LL

A million years ago, I was in the worst-ever-mounted production of Arthur Miller’s allegory of McCarthyism, The Crucible. We knew we were horrible. All of us. It hung over the production like a fog or nerve gas. At the end of our final rehearsal before opening night, the entire cast & crew gathered on stage for notes. The exhausted, defeated director ambled quietly down from the back of the house and looked at each of us in turn. For a moment of eternity, he stared at us. When he finally spoke, it was quiet, slow, and carefully enunciated.

“Act. Better.”

He walked out the nearest exit, and for the duration of the run, we never saw him again.

I was reminded of this story several times while casting Cowboys & Engines this week. We saw a handful of women for our female lead who were outstanding, and one or two for our male lead. Most of the rest were patently mediocre. And then there were the real standouts. The actors so bad we literally had to fight not to laugh at them. The actors I wanted to send flying from the room after 8 seconds (like a rodeo cowboy) but let finish out of politeness. The actors who were so belligerent before they started reading I already knew I hated them. The actors who had been kind enough to completely rewrite the script before coming in.

A few were truly notable. One man came in to read for a different character than I’d called him for, and did an entire, painfully slow, overacted death scene standing in the middle of the room, staring at the ceiling. Another turned almost physically into Snidely Whiplash when we asked him to read the villain. Then there was the Frenchman who has apparently just started acting despite the fact he really doesn’t speak English. His language skills were so bad, he couldn’t even pronounce the French words in an English script. Like “battalion.” And let us not forget our tall, manly Russian girl who plainly thought the entire enterprise — herself included — was utterly ludicrous.

To complete the quote in the title, we have a saying in porn: “If we can’t have good acting, we’ll have a LOT of acting!”

Casting sessions aside, things are moving behind the scenes. The project is beginning to take on a life of its own, and has started to feel like something that’s just going to get bigger and bigger, in a good way.

In the non-C&E world, Russia is happening. We have confirmed plane tickets and hotel rooms, which usually means the trigger has actually been pulled. This will be my 13th country, which is pretty exciting.

I was supposed to see Blue last night, but she wasn’t feeling well. However, I got a serendipitous invitation to come over from XJN, which led to an awesome, and surprisingly violent, evening. For those who have asked, have I still got a girl I can’t have stuck in my head? Yes. Two of them, actually. However, I’m working through both of them (in completely opposite ways, but that’s a blog I will never write unto itself).

Today is more editing and budgeting, tomorrow I’m shooting for a web series I’m in, Monday & Tuesday more casting, Wednesday meetings… ad infinitum, ad naseum. Really, I have so much to do for so many projects my head is spinning. I shouldn’t be whoring around at all. The problem is, when I’m motivated, I’m horny, and I’m feeling extremely motivated. Catch 22.

I’m sure there are worse problems I could have.

Irony is a funny thing. I don’t know if someone forwarded them my blog, or if it was just random chance, but apparently Backstage West posted our casting notice anyway. Ha…?

I spent Thursday night with LL. We had Thai food, snarked our way around Amoeba and went to see Ruby Sparks, which was not as good as Little Miss Sunshine, but still pretty terrific. At the end of the night, we made out like teenagers, which was pretty awesome.

Friday, we had our second production meeting for Cowboys & Engines. This is where things actually begin to happen. Your first meeting is just to rally the troops, and convince people your serious. The second meeting and onward is where things actually begin to happen. The casting process is proving to be very interesting. We’ve been approached by the agents and managers for quite a few people of the “oh, that’s that guy from that thing” character actor camp, and one or two whose names you might not know, but I guarantee you know the character they played.

We might end up with some “names” in this thing after all. Ha.

It also appears I might be going to Moscow (Russia, not Idaho) for two weeks to shoot art. I’ll clarify when I know if it’s happening. And when I actually understand exactly what the hell it is we’re doing.

In unrelated news, it appears I will be directing one or two movies for Wicked, and two for Vivid before the end of the year, and probably something… interesting… for Hot Video as well.

So, the weekend. On the one hand, I shouldn’t complain because I’ve gotten a lot done. On the other hand, it has turned into a massive, spastic clusterfuck of epic and expensive proportions. Let me explain;

Dude (let’s call him Z) from a particular production company (let’s call it XA) has been struggling to get a new line off the ground. Part of the struggle has been money, and part of the struggle has been fighting through his own incredibly disorganized inability to get his shit together. He’s booked me to shoot for him before, but I knew nothing would come of it.

