Almost there

Two more days until my Stageit show!
It’s ONLINE so you can watch from anywhere.

Dear friends, it’s actually happening! I will be singing for you in two days. It’s almost surreal but it also feels like the most natural thing in the world.
I feel ready. I’ve been rehearsing a lot.
I’ve tried to bring as much beauty and be as truthful in writing these songs as I can muster. 

Seems that writing and performing are two different things, kind of like acting and directing. I’ve been reading this amazing book on Mysticism in Sound and Music. It’s quietly revolutionary. It speaks right to my heart and validates the thoughts I’ve had on music, harmony and dissonance. Light and darkness … So much!
I don’t want to get too much into it here because you should read it for yourself. The idea that all is vibration, that everything is music and that music is divine language is something that has governed my life for a while. I could talk about this for-ever!

I feel incredibly lucky and blessed to be able to put my heart into movies and songs and share them with you. I can’t even tell you how honored I feel by each of you who’s bought a ticket for the show on Sunday. I am truly grateful and I hope that you will be enriched for having shared that experience with me.

The show sold out twice today which made me feel all the love, so I have released more tickets.


It was a real surprise to see that I am the top featured show on Stageit today!

Feels like I’m getting something I didn’t pay for, like the free metro ride I got today because the ticket machine was broken. ūüôā


In Strigoi news …

Here’s my latest video from London.
If you’re not subscribed to my YouTube channel or on social media, you might have not seen it yet. This is part I. Part II is coming soon. 

Part I of II

Thank you for reading and sharing and being and caring.

Hope to see you Sunday and if not, someday, somewhere along the path the wind carries me. 

love,

Ingrid

PS. My top 3 supporters on Stageit get a hand-written postcard from me from Paris. Maybe I’ll write you a poem, a prophecy, a drawing, a blessing, a wish … 

PPS. There is some news I’m sitting on. I can’t share yet because it’s not fully confirmed, so please cross your fingers for me.

Staying home and singing

There’s so much to tell you, I don’t know where to begin.
First off, thank you for being part of my community here. A special welcome to all of you who have just arrived. Wish I could give you a glass of champagne in proper Parisian fashion.

Second, I want to tell you a little bit about that volatile situation I mentioned on FB. I was to go into the middle east and direct a documentary film during a rescue mission. The story was and is very compelling and one I believed in fully but it fell through.

So, I’m staying in Paris, focusing on my vampire documentary and the release of the Egypt film I directed. The two films are in such stark contrast when it comes to the production details. With “Free Trip to Egypt,” we have a big team working on the release, around the clock, it seems. With “Strigoi,” it’s just me, sticky notes on a wall and the occasional strolls in the cemetery with my vampire expert friend.


A Music Story

It’s been a rich and difficult couple of years. The things that have kept me going, aside from inner fortitude, or stubbornness, are my friends and music. I started writing songs. I have a handful of them now and as you know, I’ve been debating whether I have the courage to share them with you or not. I think I’ve always wanted to but I wasn’t sure if it would be too personal or if the songs are even decent.

Photo by Victoria Smith in Laurel Canyon, LA

I’m doing it on Sunday MARCH 31st @ 1PST.¬†
I’m using¬†StageIt¬†so the concert will be streamed live. It’s like a house concert except I’m playing the songs in Paris and you watch them on your computer in your comfy pants.¬†
You have to make a reservation if you’d like to see my performance. It’s pay-what-you-can.
Save your “seat” here:
https://www.stageit.com/ingrid_serban/my_solo_debut/67035

I’ll end here for now. There’ve been so many realizations and inner work and tears and some laughter too but I think the songs will say all of that and more.

Thank you for reading.
I hope to see you on the 31st.


In other news ….

We just released a new trailer for Free Trip to Egypt.

The film is set to hit theaters in the US mid May.
If all goes well, I will be in LA and NYC for the premieres. 

Thank you for reading.

All my best,

Ingrid

and breathe …

To see 2018, I look into the mirror.
What’s left of what I started with?
Did I learn? Did I grow?
Are the changes within showing on my face?

