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The REAL GIRLS return to the Dinah for REVENGE (and Jello Shots) April 1, 2011

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Sprechen Sie Deutches? Real Girls at The Gay Games in Germany! July 7, 2010

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That’s right my lesbian sisters (and brothers)… The Real Girls are headed to the GAY GAMES in Cologne, Germany!!! Come check us out on the big screen  August 5&6th!

Our Dinah Diary… April 18, 2010

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Has it been two weeks?! Time flies when you’re trying to dismantle patriarchy and save the world!

So it was approximately two weeks ago that we headed off to Palm Springs for a few days of girl-powered mayhem at The Dinah. For those of you who are unfamiliar, The Dinah is basically “spring break for Lesbians” – a week long pool-party with dancing, performers and the occasional “Celesbian” appearance. Only one in our party had ever actually experienced The Dinah before…but by the time we left we were all well acquainted with the refrain, “Whatever happens at the Dinah stays at the Dinah.” So in the interest of preserving our reputation as nice wholesome girls, I will not reveal too much, but will say that highlights included a sing-along in the ladies room with “Sexy-Ukulele girl,”

…and having Meredith Baxter and her partner rescue Robin Daléa (Rasha) before her virtue was nearly corrupted by an over zealous fan (aka “scary, drunk, overly-tan girl”). However, all’s well that ends well, right? And somehow this landed us with a picture with MB herself.  So thank you scary, drunk, overly-tan girl!

By the way, if you have not seen Meredith’s webseries debut check out “We Have to Stop Now” Season 2! So great! We love you MB.

The big Real Girls event for the weekend was the Battle of the Lesbian Webseries (sponsored by One More Lesbian.).  The battle consisted of a poetic presentation by each of the shows and several rounds of party games. Heavy drinking beforehand was encouraged.  Several mojitos later, I was wearing a ginourmous Real Girls Clock ala Flavor Flav and prepared to test out my rap-skills. Fortunately, The Girls intervened in the nick of time (all my raps start out with “My name is…” which is, apparently, a very bad sign) and we ended up going a little more spoken word (poem below…).

We also met our competitors, Renée Olbert from Seeking Simone, Nicole Pacent from Anyone but Me, the gals from Lovers and Friends, among others. All lovely women…all of whom I drunkenly accused of cheating and making us lose even though WE HAD A CLOCK (as I, apparently, was fond of reminding everyone), and even though Reena Dutt (“Sydney”) was able to balance an apple on her head for LIKE an HOUR (or maybe 5 minutes…), and even though Robin had everyone in the place swooning with her dramatic interpretation of “Honey I love you, won’t you give me a smile?”

(check out the dork in the background wearing a CLOCK!)

In the end, Lovers and Friends walked away with the silver trophy, probably due to cheating…and yet so  adorable and charming so that we forgive them. Next year, bitches! You are going DOWN!! (okay, wrong choice of words…). Not that we’re competitive or anything.

Also, we finally met some of the amazing folks at our host-sites. After Ellen and One More Lesbian (who sold our T-shirts for us – thank you!!), Cherry Grrl, and SheWired.

The rest of the time was spent at our digs in La Quinta, in a big, swank pre-fabricated house that made us all feel like we were on our own reality show (which probably explains the random eruption into gossipy confessionals, smack talking and bed swapping…our Dinah Reality Show Adventure Vlog coming…as soon as I can figure out i-movie!!).

The place was in this enormous development off of a golf course. At some point we lost our way and got directions from a man in his mid 60s with a gentle southern lilt and thick grey hair under a baseball cap who was driving a golf cart with two women who appeared to be his wife and daughter. After some debate we decided that it was definitely Bill Clinton (along with his top secret “second family”). And then we turned a corner and spotted another, and another. It was like BC had cloned himself and populated the entire place with himself and secret families!

Sunday morning we decided to go out for a stroll and chase the bunnies in honor of Easter. We traipsed around the golf course singing and bunny stalking…and generally enjoying our manufactured desert oasis .At some point we found a little cave, and scaled up the hillside to check it out.

