Thursday, November 13, 2008
Day 4: Stacy A. Nyikos and Johnny Depp!
We're back for Day 4 with Stacy A. Nyikos, debut author of the middle-grade fantasy DRAGON WISHES.
Stacy's gotten really comfortable on the blog. So, today, we're handing the mic over to her and letting her have at it.
"Hey, Stacy. Feel free to just chat away. DRAGON WISHES on the silver screen. Who do you want in it and why?"
The following confession is pretty pathetic, but I actually wrote one of the parts in my book with a particular actor in mind. Reader should now picture author hanging her head like a scolded dog because yes, I wrote Uncle Norbert as a Johnny Depp character. (NOTE: If you’re reading Johnny, please just have your agent get in touch with my agent. I’m sure it will all work out. Uncle Norbert is really written for you.)
Personal fantasies aside, if that ever does happen, believe me, I will so absolutely blog about it.
Still, you may be wondering, why did I do this? Massive star crush perhaps? Only slightly. The bigger reason is because Uncle Norbert is someone eccentric, off the wall, and odd. I kept thinking of some of the amazingly bizarre characters Johnny Depp has played – and there have been a few. I pictured Mr. Depp with rumpled hair, his shirt half untucked, meandering around the house with an old book in one hand, a spongy pastry covered in powdered sugar in the other, and this surprised look in his eyes. He was the big guest star appearance in my book.
As for the others, well, it would be an unusual cast.
First off, the most real and important. Last year while I was doing a school visit I met a student who is the real live Maddie, Alex’s best friend. She goes to a school in a Chicago suburb and is named, no kidding, Maddie. I met her well after the book was finished, but she was, in almost every way, the living version of my character – cheerful, mile a minute chatterbox. If you’re reading, Maddie – which is so much more likely than Johnny Depp – you’d just have to play yourself in my movie, okay? You’re the all time perfect best friend.
The next one I would cast is Mrs. Chen. I’d ask, beg, badger – and pretty much pester nonstop – Amy Tan to play Mrs. Chen. I know she’s not an actress per se, but since I get to do the casting, I’m promoting her to screenstar extraodinaire. She writes such strong female characters, I think she could pull off Mrs. Chen, no problems.
Auntie Ling would have to be played by my best friend, Ching Ling Teng, who guided me through the Chinese world with such aplomb. I know she’s not an actor – she’s a physicist actually – but she is Auntie Ling. That has to count for something.
Mr. Cisneros, the school principal, would have to be played by the illustrator of my picture books, Shawn Sisneros. He’s a starving artist too, but with so much talent. I think he could totally handle the acting thing. Plus, I borrowed his name. There have got to be some sort of royalties on something like that to get him a screenpart.
Mr. Sanchez, the bus driver who rushes Isa to the hospital, would be played by Cheech Marin. I think I had Cheech’s face half the time while I was writing Mr. Sanchez’s character, somebody with a little attitude but a huge heart willing to go above and beyond to help.
My hairdresser has already claimed the part of the art instructor, Degas Rivera. I had no choice, since I’d like for my hair to continue to look halfway decent, but to promise him the part.
Although my book has no official narrator, someone has to read the dragon story. I’d like it to be Mark Twain. Yes, I realize he is no longer among the living, but there’s no other person I know with a better voice.
As for Alex, Isa, and Shin Wa, and the entire soccer team, I would like to have an open casting day for the kids at all of the schools I’ve visited as an author. I’ve met some real personalities along the way, as well as a few drama queens. I think we could have those parts filled in no time flat.
And that's a wrap. Although we're sure Stacy will have cameo roles for all her 2k8 classmates!