Friday, November 30, 2012

Hollyweird - Commentary

Do you know that the area around the Hollywood 
sign is haunted by a ghost? I should write a blog 
post about that.

The reason I'm writing this blog post is to explain my hiatus.

Yes, I've taken a long time to post. Aside from being a freelance rock & roll journalist (that is not completely true, but I'm going to keep saying that I'm a "freelance rock & roll journalist" until it's more profitable to be one), I'm also a film actor, and that takes time.

"Takes time" means double for me in that it takes time to "make it" as a film actor (whatever "make it" means, depending on who you are) but it also takes a lot of time from other things you do. Things like family, friends, hobbies and writing.

What really funked me up to no end is that I finally got a real live, breathing, professional agent. So now I'm driving to Beverly Hills or driving to work at some studio or driving to the site of some shoot at 3 am (between hair, make up and technical whatever, a morning shoot usually starts the night before) and then going home, only to check my email or get a call from my agent and find out I have to go to another shoot or another audition.

A one-day film shoot typically takes 10 hours, minimum. It takes a lot longer than that for the technical people. However, for action sequences and shots that are outdoors involving lots of people, the shoots can go beyond 14 hours, easily. For the film Angels & Demons, where I played a member of the Swiss guard (the ones who look like members of the Secret Service in dark suits wearing sunglasses, holsters and a very conservative haircut) I worked from 6 pm to 6 am, plus an hour and a half of driving, for nearly two weeks. I didn't write much during that time, either.

My point is, I haven't written a lot because now I'm doing more "real" acting, as opposed to the extra work I did years ago, and it's a drag because my blog is languishing and I missed writing for it, although I'm still doing a lot of professional writing...which has also taken a toll on the blog.

What's worse is (or better) is since I'm now doing a lot of "real" acting, I'm also doing a lot more acting involving shooting at people with firearms, getting shot, acting sequences, chase scenes and whatnot because I'm getting typecast as the soldier type, agent, mercenary, etc.

"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."

Because those are really complicated affairs, that means I've been even more busy, and then I get back home and I'm so physically exhausted from having some other actor beat me up and/or knock me down that I don't want to type a lot, either.

The time off was cool, though, because film acting is what I want to do and because it allowed me to come up with ideas for the blog, to make it better for visitors.

Now the season is winding down for the holidays, when Hollywood takes a break from filming until February. There's still commercial work, but I'm not going to count my blessings before they happen.

What's weird is that the Angels & Aliens posts have been really popular. Everyone seems to love those, so I'm going to write them more and more often. The guide to Skinny Puppy essays have also been popular, so its time to write more of those.

There's my story. Sorry to talk about acting, this isn't an acting blog so I don't want to get into that subject, but I wanted to explain why I've been absent so often. No, I'm not a massively successful actor that you recognize from a billboard or blockbuster film, but neither is 95% of the rest of the actors in Hollywood, most of the time.

I can't imagine anyone would want to read the blog of a person who's still working in the mail room, if you were to liken Hollywood as some sort of corporation. I'm not talking to an A-lister (or a B-lister or even a C-lister) on a big silver screen, and I'm not in the credits of a hit sitcom or cable channel exclusive, although I've been on shows like Dexter and Monk a lot as a uniformed cop and detective, so you've probably seen my mug.

I'm sorry to break your heart but they don't actually 
film the entire show in Miami, Florida. 

A lot of what I do these days is running around looking like a cop, soldier, FBI agent, scientist or hitman, or wearing a business suit if the show takes place in an office setting. My usual line is, "Yes, sir." I've done plenty of extremely independent films and have had lots of lines (including, dare I say, genuine "acting") but other than that, bands are more interesting to read about than my cool self because I haven't done a terrific amount of professional acting, compare to a lot of the people I take acting classes with.

In conclusion, the problem with acting is that the more work you get, the more you have to work, because the professional jobs take a lot of time. I'm talking 17 hour days, sometimes. But the season is slowing down so soon there will be more posts by yours truly.

I'm the scientist who looks like he's about to beat that
leprechaun up at the end of the video.