No sooner had we made our way into the cave  (where we discovered a paper target body and lots of stray golf balls which I couldn’t help collecting because they were “free”), than we heard a man’s voice urging us to come down.  Again…Bill Clinton! We made our way down to the path where BC was waiting for us. He said not only were the hills teeming with rattlesnakes, but that non-golfers were actually not allowed on the course because of the threat of stray golf balls hitting them in the head.  We apologized pleading ignorance… when suddenly, from points all around, the Bill Clintons simultaneously stopped “mid-putt” and started converging on us, remarking how the Bill Clinton that had just come to our rescue was always keeping all the pretty girls for himself. After some nervous reflexive giggling that is almost a requirement in the presence of a cloned president famous for his sexual exploits, we headed back to the house… conspiring about how “wouldn’t it be awesome if we showed up the next day wearing helmets (to protect ourselves from stray golf balls…and other balls…) and bikinis, and laid out on the sand patches like it was a beach.”

We stayed through Monday, ditching work, pretending that this was our life. Lazy mornings in our pjs, barbeques, hot tubs and watching the wind in the palms. Gentle desert earthquakes where you don’t need to worry about anything falling on your head except the big blue sky. Thinking how great is it when saving the world from patriarchy is rewarded with trips to awesome places with the people you love.

Oh, and here’s our Dinah Poem ( if you’re still reading…=))

WHY WE FUCKING ROCK

by The Real Girls

Seeking Simone makes our keyboards sticky

And we’re totally fucked up by Feed

We wish We have to Stop Now would put US on the couch

And sometimes we find ourselves digging through the Girl Trash on hot summer nights

Hoping that Insight will pull US over

So we can party in hole with Autonatic

And have hot makeup sex with Lovers and Friends

Until the world dissolves into a Cherry Bomb

And we’re back in high school with Anyone But Me

Watching the sunrise through Julie and Brandy’s vag-colored glasses

The Real Girls loves ALL GIRL-POWERED WEB SERIES…and yet…

We fucking went to Afghanistan!

And we have casual references to feminist theory!

And we openly mock douche-bag republicans!

And we’re not afraid to rock the big hairy bush!

(But NOT to camera…)

Or date MEN as sociological experiments!

(um…don’t talk about that part…we’re at the Dinah shhh!)

But that doesn’t make us better.

Um…maybe a little bit?

Shhh…you’re going to hurt their feelings..

Yeah, and I’m a little scared of Girltrash…they could totally take us

Like sweaty-hot-rip-your-clothes-off-scared?

Yeah that.

xo-Carmen

THANK GOD FOR RED LIGHTS! February 20, 2010

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So, here we are! It’s been approximately a year and a half since Reena Dutt, Jen Weaver, myself and our band of unruly theatre folk began this journey together to do something none of us had done before: produce a relatively high-production-value web series with no cash in the bank …and I thought it was time to start documenting the process (because an experience doesn’t really happen unless one blogs, tweets and facebook-friends the hell out of it. Right? Right.)

So, it was about a year and half ago that I woke up with a chick-flick hangover (or maybe it was the overpriced cocktails I’d drunk to get me through the flick-in-question the night before) and started writing the script.  I was supposed to meet with my “Actors Support Group” for breakfast (yes, it’s like AA only everyone shows up with hangovers and talks too loud). As I drove to meet them, an idea started percolating. I started jotting down notes at red lights. And then when I got to the diner where we met every Sunday I found that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM BOOZE-LOVIN ACTORS HAD BAILED. And I was pissed… but then secretly glad. And I started driving back home, again jotting down notes along the way. Thank God for red lights.

About a month later I showed the script to my fellow Off-Chance producers (Reena Dutt, Jen Weaver and Luis Reyes) to see if this would be something they’d be interested in taking on. The four of us had started Off-Chance the previous year and produced an original collaborative play together, Anatomy of a Slap, and we all really liked working together. Luckily, they not only said “yes,” they proceeded to throw themselves into pre-production mode with zeal. Pushing me to make the script the best it could be, always challenging me to think on a grander scale then I would have left to my own devices, and to not just settle for the first opportunity that came along.

The production meetings started. We started work-shopping the script with actors. We began our fundraising efforts with the help of Luis’ band Jacaranda and an insanely fun “Live Karaoke Fundraiser”… and we started hitting up everybody we knew for contributions. And in $10-$20 increments we started getting closer to our goal.

