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Once A Star: A Short Film

Playwrights’ Corner
Character Ant looks to the sky

Donja R. Love, playwright, all around awesome human, and one of The Lark's 2016-17 Van Lier New Voices Fellows recently wrote and directed the short film Once A Star. This meta, semi-autobiographical story follows Ant and D, two ex-porn stars at odds about their future after realizing they can’t survive solely off dreams. Once A Star premiered September 23rd on The Each Other Project, co-founded by Donja, is an organization dedicated to creating and celebrating community through art and advocacy for GBTQ people of color. Watch the short film below and read on to see what Donja has to say about the inspiration behind the piece!

Once A Star

Video contains some sexual content.

I wrote Once A Star last year after an actor walked into an audition I was holding. I could only think about one thing, after this actor entered the room. This one thing played over and over in my mind. I allowed it to overshadow his talent. I couldn't stop thinking about how I saw him in a porno. I made it a pejorative. As if the visibility of sex, and receiving monetary gain from it, is a bad thing - and anything opposite that is good. As if it's really that binary. The more I thought about this, the more I noticed the nuance in it - and how human this 'one thing' made this man. I began to wonder who adult entertainers are - outside of sex and sexual desire. I found myself thinking about their heart, their dreams, what makes them smile, and what makes them cry. I was thinking about their humanity.

And I became obsessed with two questions: 

      1. Does our past hurt our present?
      2. What happens when dreams are stronger than love?

And that was all I needed to start writing Once A Star.