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Alexa in Axat | Writing Residency

$4,325 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 76 people in 9 months
Howdy Friend!

My name is Alexa and I'm a filmmaker living & working in San Francisco. For the past 7+ years, I've been supporting the labors of love of others, and have suddenly found myself in a very fortunate but sticky situation.

A short while ago, an opportunity to apply to a month-long writing residency in Axat, France snaked across my Facebook feed. I've always been aware of residencies and grants for film and the arts, but I've never felt that I had anything worth submitting until now. For the past two years, I've been slowly chipping away at a screenplay for a psychedelic western. It's the most beautiful and absurd idea I've ever had, and it's been quietly amassing a small following- even though it isn't entirely scripted.

This residency felt right. It felt like it was mine. I whipped up a submission packet and sent off my application to the WordMill right under the deadline. Within 10 days of discovering the residency, I was on the phone with one of the founders being awarded one of two spots for the residency. 

Here are some choice cuts from my artist statement that helped me clinch my spot:

I am currently developing a psychedelic western feature film set in the 1880s about an outlaw interracial couple on the lam after stealing a small fortune so they can start a new life together. Initially thinking they are out of harm’s way, they perform a spiritual ceremony in hiding using a psychotropic substance to induce a days-long trip in search of enlightenment as to where they should retire to. Before they can sober up, they are ambushed by the gang they stole from and must escape while experiencing wild hallucinations.

My goal is to create a piece that feminizes the hypermasculine Western genre and challenge the assumed role of women in stories about the Wild West. I feel that many of our modern social ills including toxic masculinity, racism, and ingrained forms of manifest destiny, are rooted in not only this time in American history, but also in fictional representations of it.

• • • • • • • • • •

Bringing this story to life is no small feat, but I'm absolutely up to the challenge.

Where I need assistance is in getting to Axat so I can wrestle this puppy onto the page. I recently dumped my savings into a bunch of medical expenses which I am still paying off, so my personal finances have been exhausted. I'm launching this campaign with a goal of $4,000 as the absolute minimum, not including lost wages (which are well below what it takes to live "comfortably" in San Francisco).

I'll be embarking on my journey late August and returning the first week of October. The residency runs the entirety of September.

If I can crush this round of fundraising, here's what will be covered:

✔ Residency Fee $1,000 
✔ Airfare $2,000 
Additional lodging, transportation, grub, etc. $1,000

Funds raised beyond my initial goal will still go to the trip, as I’ve set a total budget goal for myself of $8,000. This also covers bills and rent for my apartment while I’m gone, a modest stipend for fun and leisure during breaks, and a contingency to ensure I’m covered if anything comes up. This is my first trip to Europe in 15 years and and will be my longest trip away from home. My top concern is being so afraid of going broke that it becomes a distraction from my writing.

This amount of money feels insurmountable to me at times, but the fact that this residency plopped into my lap like a lost kitten choosing me as it's new parent is just too wonderful a coincidence to not open this up to the friends, family, co-conspirators, and strangers that might want to help out. I started the year out by writing the words "The world wants my work in it" in my datebook, and it's been exhilarating seeing the ways in which this statement keeps manifesting.

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to message me, ask questions, or just say hey there, how are ya?

Kind Regards,

Alexa
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Bonjour!

Want a peek at my new Axat digs? Be sure to hit the View Updates button. I always send along a new image whenever I update you guys, but GFM just plops in the same old hero image for the campaign. That's the hot tip du jour for those of you that need a nice visual to engage with updates.

If you're like me and love to armchair travel, you can see more from Axat and environs by following me at www.instagram.com/liarlab.