This year dunked me under water so many times I thought I would never come back up to the surface.
Although it has felt like an attempt on my life, 2018 exercised its full power to dislodge me from most everything I called safe. Home, city, relationship ‚Ķ I am grateful for the saints along the way. 

Was it Leonard Cohen who said that light gets in through the cracks? And so it seems that a little bit did.
When I look, really look into the mirror, I see it glimmer in my eyes, like that eternal serpent of awakening.

Mirrors don’t judge.

Here I am.
And there you are.
Thank us all.

Michelangelo said that he merely removes the superfluous pieces of stone to reveal the statue within. 2018 shaped me into more of me, tender skin with a lion’s heart. I wrote that in a song. I’ve been writing songs but they feel so personal, I don’t know when I’ll gather the courage to share them.


This is one of my photos of the Gilets Jaunes demonstrations in Paris.
I posted a longer account with more photos and videos on my INSTAGRAM page.

2019 Goals …

1. Finish “Strigoi.”
2. Make another doc.
3. Continue to write my fiction project and film as much of it as possible.
3. Write more songs and maybe share them.
4. Keep meditating and writing in my journal.
5. Spend time with the people I love.
6. Eat croissants, go to museums and spend time in nature.
7. Be here.


Love Spell for 2019

For 2019.
I love you even before I know you.
For my friends.
You are so much more than my heart once wished for. Saints.
For all of us.
May we be our true selves to such an extent that the symphony of our co-existence resonates fully into the here and now and the always. 


If you’d like to support the post production of Strigoi, let me know. One option is to make a tax-deductible donation through my fiscal sponsor, SFFILM (only available until March 2019), another way is to send your donations directly to me via Paypal. You will be credited on screen, of course, and I am happy to extend the Kickstarter rewards if you’re interested.

I’m moving towards being able to share some footage with you soon. I’m editing it myself so it’s a little daunting. Encouragements much appreciated. 

Here’s my latest Strigoi video update from outside Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

Thank you for reading.

Please FOLLOW this blog or for my secret films, subscribe to my mailing list HERE.

A Personal Story

When it rains it pours, that’s the saying, right?
As far as the story I’m about to tell you goes, it’s been more of a steady drizzle that accumulated in a lake behind the wall of a dam.
That wall broke a few days ago.

DSC05264

Romania, last week.
My plane lands under a damp sky, the familiar landscape gives me a welcome respite from the constant pounding of the work stress in Paris. I drink from that feeling of safety, not knowing that it wouldn’t last long.
The next day, I am sitting on a bench next to my mother, surrounded by the sounds and smells of a lazy summer afternoon. I am sharing details of my life and work. I more or less paint a picture of myself with a red cape around my shoulders, conquering the world.

My mother listens. A pause. I hear fine cracks crawling across that metaphorical dam wall. She tells me that I should have taken a different path in life, that I have changed so much she cannot recognize me anymore. Water starts to gather around my ankles. I keep talking in an attempt to cover the wall fissures with my explanations and justifications. I hear a loud crack and the water rushes in. It’s too late to follow my dreams. I have ruined my life. Where did she go wrong in raising me? What did she do to deserve this?
I am fully submerged under water.

Already teetering on the verge of despair with some recent work/inter-personal dynamics, my mother’s words and the pain in her eyes push me over the edge into a whirlpool of hopelessness.
I have failed her. Again.


Floarea is my great-great-grandmother and Ana, my great-grandmother, is her daughter.
It’s the 1930’s. Ana lives with her parents and six siblings in a tiny house in a remote Transylvanian village. At sixteen, one of her older brothers takes her to the capital to work as a house keeper. Ana is a bright and beautiful young woman, her diligent work sets her apart. The family she works for care for her so much that they offer to adopt her and leave their vast fortune to her.
Floarea doesn’t agree to the adoption, she summons her daughter back to the village and quickly marries her to a short man with an even shorter temper, my great-grandfather. Ana lives the rest of her life in a small house in the village where I was born. Her husband is bitter and cruel. She is kind and patient, never once complaining.


Why am I telling you these two stories? Because I am my mother’s daughter, my grandmother’s grand-daughter, my great-grandmother’s great-granddaughter and my great-great-grandmother’s great-great-granddaughter and because I learned that I can breathe underwater.

