the photos, him being a black man, her a white woman. The fact that he is homosexual and she is heterosexual. His physical strength and her delicate frame. Their unity and power together. Their colors and dances. It reminded me of the Love Revolution in the 60’s, how people stood up in the name of love to end war, segregation and all that separates humanity from each other.
There was one photo in particular that told a powerful story in light of our history. It was of Theo carrying Faures, and in it she looks trusting and accepting. He looks powerful, stoic and trustworthy. As I thought of this, a clear sentence came to me: Paint me a Playwright for the Love Revolution. I screamed it in excitement and Faures joined in, nervously trying to dial Theo’s number to tell him the name of the photo shoot. He heard it and without hesitation said, “I’m writing a poem to it.”
About 2 weeks later, we had an artists dinner at my house. Theo stood up in the middle of it and recited one of the most powerful poems I have ever heard. The poem is truly everything in this film, his conviction and words dig deeply into anyone listening. It is truth at a visceral level. Faures’ majestic paintings decorating the film bring the artistic expression to a surreal and yet palpable place. And then there is the music composed by the one man band Man, Woman, Friend, Computer. The intuitive and detailed nature of this composer brings a cinematic sound, honoring the life of this film with so much breath and inspiration. I am eternally grateful to everyone involved.
It’s taken 2 years since we started this film and it finally is seeing the light of day. Art and artistic expression cannot be rushed. We must let artists be.
Thelonious Love: Alice Rabbit and Faures Rathbone inspire me. Two of the most beautiful and talented women I have ever met. I was intimidated. Yet I knew I had to follow my fear and trust myself. Trust that I was worthy of flying, so I lept. Magic happens. When the two called me to name the photo shoot, “Paint me a Playwright for the Love Revolution,” I was astounded. Flawless execution! I knew there was so much more to be said to that message. I wanted to speak to freedom, social change, and unity. So I expanded on the energy of the space we created, constantly looking to the photos to bring me back into that space. Doing so, I was able to expand and understand myself in greater depth. I was born for this. Everything about me; my dreams, my fears, my angels, my demons, my family, and my friends have all made me the man I am. Our history pulses deep inside of me and screams to be heard.
This is for everyone. Your life is your own. Love unconditionally.
Faures Rathbone: The Paint Me A Playwright project was an amazingly unexpected magical process that unfolded through a series of inspired actions unforetold by anyone involved. My instant connection to both Alice and Theo, and my respect for their individual creative outlooks and spirits, made the project a dream come true.
The project started off with an electric photo shoot of Theo and me by Alice Rabbit. After Alice titling it, and Theo deciding to write a poem, I immediately knew that I had to use one of the photographs for a painting… And the photograph I had to use couldn’t be clearer. I chose to paint the photograph of me with my arms up and head back like I am completely in helpless distress. Theo is standing there stoically holding me with a strong, unwavering expression in his eyes.
This image portrays one of the most beautiful aspects of absolute love: to spiritually release resistance into your own darkness (distress in this image), and into the arms of unwavering, unjudging, unconditional love. It shows brokenness being cared for, but not suppressed or denied. The shadow is exposed, open, even invited. The painting also shows trust, compassion, and caring between two human beings of different races, something unheard of in prior generations, but fought for by the ‘Love Revolution’ of the sixties. They fought for unconditional, unprejudiced pure love.
This is something still discriminated against by many people today, but rapidly changing as people are waking up to the fact that we all come from One Love, One God, or one Source (whichever you wish to call it). I hope this video encourages people to create peace within themselves, within their community, and within this planet… By the only means possible: Love.
Alice Rabbit: I asked Tom, from the band Man, Woman, Friend, Computer, how he came to create the perfect song and he said the following: “The film begins with both characters waking, and the poet utters the first words of the poem with his first waking breath. . . The pacing and the lighting of the film evoked for me a sense of breathing, and the poet says “together we can inspire”.
One of the meanings of “inspire” is “to inhale” as opposed to “expire”. I’ve always liked these words, along with “suspire” (to breathe) or “conspire” (to breathe together). For me, the music that I composed for the film has a breathing quality to it, as it progresses towards a moment of waking or realization when the two characters meet.
The title of the music is taken from a passage of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus that pays homage to breath. It begins with these lines: “Breath, you invisible poem! Steady shear exchange between the cosmos and our being. Counterpoise in which I rhythmically become.”