I'm now settled in at the WordMill! I have a lovely bedroom at the top of a tower with a view of the Pyrenees (and the town cemetery). After breakfast, I like to wander into town to pick up lunch at the bakery (croque monsieur for 2,50€!) and some fruit at le marché, find a bench overlooking the Aude to do a little reading (currently West of Everything by Jane Tompkins), then head back to the house where my favorite spot is under the sweet little chandelier in my room. There's a giant puffy chair that I am finding to be cozily all-purpose. Reading, napping, meditating, writing; I can do it all in this chair. I flipped it around to face the sweet little round window that looks out to neighboring trees and more Pyrenees. Listening to the river nearby and an occasional rooster crow, feeling the breeze drifting in along with an occasional bee friend. This is torture!

I'm keeping my expenses super low for now, but leaving up my GFM since I have very limited funds to keep me afloat until I'm back working in the states in October. It feels INCREDIBLE to not have to worry about my job back home while I'm out here, but the tradeoff is that I have no income for 6+ weeks which is mildly terrifying.

On the bright side, I'm endlessly grateful to be here and I'm already having mini revelations with my writing. Happy to report I have my first ten pages! They took longer than I was planning, but they don't suck, so onward!

Always,

Alexa
+ Read More
Holy Smokes!

Y'all are really something. I made my goal of $4,000 over the weekend and have been reeling ever since.

Thank you so much for contributing your hard-earned dollars, kind words, and general support to this. It's easily the scariest and most thrilling thing I've ever done and it's slightly less scary knowing you guys have my back.

I'm going to be keeping the campaign up through my trip so I can get a little help keeping my bills paid back home while traveling, so you may still get the occasional update or nudge to share from me.

Again, I'll be posting photos of my adventure on Instagram if you would like to follow along: @liarlab.

I am forever grateful. Thank you.

Always,

Alexa
+ Read More
Dear Friends,

This time in two weeks, I'll be waking up in Barcelona where I'll be spending a few short days getting my head straight for my residency. I'm overwhelmed with excitement... and anxiety as is natural, I suppose. I'm working extra hours to save as much as possible, and I'm thisclose to hitting my goal here of $4,000!

You've already done enough, but if you're reading this feeling the urge to do a titch more, consider sharing with friends & fam, even if you have already. As I've whined about before, I am *terrible* at asking for money. Finding new ways to remind everyone for the umpteenth time that I'm raising money for this residency is definitely not my favorite part of all this, but it's slowly paying off, especially when others boost the signal.

If you decide to share, please add in a bit about what this is for and why you care. Contributions help send a female filmmaker to France for a month-long writing residency to script a Psychedelic Western... or feel free to word it as you see fit. Folks are more likely to pay attention to what you yourself actually write, and I've been seeing an uptick in contributions when friends share their 2 cents along with my link. Tag me, too, as I love reading what y'all post.

Attached is the moodboard/collage I slapped together in Photoshop for my going away party. If you're in San Francisco and free in the evening next week, message me for details!

Always,

Alexa
+ Read More
G'day Mates!

I just got back from a whirlwind trip back home to Los Angeles for my *20th* high school reunion. It brought back a few memories about what went down after my last one 10 years ago which I had the opportunity to share in this overlong but maximum fun performance I did at Peaches Christ's OutLoud storytelling series last summer.

Big love and gratitude to my filmmaker bruv Rob Fatal for recording-- I love hearing his chuckles throughout. Watching this, you'll get a feel for my sense of humor and how my love of movies informs how I see the world. This here is a crazy story, so let me know what you think if you have the wherewithal to watch all the way through!

I'm departing for Europe in three weeks and I'd love to button up this campaign well before then! Consider sharing this campaign along with a blurb of what the hay this is (sending a feminist filmmaker to France to write her dream screenplay for a month) and why you care. Feel free to tag me in correspondence, introduce me to anyone you think should know about me and my project. Any door or window you can direct me to, I will take upon myself to walk/climb/crawl through. Your continued support helps me sleep at night. I literally could not do this without you.

Always,

Alexa
+ Read More
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$4,325 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 76 people in 9 months
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Virgie Tovar
5 months ago
$150
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$120
Michael Davenport
6 months ago
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Tara Marshell
7 months ago
$50
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7 months ago
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7 months ago
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7 months ago
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