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January 6 
Hurley's Diary  Part 2

So I was going through the diary/journal—side note: I know I should pick either the diary or the journal to describe the notebook, but I go back and forth as to what term better describes it—and I didn’t notice before how many of his “story” ideas involve a man killing someone or being present during a killing. I wonder if Robert ever killed a guy or watched someone die.

The deaths in his stories aren’t gratuitous or violent. Mostly they happen by accident. The character that commits the act is ruined by it. It takes over his life.

It’s weird and dark and scary to read these things because I can see Robert writing them. Even if he hasn’t experienced them firsthand, he has, at least, put a lot of thought into the possibility of it happening.


January 5
Hurley’s Diary Part 1

I’ve been going through the diary we found at Hurley’s place. There’s some weird stuff in it. He seems like a very lonely, creepy, dark guy. I can’t tell how real most of it is. He writes a lot of things as if they are story ideas or in the third person. It may all be crap. People tell me Hurley liked to play these kinds of jokes.

The diary is divided into two parts. One starts at the front and one starts at the back.
The front is more of a writer’s journal sort of thing. Lots of ideas for short stories and movies and plays. There are a few sketches. Some of them are cool. Some are imprint drawings. He would draw something on a piece of paper over the journal and then shade the journal page so that the lines show up amid a block of pencil. They do look neat. This sort of stuff explains some of the visuals in the script he wrote that I read. Some of them feature naked ladies.

The back half is an extended thing about a cult: DARK ONTO LIGHT. It’s incredibly detailed. There’s a history of this cult dating back to Assyrian times. There are also ripped pages, meeting places in Russia and sketches of people in cloaks and weird symbols.

There is a through-line through the first part of the diary/journal. At some point he meets a girl named Natalya. He seems to fall hard for her. He writes bad poetry to her and her name starts creeping into all his story ideas.

A cute thing he does is write Natalya Hurley several times. He was apparently testing out what her name would be if they married. I guess he assumed she would take his name.
He also imagines her being tied up and him saving her.

He also talks about making her cry.

One of the last pages on the first part says Natalya is in trouble.

An interesting thing about the journal is seeing the progression of NOTES FROM THE NEW WORLD. One of the first hints of the idea is when he talks about a contemporary version of NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND set in LA.

Then he has another idea about a Mexican girl seeing a vision and going on a journey.
Throughout the diary he talks about prostitutes and hookers and such.
Then Natalya starts appearing in his stories and he brainstorms this story about a writer who has to save a prostitute.

Then the mob angle enters the story of the prostitute and writer. Then he finally combines the Mexican girl story with the Russian prostitute/mob story. And that’s the framework for NOTES FROM THE NEW WORLD. There’s some Dostoevsky in there too.

December 20
Robert Hurley Part 2

So guess what I found?!  Robert Hurley was into some sort of a strange cult. He has a whole website about it at: http://lighttodark.bravehost.com

The cult is called Dark onto Light. Apparently they worship darkness in order to get God to hear them and bring about a better future. It would be kind of like the way I don’t talk to girls to get them to like me.

They didn’t start that way though. They actually arose in response to the invasion of Assyria by Cyrus, the Persian King sometime around 1950 BC (or BCE if you’re politically correct). They originally wanted to awaken the Assyrian gods to save them from Cyrus.

They have rituals!!!!!
Their rituals involve prostitutes and branding them with either a pentagram or an eight pointed star. His website goes back and forth between 8 pointed star and pentagram.  Then they drink her blood. OH!  And she’s naked the whole time.

Some famous people were involved. Johannes Kepler, Peter the Great, F. M. Dostoevsky. Apparently a guy named Gyurdzhiev has no death date and is thought to be a vampire because of it. The KGB somehow kept tabs on them or knew about them or something.
I don’t mean to sound dismissive. It’s actually really interesting. If it’s real. So far Hurley’s website is the only one I can find that even mentions this cult. So possibly he’s just made this all up. Like the Priory of Scion. Yeah, I said it. What?!!

