Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dying to Do Letterman

Okay, I know what you are thinking about my title above. You are totally wrong - you are putting the emphasis on the wrong word. Plus, I don't find Letterman attractive in the least.

Dying to do Bourdain would be a much better title for any post of mine.

But, it doesn't have anything to do with that either, so get your mind out of the gutter. You all know cancer took my hormones away, so all I'm really dying to do is nap.

Back when I was a little girl, I was a Johnny Carson fanatic. I stayed up every single night watching him, which explains my grades. When I was a kid, maybe 9 or 10, I would sneak downstairs after my parents went to bed and turn the TV on so quiet that I had to put my nose against the glass to hear. I still remember Johnny as being a black and white pixelated glow.

When I was a teen, we had a TV on a rolling cart that we could move from room to room in the upstairs of the house. Being the oldest, I confiscated the cart, and night after night, I watched Johnny. I am guessing I didn't miss his show for at least 15 years, which is pretty pathetic if you think about it, and probably explains why I had my first child at 28, unmarried. By then, I might add, Letterman was in his early days, and breathtaking in his humor. But, in my mind, he was no Johnny.

Naturally, I had dreams of becoming a famous actress and appearing on the Johnny Carson show. Doing movies and plays didn't really interest me that much - being on Johnny's show? That's what I wanted to do. That was the epitome of success. I would dazzle him with my beauty and brilliant wit, and he would chuckle at what I said and light a cigarette at the end and whisper to his producers to have me back soon.

Odd that it never occurred to me to train an animal or something; that would have been a lot easier way to get on the show.

Anyway, back to present day: I got an email from a documentary production crew person (or something, my knowledge of the inner workings of the movie business vanished when Johnny went off the air) informing me about a documentary called "Dying to Do Letterman."

They didn't contact me for my Hollywood connections, which are tenuous at best (although I do have a friend with an Academy Award - there is something you don't know about me!) No, they contacted me because the movie is about a man, Steve Mazan, who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. His doctors estimate he has five years to live. And, this knowledge spurs him on to achieve the most important thing on his bucket list:

To do stand-up comedy on the David Letterman Show.

Mine is to clean my house.

Not only does he set this goal, he ends up with a documentary crew filming his attempt, which they turn into the movie Dying to Do Letterman. The movie has been in limited release and has achieved audience and critical acclaim wherever it has shown. It has won awards at film festivals.

And, they are competing for the big prize: an Acadamy Award.

Long time readers will know my blog is all about accepting you have cancer and finding the humor in it. My favorite type of film is documentary and Steve is doing exactly what I'd be doing if I was a stand-up comedian and/or if I'd thought if it first. His dream paralleled mine, and his cancer is also metastasized to his liver. So, I feel like we are twins (except for the part where I'm old enough to be his mother) and when they contacted me to give their movie whatever bump this little blog can, I was more than happy to do so.

Who does not love the idea of a guy realizing his time on this earth is finite, and then setting out to live his dream? And, no doubt discovering a few truths along the way?

Here is a video of Steve talking about the movie:

About Dying to do Letterman from Joke and Biagio on Vimeo.

It's not opened in Sacramento yet, but if you are local, love the concept as much as I do, and want to see it, you can leave a comment and I'll put you in touch with the people who can help you make that happen with their Digital Street Team. It'd be awesome to get a team of people willing to help show it at the Crest, don't you think?

And, if you do that, I promise to come out and watch it with you, creaking knees, aching back and all.

But even if you aren't in Sacramento, you can help:

If you love the idea of this movie, as I do, go ahead and like them on facebook.

If you want to be a big shot movie investor, go ahead and donate to their kickstarter campaign. (I think you get swag).

If you want the movie to show in your town, leave a comment and maybe the people in charge will contact you too. And, also, please bump this on facebook and twitter. A REAL movie about a person with cancer living his dream - well, we all can relate to that, can't we?

Guess what! I will be doing an interview with the one and only Steve Mazon soon. And, possibly the producers, Joke and Biagio, too. Then I can ask the question everybody in the real world wants to know about the movie world: What the heck does a producer do, anyway?

But first, I need to start on my dream. I think I'll begin with the kitchen.

"Honey? Go get the video camera."



  1. What a great concept for a movie. Congratulations on your upcoming interview with Steve Mazon and maybe also the producers! I'll bump it on facebook and twitter for sure. I'd be happy to have the movie shown in my town.

  2. Great blog and great entry, Ann! Can't wait for our interview.

    And can;t wait to share the movie with Sacramento...I started comedy in SF and have played Sacramento many, many times (last week even).

    Look forward to talking, TWIN, and thanks for spreading the word.


  3. Ann,
    We'd be thrilled to talk to you any time! No maybe about it...we're at your service.

    We're so thrilled with everything you wrote above...Steve is someone living with cancer, and finding the humor in it.

    You'll especially love his "Top Ten Benefits of Catching Cancer" in the movie.

    As for the Kickstarter campaign, yes, anyone that pledges even $1 gets something special, ranging from comedy MP3s to a copy of the movie when it comes out. We didn't feel right just "asking" people for money, so we tried to come up with real rewards people might like.

    But most importantly, we want to bring this story to the world...a movie about a guy who doesn't let cancer stand in the way of chasing his dreams. As a "cancer asskicker" we hope you love the movie.

    Thank you so much for the kind words.

    Joke and Biagio

  4. Thanks Steve, Joke and Biagio. I'll be in touch. I'm doing most of my writing on weekends now so it'll probably be Saturday. I have Steve's email but don't have Joke and Biagio's...

    And, Readers, I know you are away for the weekend since I've only had about a thousand page views today. When you get back, if you have any questions about the movie, post them here, or email me. I'll include them in my interview.

  5. I'm in the Sacramento area & would love to see this film.

  6. I can't wait to see this movie come to H-town. Steve will be on Letterman for sure! I don't know if a congratulations is in order.......but job well done is. Way to follow your dream.

  7. Sounds like a great documentary. I'd love for it to be in the Midwest, the Chicago area, specifically....


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