Thursday, March 10, 2005

My buddy Bags lives four blocks away, but we hadn’t hung out in a while, so I called him up and we met at the Thai place up the street. Over dinner, we reminisced about the great writing gig where we met, the crappy corporate peon work we’ve endured, and the good ol’ days, when we were both on the dole and could spend all afternoon guzzling coffee and reminiscing about jobs we didn’t have anymore.

Then we talked about what we were writing these days, and Bags said he’s just finished a script for a short film he plans to direct. He told me the idea; I said it sounded cool. Great, he said, did I want to be in it?

What, like an extra or something?

No, he tells me he wants me to play the lead. Was he shitting me? He gets me the script -- the character’s name is Mike. And his last name is similar to mine. Bags said my name sounded right for the guy; he just hoped I would wanna do it. He wrote the damn thing with me in mind. How could I say no?

I won’t go into too many details, in case this thing makes a splash at Sundance and I’d lose anonymity, but it’s an interesting short. The character has no dialogue, but he’s in every scene, reacting to it all. There’s a scene that makes use of his shaved head -- was that why he cast me? But that’s not entirely vital to the role. Bags said, “You’ve got this great expressive face.” Nice one, Mr. DeMille, prop up your actor like a good director.

I’m excited; it’ll be a blast. But what’s weird is that I didn’t set out to do any acting. My dream job is to be behind the camera -- write, hopefully direct, maybe produce... yet every now and then I get cast in things, and I swear, I never even had to sleep with the director... I've done some low-budget direct-to-video schlock or independent shorts. Bags has seen my work, as well as the indie feature I produced several years ago. Considering we made it for no money, it turned out pretty well, went to some festivals...

That's me on the set with the editor (looking through our 16mm camera). He and I produced the film with the director, with whom I wrote the script. Oh yeah, I played one of the leads in that film, too. Maybe I oughta rethink these career goals of mine...


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