18
Feb
18

Holy Shit! World Premiere of WHEN I SING. Part 2: Thank you Robin Russin

One week from today, my life’s story, WHEN I SING, made with my life’s savings, and a lot of help from my friends (sing that line like Ringo), will premiere at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. Hoo Ha. (And my jaw is clinched at 5 am as I write).

How self-absorbed is it, when one make’s a movie about….themselves?! I swear, it’s a great story, not because it happened to me, but just because it happened. And I hope that under the constraints of my meager budget, that we were able to pull off conveying the story.  It wasn’t easy.  But, to start, it wouldn’t have been possible without…me.  I’m kidding – Robin Uriel Russin, my cousin by marriage.  In fact, we call it “An Odd Cousins Film”.

Odd?  Well, besides the fact that he’s a road scholar, who graduated from Harvard, and I’m a University of Miami drop-out, we were at odds during the filming, because being my life’s story, and having lived every minute, I felt compelled to direct the director.  Oops. So, if there is an award for tolerating me, Robin gets it.  (Well, and everyone else.)  I did direct a few scenes when Robin couldn’t be around on certain locations, and it was fun…I had a good teacher…Robin.

Initially, because of the extremely low-budget, I figured I’d be doing most everything…because I don’t have to pay myself. And I wore so many hats that I’m surprised I didn’t break my neck. I mean, I made fucking sandwiches and dragged wardrobe and props and set up the scenes to save money, in between acting.  And I assumed I would be directing, because I had no choice…

BUT then Robin asked me “Who’s Directing?”

Linda: “Uhhh, I guess I am.”

Robin: “I’ll take a semester off of teaching at UCR and direct, if you want”.

Are you shitting me?!  Wow.  You’d do that for me? Well, he did it.  (Robin helped me edit my book, Who the F**K is Linda Chorney, which WHEN I SING is based on, thus, he was quite familiar with my story…and believed it was a good one to tell!) Not only did he make huge, personal sacrifices to direct the movie, but when we ran out of money, he received a grant from UCR, (which paid for my co-editor, Robert Murphy).  Of all of the projects he has done, Robin chose WHEN I SING to go for a grant.  Incredible. He saved me from breaking my neck, while I busted his balls.  It was a perfect match! And although we are, indeed, odd cousins, we are more like brother and sister, who fight, but love and respect each other, greatly.  (Thanks for marrying him, Sarah!)

When_I_Sing-Jan31-SET1-1024x640

(Robin and I having yet another discussion about a scene – while co-star, Maxwell Scott, playing the roll of “Scott”, hung in there. “Here they go again…”)

And WHEN I SING is our child.  (That sound’s really weird).  So, I don’t know if Robin is clinching his jaw as much as I am, mine,  but I do know he’s ready to hand out cigars next Sunday. February 25th!  If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, come to the premiere! Meet Felix and Oscar on the red carpet, (guess which one I am?), and other stars of WHEN I SING, including Chris Mulkey and Marion Ramsey. See cast here!

When_I_Sing-Jan31-WaveLabs2

(Robin directing Evan Grae Davis, our DP, of live performance with Chris Mulkey and me.)

A tremendous thank you to University of California, Riverside. No one can hurt me, when I have money to pay the bills!  (For those of you unfamiliar with lyrics from title track, WHEN I SING, the chorus says “no one can hurt me when I sing.”)  Get it!?

Stay tuned for Part III!

 

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1 Response to “Holy Shit! World Premiere of WHEN I SING. Part 2: Thank you Robin Russin”


  1. 1 jodyquine2014
    February 18, 2018 at 11:45 AM

    Super fantastic my friend!!


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Linda Chorney


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