Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fun in the City of Angels.

Ah, showbiz. 'Tis been a frenetic week in the City of Angels for me. Mostly good stuff with a couple of dark clouds here and there.

Finally got my blood work back from a couple of weeks ago (had to go in for further tests regarding the old 'silent killer'). Most of it came back looking quite peachy with the exception of the numbers indicating the proper functioning of my kidneys. Not so good. Correctable, but not so good. All a bit of a wake up call, actually. diet, new excercise regime, all that. This diabetes thing is a pain in the ass. Not to mention the kidneys.

Aside from that diabolical piece of information, however, it's been a grand week.

I've been commissioned to do some writing, two projects, actually. The first I can't really talk about yet, it's still too early in the proceedings and there are other people involved that don't want the information out there yet. Which is fine, because it's the harder of the two pieces. Frankly, I'm not sure how to proceed. But it'll come. Just a matter of time. It's a huge gig, one that'll recieve a great deal of press throughout the next year, I suspect, with some real heavyweights attached to the project. I just have to figure out how to write the damned thing.

The other has been a labor or love. A friend of mine, a guy that works a great deal in Europe in a number of different capacities in the entertainment industry, has hired me to write a short, festival-bound film about the futility of war. Kind of a high-falutin' subject, but thankfully, he already had a storyline. He just wanted me to fill it out. Which I did over three long days and nights of nearly non-stop writing.

Yesterday, after this marathon writing session, I sent off a fairly comprehensive first draft to him (he's in Berlin). It's not bad, I think, and that in itself is encouraging because I usually always hate my first drafts of anything I write. But I rather like this, and I spent a lot of time on it, relatively speaking.

We're looking to shoot in late summer and then submit to various and sundry festivals here and there. It was a fascinating excercise for me, I have to admit. I was given a very loose outline in terms of plot, a heavy handed theme to explore, the added complications of a love triangle and a premeditated opening shot. That's it. From that scant information I set out to write a half hour to forty minute screenplay, trying to avoid cliche'. I'll most likely hear from the producer today as to what he thinks of what I've written. Hopefully, he'll like what's on the page. And if he doesn't, that's okay, too. I'll simply go back to the drawing board and start from scratch. All of this was accompanied with a healthy check so I don't mind in the least. And, I probably shouldn't say this because most writers are always yammering on about how hard it is to write, yada yada yada, but I thoroughly enjoy it. I like writing. Always have. In fact, if I could make a living solely through my writing, there's a good chance I'd never step on stage or in front of a camera ever again. Alas, professionally speaking, I'm not at that point yet.

Also, this past Saturday we finished filming a new short in which I got to play a lunatic, Irish, rogue assassin. I had a remarkable amount of fun with that one. Late yesterday, I got a VERY rough cut from the director after initial edits. It's a great little film. Still a lot of work to do in 'post', as they say, but it's all there: dangerous, funny, unpredictable. And in addition, I had the opportunity to work with one of my oldest and dearest friends, John Bader, on it. John played a corrupt, super-tense, bad-guy police captain in the film. John and I have known each other so long (about 26 years) that we sort of communicated through verbal short hand with each other, sensing what the other was gonna do before he did it. I think that history was captured on film, too, which makes it all the richer.

Today is the first table read of a new play I'm doing a supporting role in called 'The Interlopers,' written by Gary Griffin, a former writer for the television series, 'The Shield.' It's being directed by Jim Fall, another film guy primarily. It's a very good script and I look forward to diving into it. We open at The Bootleg Theatre here in LA in June and run it through July.

So, all in all, health issues aside, I couldn't be more pleased. Ridin' high in April, shot down in May. The old Sinatra tune is never far from my mind as I wend my way through the various daily surprises and opportunities here in Tinsel Town. To be honest, it's all a buttload of fun.

And on top of all that, my new management team has been sending me out all over the place for auditions. Mostly the big ones, too, the network stuff and feature films. Of course, as I've mentioned before in this blog, most of the time in this town, it's simply a numbers game when it comes to auditions. It's not about how 'good' you are, or how 'prepared' you are. No, it's mostly about are you 'exactly what they're looking for?' Consequently, it becomes a numbers game. You might not book something for ten, fifteen reads, and then all of a sudden you land one you're not expecting because by some trick of fate you happen to look exactly like the guy the producer had in mind. And so it goes.

The old treacherous and unwelcome insomnia has reared its ugly head today so I'm up inordinately early. Thought I'd catch up on some blogging.

It's a good day. They all are. And I'm delighted to be sauntering down the road less traveled.

See you tomorrow.