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Leverage


It's funny how being stuck halfway across the globe in a third world country can make you do the strangest things. At that moment out of pure desperation, I started bartering with God. God, if you help me get home I will never ever, ever complain about L.A. again. I will give up sugar for a year, help the homeless, volunteer downtown on Christmas eve, anything you want!!! Please take me home!!!! I will do anything, anything! Night came, we talked. He understood my desperation. I understood his position. We slept hoping the sun would come out tomorrow as Annie had always promised. The sun came out as promised by Annie, and new ideas came to mind about how to handle this situation. Me, being the brains in the family, started planning how to not get screwed by Evermean and her Indian posse. I woke up and headed straight to the computer Karan loaned me to check emails and do my editing chores. I opened word and started typing away a memo. When I was done I woke him up with a bright smile that spelled, I got it! He looked at me and immediately said; what now? Nothing honey, I just figured out how not to get screwed. Here is my plan. I wrote a memo for them which, if you agree, you can sign. It says you wont be able to deliver the CUT LIST to them until you get paid the full amount owed. Without the CUT LIST, they have no film. They will have to comply. · The cut list is a numerical list, which tells the computer the order the shots in the movie have to be in, so that it all actually makes sense. It’s a file. Very Mission Impossible* He thought about it for a moment then said, great. You are right. I have their movie in my hands. If they don’t pay I’ll just delete it. Exactly. I said! Or email it to them when they do pay. Now we have leverage. Now we’re talking. Nighttime came and the producers, including Evermean, were coming over to see the trailer T had worked on for Sundance. They were desperate to get in the festival, which happens every January in Utah. This was their chance. They were coming with one of the judges from the festival, so he could guide them with their submission. They came, they saw, they loved it. Good for us. I went to my computer and kept on editing scenes, while I watched them in awe of their film. T is a very talented editor, far beyond their expectations. As soon as they were done I handed over several copies of the memo signed by Troy. Their faces turned from joy to confusion. Evermean started reading. Her uncle, the man that gave her the job and expected the world of his unmarried old maid of a niece, was flabbergasted and embarrassed and also started turning a certain shade of green. I should have known! He looked at her and said, -What is this about?- bobbing his head like a little dashboard toy. You should know that Sikh people, such as they are, are not fond of being embarrassed or ridiculed. They are, by Indian standards, the fools of India. (Kind of like Gallegos in Spain) So to them, dignity and pride are of the utmost importance. And right at that moment, their whole discourse about changing the reputation of Indian Cinema being corrupt, was exploding like the Challenger. Unexpectedly and fiercely right in their face, and in front of the Sundance representative. Evermean could not handle it and walked quickly into the bathroom. I think she puked, she must have, as the bathroom stench after she came out was unbearable. But then again, I think witches stink up when they get angry? I read that somewhere.... As soon as she came out she looked at me, kind of knowing this was all my idea. I looked back proudly. The game was on. We both knew it. She was ready to explode but couldn’t do it in front of Sundance man so she looked at me and yelled -You need to bring us an invoice!- I did, I replied. -Well, it was the wrong address!!!! It has to be made out with the London office address!- And she fiercely walked out of the apartment bobbing her head. Her uncle looked at Troy and said in a quiet held back voice, don’t worry, this’ll be handled immediately. And walked out behind his niece mumbling in Hindi. Troy and I looked at each other wondering what would happen. Suddenly I had to run off to the bathroom. Yes. I puked. But there was this strange little voice inside my head while I puked, saying; -You did OK Cantina, not bad- I felt good. I stood up for myself. We often fail to do that because of fear, and believe me, these are scary people, but one has to stand strong with one’s beliefs or you’ll get pushed around endlessly only to realize, at the end, you could have had the life you wanted but were too chicken to go get it. And so proudly I had my evening Tosht and papaya as I hummed my fave Winnie the pooh song.... Deep in the hundred acre wood where Christopher Robin plays ... A donkey named Eeyore is his friend... and Kanga and little Roo. There's Rabbit and Piglet and there's Owl, but most of all. Winnie the Pooh... Winnie the Pooh... Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff. He's Winnie the Pooh... Winnie the Pooh... Willy nilly silly old bear.