The summer of 1999 was a turning point in my life. I felt that, no matter what I did, or how hard I tried, I just couldn’t seem to make any headway with my music. Producers were leaving me in the lurch; the songs just wouldn’t come. In short, I was feeling sorry for myself and called a friend to bitch and moan. But instead of sympathizing (how dare she not?!), she simply said, “Why don’t you have a go at “The Artist’s Way?”
Too surprised to protest, I found myself in a New Age bookstore, buying Julia Cameron’s best-seller – and hey, it actually looked like fun! For the next twelve weeks I did ‘morning pages’ and ‘artist dates’ and weekly tasks like a good student. I was completely unprepared for the result: an outpouring of new songs and the concept for a complete musical project! And damned if I didn’t find a producer the following year (2000) to record an entire album with me! That was the birth of “Jade ov Arcc”.
Jade ov Arcc was intended to be a synthesis of three strong women of history, myth and legend: Judith of the Old Testament (my birth namesake), Joan of Arc (my teenage heroine) and Salomé – each with their own song. And I was going to transform into each of them in a stage extravaganza. I found an enthusiastic manager who was going to pitch the CD to the record companies and help me get a band together for the show. But…the record companies wouldn’t bite, and no matter how hard we tried, the musicians just wouldn’t come together. Exit manager – and back to square one (sigh).
By this time I was pretty disheartened. The only thing I still had was the CD, and an idea that was born of my frustration: a film idea, a satirical jab at the music industry where Jade Valour would – with the help of her fantasy alter-ego, Jade ov Arcc (see photo) – finally overcome all obstacles and become a star! Problem was – I hadn’t a clue how to write a screenplay! So I began asking around, with zero success, until, in 2001…
Enter – ta-da! – Sharlie Pryce! In March 2001, at a mutual friend’s birthday party (thank you, Betsy!), I found myself sitting on her piano bench next to a tall, dark and gorgeous lady I didn’t know. Over plates of guacamole and chicken we exchanged the usual get-acquainted platitudes until I asked Sharlie what she did. Her answer literally changed both our lives. She told me (in essence) that she was a singer and dancer, but that she had left the stage because she wanted to write – and that she had recently finished writing a screenplay for a German manager who’d had an idea for a film.
Well halleluiah, I thought I had found the end of the rainbow! I babbled away about Jade ov Arcc and was thrilled to bits that she was interested. We agreed to meet in April, and began writing in May – on my very first, little second-hand dinosaur of a computer. (And I’ve been doing morning pages and artist dates ever since!)