Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Incomparable Anthony Hopkins...

Netflix is a great thing.  Over the past two nights Angie and I have watched Steven Spielberg's wonderful Amistad, the film about the captured African slaves and their subsequent escape and apprehension.  Like Empire of the Sun it is one of Spielberg's lesser known films and absolutely beautiful.

It was a joy to re-watch for a number of reasons, but the biggest is Anthony Hopkins as John Quincy Adams.  What a detailed, layered, bottomless performance he gives.  Tremendously impressive.  His final summation before the Supreme Court of the United States is, in itself, worth the price of admission.  That segment of the film should be shown in acting classes across the country.  He treats the long monologue (about ten minutes, I'd say) like an aria with inner built climaxes and grace notes and pianissimo sections and a final chord of resolve.  It is a highly musical piece of acting, not just because Hopkins is a joy to listen to, but because of the way he leaves no moment unfilled.  This is a great actor at the very top of his game.

A few months ago I happened to catch A Lion in Winter with Hepburn and O'Toole.  Hopkins is in that and, I believe, it's his first screen appearance.  He's watchable albeit clumsy in that film.  It's a cool thing to see that even great actors get better.

Over the past couple of days I've signed with two new agencies...Pinnacle Commercial Talent and Schiowitz and Connor.  The former for commercial work, the latter for theatre work.  It's a comforting and satisfying thing to realize that someone else has faith in you aside from yourself out here in LaLa Land.  I haven't signed with an agency since my NY and Chicago days...William Morris in NYC and later with Shirley Hamilton in Chicago.  But between then and now I've lived about seven lifetimes, not all of them good, and it's tremendously uplifting to be back in the saddle.

And here's an odd but interesting thing...I was asked to come in and read for the role of "a wise and witty wizard" for a new video game today.  It's quite a lot of money, frankly.  But of course, life being what it is, they shoot on the day Angie and I are to be in Missouri having our engagement party.  Well, we decided to go ahead and read for it anyway and see what happens.  I say "we" because Angie, with her decades of experience in the casting world, has most definitely become my professional advisor.

My nature is to whine and bitch about stuff.  It just comes naturally.  I'm an instinctive whiner and bitcher.  A character flaw, to be sure, and one I am constantly monitoring.  And yet as Angie and my closest friends out here, John Bader and Jim Barbour, keep telling me, I have, in eight months, done pretty damned well for myself.  I have been inordinately lucky and have had a lot of things fall in my lap.  But I, like so many people, am afflicted with the disease of "more."  I always want more.

Today, considering all that, I have every intention of sitting back and enjoying my lot.  It is time to be grateful. Without gratitude, the rest is senseless anyway.  One of the reasons Angie and I are such a great match is because of these two sides of our personality.  She will forever see the glass as half full.  I love her for that.  I, on the hand, well, you know...

The weather guy is promising a respite from this intense heat in the San Fernando Valley today.  You know, I just might lay out and get a tan.

See you tomorrow.