Archive for year 2005

Chirp

On the brink of sleep
Occasional but loud chirp
Stupid smoke alarm

“Infamous”

Today I was an extra on the movie “Infamous“. It’s a big movie about Truman Capote starring lots of really famous people, but screw them, this is about me.
Many people who work as “extras” on a set aren’t really actors. Many of them are people from all walks of life who somehow heard about “extra” work and thought, “Hey, being in a movie would be cool!” However, there are always at least some “serious” actors among them. Being an actor and working as an extra is somewhat like being Charlie and getting the Silver Ticket to the Wonka Factory. Not the Golden Ticket, but the Silver one. This ticket won’t get you a grand tour and face time with Wonka himself, but you do get to work for a day with Oompa Loompas. Not the featured Oompa Loompas who get to do the fun song and dance, but the nameless, faceless Oompa Loompas who work behind the scenes in the factory doing things like cleaning children out of chocolate ducts. You can see the Golden Ticket winners doing what you’d love to be doing more than anything, but you are stuck in the back room making sure the Ever-lasting Gobstoppers actually last forever and don’t dwindle just this side of eternity. You’re exhilarated by just being in the Wonka factory, but sad and frustrated that you’re only on the fringe of your dream.
Today’s scene took place on a closed off downtown Austin street which was standing in for 1960 New York. I had been to a costume fitting last week to be fitted with 1960’s New York guy clothes (although from the way my sweater buttoned, it was obviously made for a woman). My costume would be my own black dress shoes, rust colored slacks, a maroon sweater tucked in, a long tweed coat and a scarf. The pants pulled up rather high as was the style back then. Maybe the whole trend now of wearing your pants practically falling off is some kind of karmic pendulum swing the other way.
I awoke at the ungodly hour of 5:15 a.m. to be on set at 6:15. When I arrived, a big bus took us all to another location which apparently used to be a restaurant or something. They gave us our costumes and then sent us outside to change in some tents set up in the parking lot. Hair and make up then saw us and did their thing (which in my case was putting lots of product in my hair and slicking it into a side part). I sat there at a table feeling like melancholy Charlie with the silver ticket and contemplated whether or not I should continue doing extra work since it was just sort of a tease and pretty much leads nowhere except to more extra work.
Quite a while later the bus took us to the set and we were all sent to get props. I got some lovely 60’s eyeglasses and a brownish orange briefcase. We were then placed in various areas and told what to do when the cameras rolled. I was paired up with another guy named Rance who ended up being very cool and interesting to talk to. We were both actors, writers, directors and had some really interesting conversations throughout the day while plotting how to best get us some screen time. There were lots of extras who owned old cars which they had on the street for the scene.
When the cameras rolled, Rance and I would walk down the sidewalk acting like we were talking, pause to say goodbye, and he would go into a building while I tried to hail a cab. This ended up being quite fortuitous since the two stars of the scene (Hope Davis and Toby Jones who looked like an absolute perfect clone of Truman Capote) ended up walking right in front of us as the passed. Score! There is no way that I will not be seen in this movie unless they completely cut the scene out. There were many takes and as with all movies, much waiting in between. Another good sign that I must have been in the picture a lot is that I got several notes from the crew member handling our section such as “tone it down a little when you’re hailing the cab so as not to distract attention from the leads”, and a few other notes which indicated that I was definitely being seen and thus scrutinized heavily.
Though I was only in the background, I was genuinely acting. Rance and I would walk along engrossed in our mimed conversation, gesticulating with purpose. We would reach our mark, say our goodbyes (linger as the two leads passes mere feet next to us), and he would go off to his imaginary job, while I tried to get the attention of the cab driver who just wouldn’t stop and pick me up. Instead he drove on and some other girl got in and stole my cab! I could hardly blame him as she was very pretty, but I still acted indignant and annoyed, and proceeded to look for another cab down the road.
In the end it was a good time even if it was a tease. I enjoyed meeting and talking with Rance, and I might finally make it in a movie without being cut out (knock on your crossed wooden fingers). Though it can be painful and taunting, I know I will do it again. I am an actor. Actors must perform, and given the chance to be a part of a movie, even as what equates to just being part of the scenery, we are drawn like sailors to the siren on the rocks. Like moths to the flame. Like bad writers to extraneous similes.
Charlie would have kept buying those chocolate bars too, hoping that Wonka would someday give another tour, and when that day came, Charlie might just open that wrapper and see the corner of something gold.
*EDIT*
I feel the need to share this entry from Wil Wheaton’s blog as it’s nice to see the other side of the coin sometimes. I love to see things going well, and people finding satisfaction in their endeavors. It made me feel good just to read this and live vicariously through him! Nice counterpoint to the incessant whining I can sometimes do here.

Bah! You L.A. folks better not pass this up!

Yet another reason I need to be in L.A. Post haste! Eddie Izzard in L.A.!

Eddie will be performing next wednesday, thursday, friday and saturday (March 2nd – 5th) at:

The Coronet Theatre
366 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Tickets available starting Monday, February 28th at 17:00 PST and are priced at $25.

TO BOOK CALL (US): 310.657.7377. NOW!

