As a continuation to Part I of Curtis James Salt’s interview about the independent film “Mosden,” I had the pleasure of extending an interview question to a few members of the Mosden cast, including my boyfriend!
AP: In your own words, describe what you believe is the true message behind Mosden, and how your character contributes to that meaning.
Halee Bernard, “Pinkish-Yellow”
The true message of Mosden is ‘nothing is ever just black or white’. I think most of us have heard that saying, or a rendition of it, at one point or another throughout our lives, but that few have ever gotten to the heart of it. What does that even mean? That nothing is simple? No decision is unanimous? I think it goes deeper in describing the human spirit not only within the individual, but within the common consciousness that resonates within us all. No emotion or human quality can stand independently on its own, or better said: One cannot exist without the other. Mosden, in an artful and fantastical way, delves deep into this spiritual truth and creates a reality in which it can be examined. Pinkish-Yellow is a character that is best described as an ethereal, iridescent princess of sorts. She is no queen nor does she have a kingdom, but instead seems to hover in the distance as a presence of empathy, purity and light. While it’s difficult to not give anything away, empathy I believe is Pinkish-Yellow’s most important quality. Empathy is a quality unique to us as humans, and while I am not a religious person, I do consider myself deeply spiritual. I personally believe empathy is evidence of a greater spirituality here on Earth, connecting us all to one another. This is Pinkish-Yellow’s contribution to the emotional and spiritual spectrum of Mosden.
I am so looking forward to filming the project and spending more time with a cast I adore (thus far ;))!
Cezar Constantine, “Black”
In my eyes, Mosden is a story that illustrates the limitless potential and creative capacity of the human spirit in its purest form - the power of the true self beyond the veil of self-imposed limitations, social standardization and societal conditioning. The message behind the story tells me that life is our very own spiritual canvas on which we are free to create ourselves and our world in accordance with our deepest vision and desire, as long as we understand that we contain all the colors and potential of human nature within us - from the highest and purest good to the deepest, darkest evil and everything in between. The character of Black represents to me the physical embodiment of the shadow side of human nature, the unrecognized darkness within which seeks control over its environment and is shrouded in fear, mystery, and the unknown. This mysterious force opposes the pure light of the human spirit and thus attempts to separate itself from its own creator. Believing itself to be separate from its environment and driven by egotistical self-gratification, Black becomes intoxicated with power and control and uses its own creative ability for the purposes of domination and the manifestation of the darkest aspects of creation. Black is thus the antagonist - the dark side of the human spirit which is often suppressed, rejected, or denied but retains the same creative (or destructive) power as the rest of the self and must remember its place within the wholeness of creation before it destroys itself and everything around it.
If you want to be a part of making Mosden happen, check out their campaign page here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mosden?c=home
Namaste and wishing you all light on your paths to explore your own vibrant internal colors,
In a recent post I announced Cezar’s new daring independent film project, “Mosden,” and now I am happy to follow up with you all on Mosden’s progress by sharing an interview with director Curtis James Salt.
Because in this beautiful corner of ours on Tumblr we support art and spirituality in all forms, I had the pleasure of delving into Salt’s artistic eye and I wanted to extend it to you all. Here’s what he had to say:
AP: What drew you to independent film making, and what do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your art?
CS: Independent filmmaking is the natural path moving forward after film school. For me personally making indies allows me to learn how to improve from one project to the next and have more creative control on my vision. Not many directors in Hollywood have the last input on their films. The studios ultimately have the final say. I think there is also a stronger sense of unity on a independent production. Everyone knows going into it that your audience will be small, if at all existent. But you get to work and collaborate with a group of talented people who are all focused on one goal; making a story that the group collectively believes in. It’s a very humbling and organic process that I hope I can always take away learning more from. Plus you make friends for life. My last project “Adonis” which I’m still trying to get out there and picked up; there are numerous cast and crew members that will be in my life forever. I believe it was Drew Barrymore who said it best when she won her Golden Globe award a few years back, that she was standing before her “traveling circus family.” Amen to that.
AP: What spiritual themes or message do you feel that Mosden incorporates? Explain for my readers what you feel they could take away from the film, and how it could impact their own spiritual journeys.
