I acted this weekend. I usually act all week long at work, but this time, I was out on a field with 7 other guys playing fake flag football while reciting lines and standing in the right light for the camera. I don't do this kind of stuff normally.
I woke at 6 am on both Saturday and Sunday and made it to the location by 645am. I had no idea what to expect, besides that it would be extremely cold and I'd have to be angry when Casey Gooden told me to be. After all, he's the director and I was one of eight people in an ensemble piece.
But my friend, whom I seldom text and rarely call yet often email, decided that he would like for me to read a part for his short film. The part was for an angry a-hole of a dude.
But acting angry and being an a-hole is rather easy for me. I find it fun and fun-ny at the exact precise time. I think anyone that gets worked up over small stuff is pretty hilarious. Being out of line is heavenly. Being in line is boring and makes me yawn.
I'm not really an a-hole and am not really angry in real life, but I wondered if Casey thought of me as such? I decided I wouldn't look too far into it and took it for what it was: an opportunity to make people laugh. I like to jump at those.
I read the script with him and he liked the way I read it, so he told me to come do what I just did in front of a camera for him.
This made me happy because I liked what he wrote. Truth be told, I don't think he could have presented a 'bad' script to me. For the most part, if you're interested in acting at any stage, any script given to you in hopes that you might play a role in the script is a GREAT script. Eh, that's not really true, but sounded right when I first thought about it. There are bad scripts out there. Terrible in fact. This just wasn't one of them.
All was well. Except for one problem. I never was a fan of being ON camera. Now, I've only been on-camera 'acting' one time in my life and it was for a school project at Ringling where Rosscoe Pike and myself dressed up as the Crocodile hunters and explored the jungle of Sarasota for a project. We got a B on that tape and I wish that I still had it, because it was FUNNY. Other than that, I've got nothing.
I mean, I like as much attention as the next guy, but when I'm supposed to deliver that performance on cue? That's a different story. I've always craved the spotlight when nobody has it. In that situation, I'll attempt to grab it. But when I'm on the spot, and people are expecting something gold from me? Eh, no thanks. I'll pass. I'd rather not dance for you today, sir.
I'd rather smile and wait till the spotlight moves over only to grab it when it's on Bill or Linda. Rebellious? I don't know. It's kinda weird, but that's how I thought I was. It's funny how little you know yourself sometimes.
We shot for a day and a half in Dallas in 50 degree weather and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Yes I botched lots of takes. Sure my legs are jello from running in cleats for 15 hours. And yes my ribs sting when I cough. And of course I spurt blood out of my ears from 5 too many fake tackles of a beastly man named Scott, but hot dammit, this short was worth it.
It's nice to get to know people that are driven to do something when they're not FORCED. People work 9-5 jobs to support themselves. They're forced to do something they don't love because it will pay the bills. Wellp, nobody was forced to come out and act all weekend. We did it because we WANTED to be there. And that will make all the difference with anything and everything I do in life.
I've been looking for purity a lot lately, and I think that shooting this film was right up there. We did it for the joy of doing it. If it gets into 10 festivals, great. If it gets into one, great.
Just as long as someone sees it and connects to it, either on a humorous level or maybe deeper, then I'd think that my job as an actor was done and that Casey's job as a writer/director was as well.
We'll see how it all turns out--I'll have more info as it nears it's completion and when I get the news myself.