Time

Sometimes not enough
Sometimes more than you can bear
Let’s install a knob

Pimp-ku

A musician whore
Playing to please the masses
Fat wads of cash, though

More Karma with 42% More Misanthropy

For the record, while I’m a bit grumpy and misanthropic today, this post probably sounds much more gloomy than I actually feel. Just a heads up that in reality I’m doing pretty damn good, and am not in some kind of deep funk or anything.
I realized today that I hate people. This includes most of my friends who I really like. I hate them too. They’re all annoying. Let me ‘splain.
Most of our friends fall into at least one if not several of the following categories:

  • Have or are having children
  • Are impossible to get a hold of
  • Have their lives dictated by other people
  • Are so hard to coordinate any time with that launching a space shuttle or getting a bill through congress look easy by comparison
  • Live or are going to live very far away (very far ranging from 30 minutes to another country)
  • A litany of other self absorbed selfish gripes

Take my cousin for example (as a complete side note, I absolutely can not write “cousin” without writing “cousing” and then correcting it).
Now I only use him as an example because a)he illustrates many of my points, b) he is the most amusing example, and c) I don’t think he ever reads this. So this not to pick on him, just to illustrate my point.
He has always been like a brother to me and is one of my favorite people in the world to hang out with. I thought it would be so great when we moved to Austin because then I’d get to see him all the time! The first barrier to this is getting a hold of him. It is such a farce that we’ve come to call it the “Casey lottery”. If we do actually reach him we jump and yell and celebrate winning the Casey Lottery. As you could probably guess, Casey does not have a cell phone, nor does he want one, and in fact is vehemently against owning one, bu that’s another story.
The strangest part of the fact that he is never home is that when we do see him he usually can’t ever stay away from home for very long because he has to get back to take care of his pets. This makes any kind of trip out of town next to impossible. There is a whole sub-irony to that fact due to how often he is watching other friend’s pets for them while their gone (which seems very often), so you would think he’d have a plethora of people willing to do the same. He can’t ever leave home for too long, and yet he’s never home. It’s a mystery/enigma burrito. Of course we often hear about other trips he took to camping or go out of town with other friends, so that pretty much leaves the option that he hates us.
If you do manage to get a hold of him, finding a time to actually do anything with him is a whole other hurdle. Even if we manage to get together with him for some particular purpose (like filming part of our movie yesterday), as soon as business is done he usually has to go. He’s tired. He has to wash clothes. He has to go kick his dog. Again, leading to the inevitable conclusion that he hates us.
Another big part of his presence being as common as ice skating on the river Styx is the fact that he is very popular and unfortunately has many friends who are extremely demanding, guilt trippy and far more aggressive and effective than we are at grabbing his time. He’s obviously hanging out somewhere all the time, but it’s not with us, nor are we ever invited. There’s this whole separate group of friends who we know and like, yet can’t crack into ourselves. It’s the secret Casey society, and we don’t know the handshake.
There was a time when I thought we would make the greatest roommates ever. At one point I proposed this to him since he lived in a three bedroom house all by himself, and he very politely shot me down saying he was enjoying living by himself for the time in his life. That was fair enough actually, but it was kind of the crushing blow that made realize the cold hard truth: My high regard and brotherly affection for my cousin was not a two way street.
This is an important fact. Important because it is a recurring theme in my life. Whenever there is someone I really want to be good friends with, it is rarely ever reciprocated. I’ve written before about being so excited to find old friends and wanting to strike up th old friendship only to be met but polite indifference and only when I initiate contact.
I have decided this must be Karma. Karma because I, in fact, am a totally crap friend. I suck at keeping in touch with people, and have let more great friendships fall by the wayside than some people ever have. So I guess it’s only right that the people who I really want to hang out with and get to know better, or foster real lasting friendships with don’t always feel the same way. It was quite a realization to me. If you believe in anything like karma then it really does fit.
Thus I have become a huge misanthrope and it only seems to get worse as I get older. People are annoying. Even my friends. They probably say the same about me.

I was in L.A.!

Unfortunately it was only in my dream last night. I dreamt Jess and I went on a whim to visit the lovely Kleinseseseses and when we got there Min was there too! So the big question is: Where the hell were you Soupy?

Film time!

Once again the Kinetoscopic Wonderment festival draws nigh (for those who don’t know my film won Best Film and People’s Choice at the first fest last year). I didn’t think I would be able to get anything together this year, but in a last minute push I wrote a script I like and am scrambling to get it all filmed and edited by the deadline at the end of March. I’m really afraid that there’s no way I can get it in under the ten minute mark, but we’ll tackle that bit of track when we get to it. This train is a’rolling, baby!

I Boycott Valentine’s Day

I have officially decided that I no longer want anything to do with Valentine’s day. Jess and I were talking about it last night, and I think we pretty much agreed that it’s a totally fabricated holiday just to make you spend money on cliches such as flowers, candy and other things which mysteriously go up in price in February. We both really just felt like sitting around the house and watching Lost (which we downloaded since we missed it last week) and 24 on TV, so that’s just what we did. We picked up some food so Jess didn’t have to cook, watched some TV and snuggled on the couch. It was nice.
I also really identified with Will Smith’s take on it in my People magazine. He and his wife don’t do Valentine’s either. They’d rather do the same kinds of romantic things, but do them spontaneously. I totally agree with that. I don’t want to to do something because I’m supposed to do it on this particular date. Not to mention that things like going out to dinner are exponentially more of a pain in the ass when everyone else is trying to do it on the same night.
The point is that I am all for romantic gestures and gifts, but do them of your own free will when it will be a surprise, not when the commercial holiday factory tells you that you have to or else you’re a bad person.
In conclusion, I love my wife and the fact that we agree on this just reinforced all the reasons which I do. I enjoyed our simple night at home far more than any templated idea of how we should have spent the evening. [mob voice]Valentine’s day is dead to me.[/mob voice]

Fun in the 80’s!

We went to a friend’s birthday party tonight touted as the 20th anniversary of her 21st birthday. Therefore, we were encouraged to wear out best 80’s gear. I was quite proud of mine, and Grr looked good too!