Reality Check

The wall behind me, in this photo, belongs to Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. I was there this weekend for the premiere of the first feature film I directed. Free Trip to Egypt.
On Sunday morning, I walked in the southern California heat and remembered. I had my first “real” acting gig at Paramount. That day felt like all my farfetched dreams might just be coming true.
Mirage.

Life has taken a few twists and turns since then. Dreams changed, clarified like butter over heat. I’ve been doing and living and shaking things up. Mostly jumping into deep waters and not drowning.
Yet.

The road behind me stretches indefinitely. The road ahead of me beckons me to keep going. Where, I do not know yet. Makes me think of a story I wrote in high-school about a pilgrim on the road to Mecca who found something other than he expected. Stories.
Looking for truth.


What I know is that I will finish the “Free Trip to Egypt” tour which ends this Wednesday, June 12th. (It’s had sold-out premieres in NYC and LA. The herculean effort we all put in is amounting to something that is reaching hearts and minds. I am very grateful for that.)
In about a week, I will return to Paris and continue the work on Strigoi. I will finish that film (talk about twists and turns).
Once that is finished, I will listen to the call that feels most true and follow it.

Thank you for being with me on this journey.
Thank you for taking an interest and for all your encouragement.

Hope life is treating you well wherever you may be.

Ingrid

PS. Free Trip to Egypt is screening in 500 theatres across the US tomorrow, June 12th. I will be at the San Francisco screening HERE.
If you want to see it in your town, you can find a theatre near you here:
https://www.fathomevents.com/events/free-trip-to-egypt

Free Trip to Egypt trailer

Coming to the US, but first

I fasted for Lent and now I’m fasting for Ramadan. I’m not converting to anything or anyone. It’s not about joining a religion but about taking part in the human intention to create compassion and peace, within and without.
I still have a couple of people I’m angry at so I have some work to do to get to that peace and compassion.

I was never into fasting. I thought I could never do it because I love food too much but it turns out I like it. I have a couple of flammable moments here and there but for the most part it quiets my mind. Not to mention all the extra time I have during the day! For Ramadan, you don’t eat until the sun sets. For Lent I gave up sugar, alcohol and cheese and went mostly vegetarian. Lent was harder but I loved it too. Just to think that 2 years ago I had my first experience of Ramadan in Egypt. More on that below…

On the MUSIC side, I made a video for NPR’s Tiny Desk for “Leaves,” a song I wrote in a quiet and tiny apartment below Sacre Coeur. The salon window opened onto a big tree. Except for a baby crying nearby, the quiet and serene atmosphere of the flat stood in stark contrast to my metro stop. Barbes-Rochechouart station is as close as you can get to running the gauntlet.

I was in this apartment long enough to see the tree go from bare branches to green leaves. I felt utterly alone, betrayed and lost. I shed many tears there. I also made a best friend and felt the beginning of what it’s like not to feel alone when you’re alone. I tried to put all of that into this song. I hope you like it.


FILMwise, the documentary I directed, “Free Trip to Egypt,” is having its theatrical premiere in the US in just a few weeks. I will be in NYCLos Angelesand San Francisco. It’s been a harrowing and exhilarating experience. As most of you know, this film has been the catalyst to great loss and great gain in my life. The upcoming trip will be a mixed bag of feelings but I am mostly grateful. 
If you would like to watch it and can’t make the NYC, LA premieres, the film will screen in 500 theatres across the US on June 12th (including San Francisco where I will be.)
For trailer, dates and ticket links, go see the goat HERE.

I hope to see you on this trip and if I don’t, please know how grateful I am that you let me into your mailbox aka your heart, and that you care about my adventures, my successes and my failures. 

All my best from the city of lights,

Ingrid

PS. I have Strigoi news to share as well but I will tell you more in my next letter.

xxx

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