Angela’s screenplays

 

angelaterga.comAngela Terga – writer, producer, director

Writing a screenplay takes a lot of time and effort. These are my flowers.
-Hybrid is a story within a story about how the future will judge us and creating an enlightened society.
-TNC is an international conspiracy to possess and manipulate the truth of Virgin’s Mary’s testimony to St. Luke.
-Sotru is non-other than the mother of all equal rights advocates and how truth sets us free.
-Isabel is a determined woman that gets what she wants in a future life.
-Robbie is a rock that holds the wisdom of the universe within accessible only to those with pure hearts.
I have another one coming soon. And there are others without graphics yet.
Stay tuned. 

 

 

Quantum Leaping

My decision to quit my job as a teacher didn’t just come about over the course of this very eye-opening school year. It’s a dream come true, an answered prayer and a leap of faith.

The teaching profession as the Antagonist.  Not only do teachers receive the same pay they were receiving 20 years ago, if you think of the increase in the cost of living, but they have fewer medical benefits and less job security than only a few years ago. The health hazards of the profession include tinnitus, a dropped bladder, depression, and obesity.  The ringing in my ears started several years ago and gets worse with noise and stress.  Restroom breaks whenever my body needs them is a privilege only for other professionals, I must rush and feel guilty when I do.  Obesity may be a sign of depression. Yoga, meditation and self-help books help, but it’s not enough. Depression comes from frustration and lack of motivation.  Lack of motivation comes from being frustrated.  It’s a vicious cycle.  The feeling of not having enough is another cause of depression. The positive financial gain of the modest state retirement plan program for the future when all is done and said, is offset by the lower wages received throughout the career years. It just comes to be reality that you can never amount to much more than making ends meet at a mediocre level. In order to keep your status you pay exorbitant amounts to live in a ‘nice’ neighborhood, and then have to burn gas to get around and risk foreclosure.  That’s all your salary is good for and we must be grateful for that!  During lunch I discovered there were two other teachers in the building who had had a foreclosure.  And to top it off, students, parents, administrators, the whole world feel disdain towards teachers.  After all, “those who can’t do teach.” If teachers want respect, well, they need to just get it.

No one really wants to help. The Union has a book of rules. It says that if a teacher has a complaint and wants to make a grievance about the working conditions, he/she has 30 days to file the grievance after being aware of the condition.  So you really can’t wait until it affects you, you must do all this within the first 30 days of school when all hell is loose and teachers have a million things to do. Nice rule. I wonder who it helps.  So I have 6 classes instead of 5 and get no planning period, as I should according to the Union rules; but the other rule says I cannot file a grievance after 30 days.  So if I was hoping there would be more students coming in up to the head count month in October, so that another teacher could be hired and it didn’t happen, I just have to take it or leave it.  So I did what was right. Someone has to. My advice, hire the right amount of teachers.  That’s who research says makes the greatest impact on students’ performance. Don’t overload your greatest asset, it will stop being great and the consequence is lower student performance. Student-teacher contact hours shouldbe limited as it is detrimental to teacher’s mental and emotional health. After a few hours without a break it gets unbearable. But who is listening?

Once,  after standing up and refusing to click thousands of times to input a grade on a practice being enforced upon the student body on their own time, I was called to conference and asked to submit complaints in a private way. But I thought I had done it the right away, out loud for all to hear.  Why should I have to click thousands more time to input a grade for something that is not a subject matter that I teach or a program that I implement with my studetns in class?  On top of not having a planning period to call parents, plan for two different types of subject matters and do grading, I have to take on another clicking job.  As if my job description was that of data entry clerk. Not only that, they also wanted me to call the parents of studetns who are not getting on. My reply during tht conference was that we were creating a nation of dummies. You should the lack of personal touch in that program.  We complain about kids on video games and give them a senseless one to learn to and analyze text? Teachers usually meet behind closed doors to criticize the new mandates heaped upon them and nag, but they’re silent like sheep to the slaughterhouse during faculty and departmental meetings.  Protesting and demanding your rights takes courage and self-respect.  “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort, choosing what is right over what is easy or fun, and choosing to practice values, rather than just professing them.” Annonymous.

When outsiders want to make an impression in the world for being the good guys and/or want to get the millenial market, they look towards schools.  But they never send a teacher to help the studetns learn for more than a couple of hours. The docent visitors come and show off how wonderful they are, teach the theory and never come back. The teacher gets stuck with the rest. Hands-on activities where children make a final product take place in many instances but it is at the expense of teachers who make the extra effort.  That was the case with the TV network that donated thousands of assets in equipment to the school but never sent anyone to teach the students how to use it.  They only send professionals who show and tell about their acclaimed successes. Again, they’re left with the teacher to do the day to day of doing something.

