Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Holy Mary Mother of Christ

I was driving back to Paso Robles for Mother's Day on Saturday night, only an hour from surprising my mom who had no idea I was coming, when my phone started beeping. Text messages galore (two actually).

I glanced down at the phone and Brandy Davis, an aspiring Casting Director was requesting my services for that Monday. She was a casting assistant for a film that was doing a Director session and their reader dropped out at the last minute.

Of course I said yes.

I memorized my lines. Which readers don't do. I affected some emotion. And made a good impression.

Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill, House of Wax) was terrible, still stuck in teen soap opera mode, and made an ass of himself with what can only be described "false-modesty douchiness."

He was reading the part of Joseph for the movie MARY MOTHER OF CHRIST and somehow he made the reading sexual.

On the opposite end of the spectrum Gregory Smith (Everwood, Nearing Grace) nailed the audition. He was affable and kind. He took direction extremely well, interrupting a crazy director's notes and finding his own truth. Smith should get the part, and I told them so.

Afterward Brandy and I talked. She told me Carla (casting director) liked me. We talked a little about my career and she said she knew a former agent at ICM who would be a good fit. And now I just have to make sure it happens.

*Side Note: Almost two years ago when I was working at Sidney Kimmel Entertainment I read the script MARY MOTHER OF CHRIST and turned it down. I dug up my old coverage when I found out about the audition. Base case; I found the script boring. Now it's a movie starring Al Pacino, Peter O' Toole, and Jessica Lange. Go figure.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The First Script I Ever Read

Maybe it's a sign. If we're destined to write what we read I'll be a happy man.

May I...

I forgot to do something the first of this year. The clock struck midnight. The calendar turned over to 2009 and I didn't know where I wanted to be in 2010. No resolutions were made.

There was a certain focus during the first two months of this year. I wrote alot. I went to Sundance. I set up lunches and got in touch with people that I hadn't spoken to. I went to plays and got a commercial agent.

But here I am in May and my motivation has flattened out. I need to refocus and rededicate.


1) Get a new job, even part time.
2) Finish the latest draft of Paso.
3) Complete 30 pages of novel.
4) Finish first act of Grandpa's script.
5) Take new headshots for agent

Check in with me at the end of the month and see how I did. These are realistic goals. It will take hard work. But it's my future, and it's time to stop fucking around.

Monday, May 4, 2009

On Writing by Stephen King

Once I start on a project, I don't stop and I don't slow down unless I absolutely have to. If I don't write everyday the characters begin to stale off in my mind-- they begin to seem like characters instead of real people.

If you want to be a writer, you must do two thing above all others: read a lot and write a a lot.

I believe the first draft of a book should take no more than three months.

I like to get ten pages a day, which amounts to 2,000 words. That's 180,000 words over a three month span.

Put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down to write, remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room. Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around.

Get in the Basket

It was boys night out and my car was filled with testosterone. Driving down the hill, away from my house leads us right past the famed Chateau Marmont and on this particular night, out in front of famed hotel is none other than Famke Janssen and she's looking as gorgeous as ever.

Our glee was suspended only for a moment when we noticed who she was with. Some Eastside "artist" with George Michael facial hair and skinny jeans who, at 10:30 at night, was riding a bicycle with a basket, and making Famke run next to him.

It was too much for us to comprehend and so Brett Battenberg (Facebook him and give him shit) rolled down the window and started yelling, in a not-so-nice voice:

"Get in the basket! Get in the basket! Get in the basket!"


It's been ten years since the carnage in Colorado. It's been ten years since the public was captivated and misinformed (but that's another story) about two teenagers wearing black dusters who decided to annihilate their high school. It's been ten years and most of us have forgotten.

Eric Klebold didn't hate his high school, he hated the human race. The full blown sociopath had measured his options and decided Columbine High would provide the most casualties. He took 13 lives, caused immeasurable heartache, but could not crush the spirit of the "Rebels."

"It was a rough year. The football team offered a respite. Matthew Kechter had been a sophomore when he was killed in the library. He had played JV on the defensive line in the 1998 season and had hped to make varsity this fall. At his parents' request the team dedicated the season to Matt. Each player wore Matt's number on his helmet and Matt's initals, MJK, on his cap. They finished the season 12-1. They came from 17 behind in the fourth quarter to win the first playoff game. The players wept on the field. They chanted MJK! MJK!

They were heavy underdogs for the state championship. Denver powerhouse Cherry Creek High had taken five of the last ten titles. Columbine had made it tothe big game only once: A loss two decades back.

Supporters flew in from around the world. Eight thousand people packed the stadium. The media was everwhere. The temperature dropped below freezing. Patrick Ireland sat in the front row, trying to keep warm.

Cherry Creek went ahead early. Columbine tied it up at the half, and then their defense came ons trong. They allowed just two first downs int he second half, and a third touchdown put it away. Columbine won 21-14. Fans rushed the field. The familiar chant thundered throught he stands. We are... COL-um-BINE! We are... COL-um-BINE!

The school held a victor rally. A highlight reel of the game was projected, ending with a picture of Matt. "This one's for you," it said. A moment of silence was held for all thirteen."

Written by Dave Cullen

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Voice Mail (2)

VM: 1

It was your pretty standard affair. Name, number, call me back. 

A few days wipe past on the calendar... and nothing. 

VM: 2 (I brought the money on this one)

"Hey, it's Jason. Look, there are one of two reasons you're not calling me back. One, you're a lawyer, a real person and are pretty busy. Or two. You think I'm too young for you. In which case your making a mistake and I look forward to hearing from you."

Guess who called me back later that day. 

As of today, we passed Date 3 and everything is looking good. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Stopover

"He hadn't been expecting to meet anyone, but then he'd seen the beauty in the back row and felt his senses fly out of him."

-The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Sweater dresses are sexy. It was the first thing that came to mind when I saw her power walking through the airport terminal in Burbank. The gray matter was clinging, strangling her body except for the her legs, white against it's dark, gracefully carrying her to wherever she was going.

Around the corner and she was gone. Some minutes of boredom followed, the only thing keeping me busy was scanning the room.

Then she was back, leaning against the wall, unable to find a seat. I made my way over to her to get a better look. Curly hair. Actually, more wavy. We both moved again, this time to seats facing each other.

She could feel me looking at her. We exchanged pleasantries in line before she boarded. We were on the same flight.

I was close to the last in line, but found her in the back of the plane, sitting by herself against the window. Southwest lets you board and exit in both the front and rear of the plane, she had an exit strategy. Clever girl.

I sat next to her in the middle seat, glanced at her airport paperback (Patricia Cornwell) and settled on her legs. They were crossed, her smooth calves angled towards me. A horrible torture.

We were joined by a stumbling, comb-over fool who took the aisle seat. One look at him and only word: upheaval.

The girl in the sweater dress wouldn't take her eyes off the book, the pages kept turning but it never occurred to me that she was actually reading. My eyes were trained on the window. I was pretending to enjoy the sky high view, when I was really just looking at her. Finally at a chapter break I started talking to her.

Easy conversation, some laughs and considerable interruption from the louse next to me.

"Sorry, man. Didn't mean to screw up your game."

I had a stopover in Oakland on the way to Reno and she was getting off.

"Can I get your number?"

"Don't take this the wrong way, but don't you think I'm too old for you."


"Oh, okay."

She gave me her number and her name: Gillian with a "G."