1:22 pm - Tuesday, May. 02, 2006
Sat 4/29/06 (9:38 a.m.)
“Life goes by so fast. If you don’t write it down, it gets lost.”
If I had continued on with yesterday’s entry, I would have mentioned receiving Mark and Jane’s Sopranos/Big Love tapes in the mail earlier in the day, cause watching those certainly qualifies as “something to look foward to”.
I don’t know if this is going to be terribly interesting, but I’m clearing space off my computer table, and I’ve got a bunch of “post-its” with little things I meant to write about in here at some point, so I’m going to go through those really quick, so I can throw them away.
“Yes, thank you”.
Nick, the guy who’s teaching the four-week long comedy class I’ve been taking this month, says that attitude–to always be pleasant and agreeable, even when you’re actually saying “no”–is the secret to being a successful actor (he’s not talking about the “art” of being an actor, but rather, having an actual career as an actor).
(“Yes, thank you” even extends to the “acting choices” you make, at least as a tv series “regular”–Even if you’re playing the series “bad guy”, you have to be likeable somehow. Because if the audience doesn’t like you, there’s probably someone they will like on another channel, just a click of the remote away.)
I get what he’s saying here, I really do, but it’s really tough. So much so that I blew it while still in the class–I was unhappy with a scene he’d given me (I thought it was pretty lame, and wasn't going to be all that funny no matter what I did). And when I performed the scene with my partner, and it got a tepid reception, I blurted out “I don’t like this scene...” (I was embarrassed--I don't like looking bad in front of other actors in a situation like this-and my emotions got the better of me. But that can’t happen, not in front of casting directors and people who have decision-making power over my career).
There’s a commercial on tv for a phone dating service called “Live Links”.
The woman in the spot refers to it as “the place for fun, flirt, and conversation”.
That line bugs me every single time I hear it.
One of my favorite exchanges in film is in the first Superman movie, when Superman first performs a mid-air Lois Lane rescue.
Superman: “Don’t worry Miss, I’ve got you.”
I remember that getting a big laugh when I saw it in the theater, all those years ago. And I’ve always thought of it as an example of how to have fun with a comic-book movie without making fun of the characters.
Some time back I saw a headline on CNN.com: “Could Denying Yourself One Of Life’s Big Pleasures Help You Live Longer?”.
And I had to wonder–If you have to deny yourself life’s big pleasures in order to live longer, what’s the point of living longer?
On Western Avenue, on my way to the theater, there’s a coffee shop/internet cafe called “Coffee & Coffee”.
And every time I go by, I think “Guys, the word ‘and’ is supposed to connect two different things...”.
The tv show Becker, starring Ted Danson, plays at 2:00 a.m. in syndication here in L.A.
I never saw the show when it was in primetime (It was on for awhile, I think. At least five years. if not longer), and honestly, it’s pretty mediocre–Not the worst thing that’s ever been on tv, by any stretch, but definitely a few rungs down the comedy ladder from a show like, oh, say... Cheers.
But over the past weeks/months, I’ve started looking foward to it when I get home from work at the theater. And that weirds me out a little (Though I don’t know why it should–While I’m a big fan of quality tv and movies, I’m also the same guy who’s lost count of how many times he’s watched Roadhouse, with Patrick Swayze, and am always up for watching an episode of Blind Date when I catch it on tv).
I think Ted Danson is a very talented comic actor, and I’m sort of intrigued that they wrote a show around this cranky middle-aged misanthrope (I’m talking about the character now, not Ted Danson). And Terry Farrell and Shawnee Smith are pleasing to my eye (And Ms Smith is cute and funny as the comparatively-rare-on-tv “dumb brunette” who works in Becker’s office).
But all that aside, I think it’s just “comfort tv”. It’s late, it’s on, and I watch it.
And sometimes, that’s okay.
Mon 5/1/06 (2:39 a.m.)
I meant to do this sooner, but I wanted to say a few quick things to people who’ve made comments recently...
Mark N.: Thanks for directing my attention to my IMDB listing. It feels a little goofy that I’m listed for one line on a House M.D. episode that didn’t make it to air, but at least it’s a start (I wanted to be listed on IMDB ever since I first became aware of it. Now the goal becomes to get a list of credits people have actually seen. Or for that matter, a list of credits that I've actually seen).
Dick, Carrie, Jane, et al: It would seem weird and ungracious to argue with you about whether or not I’ve ever successfully met a “challenge” in my life (In my own estimation, I think I wrestled “Miles Gloriosus” in Forum to a draw; I didn’t sing it as well as “the other guy” would have, but likely acted it a lot better).
But really, it’s not for me to judge whether I’ve “met the challenge” with any given acting performance. Yes, I’d like to feel good about the work I’ve done, I’d like to walk around all the time thinking, “I’m a really good actor”, but I’m not the final arbiter of my success in that department; that’s really for other people to judge (The people who hire me, my director, my peers, and most importantly, the audience). I have to learn how to do the very best I can...then let it go, and hope for the best.
I think what screws me up when talking about whether or not I’ve successfully “met a challenge”, is that the underlying “challenge” I never meet is the challenge of being perfect.
I've said it more than once in here (Regarding acting): "I'm not in the dignity business".
What I've meant by that is that there's no room for being uncomfortable or unhappy about a role because it offends my sense of personal dignity. My job as an actor is to serve the character and the story, not my own sense of modesty.
But recently, I received a notice from L.A. Casting about a low-budget comedy/horror movie called Killer Pad.
And one of the roles they were casting was "Big Hairy Butt Guy".
"Big Hairy Butt Guy" has to pull down his pants, sit on the toilet, and poop on someone who has gotten stuck in the toilet (No, I don't understand that last part either, unless we're talking about an outhouse or something).
Long story short, I did not submit myself for "Big Hairy Butt Guy"--I may not be in "the dignity business" as an actor, but there are limits.
(Though if it were Spielberg or Tarantino casting for "Big Hairy Butt Guy", you might hear me singing a different tune...)
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