Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another day, another Russian Accent

I've added a few reels to the site. They're to the right of this text. I recently found a new program, free download, which enables me to make reels, etc. The only problem is they have to be posted on YouTube and then downloaded onto the blogger site. Oh, there's probably a way to do it without putting them on YouTube first, but I'm pretty much a slobbering idiot when it comes to this stuff so I can't quite figure that part out.

But the point is, I have so much fun doing it. I feel like I'm on the bridge of the Enterprise trying to save earth from certain destruction when I start messing with computer-related stuff.

So, okay, I go about a week without a single audition. Nada, nothing, zip, zero. And then of course I get a call from the home office and have two virtually at the same time. We do a little shuffling, call the casting directors, and get things lined up.

The first was a film, an 'ultra low budget' thingee. Something about 'Russian mobsters.' Okay. So I slip on my Russian accent and travel to Hollywood for that one. It ended up being in a warehouse - the audition, that is. They were running behind, about a half hour or so, and in comes this guy that apparently had been there earlier but had to leave for some reason. He comes in and tells the monitor that he'd like to go in next. My eyebrows raised. Next? But he left. He gave up his spot. I looked around and everyone had an eyebrow raised. And this guy refused to take no for an answer. "In all my years in this business I've never heard of such a thing," he whined, "You're just going to have to march in there and tell them John Doe is here." And, much to my chagrin, she did. She disappeared into the room and came out and said, okay, you can go in next. Personally, I had another audition to get to, so I wasn't too keen on all this. But, sure enough, he ambled in next.

The reason they were behind is because they were taking a long time with every actor in the room. About ten minutes each, in fact - an inordinantly long time to stay in the room. Well, I don't know what happened in there, but this guy comes out about thirty seconds later and stomps out of the warehouse, mumbling obscenities under his breath.

Times like that I want to just grab people and say, "Alright, listen, here's how life works: you wait your turn. Simple as that. All areas of life, that's what you do. You wait your turn. Generally speaking, people who never learned to wait their turn are either working on Wall Street or in jail." But I didn't say that to him. I thought it.

After the 'Russian Mobster' gig I quickly drove over to one of the studios (doing the whole security check thing at the gate) for a co-starring read on a major network drama. Much nicer scenario, I must say. A bunch of veteran LA actors all sitting peacefully in a waiting room, being nice to one another, one lady was actually knitting. The role was for a priest and one guy had the whole Jesuit priest get up on complete with turned around collar. I, sagely, simply wore a black shirt buttoned up. Not that it mattered, because I'm fairly certain I didn't get it. For one thing I was the youngest guy in the room by about twenty years. For another, I was so harried by the narrow time window to do both gigs, I think I might have done the Jesuit priest with a slight Russian accent.

Later this month the acclaimed LA theatre company, Echo Theatre, will be doing a reading of my play, From the East to the West. In fact, it falls on Angie's birthday, so we're looking forward to that. And my old Alma Mater, Redtwist Theatre Company in Chicago, wants to re-mount Praying Small next season. The AD asked for the DVD of the production we did here in LA. So I sent that off and will see what we will see. That play opened the theatre back in 2004 and ended up running about six months. The following season, 2005, Redtwist (back then it was called 'Actors Workshop') mounted the show again for another four or five months. Suffice to say both productions were critical and commercial successes.

And yet another rewrite on 'the German screenplay.' I'm meeting with the producer again today to brainstorm a bit. He also wants to pick Angie's brain a bit about the whole thing - Angie has seen dozens of films through from start to finish back in the day and has a singular knowledge about, quite literally, what to do next. He's a first time producer and, although the money is sort of in place, the particulars are not.

Los Angeles is in the midst of an uncharacteristic cold snap. I like it. It's very rare one gets the chance to wear sweaters in LA. And I like wearing sweaters. Plus we get to crank up our fireplace every night. I like fireplaces. There's something very comforting about a fireplace roaring in the den with my wife and two dogs nearby. My wife is the fire starting expert in the family. I tried to do it alone last night and after an hour or so of staring at cold logs had to hand over the reigns to Angie. A few minutes later the fire was crackling and leaping. I should never have quit after the Webelows. Sigh.

See you tomorrow.