Actor/Musician

No dialogue short film

Periodically a producer friend likes to issue challenges as a sort of learning experience. Recent he challenged my friend Chris to make two short films, one with no dialogue, and one with only 30 seconds of picture and the rest just dialogue.
The first one has a rough cut finished. We shot this in one afternoon. Written and Directed by Chris Thompson.
I find it quite amusing. I’m the burglar, by the way.

So close…

I went to a read through of this film I’m doing the other day and one of the other cast members was a guy I’d worked with once before. In the course of conversation he told me that he had just been hired as Ed Harris’s stand in on the new movie, “Appaloosa” which Ed Harris was directing and starring in along with Viggo Mortenson, Renee Zellweiger, Lance Henrikson and Jeremy Irons.
Last night I got a call from someone who I’ve done a lot of extras work for asking my height and weight. She told me that she needed a stand in for Ed Harris because the first guy’s mother had just just died. I told her I had just been talking to the first stand in the other day and was sorry to hear that.
I was excited about the prospect but also nervous. The original casting call had said they needed someone who was 5’9″, 155 and preferably balding. I am 5’10”, 165 and have a thick head of hair. My contact told me that she just didn’t have many guys of the right frame so I should be close enough. She told me to wear the flattest shoes I had and keep my hair as low as I could get it.
About 30 minutes later she called me and told me that the first guy wanted to go ahead and work but that she didn’t feel right about him going in despite his mother just dying and she couldn’t understand how he would want to go ahead and work under those circumstances. She asked how well I knew him and what I thought about the situation. She said she was just worried that maybe he thought he wanted to go in but then might have a freak out on set or something. As much as I wanted this job (and could use the money) I told her that I understood where he was coming from. If I was in his situation I would not want to just sit and dwell on it. I would rather go and be doing something I loved and something that I was excited about and would make me feel better and perhaps help me deal with it better. She understood and agreed with me that it wasn’t really her place to make that decision for him and she certainly didn’t want to take the job away from him. I also told her that though I really wanted the job, I also didn’t want to take it from someone who had it first and who could probably really use it now. That would be a double whammy to lose his mom and then a cool job too. She said she’d call him back and tell him he was back on. I felt like I’d done the right thing. Luckily I didn’t have too much time to get too excited about it.
My condolences to you, Anthony. I hope you at least had a good time on set to ease your mind.

Acting as a confidence builder?

Most people talk about how brutal acting is because you encounter more rejection than anything else. I’m in the unusual situation of actually having build my confidence in my abilities since, so far,about 95% of my auditions have resulted in me being cast and I also have people just outright calling me and asking me to be in their films without even auditioning sometimes. I realize this will like all get worse as I get further into my career but at the moment, it’s pretty sweet.

Rare public band gig on December 1!

I realize that most of you can’t make it to College Station on December first but for anyone who can or who wants to join the convoy heading from Austin to College Station that day, my band which usually plays all private functions is having a public gig at Hullabaloos. It’s going to be a huge blast of a party where we get to pull out all the stops and play all our best stuff. Come join us!

Hey! I like the Discovery Channel!

Today I saw a casting notice that piqued my interest:

The Discovery Channel is looking for talented hosts (Men, women, actors, hosts, comedians!) to star in its next, long running hit series.
We are searching for charismatic individuals à la Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” or the team from “Mythbusters.” We don’t, however, want CLONES of those hosts. The most important elements of our search are that:
1. The talent MUST feel authentic and relatable to middle America. They should be the type of fun and engaging host that you want to be your friend!
2. The talent MUST be able to host a show that is visceral, challenging and exciting. They have to be willing to try anything!

I’m sure it’s a big lottery but never the less I sent an email. I was just going to send some links to some of my stuff online but then I decided that wasn’t good enough so I edited together a demo of my best “hosting” moments from “Movie Musketeers” since that seemed relevant, as well as a link to my rough acting demo (damn, I need to update that) and a link to our whole youtube catalog just in case they want to browse or view some things in their entirety.
I’m sure the chances are slim to none, but it can’t hurt to try! That would just be too cool.

“Birthright” is online!

