Master Barker: The Amusing Tale of How We Met

I had the marvelous fortune yesterday of having one of my silly Tweets responded to most favorably by Clive. I was chiding my friend Jason Henninger because, in his terrific and insightful interview with the divine Jill Tracy, he mentioned that, if Clive had said about Jason what he’d said about Jill Tracy, he’d have “multiple egogasms” for the rest of his life. I Tweeted to Jason:

@jasonhenninger: Dude, we’re all wishing @RealCliveBarker would say nice things about us! 🙂
1:57 PM Nov 18th from web

And it was that same day that Clive Tweeted:

@lamaupin I’ve just visited the site for the time.It’s very impressive.Elegantly laid out and lucidly written.I’m an admirer. Clive.
10:54 PM Nov 18th from TweetDeck in reply to lamaupin

Which thrilled me.

What’s cool to note is that, while Chad’s glorious artwork adorns my website, I actually did the information architecture and layout. I made wireframes for every page, indicating where everything was to go. This was six months into my work at Uncle Walt’s, using what I’d learned as a content strategist and copywriter for their multi-million dollar websites. So, I’m doubly chuffed whenever both the layout and the writing is praised.

When I told Lord Arux about this, I discovered that I’d not ever told him the story of how I persuaded Clive to do the short film mentorship all those years ago. I also realized that I didn’t have this story anywhere on the website.

And so I shall tell you the delightful little story now, dear reader.

Back a number of years ago while I still lived in San Francisco, I was completing a film seminar in Los Angeles called Flash Forward. One of the requirements of this intense course was to obtain a film mentor for a series of brief phone conversations to learn more directly from professionals we admired about the industry.

I faxed a blushing, adulatory letter to Clive’s office, asking if he’d be my mentor. Shortly thereafter, I received a sweet call from his assistant at the time saying that Clive was too busy because he was writing a new book. I was disappointed but determined nonetheless. I faxed letters to other professionals but to no avail. The seminar ended and I hadn’t met all the requirements. To the former straight-A student like myself, it was a blow.

But Samhain, the night of nights, was fast approaching. Strolling through a Halloween store, I came across a bizarre item: a fleshy ball made up of foamy fingers pointing in all directions. It instantly reminded me of the Sea of Quiddity, where masses of human flesh floated freely.

I got an idea.

I wrapped the ball of fingers in blood red tissue and placed it in a small Victorian gift box. I then found a small Victorian fairy card and wrote inside:

Dear Clive,

Please be my mentor and point the way.



P.S. That is, when you’re able.

I sent the box and card to Clive’s production company, Seraphim Films. I timed it to arrive on Halloween. The day after, I got the nicest phone call possible from Clive’s assistant saying he’d do the mentorship.

The rest is, as they say, history.

Although I started writing fiction instead of screenplays, Clive continued to be a huge influence on not only my work but my outlook on life. He has always been and will be one of the absolutely loveliest people I’ve ever known.

And now, to write.

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