We were gathered around the Christmas buffet because it was time to eat. We had just said the prayer blessing the food, when my aunt yelled out a curse word. All eyes turned to her, there was a few seconds of silence and then everyone burst out laughing. There were a few who reminded her that children were in the room. But there was more laughter, because we had all been children in the room when some adult introduced us to the word.
When I think of family, I do it with a smile, because my family cracks me up. I think we all have ideas about what a family is and it is probably not the vision we had as a child. My first project explores the bond of family and what makes up a family.
Family Tree is the story of a family who don’t like each other, but find out that through thick and thin, they love each other. The family matriarch, Flora Bias Jones, is challenged by her granddaughter, Kate to have a family reunion. Flora knew her children couldn’t speak two kind words to each other, less lone share a meal or party together. But Kate and her cousins manage to get almost everyone together plus some folks no one expects.
Some parts are cast already and are not listed below. But here are the roles I will be looking for:
Kate, 20 something African American architect with a desire to have a good family of her own.
Vanessa, 50 something African American woman who controls as much as she can about the family. She is a dominate personality who keeps the strife going in the family.
Candice, 30 something African American woman, daughter of Vanessa. She is opposite of her mother. She is a free thinker and totally hands off.
Fordyce, 50 something African American man, son of Flora. He nods and winks and tries to stay out of the women’s path.
Millie, Fordyce’s wife. She is flighty and pretty oblivious to anything but her grandchild, Little Millie.
Little M, 8 year old grandchild of Millie and Fordyce. She copies her grandmother who spoils her.
Mason, 30 something cousin, fresh out of prison.
Lindell, Mason’s under age girlfriend.
Sophie Jones, late forties Anglo American woman, who is Flora’s daughter in law.
Franklin Dupri, 20 something Anglo American, who is in deep trouble and thinks Kate can save him.
Mr. Couch, Asian or Latino, 40 something man
Fred, Mr. Couch’s muscle. He really wants to beat up Franklin
Roberto Salvatora, a 50 something Latino with his own business.
There will be two projects in 2014, Family Tree is the first. The second project is titled Angle of View. In this story, a young Latina, Liza Valentine leaves her comfortable job as a forensic accountant in Chicago to become a freelance photographer in Dallas. Liza has to deal with all the chickens coming home to roost, confronting the man she left at the alter 15 years earlier and taking care of her mother who lives in a nursing home.
Seeking full cast for this project:
Liza Valentine, 35 year old Latina, an accountant turned photographer. She is frightened by life, serious and passionate about things.
NiKisha Turner, 30 year old African American best friend to Liza. She is kooky, loyal and spontaneous.
Ruby Fuentes, Latina, almost mother in law to Liza. She is compassionate, noisy and fun
Raul Fuentes, Latino, Ruby’s husband. He loves his wife, but hates his stepson.
Daniel Aceveda, 35 year old Latino. He is Liza’s former fiancé. He is cocky, spiteful and out for revenge.
Roger Wu, Asian ad agency owner who uses Liza’s photography skills for his clients. He has ulterior motives, but is confident and quiet.