CS: I’m not at all a religious person. There is a lot I think that is unknown to us and should remain that way. But I won’t deny that there is a connection we share with people in this world that you can’t quite describe. With Mosden, it was all about creating a mature fairy tale that would appeal to a universal audience. If I were a “strict” religious person it might have narrowed my view on how to illustrate the broader strokes of the story. Having an abstract spiritual tone underlying the story makes for a much more approachable story. It also gives the audience the choice to interpret it more intimately that align with his or her own beliefs without discriminating anyone else’s. If I did my job correctly, you should walk away understanding that nothing in this world is ever just “black and white”. There is more to life than trying to go through it with a limited perspective. I am extremely protective of the ending of Mosden (as the cast and crew know a hit squad will come after them if they leak it [laughs] ) because there will be huge “a-hah” moment revealed to the character Canvas. It’s a very emotional note to end the story on, but it’s one that I think audiences will walk away from with a greater appreciation for life.
AP: How does the metaphor of colors and art relate to making “art” out of life, and making us the “artists” of our own reality?
CS: As a writer it’s hard to answer that without giving too much away. Mosden’s tag line is “imagine your life.” Canvas discovers whatever he draws on the walls in this fantastical realm he is literally born into, becomes a reality. The ensemble cast are all named after colors that represent an aspect of our emotions or a condition of our human psyche. Despite Canvas creates them with the use of his imagination, it’s ultimately his decision on what he takes away from his experience with each of them that informs what kind of “person” he’ll become.
AP: What’s the next step for Mosden, and how can people supporting the independent arts community help?
CS: Next on Mosden’s agenda is creating a live conceptual version of the movie for a limited audience to view. We’re creating live storyboards by photographing and filming various sections of the script as if we were in a dress rehearsal for a performance. We hope this allows people to better understand the story and will encourage them to stand behind it. We’re currently trying to fundraise through indiegogo.com which grants people rewards based on the amount they donate. A few of those perks allow access for individuals who support our cause to actually see the conceptual movie as a whole. We’re in phase 1 of 3 for fundraising, currently trying to secure our art department and pre-production costs before raising money for physical production and solidifying our filming crew. If the money is there, we hope to film at the end of July/early August of this year. When we cast the film we gave all the actors who came into Boston a questionnaire to fill out. On it we requested people’s availability. After what I think was a 14 hour day for myself, I came home and read through every actor’s questionnaire. You can call it meant to be or interpret it however you would like, but all my first choices I was leaning towards all had the same availability open for that one week of shooting in the summer. Not a single other person we looked at had that availability. I never expected to have a full cast after that day in Boston. I took it as a sign of greater things to come for Mosden. Plus I have never witnessed another cast except for this one who when all assembled together in one room, have a natural and pure synergy. It’s an insanely awesome vibe that I’m confident will translate beautifully on screen if we’re given the opportunity.
There you have it! Make sure to look out for Part II of this interview where some of the actors share their view on the story! If you want to lend your support to this production and follow its progress, continue to check back here and visit Mosden’s campaign page here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mosden?c=home
Cezar as Black:
Thanks for all of the support, and to Curtis for doing this interview!
As of yesterday I completed my finals, and now my senior year of college at Boston College is coming to a close. I wanted to give myself a day of reflection, and now, as always, I find myself turning to writing to allow myself to go deeper.
I’m not sure when it finally sank in, and like most endings I think this one too came in waves. There was shutting the classroom door yesterday after my exam was done. There were those three victory laps around campus in my car blasting music after I got back to my apartment. There was the realization that I didn’t have any more reading to do for classes. There was the celebratory dinner last night with Cezar. There was sleeping in until almost 11. And now there’s finally quiet, a pelagic quiet that seems both a little haunting yet still pregnant with possibility and adventure, with true north once again being the beating of one’s own heart.
So following the sentiment of reflection, after a good night’s sleep with the sun cheering me on through the big bay windows of my living room, here are a few things I learned from college that the textbooks didn’t teach me:
The college journey is first and foremost a spiritual journey. The sooner you break the shackles between your education and money, the happier you will be. You’re getting your degree for you. As follows, make choices that challenge and deepen your own spiritual path, whatever that may mean for you, whether it’s taking classes on other religions, meeting groups of people you never reached out to before, or reading something that deeply moves you. Learn from every situation, every struggle you come across, and your patterns. Let lessons not only be academic, but spiritual as well. Always ask yourself how something you come across informs your own sense of self and relation with the collective consciousness around you.
