I went to the theater last night. What a bunch of fucking goofballs theater people are, am I right? It’s all loud chicks who talk about fucking all the time, overweight hams, gay guys and those woefully out of place untalented dudes who haven’t quite figured out that this isn’t for them yet. People say that theater is the true actors medium, and I guess I can see that…you have people right there, it’s just existing in the moment, the potential for disaster is humongous, that’s all great. Problem is, most theater is terrible. This, as we’ve discussed before, is indicative of a bigger equation that basically states that in any given field of interest, there are about a zillion people doing it shittily for every one person doing it well. The thing I saw last night was pretty good, though. It was sketch comedy, which is very easy to fuck up, but in this case, it was pretty funny. That’s good, because it was a production that stars one of my fellow cast members.
Speaking of, for this movie I’m making, we have to deal with a security company that patrols this abandoned town in order to film there. We were given permission and filled out the forms and blah blah blah, and everything was cool. The head of the security team drives around in a white range rover, and he loves to stop and see what we’re up to, which, 100% of the time, ruins whatever it is we’re up to. The other day we were doing a driving scene. We had a pretty detailed shoot planned, with four passengers and five camera setups (4 closeup window mounts and one wide hood mount), and about 4 takes per passenger, we were looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of doing the scene twenty times. It’s kind of a longer scene and it was hot and everyone was tired and we were trying to get through this pretty hellish shoot but the head security guard kept circling around and making his best attempts to cut off our car, and then he’d circle the block again and find us and scream “Hey! I wanna be on TV! Can you put me on the TV?” and totally ruin the scene. He kept doing this over and over and over. It never got old to him.
It would be great to have stopped the car and told him to go fuck himself, but we need him. It doesn’t matter that he’s so stupid that he has no idea that he’s ruining what we’re doing by being an irritating mongo, it doesn’t matter that he obviously doesn’t know the difference between movies and TV (we had already explained to him several times that this project would, at the very least, not make it to the TV for a looooong time) he’s the asshole who can kick us out of our location, so we have to smile and nod and ignore that he’s barely smarter than a golden retriever.
In my darkest moments, I look at my creative output and wonder who the fuck I think I am. I look at songs/books/movies that have really touched me, or I look at truly exceptional people and their output and I hold up my crappy little handful of songs/writings/this movie and I wonder who the fuck let me do this and why. There are really funny, smart, moving, talented people out there and I’m just some guy who’s surrounded myself with other people who are similarly marginally talented, similarly ambitious and blindly optimistic and we sit around and suck each other off and say we’re good at whatever, but are we? Are we really people who can make something worth being seen by other people?
Okay, you know your one friend who’s the dancer/actor/musician/painter who always makes you go to shows or openings or whatever, but they suck, but they love it and you want to say “hey, Beth…look, you’re bad at this. I know you love it, and good for you, but if you’re thinking that someday you’re gonna do something great in the medium of interpretive dance/sketch comedy/punk rock/chamber theater etc, I got news for you…you’re more likely to find the hope diamond just chilling in your vagina” but you never say that, because it’s mean. I feel like Beth sometimes. Or, the landlord from the Big Lebowski, you know? This comes from a deep seeded paranoia that I’ve had ever since I was small. When I was little, I remember very clearly suspecting that I was retarded and that my mom just paid everyone around me to pretend I was normal and that they were my friends. This wasn’t just some passing thought, either. I TRULY suspected that this was what was going on for a long, long time. It’s kind of the same thing now, in these moments of doubt. I look at myself and say, “dude, you’re fooling yourself. You’re making garbage. You’re not special, you’re not talented, you’re mildly smart but you’re nowhere near as smart as you think you are, you’re past your prime and from here on out you better get used to crushing defeat because after this piece of shit movie is finished you’re gonna be staring into the face of gigantic, irrefutable evidence of your mediocrity.”
It kind of makes my skin cold.
Then, I think about that assneck security guard going “hey man! Put me on the TV!” and I realize that I’m brilliant, at least in comparison to most of these crapsacks. The bar is so fucking low out there, and there are so many mongos, and there are so many of these mongos doing things (dane cook! Hinder!) and generally blowing it, that it’s my fucking DUTY to get out there and stink up the place . That’s usually when I go get a beer.