The Victorian era film I did, “Birthright“, is now online for viewing. I think I explained before how this was the team that won the Austin round of the 48 hour Film competition and so this was the next round where we compete nationally. On Friday evening we received our Genre, certain props, story points, and a details that we had to use. As the director said, I’m not sure how much sense it will make to anyone not in on all the details we were saddled with, and quite frankly, I’m kind of worried that they might just throw us out for not fulfilling the requirements they gave us (whether or not we met some of the requirements could be argued and hard to “prove” either way; for example, our genre was “comedy/action/adventure” and I’m not so sure I would say it meets that; we were also supposed to have “adhesive tape” in the film and while we technically did in the scene where she cuts open a package, I don’t know if that’s obvious enough to the judges.)
I also composed and recorded the score for the film in a couple of hours on Sunday.

I got the role? Really?

I had two auditions recently that I didn’t necessarily feel very good about. One of them was a film that had auditions two days in a row. I couldn’t make it the first day but I heard there were a lot of people who showed up. I was there first thing on the second day and the director was finishing up his lunch. His casting director wasn’t there but he went ahead and auditioned me anyway. He didn’t have a camera there which was unusual since people usually record auditions. In addition he read all the other parts opposite me so most of the time he was looking at the paper, I thought, and so I was worried that he couldn’t really watch my performance. I figured if I was going to be cast it would have be from his memory since there would be no footage and his casting director wasn’t there to give her input. I wasn’t sure how that would work. I could see the director talking to his casting director, “I want to cast this guy as Mike. You’ve never seen him. He came in while you weren’t there. There’s no camera footage of him, but trust me, he’ll be a great Mike.” I at least felt generally good about my performance though. I got the email yesterday that I got the part.
My second audition was more unsettling. Initially the director had sent me the first 20 pages and asked if it sounded like something I would be interested in. I said it was and then never heard anything else other than the open audition dates. I showed up figuring they would have some audition sides there for people to read. When I went in it became apparent that he expected me to have something prepared from the script. I think another general notice had gone out with links to audition sides, but the link had been problematic for a lot of people and I had never seen the sides. I had seen the first 20 pages but since it was just to see if I would be interested in the script so I didn’t think I’d be expected to just memorize the first 20 pages. It was kind of an awkward exchange and I felt really uncomfortable because I like to be very professional and prepared and I felt like I looked really unprofessional and unprepared.
The director was very gracious and fished out some bits for me to read. After the audition he told me he’d like me to send him some additional pictures mainly because he envisioned the character differently (possibly obese, maybe with glasses) so he wanted to see some other looks on me since he said he likes to go with the best actor more than a particular look. Though he was very gracious, I didn’t leave feeling very hopeful about that role.
I got the email today offering me the role. I guess you just never know!

I’m taking up smoking…

…for one scene in the short film I’m filming tonight. I’d rather not but I think it was inevitable that at some point in my career I would have to smoke in a scene. I’m just hoping that I can make it look believable and no cough my guts out. They liked my current facial hair configuration (leftover from my Victorian shoot, sideburns and mustache but not chin hair, whatever that’s called)so I’m keeping it at least until Monday. I play a car thief mentoring a younger thief.

My latest film adventures

Today I shot a film with the team that won the 48 hour film challenge for Austin and therefore went on to the next round. We were filming a short film for the national round today. Friday night we received our instructions on what genre our film had to be and some other details we had to follow. The writers wrote until about 1 a.m. and we filmed it today. It was a lot of fun and I got to do some more fun improving that seemed to please everyone.
I think I forgot to mention that on the last short film I did I got to do some great improving also and especially the scene Larry and I had together had everyone in stitches. Many takes were ruined by crew members laughing and the Director of Photography said we could have sold tickets.
and now some crappy phone camera pics from the set:

More >

So I do have some semblance of a career!

After all the doom and gloom here I figured I owed it to everyone to share the meager good that comes along with my giant heapin’ o’ bad.
First off I just finished starring in a really fun short film where I feel I did some really great comedic work. It felt good. I think it’s really going to be good and I met a ton of really cool people that I hope I remain friends with. As far as I know I will also be doing a feature film with many of these people in the beginning of next year. Great people, great experience.
Secondly, I just got the checks for my first paying gigs through my agency and they were even more money than I thought I was getting! Almost as much as I used to make in two weeks.
Though it’s hard for me to see anything but the gray haze of doom currently blinding me, I do try and take time to recognize and be thankful for all the wonderful things bestowed upon my life.