And then it was about a year ago that we found our awesome director, Heather de Michele (a seasoned NY theatre director and the queen of physical comedy… who we instantly fell madly in love with)…our brilliant DP Rob Webb (who has a collection of gold statuettes on his mantel but was still willing to work with us for peanuts because he dug the story) …and started on the audition process where we found the fabulous Nikki Brown (Vanna) as well as many other talented folks from LA’s Theatre of Note…and the unbelievably awesome Robin Daléa (Rasha) who randomly responded to a casting notice…walking straight out of my imagination and into the audition room.

Then last June  – we shot it. Thirteen actors, seven days, seven locations, six pairs of hooker heels, five burqas and one part not cast until the night before – later… and we had ourselves a webseries. Or rather lots of raw footage to hand over to our excellent post team, Geeta Malik (editor), Bill Coy (sound editor) and composers Jason Olsen and Ronobir Lahiri. And our co-producer Steven Calcote who joined us last fall, cutting our trailer and helping with a myriad of details from promotions to arranging our screening.

I like to mark my life by looking back and seeing where I was one year ago from the day. Last year today I was totally freaked out.  I didn’t know where the money was going to come from to pull this off, I didn’t know where I was going to find half of these locations (yeah, some delusional writer girl who had spent most of her life writing fiction had set several scenes in Afghanistan), and where on earth would we find a crew that could pull this off with no real budget to speak of? Oh, and all of whom work for a living, which always makes things a bit more tricky.

And now I know…it takes a team. It takes a Reena and Jen and a Luis and Steven, a Heather and a Rob, and about 25 other people who were willing to work for free or cheap because they believed in the story we wanted to tell, because it was THEIR story on some level.  It takes actors who are more than actors…who are also location scouts and PR writers; it takes producers who are also caterers and graphic designers and costume designers and art directors. It takes a director who is willing to a have a film crew in her bedroom and to make tamales with the ingredients that the actors were cutting up in the scene prior that she serves to the crew when we’re done. It takes a male DP who loves feminist theory and a production coordinator that who has already taken care of that totally crucial detail that you totally spaced – that could bring the whole thing down.

And where are we now? Today we launched Episode 2 of The Real Girl’s Guide to Everything Else on Strike.TV. This has been a magical journey for all of us…and we hope that it brings you the same delight and feeling of empowerment… that by changing the kind of stories we tell, maybe just maybe we can also change the world we live in.

xo-Carmen

February 5, 2010

From the Writer/Excutive producer…

The Real Girl’s Guide to Everything Else was born of a classic “Girls Night” out, complete with overpriced cocktails and a chick flick. My friends Reena Dutt (Sydney) and Vivian Nickerson (the inspiration for the character of Vanna) and I had finally succumbed to the hype and ventured out to see the movie version of Sex and the City. Afterwards we got into a discussion about “chick flicks” and “chick-literature” and whether or not this genre really represented us. Where were the women of color? Where were the women who read books (besides self-help and romances)? Where were the women who had better things to do than max out their credit card, trying to find Mr. Right in a mad-quest to procreate before menopause? Where were the women who didn’t fantasize about their wedding day, but rather their first Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross? (Okay, maybe that’s just me…) The common thread in “Chick lit” is the character of “the Modern Day Career Girl.” She’s smart, independent (usually white), and yet ultimately too clever for her own good. A sucker for Mr. Wrong and ridiculously expensive footwear, we see her again and again as she longs for only mildly contemporized Cinderella-Happy-Endings. Reena, Vivian and I were discussing all of this …and I said “well, somebody should write a series for everybody else.” We began brainstorming. It could be a series for women of color, and lesbians, and lesbians of color and lesbians of color who shop at Ross and who don’t shave their armpits! Reena and Vivian turned to me and said, “Well, why don’t YOU write it, Carmen?” I thought about it and replied…”yeah – and maybe I could play the token white girl!” The next morning I got to work.

-Carmen Elena Mitchell

From the Director…

I was drawn to this project because I feel there is a dearth of unapologetic feminist writing and intelligent female characters on TV. I wanted to be involved in directing stories that challenge perceptions of the way women talk, act and feel. Real Girl’s takes the lesbian protagonist, Rasha, on a hilarious journey in a straight girl’s shoes in order to placate an agent who refuses to publish her politically charged feminist writings. However, Rasha is a woman with a mission and she soon finds a way to use her undercover experiences to their fullest advantage. The Real Girl’s Guide to Everything Else is written for the person who wants see stories about women who succeed with their brains not their butts, but who don’t mind making an ass of themselves in the meantime!
– Heather de Michele