this is the story of being turned down by john waters.

three years ago, my comedy writing partner casey van heel and i finished our pilot, season one outline, and pitch packet for a project we’d been working on for over a year. a project called porn for the blind.

casey and i are almost done turning porn for the blind into a 8-episode web series. stay tuned. back to the story.

but this post isn’t to tell you about porn for the blind. it’s about the elaborate project we constructed to get john waters on board to support the project and, we hoped, someday play the mentor character, frankie figs.

we sent the package i’m about to describe to the bookstore in baltimore where mr waters receives fan mail and unsolicited bushwah. i’ll describe it in reverse order so you can experience it, i hope, as mr waters experienced it. i hope.

first, mr waters was to open this rather large box.

inside the box was this smaller box with a hammer, protective eyewear, work gloves, a st catherine of sienna pendant, and a vintage nudie postcard with the following message:

dear mr waters, or prince summerfall winterspring,

thank you for getting this far. i assure you, the russian-dolling of this package was not intended to fuck with you but rather purely pragmatic, as you’ll soon see. at this stage you will find three objects to assist and/or protect you in the subsequent stages of our gift-project: a hammer, protective workman’s gloves, and a pendant of saint catherine of sienna, of whom we here at porn for the blind know you to be quite fond. please hang the pendant around your neck before proceeding. the when and the how of using the other implements will become quite clear once you move into the next stage.  

but please, for the safety of both of parties, take the image of saint catherine tightly in your left fist (a sinister blessing is only appropriate) and mumble lovingly the following prayer: 


the prayer had to go on a separate piece of paper, as postcards aren’t very large. 


st catherine benevolent mother of the filthy, pray for us.

st catherine, merciful mother of the self-abusers, pray for us. 

st catherine, intercessor for perverts, pray for us.

st catherine, wife of christ wedded with his invisible golden foreskin wedding band, pray for us.

st catherine, vessel of graces and bodily fluids, pray for us. 

st catherine, luster of heroin chic everlasting, pray for us. 

st catherine, wearer of the iron-spiked girdle and other macabre lingerie, pray for us.

st catherine, who would’ve hated good television, i’m sure, pray for us.

st catherine, who was taken to heaven to the celestial nuptials, a gang-bang free-for-all in the clouds, pray for us as we continue on our journey into the depths.  

amen. 


once inside the second box, mr waters would have found this bubble-wrapped monstrosity.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 9.24.38 AM.png

a wooden box with glass front and a second nudie postcard scrawled with the following message:

dear mr waters,

before you proceed with your increasingly obvious mission, allow us, the lowly creators of porn for the blind, to digress.

you, mr waters, as a filmmaker, author, artist, cultural figure, and personification of a bygone attitude of rebellion and your embrace of both the highest of arts and most heinous of smut, have been a central inspiration to the porn for the blind team. indeed, without your pivotal corrupting influence, porn for the blind would likely not exist.

for this reason, porn for the blind was created with you expressly in mind and the desire that it would evolve into a project you would be excited to join as a member, collaborator, and mentor.

now, if you will, don the workman’s gloves, take the hammer in your right hand, st catherine in your left, and please, mr waters, smash the glass.


and presumably, that was what mr waters did.


two weeks later, we received the following email from mr waters assistant.

dear casey and brady:

thank you for sending your package to john waters that includes a copy of your script.  unfortunately, i must let you know that john’s attorney advised him, long ago, that he should never read unsolicited film scripts or manuscripts for books, so he will not be able to do so for the protection of all concerned.

he wishes you the best of luck with it and always likes to encourage young filmmakers to follow their dream as he did so long ago.

sincerely,

xxxxx xxxxxxxxx

assistant to john waters


i responded:

dear xxxxx,

thank you for the reply. how might you suggest we go about legitimately sending mr. waters the script? i have a literary agent who would be able to send the script to mr. waters’s agent, which my writing partner and i discussed as the next course we would take after mr. waters received the package, a stunt we were quite excited, and perhaps a bit brazen about. i hope he enjoyed it despite not being able to read its contents. (did it make it all the way out there without the glass breaking?)

would there be any way to arrange to meet with mr. waters next time he visits new york?

thank you and all the best,

brady walker


and a second reply

dear brady:

john is not in baltimore right now, but i did speak to him about your e:mail (sic)response.

i wasn’t at the opening of the box, but he said yes, the package did make it here without the glass breaking.  he asked me to tell you that he thanks you for your persistence but he never has and never will be a part of anything he didn’t create himself.  all of his agents know this and it has been his policy for ever (sic) – so he said he hopes you do make your film and added that he’ll pay to see it but there’s just no sense in your trying to go to the next step because his rule is a strict one and he’s never wavered as long as i’ve been here.

sincerely,

xxxxx xxxxxxxxx

assistant to john waters


mr waters, if you’re reading this, there’s been a terrible misunderstanding. we still have your assistant’s email address, and when the time comes, we’ll alert her and hope that you watch our humble web series. also, did you like the box!?