Friday, May 7, 2010

"A Worrisome Concern"

You have to be careful what you write in your blog. People could be reading it.

Anyone who’s spent time around people realizes there’s a wide spectrum of “individual concerns”, ranging from “I can see someone worrying about that” to pointing your index finger towards your head and making the “Cuckoo” sign.

A writer on a show I worked on confessed – well, it wasn’t really a confession; he seemed happy to volunteer the fact – that he would always take a scissors and cut up the underwear he was throwing away, to remove any possibility of their ever turning up at a crime scene. I found that…odd.

What I’m about to reveal to you does not, I believe, rise to that level of oddness. Where exactly it ranks, I will leave to the reader.

I, Earl Raymond Pomerantz, harbor the belief that somebody will cast me in a movie, where I’ll be locked in the trunk of a car, because they read in my blog that this is something I would not at all enjoy.

Okay, start ranking.

For some of you, I imagine, we would not have to get to the “trunk of a car” part for your suspicion of my looniness to kick in. It might simply be triggered by the question,

“Who would ever cast you in a movie?”

Fair enough. There are a lot of reasons my being cast in a movie is highly unlikely. I will spare you the list. And spare myself the unpleasantness of having to assemble such a list.

On the other hand – though I’ll admit it’s a tiny “other hand”, perhaps that of a newborn – I direct you to where you will find included in my resume an appearance or, more precisely, a featured appearance in a movie entitled Cannibal Girls. So, though the eventuality of my being cast in a movie is unlikely, the possibility does not reach “science fiction” proportions, since it has already occurred once.

(I would embed the trailer for Cannibal Girls into this post, but that would only encourage you to watch it, which I heartily do not recommend. I’ve never watched it all the way through. I stop after I’m brutally murdered, just before I am eaten. I never said I appeared in a good movie. I only said it happened once, and could, therefore, happen again.)

It is also my belief that writers often make convincing actors. Having had considerable experience acting out the parts as we’re writing, I know that I, and many other writers, would deliver an “honest reading” of the material, which, when you come down to it, is what acting is all about.

So, I have acted in movies before, and I would not embarrass myself, if the opportunity arose for me to do so again. The nagging question here is, “What exactly would they want me to do?”

I have already copped to my inability to persuasively eat eggs, owing to the fact that I don’t like eggs. I could fake it in a pinch, I suppose. Or they could fake the eggs, replacing them with some more palatable egg-like substitute. Or they could change it to pancakes. Which I heartily enjoy.

I could not, however, tolerate being locked in the trunk of a car. The moment door is slammed shut, I would simply freak out, pounding on the inside of the trunk, and screaming my fool head off. The director would have to yell, “Cut!”, and crew members would be required to come running with water and oxygen. (And, hopefully, a hug.)

I cannot be locked in the trunk of a car. It would, very simply, do me in.

Well, now it’s out. I have exposed my “Achilles’ Heel.” And I'll tell you something. Confession may be good for the soul. But out here, I feel mighty vulnerable.

I imagine some movie director out there, whose script includes a kidnapping scene – I mean, it’s not a starring role; a man could be kidnapped and maybe murdered, just to get things started; you never see him again, after the glimpse of that “I’m going to die” look on his face as the trunk door is lowered to the locked position.

It’s a minor role. A cameo suffocation.

I can see the wheels turning in the director’s mind:

“I need a guy to get locked in the trunk of a car. I need him to look frightened out of his wits. Now, I could hire some actor and say to him, ‘Act frightened.’ Or I could find someone who has admitted his greatest fear is being locked in the trunk of a car, cast him in the movie, and ‘shoot the actual fear.’ I think I’ll do that.”

Sure, when the director calls, I could simply reply, “I’m a blog writer. I don’t act in movies.” (Even though I have.) The problem is, deep down, I want to act in more movies.

Despite yearning Buddhistically for a life of “no aspirations whatsoever”, being western, and weak, I still have a few. And one of them is acting in movies.

So they’ve got me.

You might ask, why would anyone behave so perversely as to exploit a fellow human being’s deepest dread? Because they’re making a movie, and they want that movie to be as good as it can possibly be, which in this case means rather than faking a “panic moment”, casting an actor they know will be pee-in-his-pants terrified.

Writers have often been accused, not always unfairly, of superficiality in their work. Cowering behind slickness and style, they seem adamantly unwilling to probe beneath the surface. Critics may chalk this up to limited insight, or a paucity of talent. But it could be something else. Writers may be wisely protecting themselves from self-exposure, fearing if they reveal their darkest secrets,

they could wind up locked in the trunk of a car.


growingupartists said...

Only thing missing is the auditions. Earl, I do believe you're the complete package.

Anonymous said...

In case anyone, like me, was curious: Earl's IMDB Page to save you some typing and searching.

There's actually a couple acting roles listed there, I'd love to hear about them all!

PALGOLAK said...

I wonder if Earl is familiar with the Tragically Hip song "Locked in the Trunk of a Car"?

dodz said...

Earl is so adorable.

James said...

Is this why you love Westerns so much? Because nobody ever gets locked in the back of a stagecoach?

A. Buck Short said...

Earl, we know you are a writer, if for nothing else, the subtle grace involved in your resurection of the preposition. For at least 30 years, it seems like all we've heard is "I peed my pants. "He peed his pants." "They sh*t their pants." When did the combination of excretion and wardrobe start requiring that particular strain of transient verbage? It can't be just in the interest of "Tweetish" brevity? I mean, wasn't that around the same time everybody started moisturizing? What was wrong with just "moisten?"