Friday, December 14, 2007


I think it's no surprise to anyone who knows me well that I'm a "Harry Potter" fan. Okay, maybe fan is mild, having read the series in its entirety more than four times, and individual books even more than that. Particularly the last, book 7, "The Deathly Hallows", where Ms. Rowling draws the threads together so satisfactorily, with so much attention to love and risk and hope in the tale of the boy wizard.

I started out life with a fascination for 'Peter Pan', and still believe that it is the story of a woman afraid of growing up to be a man. After all, the Peters on stage, at least in the productions I've seen, are always women. And certainly Peter was a female in the 2 productions of the play I mounted at the convent. One in the summer of grade 2 and again in grade 6. Of course I played Peter. I directed and cued lines from the stage, as I had memorized the play in its entirety when I was 4 or 5.

We all danced, but my brother was David Lichine's protege until junior high when tights in his locker brought unwanted abuse. David believed, in the Ballet Russe way, that dancers are actors who speak with their bodies. Acting classes were mandatory at the Lichine studio, and when Tian, my brother SabasTIAN, was 7 or 8 he was cast as Peter Pan. I helped him learn his lines. I was a capable sidekick, happy to parrot, especially the irreverance of a foundling.

We were all adopted, the children in my family, 3 of us, then 4, then 3 again. I was the youngest by 3months and 3 years respectively. Not knowing my genetic history has been a great creative spark for me. I learned to be whoever I wanted or needed to be to suit the time and occasion, having no pre-set default to minimize my options. But Peter Pan modeled something else, a self-sufficiency coupled with a disdain for the institutionalized family he so obviously craved and tried to recreate in Neverland amongst the lost boys.

There were the overt villains; Captain Hook and his pirate crew, and absurdities; Nana the nanny sheep dog; and terror in the crocodile with the ticking clock. But what I remember most was the conceit of mothers as those who 'bar the nursery window if you stay away too long'. There was no going back. No love was unconditional. Peter protected me from abandonment while I was growing up.

Harry has become my adult child. He's braver, less defensive than Peter. The kind of spirit which enabled me to conceive of and believe it possible to bring Racing Daylight from the page to life. Sophia, my producing partner, is also a self-professed Potter queen. We discovered this shared obsession deep into our working relationship and we find ourselves using Potterisms or quoting Dumbledore in relation to life issue questions. A dose of magic in this business of make-believe in which we dwell.

I have sent a dvd copy of Racing Daylight to Ms. Rowling, in care of her agent, in the hopes that our make believe will in some small measure pleasure her, as her world has captured me. Ours is an adult fairy story, worlds where anything is possible, if you believe. And I do believe in fairies.

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