Passing the dreadful tests becomes a greater challenge for schools and equires that more time is spent in preparation than in doing meaningful activities.  State tests change to a more difficult version once a high percent of the low socio-economic population is able to pass them. Imposing the reign of terror and the strategy of keeping people behind, in direct opposition to the No child left behind Act in the state of Florida,  is what I have witnessed in these 22 years.  Right when students started passing the FCAT and teachers were teaching more again (a danger to the minds of students), and the children were learning more things (another danger to society), the powers-that-be decided it was time to adopt another test, a much more difficult one, the dreaded FSA,  one that will prevent the masses from passing it.  Therefore, they will not be able to earn a high school diploma or  enter colleges.

The last thing the state wants is to have real good teachers who are not willing to take abuse or compromise for a lousy paycheck any longer or have any kind of imagination. The mindlessness or mindfulness of our future generations will be the final product. We are already witnessing lack of sensitivity towards humanity and an absence of compassion in much of the world around us. Take a look at the messages behind the highest paid forms of entertainment available to all, movies? The state wants teachers who are cookie cut to obey orders without taking into consideration what is best for students and teachers and instead want to serve the State  and local bureaucracy, not the people.  What would you say about a car manufacturer who doesn’t listen to the mechanics on board about what makes the car run better?

The solution is blowing in the wind.  For me, it’s time that I stand on my own two feet. Hopefully, there will be more like me, willing to stand up for their beliefs and travel to the other side where all is possible. In this pasture, we are teaching compassion, it starts with loving yourself by doing what you love to do. So far, I’ve submitted to Film Freeway, to the Audience Awards, and have started research for my next new project. My other projects are moving along spreading their wings.  More original projects are getting a thrust and I’m able to be in silence, exercise more and take restroom breaks as I please. Monetizing my skills and imagination is just a matter of attracting it with thoughts and actions.

The teacher in me loves having a good time with my students and my goal is to entertain them with stories about the past and future in unsuspected places where anything could be possible, there are no judges and people follow their own lead.  I was once apalled when someone said I would always be a teacher.  Horrified, I said, “Oh no, there is no hope for little old me.” But then I spread my wings and flew over the coccoo’s nest only to realize he was right, and I will always be a teacher.  But now I am a better one, for I am teaching self respect, integrity, imagination, hope, faith, and perseverance by all that I do to get to the mind of my students at large with these wondeful stories of enlightenment. Want to read oneimage002? Visit http://amzn.to/2n37oxI and purchase the latest edition of Utopia on Kindle. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London eyes “I am Sojourner Truth”

The knowing. A couple of months ago, when presented with a choice of tote bag, I was instantly drawn to the one portraying a Royal Guard, so sure I felt of going to Britain this year.  Sure enough, parading through London’s tube lines, greens and round-abouts with my writer’s caddy, taking in London’s autumn freshness, must have been the work of royal angels.

The culprit. It was none other than Sojourner Truth herself who must surely regret having turned down an invitation from her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1867, and has found a way to ‘visit with those folks’ through the screenplay of her life.  On October 22 and 23 of 2016, Sojourner’s second amanuensis, me, Angela Terga, submitted “I am Sojourner Truth” to scrutiny by testing the screenplay’s soundness against the analytical eloquence of Linda Aronson’s non-linear STORY TELLING delivered to a group of peer dreamers at London’s Ealing Studios, Ealing Green, London w5 5EP.  

The Right Workshop: First, I must say Linda was a wide-eyed, clarity driven sort of screenplay wizard who dissects and dismembers movies and scripts in order to reveal the curve and arch of non linear structures. I must confess that when The 21st Century Screenwriter Workshop came to my attention, the first thing I thought of was “that’s me.”  Time jumps, multiple protagonists, flashbacks, parallel stories and fragmented narratives are the trademark of 21st century writers who dare bend  scripts spines into pretzels. This vanguard workshop attended by like-minded risk takers, created by acclaimed scriptwriter and presenter, Linda Aronson, proves so.

Did I say clarity-driven? Linda showed us the way in which several super successful movie plots twist and turn departing from the most trodden road. Starting out, each script was planned and executed with a clear view of how the parts all fit together and are taken apart. The who is who and where we are, the what are we here to accomplish, and the why of a story at any given beat throughout the arch seen through Linda’s bright blue eyes, delivered us from sin. You see, even fragmented narratives have a uniform arch and three act structure.  And just because a story is told in non sequential chronos, it doesn’t mean you can’t see it from beginning to end. Some middles are compressed and that gives story a quicker pace.

