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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What Actors need: Big Thinkin', Big Thinkin'!

El Comandante has been locked up in his bunker for two weeks.  The battle to change the consciousness of self absorbed actors has taken a minor set back.  But, I haven't given up!  Never!

Before I tackle my topic, I just want to address the issue of manners.  Tell me something.  If you noticed a scar or deformity on a total stranger's  face, would you ask them: "How did you get that?" "What happened to your face?"  If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, please leave your email address.  I will contact you so that we can arrange a meeting and I can give you a nice chanclaso upside the head.  Translation:  smack you upside the head with a wooden sandal.  Mind your f'n business.

Not to get to much into this, but I was taking topical meds for a skin condition I may or may not have (thanks to the thorough, loving, care of HMO health care).  It thinned my skin.  The crazy weather conditions in L.A. (warm days, really cold nights), walking in and out of a freezer at work, coupled with the stress of not making enough money to buy my sweetheart a Christmas or anniversary present, or to make the monthly bills, caused my skin to erupt into a burn.  The burn was later infected, so my face turned bright red.  Don't even get me started on the swelling.  

No joke.  I woke up one morning looking like Jake La Motta. My normal, lovely, olive, complexion had been compromised.

  To the bathroom attendant at the Hollywood Parlor on Melrose, formerly El Guapo Cantina (again with the El Guapo!):  MIND YOUR F'N BUSINESS!  Your job is simple.  Smile. Offer me a towel, which I'm capable of getting myself, after you have watched the back of my head while I make Pee Pee.  The only thing you should be asking me is "Would you like a mint or spray of Aqua Di Gio?"


On to the subject at hand.  I've taken workshops with the remarkable, Dallas Travers (http://dallastravers.com/).  One of the many things I have learned from her is that the entertainment industry tries to keep actors into thinking "Small". 

Here are some of the sayings that actors always hear:

"Before you can get an agent, you need more co-star credits."

"If you want to get co-star credits, you need to get an agent to submit you for those roles."

"Build your reel up with student films and indie projects, then try to get an agent."

"Do some small theater and get casting directors to attend, so they can see your work". This hasn't worked for me.  I do theater cause I love to work.

"You need to build up more co-star credits to be considered for a guest star role." 

"Once you have enough guest star credits, you can be submitted for series regular."

"After you've been a series regular you can be considered for a lead in a show."

"Once you're a lead in a show, you'll be exposed and people will start offering you film roles."

Take this in for a second.  If one were to adhere to this Mierda line of thinking, we'd all be six feet under by the time we get recognized for our hard work.  The Academy will be awarding Oscars posthumously to everyone!

Dallas always talks about "Thinking Big".  Swinging for the fences.  Training our minds to not think within the confines of the status quo.  In doing so, you will achieve a "Quantum Leap" in your career.  It happens to us in life.  We make correct decision after correct decision.  Next thing you know, BADA BING! BADA BOOM!  You're getting offers left and right, or you're the boss of your own company.  Comprendes Mendez

It doesn't cost us a thing to dream.  Right?  Si se puede, as my people like to say. 

I bring this up, because a good friend and fellow Working Artists Lab collaborator Paul Elia (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3731362/)- who is very talented- approached me about working on a play that he is currently writing.  We sat down and read through a draft.  He began to tell me the details of what the play was based on, which I will not go into.  At one point, he expressed frustration towards some of the people that he wanted to be involved in the project.  Paul wanted to get this show up and running ASAP and possibly perform it at the Fox Theater in his hometown of Detroit (MOTOWN baby).  This ain't no Black Box, 99 Seat theater.  This is a big time venue.  BIG THINKIN'! BIG THINKIN'!

Apparently, the people he had in mind to work on this project scoffed at the idea of putting up the play so soon.  When Paul brought up the notion of taking it to the Fox, they ran scared.

In this story, who would you give a high five to?  The guy who dreams of bringing the show to the masses, or the guy who is only dwelling on what is "Probable"?  I'm not using the word "Possible", because anything is "Possible".  You know where my  money's at.  Fist Bump to you Paul!  Always thinking big.  

I'm paraphrasing what Dallas teaches, so please go to her website to find out more information about her workshops.  She offers some freebies.  She is not paying me to promote her.  In fact, she doesn't even know that I'm writing about her.  I'm just passing along information Dallas has taught me, that has helped me grow as an artist.  

These days, I have no qualms about calling my agent and telling him "I want to be in the next Scorcese or Tarantino movie."  He probably rolls his eyes at me, but I've stated what I want.  It's up to me to go after it.  

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