The Art Chose Me!


The heat in L.A for the past few days has been fun-funking-real, it has been ridiculously warm, record temperatures. I had an acting class on Tuesday night, so I chose that that would be my most productive part of the day. However, I also chose not to use my brain much more that day as I seemed to forget about previous errors. Even though I knew it was roasting outside, and knew from the week before that it would be roasting in the acting studio, plus the fact that I should really have learnt from my previous mistake, I still somehow wore a light blue t-shirt to the class. Coincidence, maybe. Stupidity, definitely.

Luckily for me and my dodgy knee, the class is close by, walking distance from my house. Half way there, it started to kick in how hot it still was, even though it was almost 7. This kicked off the whole why did I wear this t-shirt, I am feeling the heat this soon, great colour to show it off. I contemplated going home to change quickly, opted not to, late as it was with my dodgy knee holding me back, I better hurry. And hurry I did, as fast as I could. Trying so fast, and being so focused, to get to the class on time, I almost ran/hobbled right into a dog and the owner outside the acting studio entrance, straight up the stairs, into class, hadn’t started yet, on time, wuu huu.

Sat down at the back, most of the other seats were taking, squeezed in between two girls. Got ready in my seat, and started to feel the flushes of heat coming on from the dead air in the studio, it was like a sauna. Then noticed I was already roasting from rushing there. I then noticed that there was some smell of s**t, who the funk was that off, the heat in the room was making it even worse too. The two girls either side of me seemed to notice as well. The teacher coughs to indicate time to start the class and first scene. We’re all looking at each other, shrugging shoulders, do you smell that? Yeah, me too, what the funk, who or what is making that smell… why are they both looking at me? Sniff sniff, it does seem strong from where I’m sitting, that’s weird. Good God this heat is too much, the smell is over bearing, why did I wear a light blue t-shirt again, and where is the smell coming from?!! Why have both girls tried to move their seats away a bit, let me check, oh that’s it, good work, there’s a big pile of dog s**t on the sole of my right runner. 

The class has started, everyone has hushed to watch the first scene to be critiqued, I can’t leave now and wash it off, I can only sit there in the heat, sweating buckets, stinking the place out with my runner, and watch. It is a 4 hour class, and I know from the last class that the only break is half way, sorry girls, I apologize in advance.

Thankfully, the first dude up in front of the camera takes everybody’s mind off everything else one could possibly think of, and just think “What the funk is going on?” Its the annoying guy from last week, the Antonio Banderas/Jesus from the big Lebowski dude. He is on stage so to speak, warming up for the scene apparently, doing weird yoga movements and flailing arm movements, wearing his boxers and a shower cap. The teacher gives him an action, and he just stares at the crowd (us). We look back to see him in the action. But he just keeps on staring, intensely, as if its a will of nerves. The teacher gives him another “Go, action!”. Still nothing. Eventually the camera man stands up, waves at him, go buddy, you’re up, come on to funk! He snaps out of it, takes the shower cap off, puts back on his clothes, and says he is good to go now. I am fairly sure everyone is thinking… Why were you stripped down wearing just your boxers and a shower cap if it was not part of the scene?!!!!

Lights, camera, action, go… and then I see the weirdest performance I think I will ever see. Jesus starts doing a scene that involves him putting on make-up, lipstick, tights, and speaking Spanish. I presume everyone else is also thinking now.. he must be playing a Spanish transvestite. Apparently not. When the scene is over, the teacher more or less asks him, what the funk was that? A Spanish transvestite? No, don’t insult me, Jesus replies. Ok, explain so. This is where it gets a bit Tropic Thunder… he was actually speaking English, and is playing a role of a woman who is pretending to be another woman. So, he is a guy pretending to be a woman, who is in fact pretending to be another woman. No-one can still understand what is going on, so the teacher asks a simple question… Why did you choose this role?!

“Hummmmmm, I did not choose this role, the role chose me. I do not choose to be an actor, I am merely an instrument for this art. The art chose me” To be honest, I was impressed with his waffling, bulls**t answer, how could you not admire such crap. In fairness, he could talk a good game. However, all he did the week before was critique other people and be ridiculously annoying. This week, later in the class he is the exact same, humming at people, interrupting the teacher whenever good points are being made… I did not pay good money to listen to your hummms!!! Oh yeah, I didn’t actually pay for this class, wuu huu! When Jesus did the scene again, one more go to do it better this time, he was just as bad as the first go, if not worse. Which led me to believe my theory is still right, bad actors are apes. They must think I am some muppet, ha.

Next scene was highly boring. A German guy and an Australian girl did some random scene, which bored me senseless. And also seemed to bore the girl next to me. Who was quite hot. So, when the scene finished up, and to make sure she didn’t doze off, I sparked off some small talk. That was fairly brutal, I was almost asleep listening to his monotone voice, you know… “That is my bruder, what are you trying to say?” Balls, I knew she had a German look off her. Oh, I mean, your bruder wasn’t bad, it was just this heat, and the monotone, and… that smell of s**t is not actually me by the way, there was this dog outside, and… She doesn’t care, she thinks I am an ape, ha. What do I really think of your bruder’s work? I stepped in it outside!

