Mario Villalobos

Nostalgia and Maturity

We finally screened all of our drama students’ fairy tale adaptations in class today, and they were super fun and adorable and good. I’m very proud of all of them, and I’m so glad we were all able to pull this off in one very short and very haphazard quarter. School ends on Tuesday, but since Tuesday is a short and we all leave early, we only have this class for two more days. Tomorrow, due to popular request, I’m going to screen a few of my films I made during college. This will be the first time I will screen my films to a classroom since 2006. It’s been 9 years, but damn, I’m still nervous. That’s crazy, right? I hope they like it. It should be fun… I hope.

I went back today and looked through a few of the films I helped create with my friends back in college and those films from my friends I had nothing to do with, and they were all so good and fun and nostalgic to watch. I had so much fun during college, and this drama class has brought back a lot of those old feelings. It was so much fun teaching these kids something I love so much, and then watching them all apply it in a film of their own made me feel proud for all of them. It was so great. And then those films from college, both mine and my friends, also gave me a lot of those feelings. All these films were made 7-9 years ago, and that is a long time ago but it really feels like yesterday. I miss film school and my friends. I miss creating with them and laughing with them and making something together. If there was any reason why I’d move back to LA…

I’m a novelist now, though. I’ve been working on renaming my characters, but finding new names for them has been tough. Why would I want to rename them? Their names are super generic and they don’t “place” the character’s in the reader’s minds very well. They’re Jimmy and Katie and Michael and so on. One thing I’ve come across during my research is how names are linked to a culture, from Gaelic to Latin to Yiddish. That has made me look at my characters in a deeper way. Who are they? Where do they come from? Where do their parents come from? I mean, they named their children what they named them for a reason, and if I understand them, I understand my characters, my children. It’s all very internal and possibly too vague to understand, but it’s something I’m going through, and important enough for me to write.

I’ve been writing seriously for over ten years now. Time is moving by too quickly! I mean, I just turned 29 years old a few weeks ago, and now I’m almost 30. I still need to get married and have kids and buy a house and make it in my career and a million other things I can’t even think of, but I’m writing a blog instead. Priorities! I’m an adult now! I gotta do what I gotta do!