Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Class Notes

Introduce all these crazy indians.  Are all indians crazy?  Yes they are in there own.  Not neurotic.  The different types of indians.  The militant indian, the spiritual indian…The year is 5010…we’re in a museum. 
No, it’s about pow-wow.  The huge pow-wow that takes place every year at the museum of the southwest has been cancelled.  and everyone is concerned about it. 
We’re going to pow-wow.  I was on set with this indian electrician guy I know and he wanted to know what I knew about pow-wow being canceled, then there’s Ralph “what ? pow-wow is cancelled?”  There are indians on set, yes, b/c the show Saving Grace is set in Oklahoma, so of course casting needs “token” indians.  What is it like to be a token Indian?
Saving Grace?  Pow-wow Cancelled?  Can you recognize the indians from the non-indians there? Or is it muted?  No, b/c I know everybody.  Then you see the one crazy indian, with his long greying black hair tied back with a single barrett on the top of his head, and a bone choker and huge leather cuff on his wrist.  And the wardrobe people didn’t make him take it off.  He was playing a frickin patient?  Really?  The other times I’ve worked, the patients only had their tiny hospital gown as wardrobe and a robe, their only prop a hospital i.d. bracelet, and this guy, I think he even had mocassins on.  He’s talking loud and has to be told several times by the A.D. to quiet down.  He talks to me and ask who my people are.  He’s crazy indian guy.  Please step away from me…
Do I feel misrepresented by him?  Yes, he just knows everything.
Does he make me angry? does he make me sad?  No, I just cringe, b/c it’s like his indian suit.  I didn’t see the point of him doing that.  Did wardrobe ask him to do that?  No, its’ just how he is.  But they don’t tell him not to do.
Are we indians?  or token indians?  or are we marginalized? (don’t understand the word)    Was Oklahom ever run by indians and then the white man slaughtered them?  b/c the indians got kicked out of oklahoma.  why are there token indians?
am I an imposter? No b/c I know who I am and I know where I’m from.    Am I playing a cherokee?  No, I’m playing a nurse.  That’s why I was hired today.  I know the only reason I got called was b/c I was registered at Central as Native American. 
Was I glad that I got called?  Oh yeah, then I kept getting called back and it took me a few times before I realized “oh, I’m supposed to be indian”  Did I play it differently? When am I an indian and when am I a person?  are they distinct and separate or not?  and what is it to be cast as a native american and then does it count if you don’t speak? are you just furniture? are you landscape?  That’s why I say token, b/c there’s a quota they have to fulfill.  I don’t think of it, no one gets to see you.  You’re the fuzz in the background, you’re the blurr that goes by.  What is that like?  and Do I identify with that?  No, no I don’t.  I don’t think so.  b/c for the show, i was called b/c i was indian, is that success? no it’s not, b/c your’re background, your furniture, nobody really sees you. being in Hollywood, people know “oh, you just played background”  but in the rest of the world they don’t know any better, they just know they saw your face, ssuccess is subjected at that point, it’s just a paycheck and yeah I got called b/c I’m actually native american, unlike I’m sure many of the people that register
time 30:55