Tag Archives: Square Dance Story

Yung Men and the World of Jason Karman

Our very own Queerious’ Jason Karman is fundraising for his new 17-minute Christmas drama short film “Yung Men” about two gay brothers. The project is autobiographically inspired as he wrote on his Indiegogo page, “A few years ago at Christmas, my dad had an emergency stipend to prevent an  impending stroke. The prospect of losing a parent while I was away almost became a reality for me as I chose not to visit for the holidays that year due to my work schedule.  At the core, Yung Men is about a son coming home and trying to make amends for not being not being there when it matter the most.”

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Take Me Out Square Dancing for Halloween

by Jason

On a recent trip to Washington, I was confronted by a member of the audience about my claim that it was difficult to find young square dancers. She had watched “Square Dance Story” at the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, and perplexed by my claim. It happens that she was friends with organizers of Square Dance Collective. The Collective is a local DC group  that hosts a square dance in the sanctuary of a local, social justice-oriented church (St Stephens) every month and is changing people’s Saturday night going-out plans.  Yes, square dancing, contra dancing and many traditional folk dances have a public relations problem, but it does not mean that they are not fun! It also means that they can be open to re-interpretation, and what generation to do this than the youth.

I asked Anne Uebelacker, an established caller, what makes an outfit western and she just said western boots. They could wear mini-skirts, tank tops, spaghetti straps, but in order to make it a western outfit, they’ll need boots! This gave me room to experiment, and I even bent some by having my lead character, the outsider,  wear black ballet shoes while the rest of his outfit remained “western”. Continue reading

Finding Moments

by Jason

Returning in Jason's second film "Square Dance Story," Kyle Toy played John in Jason's first short "I'm in the Mood for Love."

Last week, we wrapped shooting “Square Dance Story.” The production was my most rewarding and technically challenging shoot to date. Normally, I spend weeks rehearsing with the main actors talking about character. This film has minimal dialogue. Most of the main actors were not square dancers. Rehearsals were devoted to square dancing and any work on character was not done until close to shooting day. Dangerous! At the same time, I had to have faith in my actors to find non verbal ways to communicate their characters. Continue reading