I understand my mother’s fear and I understand Floarea’s fear.
There is no uber wealthy family wanting to adopt me but being able to stand on my own two feet, to pursue my dreams and tell my stories is the greatest wealth I can ever wish for.

A little less than a year ago, I started writing a story about a woman who against all odds, forges her own path. Her name is Fleur, which translated in Romanian is Floarea. I found out my grand-grand-grandmother’s name and the story I just shared with you just last week. It’s an uncanny coincidence, the names, don’t you think?

Maybe Floarea is watching me from somewhere.
Maybe she wishes she had made a different choice with her daughter.
Maybe I’m her second chance?

Either way …

I understand my parents’ fears.
I will always love them.
I am going my own way.

Photo by Jordan Buetow.

April in Paris

April in Paris. Doesn’t it sound romantic?
It’s been everything BUT, except if I count my “know thyself” quest as romance.

I’ve been living on my own since mid January with trips to Chicago to sing with Forest, Oaxaca & San Francisco to screen a rough cut of the Egypt film and Zurich to meet with my executive producer. I moved more times than I care to count. My favorite Parisian neighborhood is Montmartre.

I remind myself that this is the first time I am at the helm of a massive project as a director. Massive is relative, I know, but going from DIY to having teams of people, heavyweight editors all in a couple of months, has had me in a spin. Lots of learning, heartbreak, victories, inspiration, loneliness and loveliness.

As much as I’m squirming from growth pains, I am trying my best to appreciate it all. Seeing the big picture and all of that.


In other news, my friend Jordan Buetow came to visit. We met through the Grammys four years ago. We’re basically twins except that he dresses much better than me.

He was a breath of fresh air, a drink of cool water, a bundle of laughter and a true friend. We got locked in a cemetery, ate too much good food, laughed ourselves silly and walked all over Paris, our adventures well-documented on the socials.


The Egypt film is moving forward. The exec and my US editor came to town this week. Some ups and downs but all in all, we’re moving forward. End of May, we’re shifting into post sound and color at a studio here in Paris. We toured the place yesterday. Mind blown!


New developments for STRIGOI. I met and befriended a vampire expert and through him I made some new friends: a fairy, an alchemist, a bishop and a witch.

In this photo, we are at Pere Lachaise cemetery where Dracula is reputed to be “living.”

Paris has a rich history of vampires and the occult. I didn’t think the Egypt film would bring me here and had no idea that the vampires would be waiting for me. It’s all connected.

These are the past few weeks in broad brush strokes.
Next month I’ll be traveling to Cairo, Zurich and Romania then back to Paris to meet my director of photography who’s coming from London. He and I will work on the coloring for the film at the fancy studio.
I also have to find a new place to live. So. Much. Moving!

Thank you for taking an interest in my life and work, not much separation between the two at the moment. Write back when you can and tell me how you are.

Hugs,
Ingrid

PS. One way I’ve been coping with all the stress is singing and playing the piano. Thanks my friend who told me about this studio. It’s been a late night life saver.

Transilvania Frumoasa

Little movie keeps going …

“Hello Ingrid. Thank you so much for allowing us to share your beautiful film. All enjoyed and had a poignant discussion after the film. We shared your quotes with the audience and also showed the film twice before we discussed it. The international film festival here in Carson City NV looks forward to more of Goat Lips Productions !! ¬†Please keep in touch if you have time. Best regards. Linda”
TF Poster


It’s the end of February! I always like telling you when we are. We are in the year 2018, approaching March in a whirlwind of events, of ups and downs …

I’m sharing a little bit of good news. “Transilvania Frumoasa” was featured at the Carson City International Film Festival. The letter above came from the director of the festival. Being appreciated never gets old. (Thank you to everyone who’s joined this prestigious group, my mailing list so you could watch the film.)