Never be afraid to define your own success. For some that may be graduating and making 100k a year, and for others it may mean traveling post-grad, or it may mean taking each challenge and giving all of yourself to everything you do. Success doesn’t have to be monetary or academic, it can be deeply spiritual. I’m not just trying to find “a job,” I’m trying to find a job that fulfills me and challenges me as I navigate my own sense of spirituality, and that, in my eyes, is what I find successful, not working for a business that I don’t care about to make money to buy things that don’t add an atom to my happiness.
Be open. Open in all ways, when it comes to people you meet, activities you choose to take part in, and even participation in classes. My outlook on academics completely changed my senior year when I didn’t go to classes for the soul purpose of taking notes, instead I took notes in a way that allowed me to look into myself and ask what the material really meant for me. If you’re taking classes where the material doesn’t have a deeper meaning for you - run. Run far and fast and don’t look back.
If it doesn’t add spiritual depth to your life, ditch it. These four years are too short to fill with things that you want to put on your resume. If you live your life for other people now, tailoring your activities and your learning to suit what you think others want from you, you’ll continue to do so in your life after college. That’s spiritual suicide. If something doesn’t feel right inside, have the courage to admit so. If this means stepping away from certain people, extracurricular, or majors, always do what’s right for you because your college counselor most likely won’t. This is your experience and your life, cherish it!
Try to accept as soon as possible that love and truth is the currency of happiness, not money. This also goes with my second point of defining your own success. While people may laugh and say the old trope, “money doesn’t buy happiness,” is cheesy, it is my belief that as a society we have not transcended it. Imagine how the world would be different if everyone followed their spiritual path in a way that allowed them to attain pure bliss from where they put their effort each day. Be the change.
Know your limits, and that extends far past alcohol. Now is the time to learn the word “no.” Say no to things! That includes social engagements, drinking, taking classes that don’t add an iota to your inner being, and taking on things that will just distract you from what’s important: your growth. It’s easy to fall into a labyrinth of distractions, and it took me awhile but I learned that the way out of that labyrinth is within. Go within, and look.
Find your space. Make sure you always have somewhere on campus, or maybe even off, that is consistent and you can visit it anytime you like, make it your sacred space.For me, it was Bapst library and to an extent the Barnes And Noble bookstore this past year. Go get your “you” space. Don’t go there with your friends, make it your own. Study there, write there, whatever you need for yourself. It’s always there for you when you need your own mental and spiritual space away from the college pressures and demands that can fray your aura and make your soul tired.
Find your people. I’ve heard a lot of people at various times in their college years describe themselves as feeling very alone. I was one of them. My first year and a half of college I was somewhere new each semester: London, Northeastern (Boston), and finally Boston College (Chestnut Hill) where I made my home. But even after coming to BC I still experienced my own existential loneliness. At times it benefited my spiritual path in the sense that I learned to be alone, to be with myself, and it added a lot of depth to my meditation. It’s counter intuitive because you’re almost never alone, and unless you have your own room you’re constantly inundated with noise and people. It wasn’t until more than half way through college that I realized I was around the wrong people. But I’m happy to say that while there were some constants, like my boyfriend Cezar, it was through taking classes that I truly loved and took for myself (writing workshops, Russian literature, Buddhist meditation) where I met friends that I just clicked with, and when I gave all of myself to activities that meant the most to me (horseback riding and yoga). For a long time I convinced myself that yogis and writers just didn’t exist at BC. It was only after I set out alone (but with my constant!) where I found the people that were right for me, that added such depth to my life, and I credit that to following my passions.
Find your constants, and find your adventures. I just mentioned constants, and this applies here as well, but combining a healthy balance. Don’t allow yourself to follow a single rut from which you never deviate. Tolstoy wrote that intellectual stagnation is one of the greatest dangers to man, but I take his claim a bit further to say that spiritual stagnation is. Have your constants like your friends, certain sacred spaces, certain organizations or activities that move you, but always mix in new things as well for the sake of your own inner expansion. Balance is something that I think every college student struggles to find, like a Holy Grail of sorts, but when reduced from mythic proportion balance comes from within and manifests itself in your external reality.
Meditate, always and always. This goes without saying.