After a long meeting recently, he booked me to work this weekend. Naturally, at 2/3 my rate, but I took it. It was supposed to be cash, and an easy day. I knew the last part would be bullshit, but I took the gig anyway. I like Z, and wanted to help him out.

On Saturday of last week, I got offered a gig this weekend at my full rate. I called Z to ensure he was actually shooting, and when he promised he was, I turned the gig down. He confirmed again on Wednesday and Friday morning that we were still shooting.

Naturally, at 1 am Saturday, he canceled the day. Sunday followed suit. SO I lost a lot of money this weekend, and won’t be taking dates from Z unless it’s either A: pay-or-play, or B: I bump him if anything else comes along. Which means I won’t be shooting for him. Someday I’ll learn.

For now, I’m heading over to Vega’s house to do terrible things to her and not spend the night.

Tomorrow, I’m shooting camera for Stormy, who has a pickup scene for a Wicked movie. Tuesday & Wednesday, casting begins. And god wept, I believe is the next verse.

It’s been a strange week. Last weekend I had a small epiphany regarding someone I had thought I was very close to. In reality, they don’t think of me as a close friend at all. At best, we’re work friends or strong acquaintances. I had the actual realization last Thursday, but over the weekend it began to sink in that I was down another friend (even if that friendship existed only in my head). In taking stock, I became aware that I have a total of two people in my life with whom I ever do or discuss anything other than specific work, or the business in general.

Why do I bottle shit up, or rant about it here? Apparently I do it because I don’t have a helluva lot of other options.

Yeesh. That’s gotta change.

Tuesday I had a long-delayed dinner with a girl I’m gonna call XJN, for reasons that will become readily apparent if she becomes a fixture on this blog. Which I hope she does. We’ve known each other for years, but we’d never gone on a date before. Hell, I wasn’t even sure it was a date until we spent a couple hours after dinner just walking around talking. It was easy and fun, and we have a loose plan to hang out on my couch, watch movies and… whatever… the next time I’m free. Sadly, at the moment, that looks to be 2018, but I’ll see if I can’t make room.

Afterwards, I met up with LL and a couple of her friends at a bar in Noho so we could flirt, drive each other crazy, and talk about her relationship, which isn’t going too swimmingly at the moment. She’s working on Cowboys & Engines with me, so I’ll be seeing a lot of her as that goes forward. We’ll have plenty of opportunities to frustrate the hell out of ourselves, which is fine because I love spending time with her.

I spent Wednesday cutting together the re-enactment of a grisly murder from 2006 in which a girl ends up dead in a wheelbarrow, her corpse burned almost beyond recognition. It’s all part of a mainstream project about a private detective in Palm Desert that Hollywood is directing.

Yesterday, I shot a bunch of promo spots for Vivid’s new camgirls site. Today I was focused on getting the audition breakdowns for C&E out, and getting the very basic website with the casting info up. If you’re looking for that, you’re in the wrong place, BTW. Try looking here.

See? Weird week.

My incredibly hot friend JJ is supposed to be in town this weekend, and we’re scheduled to hook up. Haven’t seen her since January, so that would be good.

Things have been quiet with Vega, because she’s been out of town. Way out of town. Since she’s been back, I’ve gotten hints, prods and outright threats regarding getting together. She’s supposed to come over Sunday, but I took a gig doing a Lingerie Football League spot in Vegas Sunday night, so that has to wait. Sorry, hon (god, I’m a dick).

After this weekend, chaos ensues. Work for C&E,  work for other people, work in general. I have one or two more screen tests to shoot for Green Door, a day covering the auditions for Jeff Mullen’s Wizard of Oz XXX (that oughtta be surreal), a prospective date with Ink, and the Sleeping Beauty XXX shoot with Rob Black. And that’s just up till next Sunday.

“Free time” is about to become a foreign concept, but that’s good because that means things are happening. That’s what movies feel like, and I’ve missed it. I used to wake up every morning thinking about a particular girl. Since I made a concerted effort to get over her, I usually wake up thinking about C&E, which is a marked improvement. I’ll take being fixated on this film to being fixated on someone who doesn’t want me any day.

I was about to close with the sentence, “a movie can’t break your heart,” but anybody who’s ever made one knows that is completely untrue. If I had a heart to break, a movie I’m directing would be one of the few things able to do it.

I spend the majority of my day either pretending that I don’t care, or pretending that I do.”

Your Thought For the Day

Subscribe to the Tango

Get an email whenever I blather.

Archives

Posts by Category

Posts by Date

October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

From Twitter

Random Quote

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs. — Christopher Hampton