Maybe they kidnapped him. Hurley, I mean.


December 18
Robert Hurley Part 1

(NOTE: After Colin told Vitaly Sumin about the journal and the information within it, Vitaly asked him to research the satanic cult that Robert mentioned. The following is an email from Colin to Vitaly.)

Subject: Robert Hurley

Hey! I’ve been up all night reading up on this sect.  My body is aching and I’m completely exhausted, but I found great information! Well, this cult is called “Dark Onto Light,” as in “bad over good.”  They have groups all throughout the world.  But it began with Demyan Arsov in the late 1800’s.  Felix Dzerzhinskyr, the founder of the KGB is said to be involved.  Even Grigory Rasputin, the “mad monk” was a member.  It’s not entirely clear whether Nicholas II had any ties, but some evidence shows he was.

Anyway, according to my research, Demyan had a vision that he thought came from the true savior, the Dark One.  It became his destiny to turn others to the “Dark.” As the story goes, Demyan had a horrible stomach ache, headache and intense fever.  As he lay in his bed curled up in a ball thinking this would be his final night, he saw a ball of light enter his room.  The entire room became so bright it nearly blinded him.  Then he saw a dark shadow escape from his mouth.  Entering his room, he saw what he believed was the Dark One. As the darkness escaped him, so did his pain.  The “light” turned back into a ball and escaped through his window.  He fell asleep and woke up perfectly fine.

Blood is the lifeline of all, and they believe that truly connecting with one another requires an exchange of life.  They drink each other’s blood during meetings and rituals. 
Sacrificing of female bodies is a regular ritual. Women are the givers of life and sacrificing them is the highest form of “giving back” to their savior.  Throughout history, prostitutes were commonly used.

Well, that’s all the info I have so far.  More later!!


August 22
My impressions

This is just based on what they sounded like as I was in the lobby most of the time. But it seems like what is missing from the auditioners for Steven is the enthusiasm that I see in the part. He is incredibly methodic because he is so enthusiastic about this material.  A lot of people made him sound like he was irritated and I don't think that should be the prevailing impression.  And there needs to be a lot more sincerity or earnestness and excitement. And that's where the humor comes in with Irina!

Because Steven is like jumping up and down with excitement and rams into Irina, who is this brick wall. And it's funny and engaging because of that opposition.

Irina has to be really hard to play because although she appears blank and cold, there has to be something underneath that makes you want to peel away the layers and get to know her. She is a very interesting character. And I absolutely love that we are bringing in all these tall attractive blondes to read for her!!

And anyone who attempts the Sonia audition has my respect. I'm not sure I would be able to audition for that character if I had to do a long pantomime and dance and song. But I am constantly amazed at how differently people go at it, though. It is very fun for me to sit there and hear the way people do it. And realize I never would have thought of doing it that way.


August 16
Second prescreening

There were a lot more people. I was again in the lobby handing out sides and asking people to sign the release forms. This time I was able to answer more people’s questions.  So that's cool. There were some good people today. It is fascinating to me to see how differently people read each of the parts and see what they do. Some of the most noticeable differences to me are in the Sonias. Some play her as young and kind of childish whereas others play her as reserved and shy.


August 12
First prescreening

Yesterday we auditioned people for the roles of Irina, Sonia, and Steven.  Probably about 15 people in total, mostly for Irina.  3 read for Sonia, 3 read for Steven.  I was in the lobby most of the time greeting people and giving them the sides so I didn't get to see the totality of most people's auditions, but from what I did see it seemed like there were several good people that turned up.  It was very interesting to be on that side of auditions.  I had never seen them from that side before.  The auditions lasted until 4.  We are planning another small audition session for roughly the same amount of people coming. Also at the auditions I met Rich.  He seems like a nice guy.



Colin Walsh

Colin Walsh

2nd Assistant Director
Script Advisor
& Investigator

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