Jamie Clayton Appreciation Post

Today is #TransgenderDayOfVisibility, and I find myself recalling “Dirty Work” and working with the amazing Jamie Clayton.  

As part of the initial writing team that developed the show, I was the one who pitched the idea of making one of the three leads transgender.  (If memory serves, @MaureenMcQ had been writing something else that had her researching a lot about transitioning, and specifically the financial costs associated with it, which inspired me to suggest we incorporate that into the show.) Which is how the character of Michelle was born. 

We patted ourselves on our backs for how inclusive we were being, but honestly at that stage Michelle was the epitome of a token – all of her stories were about being trans, and there were many, many jokes constructed around that and nothing else.

But then we held auditions, and met Jamie. I wasn’t in on the final casting decision as by then I’d been moved to working on other parts of the show, but I’m pretty sure that she had the part the minute she walked through the door. 

And suddenly, all of the jokes and interactions and “fun” bits that were being thrown around about Michelle and her challenges had to be embodied by an actual trans woman. TBH, I shudder to recall some of the things that were pitched and some of the things that made it into the final edits.  

But all throughout, Jamie never lost sight of trying to make Michelle a fully-rounded person and more that just “the trans girl.” She put up with a lot of garbage ideas – all from well-meaning, good-hearted creative people who were genuinely trying to make something funny. As if that makes it any better. 

I wasn’t in the writer’s room at that point, but I know she pushed back on a few totally egregious things. I don’t know if there was any open conflict, but I can only imagine there were days that were tremendously difficult for her. 

Dirty Work only ran for 3 episodes, and since the RIDES platform is no longer available I’m not sure they can still be seen anywhere. But there were plans for more episodes in the works when the company went under, and I’d like to think that had that happened, we would have been able to do better by Jamie and Michelle. 

Representation is important. Visibility is important. But it’s not enough. It’s not AGENCY. Working with Jamie on this show taught me a whole lot about that. Even though it shouldn’t have been her responsibility to teach us anything. 

But she did, and I’m grateful.

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Holy crap.

I never thought this day would come.

I finished grad school in 1997. Today, 19 years later, my student loans have finally finally finally been paid off. 

What is air?

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I want to play Hamilton. I memorized the cast album before I saw it and, because of Gabrielle Ruiz [who plays Valencia], I got to go backstage and meet Lin-Manuel Miranda. I was sobbing. It was a week after I won the Golden Globe and I was at Hamilton surrounded by people treating a historical musical like it was Star Wars and it was overwhelming. It was the hardest I’ve cried in years.

Are you fucking kidding me?

10 Cloverfield Lane thoughts below the cut

I’m stunned by the incessant need for people to come up with “theories” about what “really” happened in a movie. Hey, I’m all for a willful misreading here and there – but if you’re gonna do that, you need to own the position you’re coming from and the biases you’re serving.

But when I see an article like this one, titled Why John Goodman’s Howard is the real victim in 10 Cloverfield Lane it makes me want to scream “what in the heck is WRONG with you?!”

You have to be some kind of delusional to read the movie that way, and…

…hang on, I just remembered what America 2016 is like. 

*sigh*

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okbjgm:

my most desired television series would be six seasons and a movie of “romola garai bosses people around for an hour”.

barring that, i would grudgingly settle for six seasons and a movie of “romola garai thoughtfully contemplates world domination over a cup of coffee”.

co-signed

meganwest:

thepurposeofplaying:

theprettygoodgatsby:

my favorite part of hamlet is at the beginning when they see the ghost of hamlet sr for the first time

and the guards are like “Horatio, you go talk to it! You went to college!”

and Horatio is like “Yeah! I did go to college! I will go talk to the ghost!”

like. where did horatio go to college. did he go to ghost college

YES, ACTUALLY YES HE FUCKING DID BC

(a) EVERY COLLEGE THEN WAS GHOST COLLEGE bc ghosts were widely believed to be Real™ n thus scholars learnt abt them. moreover, as everybody knows, ghosts only communicate in Latin; Latin, which also happens to be the scholastic language. Horatio is a scholar; he both knows about ghosts and knows Latin; as such his university education patently DOES make him best suited to ask this one what’s up (as obviously sth must be up for it 2b wandering around, why else wld it b here, i mean gawd)

(B) WITTENBERG WHERE HORATIO STUDIES WAS LIKE. THE MOST SPOOPY OF GHOST COLLEGES bc they were alllllll about theology n the supernatural n shit so SUPPOSING HORATIO WILL KNO HIS SHIT ABT GHOSTS IS IN FACT A THOROUGHLY SENSIBLE ASSUMPTION

this has been said before but i am fucking adding it again bc it HACKS ME TF OFF when ppl reblog the post w/o commentary as if OP jsut fucking checkmated Shakespeare when in fact all they managed to do was fail at the most basic historical contextualisation lmao

I send my brother pretty much historical contextualization post that crosses my dash. It’s a big part of how we communicate now. 

I know I’m biased, but you know what makes Hamlet (and, not surprisingly, every other Shakespeare play, not to mention the non-Shakespeare ones) more enjoyable?  Assuming that the characters are not idiots and that the stakes are real.