You can watch this short documentary, a simple love poem for my birth place, here: https://vimeo.com/ingridserbanfilms/transilvaniafrumoasa with the password myplace

“Transilvania Frumoasa” (Transylvania the Beautiful) is my first short documentary, made on an Iphone 5. I wanted to say that it was a simpler time back then, seeing that I am now in post production with two feature length documentaries, living by myself in Paris, gearing up to write my next project (the most challenging yet!) … but that time back then, wasn’t simple either. I remember the edit. I had nasty flu, I couldn’t even stand, I was under a crazy deadline … I recorded about 50 takes of the narration. It’s not that long ago but it feels like another lifetime.

I’m keeping this letter short because if I start, it may get really long! All I’m going to say is that this is the most challenging time I have ever experienced, that I’m looking for that space between the “either” and the “or” and that I am experimenting with a new thing: being alone. What a strange challenge. I am grateful for it and for all the film work as well. I am doing what I love with a refining fire blazing around me.


TwelveConsultingChicagoEnd of January, I flew to Chicago to play a show with Forest for these fine people at Twelve Consulting.
They do so much good work in their community.
Jill started the company and her husband Josh joined in.
I am inspired.


What’s next …

  • In 2 days I’m leaving¬†Paris for Oaxaca (via San Francisco for one night. I get to see Forest and smell some redwoods. Ahhh. I can’t wait.)
  • After 5 days of Oaxaca, where I’m doing a rough-cut screening of the Egypt film I will return to San Fran for 10 whole days!
  • Mid March, back to my solo existence in Paris for about 3 more months to finish editing the Egypt film AND the vampire/strigoi documentary.

PS. RIP Ana Misin, the lady on the left on the movie poster.

love,

Ingrid


 

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2018

I’m writing to you from the other side of the time divide. It’s already 2018 in Romania. It’s all good. ūüôā
The new year is bringing a feeling of renewal, brightness and courage. At least those were the thoughts crossing my mind while I was watching the neighbors shoot fireworks into the sky. (Fireworks are not illegal here.)  The loud sounds and bright lights of the fireworks are supposed to chase away the darkness and evil and open the way for the new and bright, right? I think they did it.

2017 has been a whirlwind; a magical carpet ride. 2018 shows no signs of stopping. If anything, it looks likes it’s gearing up for more and more. I am grateful. Sure, it’s all coming in at once but I’ll take it.

At the end of 2016, I had no idea I was going to direct 2 feature documentaries in 2017. I don’t recommend it that but like said, the attitude I’ve been cultivating is “bring it!” I have traveled to Minnesota, several times to Egypt, Romania, Switzerland, France and quick trips to Italy, Spain and Portugal. Just in the last few weeks I’ve been in So Cal, Louisville, Nebraska, NYC … I was home in the Bay Area for a total of maybe 6 weeks this year. We have a few more days here in Romania, just enough to get over some nasty colds and then back to Paris.

Mid January, Forest is heading to our home in the bay to begin working on the music for the Egypt documentary. I will stay in Paris to continue working with my editor through the end of February. I will dash over to Chicago end of January just for a couple of days to play a show with Forest and Mike Mullins, our mandolin/guitar player. Then, after a quick stop in Ohio, I’m heading back to Paris and Forest back to the bay.

This is the first time Forest and I are spending so much time apart. I expect it will be somewhat strange and lonely but we’re ready to tackle this new chapter of life and use our talents to continue to create together. And there’s always Facetime, right?

I keep coming back to the gravitational pull of the truth that I love my work. As much as 2017 has been magical and amazing and beautiful, I have met with some of the biggest challenges and like on the hero’s journey, I fought fearful monsters who threatened to destroy me. I am here, I made it through, monsters somewhat quiet. I can’t declare victory yet but I have gotten to know these creatures well. They are no longer strangers. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll be friends.

2018 is setting up to be the most fearful and marvelous one to date. If you’re in the skill and habit of sending bolstering energies, please do.

For you, I am grateful. Thank you for lending me your ear and your care.
A friend of time sent me the perfect wish: Time. Time to do work on I want to accomplish. I extend that wish to you and anything else you might desire.

Ingrid Serban Danc Cemetery

I took this photo of myself next to my grandma and grandpa’s graves. I recorded one of my video updates for the Strigoi film there. If you’d like to watch the updates, go¬†HERE.

Love,
Ingrid

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