Luckily, it was time for a break. When I came back from outside and sat at my seat, I noticed that the two girls either side of me had moved places, I wonder why, girls, I cleaned my runner during the break!!! In their place, Jesus, still wearing make-up from the scene he did, but thankfully, fully clothed. I thought the fresh air at the break might have helped the heat problem I was having, but nay, the buckets of sweat were still streaming out of me, it was like a sauna!!!

The teacher re-started the class asking questions, telling stories of relevance to the previous etc. He needed a scene example, to compare an example he gave, could anyone think of one? I had the perfect one in my head, from an episode of the Office I watched earlier that day. So when I piped up, the teacher hushed people down to let me speak. And the camera man/light man swung a light he was working on in my direction, for the laugh, he is a funny fellow. And I felt the eyes of the class descend. And the heat kick in. And remaining whiffs of the smell off my runner seemed to get worse at that moment. And while I told my example, I realized while speaking it out loud, that no, it was not really the example he was looking for, at all. 

I might as well have had a fountain spurting water out of the top of my head at this moment. All of the above combined, had me dripping in sweat, lovely I know (I wasn’t the only one affected or anything, but it was bad). I’ll just finish up this scene example that actually isn’t what he was looking for at all, and we can all get back to the scenes. Until the teacher interrupts me, and asks if I am okay, am I sick? I’m great, not sick, it’s very hot though, woah, any air conditioning? “The Irish guy from last week, right?” Yes indeed, very hot isn’t it? “You re hungover man, that’s whats wrong with you, you Irish! Was it whiskey or Guinness, which one man? You are covered in the cold sweats, you need a drink, someone get him a Jameson!” Oh Jesus, I haven’t had a drink in days, this is not a hangover, I just can’t handle this heat, but seeing as you gave me an excuse, I will use it… Yeah, I am sooooo hungover, woah, too much whiskey with me leprechaun last night, holy begorra, us Irish huh, top o the morning, I’ll be fine, back to the scenes, toor a loor, everyone stop looking at me.

Got away with it, I think. After class I could see people no longer looked at me dripping in sweat like I was a weirdo. They now gave me a smile, and a knowing look, he’s okay, he’s Irish, that’s just drink sweating out of him. I was a bit dizzy by the end of the class, lost a lot of fluids after 4 hours in the sauna. Some sound, normal Swiss guy came up to me asking about the scene from The Office and started going on about stand-up. I had just signed up for my stand-up debut next week, so I was interested in the talk. He was going to see Sarah Silverman over the weekend, I should come along and get some pointers from her! Sounds good man, what day are you going? Not sure yet, ok text me shur, here’s my number, cool I’ll take yours too!! Can’t wait, text me so and let me know what day and the time. Where’s it on? Oh, I’m not sure where that is, I can meet you somewhere beforehand. Cool man, sounds good! Its a dat… balls. Its a man date. Oh Jesus. No, not that Jesus, he didn’t get the invite.

Here are two songs that I will hopefully cleverly mix tomorrow for my DJ set, re de de, it shall be good if it comes off, horrendous if I fail…

Lollipop by The Chordettes

Lolli Lolli (Morsy Mix) by Three 6 Mafia (I actually like this chorus for some reason)

A Toothbrush Away From A Great, Great Day!

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Finally, a day to write home about. Today has been a turn-up for the books – productive, full to the brim, and almost nothing weird or stupid happened. Almost. 

In L.A, it is all about the meetings. Meetings and projects. Everyone is having meetings, working on projects, or having meetings about projects. I too have meetings and projects everyday, but my projects seem to involve meetings that do not benefit me in the slightest. Not today though, the tables were turned.

I was up at the crack of dawn, about half 9, for a meeting I had this morning. Jumped out of bed, forgetting about my leg, and thought it was about to snap like a twig when I put weight on it. Down like a sack of potatoes I go, wasting valuable time. Not wanting to be late (again), I started to multi task to try and make up on lost time. This went well. While brushing my teeth, and listening to some spam voicemail on my phone, I decided to go to the bathroom at the same time, how hard could it be. Hard enough standing up with a brittle leg and dodgy knee. Phone on my shoulder and pressing my ear down on it to hold it safe, toothbrush in my mouth , and hips maneuvering around, things started off well.

Lasted about half a minute. My bathroom window is located across and a bit below somebody’s sitting room in the building next door. When I looked out the window casually, I saw a girl on the phone looking out her window. Our eyes met, I got a bit of a shock, the sudden movement sent a shudder through my knee, which caused me to buckle a bit, phone falls off my shoulder, I reach out to grab it, at the same time the toothbrush drops out of my mouth, I forget to reach for this, catch the phone, my toilet catches my toothbrush. The girl can see all this, I have no curtain in my bathroom, good work out of me. Flush the toilet, fish the toothbrush out, will I rinse it, ha, no, better dump it. Actually, on my budget a toothbrush is a luxury item, will I rinse it… no, I think she’s still looking, better dump it to keep up with the Joneses and all!