My work now consists on reflecting and devouring more of the movies and shows she pulled apart under a new critical light with her voice behind every beat of the way inciting my taste buds and improving the digestive process. Movies and shows like Babel, The Queen, Finding Nemo, The Lemon Tree, Pulp Fiction, The Insider, Guarding Tess, Memento, The Butterfly Effect, Philomena,City of Hope, The Shine, Amores Perros, Chicken Run, True Detectives, Daybreak, The Usual suspects, Nashville, Pumpkin Honey Bunny, Citizen Kane and others that will surface in the mix are examples of the twisted way story tellers can use to engage and sustain an audience’s lust.

Sojourner’s Heroic Journeys.  The nonlinearity of the joint copyrighted script I wrote, with the vision and monitoring of Sojourner’s young producer, Lateef Calloway, springs from logical engagement. We open at midpoint somewhat closer to the end than to the beginning. There is a disturbance followed by the second turning point: the publishing of the Life of a Northern Slave, by Sojourner Truth which sets her off on her third journey.  But before the story line moves on, we learn more about how this incredibly gifted soul got her start in life as a Northern slave, and we begin the narrative from cradle to the second turning point where the movie starts, through flashback.  Now that we have cried and laughed and sang and danced and seen the Light during Sojourner’s youth, we cheer her on her way during the 2nd and 3rd acts compressed as one where Sojourner courageously confronts the rebellious spirit of those doomed by slavery and the greed and power of those clinging to their lies. It’s not by force and guns that hearts can be won over, she knows, but through logical reasoning, wit, compassion and the hope of God. That is her cry out of Peace, alarmed by Douglas’ (Frederick Douglas) call to blood at Fanneuil Hall where we begin her saga. “Why does it have to come to blood? How could more death and destruction be avoided?” Sojourner knew the truth and that’s why she incessantly gave talks, sang, witted and paraded up and down the Northern States from East to West, winning folks over to the cause of Freedom, Equality and Peace.

But in both, the oppressed and the oppressor, insurrection was boiling over with violence (Nat Turner, 1831; John Brown, 1859; David Ruggles, 1838). Sojourner’s call for love and compassion, a true saint, is met with incarcerations, protests, and riots. Unable to stop the landslide, she joins the Union guards and leads the first Black regiments to the inevitable with her hymn, “The Valiant Soldiers,” of her own creation.  Although born free, even her firstborn grandchild, named James after Sojourner’s father, loses his life in a southern swamp fighting for his enslaved brothers and sisters who were received with open arms as freedmen by Sojourner in DC, under the auspices of the Lincoln administration. 

The Third Act. The flames of the climbing action continue throughout the Third Act and with Sojourner’s readiness to Reconstruct America by her vision of Equality. But only indifference and cold shoulders are offered by DC politics.  Determined to change history, after many more sojourns through the norther states from east to west, this time with a petition to Congress in hand, Sojourner returns to her home in Battle Creek where she buries her second grandchild and beloved companion.  Abandoned by her abolitionist friends who retired after the 13th Amendment; torn by the Women’s Rights Association’s rift by the passing of the Black Man’s vote denying women the same right, Sojourner will join forces with the newly created Equal Rights Association. Facing foreclosure on her home in Battle Creek,  and eventual indigence, she reaches out to the world and finds renewed strength to publish a new edition of her book with the help of friends. And, to her surprise, from across the ocean,  people from all over Great Britain, send her English roses with an invitation to visit the Queen and flood her out into commission again. Sojourner’s visit to Kansas to help with the Exodusters, and the time she went to the polls to vote in 1876 were her last feats, but she continued to give auditions once a week up until the last day. Sojourner’s call to action could not, can not be silenced. “Instigate, instigate,” she pokes a finger at us and never drifts away, she goes “home like a shooting star.” 

London is not just a city, it is the world. Those two intense days of listening and following Mrs. Linda Aronson’s critical reasoning, coupled with London’s ambiance at Ealing Green, the Grove restaurants and cafés, The King’s Arms Pub, Abbey’s Lodge, and Harry+Hooly’s cafe, were revitalizing and renewed my writing spirit.  

So much diversity in the hustle and bustle of the day, shoulder to shoulder, men and women of all races and nationalities are present in body and spirit. Sojourner was helped to carry  luggage up and down stairs twice. Several people took time to give Sojourner detailed directions, and one young lady even walked her to her destination. Delicious and succulent organic dishes were prepared right in front of her eyes and she was greeted by affable and attentive patrons world-wide. 

We know the spirit of the world is Sojourner Truth, I am Sojourner Truth, you are too, we listen deeply to each other when we meet.