So what’s next for me? After this summer, which I think will be filled with meditation, yoga, exploring Boston, job applications, and revision on my novel in progress Meditations In Wonderland, Cezar and I will move from this cozy apartment we have called home for the past year to pursue our dreams in Brooklyn! He’ll be acting there and I am currently applying for writing jobs and jobs in the communications field there. In the words of my graduation anthem, the beautiful John Mayer song Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967, “When you’re done with this world, then the next is up to you.” Oh, the visualization meditations to come! Then there is my actual graduation ceremony on the 20th… I guess that comes first. My parents and Cezar’s mom will be coming up from Virginia to celebrate with us, and I look forward to all the love and celebrations to come.
Thanks again for indulging me in this reflection, and to all of the amazing yogis, artists, and self-explorers that populate my Tumblr feed with things of beauty that ask me to look within.
I’m not vegan. I’ve never been vegan actually, I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life.
But mostly I’m a proponent of eating whatever you want, it’s all good, do what’s best for your own body. As a vegetarian most of my life I’ve felt judged because of the way I eat, so I never judge the way anyone else eats as I find that it is not my place. As long as you’re listening to your body that’s what counts! Sometimes what’s best for my body is raw veggies, and sometimes it’s ice cream. What’s important is listening to the difference, hearing your body out and establishing that mind body spirit connection.
Love, light, and happy eating,
cricketbaker asked: Tag. You're it. The rules are to state 5 random facts about yourself. Then go to ten favorite blogs and tell them they are it.
These are so fun, thanks for sending one my way Cricket!
(And if you haven’t checked out Cricket Baker’s tumblr you need to, she’s a fabulous writer with a new spiritual fiction novel out that I can’t wait to read this summer!)
Here it goes:
- I can’t live without trees, flowers, books and the sounds of running horse hooves, acoustic guitars, bird songs, and rain.
- I have two tattoos - one of a horseshoe on my wrist (traced from a shrunken down outline of my old horse Comanche’s horseshoe) in white ink, and a few lines from the angel prayer on my ribs with a line of my grandfather’s handwriting beneath it.
- My soul partner and I will be relocating to Brooklyn in a few months, and I can’t wait to start this new chapter of my life (post-college) in New York! Being a writer in NY… pinch me.
- I just finished the rough draft of the manuscript of my novel in progress, Meditations In Wonderland. (Which you can find updates on here.)
- I’m 5’11 and I love it, because it basically means I’m a tree myself
Namaste from yours truly
As you all may have noticed I’m big on reblogging and sharing art on this blog, and that’s because I believe that art is a gift, and sharing it not only helps us to connect to ourselves in a more profound way but also allows us to connect to the collective human spirit we are all a part of.
Following that sentiment, I am happy so share a project that my boyfriend Cezar is acting in: the upcoming film Mosden, which is a story that encapsulates the many colors of the human spirit in human form, shattering the idea that we exist in absolutes, blacks and whites.
Here’s an excerpt of the plot line from director Curtis Salt:
Taking place in a fantasy world of a white room with no exits, Canvas (Matthew Eriksen) wakes up and sets out on a journey to find his Mysterious friend on the other side of the wall. Mysterious leaves Canvas a gift prior to disappearing; a box of colored pencils. Canvas soon discovers whatever he draws on the walls, becomes a reality. Through his artistic abilities, Canvas creates a series of colorful characters who in return help him search for his Mysterious friend and learn there is more to life than meets the eye.
For this film to launch into production the Mosden crew needs to raise $3,500 over the next 33 days, and they’re only $2,500 from reaching their goal! For all of those who wish to cultivate a creatively and spiritually empowering space via Tumblr by reaching out to support art and the pursuit of artistic passions, I invite you to donate to make the project happen here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mosden
And to check out more of Mosden on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mosdencanvas)
Any support is always appreciated, and deeply felt in a world that could always use a little more color.
An Update From Boston
Hi beautiful souls,
Since many of you know that I live in the Boston area with my boyfriend I thought I would give a little update. We’re a few miles away from Watertown, and as you can see from the picture we haven’t left our apartment today to say the least.
But what we have done is turn off our TV for awhile. For mental space and clarity, and to take a step away from the fear that is overcoming the collective consciousness to regain our sense of presence.
I’m trying to contribute a sense of healing and calming energy to the collective right now, and I’m urging anyone who may read this to not be afraid to step away from the TV. If you feel compelled, take a moment to breathe and connect with that inner space of peace that we all have, and all share.
This is when we show the tenacity of the human spirit. The greatness of that spirit knows no bounds, and no fear.
Namaste, and wishing everyone positive energy to find their own inner light in this time,