No time to waste mourning the loss of a dear friend, I scuttle off to my meeting. The meeting is with a writer/mentor guy I have met before who gave me great advice. Which I did not heed as much as I should have. I am given one last chance, make the meeting on the button for 11, good sign. I have my assignments ready, some are okay, I get grilled on other sections, it is brilliant though, exactly what I need to hear. I am then given an outline and map of what I need to do. I now have a list of 19 bullet points of things I need to do to get where I want to be. Some are big, others are small, but if I cover all bases, do what is required and what I know now is exactly needed to do, I think I can get to where I want to be. Which is a savage thing to have laid out in front of you. These bullets points range from stop being a procrastinating ape, to neutralizing my accent at times to make sure my point is not lost in translation. Every aspect was covered in the two hours. It was savage to hear it all. After the meeting I was funking pumped.

When I get back to my house, things got even better. I am offered a job from Thursday until Sunday. This day is going superbly well and its not even 2 o’clock. The job actually pays money too, depending on how many items I sell. And what is it that I shall be selling…? Shamwows! For anyone who doesn’t know what they are, enjoy this video.

Should be funny enough, I must study the guy’s facial expression and enthusiasm to make sure I sell enough of them to make some bobs. Shamwow on!!!

I was on a roll, surely I should just cut my losses and go to bed at 4 in the afternoon to make sure I didn’t ruin the day. However, about an hour later I find out that one of the acting classes I went to audit before I was in Mexico, are offering me to audit a few more classes if I like. Once again, for free, so I surely will (the classes cost almost $100 per class if you break it down so getting them for free is highly recommended). It is in the Lee Strasberg acting school, the scene of all the crying and nutters that actually turned out to be good in the end (if you don’t remember, read the madness here).

The class I am auditing is for TV and Film Acting. Sounds perfect. Except for the fact that, once again, the acting studio has no air conditioning, it is like a sauna. However, besides that, it is far and away the best class I have been to, it is brilliant! The teacher is young compared to all the other teachers so far (late 20’s), and he is definitely the best. No crap or bulls**t like all the others, his advice is spot on, and the direction he gives after seeing a scene once is savage, improves all the actors who are involved. Plus he gave interesting side stories, not boasting like some of others (for example, Heath Ledger used Clockwork Orange as his inspiration for the Joker, used to be playing all the time in his trailer during filming).

A downside was sitting next to a gimp, who kept eating popcorn and slurping a drink, claiming to not understand me when I asked him to stop, I am still working on the neutralizing part of my accent. And he kept, kept, kept panting and saying “Hmmmm” for no apparent reason, to himself. He was the spitting image of this dude from the Big Lebowski.

A German guy livened things up a good bit too. He had a scene prepared, which he actually did well, bar the fact he couldn’t make himself cry for the big finale. After the final effort he had at doing it – Cuuuut, next week maybe Jurgen – he freaked at himself that he couldn’t cry, and ended up freaking so much that his eyes watered up and he left the room whimpering, two minutes too late though. It was nuts but a good laugh to watch. Especially when he got some criticism and advice mixed up, lost in translation. The teacher told him… “You should treat your acting like the act of foreplay, don’t rush the key part and get it over with too quickly, build up to the crying part”. To which he got very offended by, and shouted out that he loves to eat the…, just ask his wife. Ha. The awkward silence that followed was worth going to the class alone, although myself and Jesus next to me couldn’t stop laughing. I have a bucket load of savage notes as well from the rest of the class, 4 hours long and only the last guy wasn’t the May West and a bit boring.

While reading over the notes I had taken on the hobble home, I missed a dip in the path, put all my weight on the bad knee, and faltered like James Brown. It was at this time, while kind of holding my knee and trying to recuperate, on the side of the street in the gay neighborhood that I live in, that two gay dudes in an Escalade pull up next to me, surely to see if I was alright. Window rolls down, a fat gay dude pops his fat gay head out “Hey baby, are you working?” Huh, yeah, how did you know? I got a job selling Shamwows toda… hang on a minute, what the funk do you mean?!!! “Oh my God, I’m so sorry, we thought you were, drive…” and the two apes drive off in a hurry. It’s only when they have taken off in a hurry that it dawns on me what had happened, the dopes. Although, although, it was haunted that I got the good news of the Shamwows job earlier that day, things were looking bleak! Ha. Hang on buddy, I never gave you the price list!!!

All in all, a productive day I must say, I need my sleep after it. Must just brush my teeth first. As I said, I am not yet living the lap of luxury to afford such things as new toothbrushes, so looks like it will have to be the toothpaste on the finger trick for a while. Song of the day… The Plot by White Rabbits