"The personal journal of Joseph Sherman"
June 17, 1975
Today I attended the premiere of my third film, “The Creator”. I’ve been much happier with it than my first or second efforts, and judging from the responses at the premiere, I’m not the only one who is pleased. A far cry from my film studies teacher who said I’d never be successful. I think I’ll send her some flowers. Perhaps dead ones…
I’ve made many new friends and contacts. This couldn’t have come at a better time, since I’m going to need financing on my next project. I’ve begun writing, but it is a bit of a departure from what I’m known for. I hope I can convince one of them to help me out. I don’t want to be stuck in horror forever.
June 20, 1975
Most of the producers I’ve spoken to in the last few days haven’t been interested in the “gamble”, as they call it, of putting up money for an unproven talent such as myself. Unproven. As if any of them have the slightest idea what it’s like to create something. I’ve got a few more meeting to go to, but I’m not holding any hope. If I can’t find financing, I’ll simply have to take my paycheck from the films I have made, and finance this new film myself.
June 23, 1975
I had given up hope. I had one more meeting, this evening, with Bobby Fleck, and if it didn’t go well, I was going to give up and pay to make the film out of pocket. Instead, I now have financial backing, and Bobby says he’s going to help me secure an a-list actor for top billing. He seemed concerned at first that I wanted to make a dramatic film and not another horror, but he heard me out, and now I’m about to become what I’ve always dreamt of. I’ll send him a draft of the script tomorrow.
June 24, 1975
I’m not sure what has happened. I still don’t truly believe it.
Mr. Fleck called me into his office to talk over the script this evening. As soon as I came in, he was asking questions. “Where do you see yourself in five years? How about twenty?” “How long do you want to work as a filmmaker?” “How is your family life?” It was like some out of control job interview. Finally, he walked up, quite close to me, looked me in the eye, and asked, “What would you say if I told you I could ensure you were working long after your peers had faded away?” I’m not sure, but I think my response was a mistake. I looked him right back in the eye, and replied, “What would I say? I’d say, where do I sign?” And right then was when I felt him grab my arms, hold me down in my chair, and bite into my flesh. It is impossible to explain the feeling to someone who hasn’t experienced it. I felt the blood and life draining from my body, helpless to stop it. I felt my heart stop beating. And then I tasted blood. Not my blood. His.
I felt as though I was being brought back from the dead, only it felt different. I still couldn’t feel my heart beating. I felt dizzy. And hungry, like I’d never eaten in my life. Bobby turned around and handed me a cat. Before I knew what I was doing, I had bit into it and drained it dry. Then, as I stared at the dead feline in my hands, I began to cry. I didn’t stop for quite some time. When I calmed down a bit, Bobby began explaining what he had done. He said he felt someone with my talent should never die. I’m still a little confused and shaken, but if what he said is true, it can only mean good things for my art.
June 25, 1975
I awoke feeling ill this evening. Every bone aches, every muscle is sore. Bobby said this is pretty normal for a new Kindred, and it’ll go away soon. I’m still adjusting to this. It feels surreal right now.
“Kindred.” I never thought such a thing as vampires existed. Now I know better. Weird that literature and films have gotten so much wrong. We drink blood, but only from animals. Apparently human blood will kill us, which is definitely not what I’d been led to believe. Wooden stakes will kill us, but silver does nothing. Garlic and crosses repel us, but don’t hurt. And apparently I must drink a bit of his blood every night, or I’ll starve. Odd.
June 27, 1975
I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to blood. Bobby says it’ll get easier, but it feels weird. Yet it tastes so good. The aching went away, but my skin is feeling weird. Like I’m molting or something.
June 30, 1975
My skin is peeling like crazy, and turning gray in spots. I’ve found good spots underground to feed. The blood doesn’t bother me anymore, really.
July 4, 1975
This night has seen many changes. Went to a nighttime Independence Day festival. I wore a wig and some makeup to hide the blemishes on my skin. Luckily it was dark. We ran into other Kindred. I saw one of them, his name is Bryon, feeding from a woman, and pulled him aside later in the night to ask about it. He looked confused, and said Bobby was wrong about feeding from humans. Then he got another woman and showed me how to feed from them. The blood tasted sweet, much better than the cats and rodents I’d been eating. After this, when I explained all that Bobby had told me and how he’d embraced me, Bryon got a group together, told me to stay put, and went and started talking to Bobby in an alley. Soon there was yelling. I heard Bobby scream in pain, and then I think I heard him start growling. In a few moments, I felt a pain as though my brain had shattered like glass. I screamed out in pain, and saw one of the others run up and jab a stake into my chest.
In that moment, I thought I was dead. Instead, I was immobilized. They carried me off to a warehouse nearby, removed the stake from my heart, and tried as best they could to calm me. Here the events of the past few weeks became much clearer.
Bobby had lied to me. About nearly everything. Bryon explained the blood bond, and the accompanying pain I felt when they gave “final death” to Bobby. Bryon explained about clans. Apparently he is a Toreador, I am a Nosferatu, like the Murnau film. He explained agreta many things about the rules, and about the differing factions of Vampire society. And he explained that I was to be watched closely until such time as they were sure I understood the rules well enough. Then he explained the bad news. If I am not able to adapt and blend into society, if I cause trouble for the other Kindred in LA, I am to be killed. I have only been spared due to the Toreador clan’s love of art, and their belief that an artist such as I am should not be put to death hastily. Also, my appearance will not get better, and in fact it will only get worse as time goes on. I am still not quite sure how to take this. I certainly can’t go out in public like this. How am I expected to continue working on my art? This may be the end.
July 9, 1975
Bryon, as well as some of my clanmates, have been helping me to find a way to continue my work. I’ve been working with latex and foam appliances to mask my true appearance on film, and my fellow Nosferatu are definitely interested in gaining contacts through my work, especially in the areas of the news media and beauracracy. We are getting along well, though it’s obvious that some of my clan and the Toreador do not get along well. I try to stay out of these squabbles.
Despite all the things that are going well, I feel isolated. I can’t go out during the day, which limits my ability to film day shoots. I’ll need to find a good, very trustworthy second unit, and storyboard meticulously.
July 15, 1975
I’ve decided that my drama script will have to wait. I simply don’t feel the passion for it anymore. I’ve begun work on a new script, it will be an action film.
August 2, 1975
I’ve been writing so much I’ve neglected my journal. I finished my new script last night. It is titled “Pistol Whipped”, and is about a woman who becomes a hired killer. I’ll be sending the script out to various actresses tomorrow, hoping to find a lead.
October 18, 1975
Tonight we wrapped shooting on “Pistol Whipped.” I couldn’t be more proud of it. This may be my best film yet. After my embrace and the death of my sire, I thought I’d never make a film again. I’m glad to prove myself wrong.
November 16, 1977
I’ve made three films since my last entry, “Blood Bank”, “Full Throttle”, and “Dead Serious”, all of which were successful. I’m going to go out on a high note. Next week, I will pack up, move to San Francisco and start over under a new name. Maybe I’ll start doing science fiction films, they certainly seem to be selling well right now.
April 15, 1993
Almost forgot about this journal. Lost it in a box during one of the moves, I suppose. I decided to stay with the Camarilla after moving to SF. Much as I love the Anarchs who helped me in LA, I need a more structured society.
I’ve been through two more identities in the last fifteen years. I’m now about to start on a new one, making more dramatic pieces, in Nebraska. My makeup skills have improved a lot, and combined with the powers of our kind, I can change my appearance completely and fool both people and cameras.
February 29, 2004
I’m getting very, very tired of Nebraska. And dramas. I need a new start. Again.