Just back from Malibu and a great visit with old pals in a gorgeous movie location hacienda above the Pacific, and in tow is a panther without a leash, Maya Nelson, arctic model. We drove the 101 over the hills to the ocean, she at at the wheel, and me feeding her intensely complicated lines that I want her to do in English and Icelandic. She's feverish, coming down with something, and I think I should give her a break and let her rest, but this sort grueling ordeal is part of becoming an actor or a performer: You simply do not have the choice of when to accept a break when it knocks on your door. And this is definitely Maya's break, on a small Seanie Blue scale, since the images and scenes have evolved enormously since we met three months ago, and her confidence has a nuclear bloom to it. She is not scared of the lines or ideas and the work involved, and punishes herself for the slightest mistake or mispronounciation. Fine with me, since I no longer bother to give her much instruction when we shoot pictures, since she has become so adept at anticipating what movements I need. We have shot 7200 pictures in one week, not enough video, and discussed the performance impulse until we were ready to kill one another. We leave Hollywood tomorrow for New York, and have critical questions on our horizons. What are we actually making? The birth of a model or actor? A movie? A book? And why?