Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Teamwork makes the dream work

Been a little while since my last entry. If there are still any of you out there in the ether following along with my occasional thought dump, I appreciate your patience!

I spent this last weekend performing in LA's 2015 "48 hour Film Festival". The objective? You and any number of your craziest friends can band together and put together a seven minute long short film. You are given a genre (Ours was a detective/Cop drama, picked randomly from a hat), a line of dialog, a character's name, and a prop. All of which must be included in your film as a form of time stamp, to ensure that each team creates their film in the same allotted time...forty eight little hours. Then the craziness begins.
It is an incredible challenge for all involved. As a group, you spitball ideas from minute one. Then you have a working script by minute ninety. The next sixteen to twenty-four hours you spend shooting that sucker, finding props, locations and inspiration all along the way. It is fantastic, energizing, and beyond stressful. Pure film-making.
This was my third time with the same team. It becomes something of a homecoming/family reunion. We know our strengths and weaknesses. We pull together and get things done. This year, alas, our vision outstretched our schedule and we missed our 48 hour window.
It simply didn't matter.
For us, it served merely as a convenient excuse to get together and make some dang delicious art. Everyone, moving in lock-step, firing on all creative-cylinders. It is hard to spend a weekend more perfectly.
As an actor, it provides a beautiful challenge. You have what amount to moments to produce a compelling character. You have to get to the meat of the scene immediately. Make simple, actable choices and deliver without hesitation. For some, that speed can prove daunting. If you welcome the challenge, and are willing to operate in the moment, to give yourself over to the experience, it is an extremely liberating and artistically satisfying event. You learn new things about your art and your tools.
So get your team together and create. Create for the sheer joy of creating. You will learn amazing things about yourself and the art-form you have devoted your every waking moment to. 

Our hero awaits "action", completely unaware of the bloodbath his best suit
would soon find itself the victim of.
The real heroes of the story are the dry-cleaners.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Here's a dollar...

I was in my bedroom the other day, tidying away some clothes. Occasionally I manage to exhibit the bit of domestication my wife has tried to foster in me. In the background I start to become aware of a soft rustling from somewhere in the other room. My seven year old boy is up to something. His mom seems to be encouraging him to do whatever it is.
I go back to my business. Suddenly my son comes running into the room. He is smiling and holds his hand out to me. There is a folded one dollar bill in it.
"This is for your acting, Daddy!"
I am left a little speechless.
My boy is offering to support his Daddy in his dream. For a boy his age, a dollar represents a fortune. Anything can be bought with this. I was touched beyond measure.
That dollar sits on my mirror, reminding me that giving up will never be an option.
If I had a bit of advice to hand out from my little tale, its this:
You're only as good as your team. People love you and support can and will come from the most unexpected of places.