Monday, June 18, 2007

Dim Footlights

My producing partner and I recently went to see a play in Pasadena. One of the principals was an old friend of hers so we wanted to support him and also see if he might be someone we'd cast in our film projects. She had a hunch he'd be perfect for a particular part.

The play managed to be preachy, self-indulgent, and unoriginal. But the friend did indeed display the kind of intensity we were looking for. In the end, we milled in the lobby waiting to greet him. Hugs and handshakes were exchanged and we told him about the project and the lead role we were considering him for. He talked about my partner's new address. And then expounded about how he'd forgotten to eat that day. He never asked about the film or even about us.

Meanwhile, the lead actress from the play came up and essentially did her best to cock-block us from any further conversation with him. Ooooo, theatre company drama! I mentioned to her a girl part we had and she proceeded to be flippant and icy, answering my "how old are you anyway?" with a shrug and smirk that I think she thought was meant to be sassy and cute. Then she turned her back to me and went on and on to the old friend/actor about how her performance was so amazing tonight because she smeared dirt on her hands and she doesn't normally do that.

"Oh yeah, wow," he agreed, "great idea, great job."

My partner said our goodbyes and walked back to my car for the long drive back from Pasadena.

"Was that weird?"

"Yeeeeeeeesssss."

Here we were, two nascent producers talking about potential film roles and these two actors did nothing to endear themselves to us or even connect with us. We are both former actors and understand what it takes both on the performance and business side. We also know first-hand how freakish actors can be. As a former theatre kid, even I now say: what's the point? No one cares about theatre on the west coast. Even as a writer, why would you bother writing a play when you could write a screenplay? No one here cares. Call me crazy, but I want to be more relevant than that.

"How stupid are they?" My partner wondered aloud what we were both thinking.

We sat for a moment before it hit me.

"There's a reason they're doing theatre in Pasadena."

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1 Comments:

Blogger Kid Sis said...

With friends like that...


You forgot Pretentious, with a $60 price tag and no offer of coffee or dinner to say thanks.

Someday I'm going to teach a whole course to out of work actors on how to learn to think about someone else for a change.

I'll hire a polite, competent actor any day over a good c you next tuesday. There's just too much competition with people as good or better than the chippy with the attitude.

1:41 AM  

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