To paraphrase Jane Austen “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single bisexual woman, must be in want of a date” but in the case of the well know author and journalist Nicole Kristal that thought comes with an additional proviso . . . and Must Not! come with an attached companion of the feline persuasion. Because very sadly Ms. Kristal is terribly, horribly allergic to cats!
And therein lies the tale (or tail if you will) of her dating dilemma that Ms. Kristal has translated to the screen in this humorous short film, “Do You Have a Cat?” that has been making the rounds of the 2012 LGBTQ Film Circuit. And if you are lucky will be coming soon to a theater near you. As she related to her friend and sometimes writing partner Mike Szymanski “It’s been very validating to see this with a live audience and to see that they think what I’ve been going through in real life is as funny—and as tragic—as I thought it was.”
Determined not to let her dating dilemmas get her down, Kristal took pen in hand and produced a tragic-comic script about dating while allergic that she took off to the California Institute of Contemporary Arts where she secured a project grant. She teamed with her friend Jason Sax, whom she had worked with on Eleventh Hour at CBS, to direct it and secured the services of a stellar cast and crew.
Taking the lead as the lovelorn but allergic “Marissa” is 2009 LA Drama Critics awardee Samantha Sloyan. Amber Benson, (aka “Tara” of “Buffy” fame) plays her best friend “Jess”. Rounding out the cast are Cameron Gordon as “Darren”, Leslie Connelly as “Kris” and Michanne Quinney (currently appearing in “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl“) as “Alexandra. The talented Alexander Yellen was the project’s Director of Photography.
Fittingly enough for the theme of the movie, it was cats who turned out to be one of the bigger deals when filming. As Kristal told Mike Szymanski:
some of the biggest expenditures was $1,100 needed for Hollywood cats to perform in two scenes. Kristal went back to the CICA on bent knee and begged for the money, and they kindly understood the dilemma — you can’t take a cat out of its environment and tell it what to do.
“The Hollywood cats showed up and the trainers were very upset the van had to be parked about a hundred feet from the wooded bungalow in Echo Park where we shot, so we had to make our producer Trey Doheny babysit the cats so they’d be comfortable,” said Kristal. “Trey, who like me and Jason, is deathly allergic to cats, alternated between sneezing his ass off in the van and sitting outside shivering for several hours. But the cats, as you will see in the film, were worth every penny.”
So how does it all turn out? We’ll never tell. But you can keep up with the film on it’s facebook page and keep and eye out so you can go and see this charming bisexual-affirming delight it when it comes to a theater near you.