Naked People in Paradise

This story is featured in the book, “American Nudist: The Lost Journal

Click the above.

What is “Naked People in Paradise?”

It began as a short story based on real life facts.  It was the turn of the century, New Year’s Eve in the year 2000. A family naturist club I call the Miliani Naturists was going strong and there was one family who stood out in particular. The Deerdales had two teenage daughters.  The oldest was sixteen who’d told me in an interview that she went topless in the sauna, but never went back to their monthly “naked parties.”  She gave me the, “I’m too busy” excuse, but the truth is, she had no peers there.

And of course being in my thirties back then, neither did I.

But the youngest girl I call Kelly just turned 12 and had a blast. I couldn’t keep up with her. We’d race in the swimming pool and by the time I got half way across, she’d be at the other end. She spent a lot of time with the college boys who were more than a match for her. The other girls in the club didn’t like her at all. She was too bossy, they said.

So here was this happy girl who would make the perfect muse for a nudist film or novel. She was healthy, athletic in other words, the perfect role model for nudist children.

Or so I thought.  A few months later, it turns out my cousin was her classmate. My cousin was very naive but honest kid and he told me that Kelly’s behavior at school was absolutely atrocious. She would burst into the boys’ restrooms to peep, flashing in public and talk about going to naked parties.  She even once took a guy into a room and “fingerfucked” with him.

Needless to say, I was shocked, and I should have reported it right then and there.

But I didn’t.

When I asked friends and former club members for advice, I was stifled. They told me it wasn’t my business but most of all they reminded me I was a virgin. (at that time).

I came across sounding like a jealous boyfriend. And they were right. If I had tried to report it, I would only be dismissed as some weirdo who was jealous of a young girls’ sex life.  She wasn’t being abused, that much was clear. She made her own decisions: I witnessed this myself.  Though I don’t condone her behavior, I was largely silenced, and with good reason.

But as a male virgin with no credibility, it would be too risky for me to say anything. If Kelly had accused me of being jealous of her, I would be the one in trouble, not her. And the guys she hung around with. Circumstantial.

Later on, I would find out that Kelly’s mom took her out of the club and got custody of her. So that ended that. And that’s how it should be. Happy ending for all, except for me. I was exposed as the schmuck who nearly ruined it all and made matters worse.  Jealousy is a difficult emotion.  You are frozen and locked into a pattern of bad judgment. And I’m glad I didn’t fall into that trap.

I made a film about the experience called, “Kelly Deerdale, Naturist” but I don’t think I captured the angst and the jealousy; it wasn’t shown only told. I wish I could remake it, but it’s best to let the past stay in the past.

I believe Kelly’s story is typical of any nudist club that makes no effort to educate their young. She needed a peer group to intervene, not just some anti-nudist parent. It’s no secret that most nudist kids who are raised in the lifestyle never return, because they realize the Emperor has no clothes. It’s all theory but in practice, all they ever hear are empty promises of good times with your fellow nudist peers who don’t actually exist. And it doesn’t stop in childhood.

Many of use 80s kids continue to be naturists but meet so few members our age. It’s gotten better over time, of course, but only because I traveled. Had I continued writing nudist stories based on my limited experience in Hawaii, it would have been very depressing. I’m glad that I did experience life outside the Mililani Naturists and can safely say, they really sucked ass.

Casting for a Pageant Scene

Click here to see the clip

Casting the right actress to pull off the role of a potential pageant girl is crucial in any independent film. It helps to have friends who have worked with prominent directors such as James Wan (“Saw.”)

But sometimes you have to put her side by side with a girl who just isn’t right for the part. Case in point. Arielle Brachfeld sets the tone for the pageant perfectly.  Young, snarky, a bit clueless, a millenial stripper-type who thinks she’s just signed up for an adults only event.  Through Arielle has never personally been to such an event, she understood the scene.

The other actress on the other hand has been an active nudist and nude model. And nothing against her. She just isn’t a pageant girl, and as a result, her joke doesn’t really hit the mark.

Such is the problem of independent filmmaking as any hot model could have killed with that line. But on a low budget, hot model types are often unaffordable. Lina Shay fits the bill perfectly as the neurotic stage manager Kayli, and in a related clip, Paula Labaredas tells a questionable story about her friend, “Paris.”

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Working on an independent film short is never easy, but there’s a distinct advantage to filming in Hawaii. Even on a low budget, you can count on the cooperation of the cast and crew, the Aloha Spirit.

This film would not have been possible without the kokua of all those involved, so I thank you all: Yan, Sinai, Teri, Chance, Frank, R.J., Keoni, Bob, Trevor, Tiffany, Randall, Garett, Dr. Dan, Chris, Lymari, Brittney and Christine.

Jackie Claxton is a local superhero. We need more of them. This is a franchise that grew out of Hawaii and has the best potential to thrive in the transmedia format. But we cannot stop with a festival of short films. We need to get the attention of the mainland, and this can only be done with more content from other filmmakers based in Los Angeles, New York, Louisiana, Georgia and more.

With the graphic novel becoming the staple of Hollywood blockbusters, this literary/art form has shown the world how versatile it can be, and the nature of storytelling in this medium has grown and evolved. It’s time to bring that style of storytelling to “Jackie Claxton” and hopefully we will see the making of a big budget feature film.

My film, “Jackie Claxton: Greener Pastures” posits the question: What if Jackie, the Soul Savior were to give up her powers in order to live a normal life?  What would be at stake for her? What’s the price she would have to pay?

Claxtonfest will be held at Ward Stadium Theaters on Thursday, Sept. 24. Tickets are available at the door. Do not cal the Box Office as there are no pre-sales.