Saturday, April 13, 2013

pirate-y career schemes.

I've spent some time over my Spring Break unwinding, genuflecting (occasionally reflecting, but mostly genuflecting), and attempting to be proactive about writing. I am reading a book about starting a career as a freelance writer. I am back to writing (most-ish) every day. I have almost finished a short story. I really wish I could find a way to end that thing--I started it last Saturday, worked a lot on it on Monday, and attempted to put it to rest on Tuesday afternoon. It's really going nowhere, and I'm not sure I'll ever finish it. Right now the ending sentence goes like this: I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO END THIS STUPID FRICKIN' THING!!!!!!

I'm sure this is exactly what drives literary magazine editors to publish stories: Awesome ending sentences utlizing the phrase "stupid frickin'." Everything ALL CAPS.

However, never fear. I have discovered a new and possibly exciting career opportunity still staying within the storytelling frame, but kind of way more awesome. A couple of years ago, I did a group blog initiated by my friend Patresa called COFFEE. There were about 8 or 9 of us, and we all picked projects to complete that scared the holy living poop out of us. Patresa wanted to sing in front of real people, Holly wanted to complete the Artist's Way, Stephany was learning to live life on her own terms, Katie was working on getting her entire life re-focused, Tawni was going to be an award-winning writer, etc and so forth. Mine, of course, was Grocery Shopping. (Because I'm dangerous like that.) Had I stumbled upon what I stumbled upon this week, however, my COFFEE project would have been: Oscar Winning Movie Extra! (dunh dunh duuuunh!)

Because hello! Movie Stardom without ever getting recognized or harassed by paparazzi? That's just a win-win situation, sweet friends. It pays a lot less than regular Movie Stardom, but I hear if you get a Screen Actors Guild card and they hire you to be an extra at some long distance location, they have to buy you a first class plane ticket to get there because SAG says so (further proof unions are NOT evil). Also, did you know Atlanta is like #5 on the list of New Hollywoods of the South (according to Access Atlanta)? It's true! They film TV shows about zombies and vampires here. And shows about real housewives buying wedding dresses and bras. Because down South we're all about classy. They also film a lot of movies here, too--Tyler Perry being the person who seems to use Atlanta the most (possibly because he has a production company/movie studio here and, like, 500 mansions).

THE HUNGER GAMES sequel was just filmed here, THE BLIND SIDE, and REMEMBER THE TITANS (do you? remember them?). Tyler Perry makes me nervous, but I could so have drinks with Denzel Washington (who also just made another movie here, some airplane movie called FLIGHT--I bet Denzel is completely familiar with Atlanta at this point and even knows his way around Spaghetti Junction like a boss) (fyi--we do this a lot in Atlanta. We name things based on other things and only Atlantans really know what the heck anyone is talking about--Spaghetti Junction is the I-285 interchange that looks like a big old mess of spaghetti from the air. Spaghetti Junction also serves as our official tool of segregration by dividing Atlantans into those who are cool, hip Inside the Perimeter (ITP) residents and the uncool, unhip Outside the Perimeter (OTP) people. Then there's Murder Kroger, because it's right next to a police station and there was a rash of unfortunate homicides in its parking lot..and Disco Kroger, a former gay nightclub turned grocery store. The South: cute, classy, and quirky, without a slight trace of irony.)

But most important? Please consider the following as evidence for my natural inclination toward Movie/TV extra acting stardom:

1) As a child, all I ever did in my spare time was perform Broadway musicals (alone, in my bedroom, surrounded by stuffed animals). My repertoire was wide and varied: Wizard of Oz, Annie, Funny Girl, Westside Story...AND I did my own choreography. At 8 years old, I'm pretty sure that indicates serious tv/movie extra prodigy potential.

2) One long summer between 3rd and 4th grade, some neighborhood friends and I wrote, directed, produced, costume-designed, and marketed a very disjointed outdoor off off off off off off off Broadway theater production based on a conglomeration of STAR WARS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, and HELLO, DOLLY!. (That last bit was mine--the neighborhood friends were all boys, and I really felt we needed some girly songs throughout, just to break up the monotony of aliens getting their heads blown off). We sold tickets around the neighborhood for 25 cents, then quickly marked them down to 5 cents because mothers complained we were price gouging.

3) I don't want to make anyone feel even more insecure now that you know about my Bedroom Broadway and successful off Broadway Outdoor Theater past, but I WAS also cast once in a high school drama during my junior year--I played an uptight school marm (foreshadowing!) and had three incredibly important lines.

4) I read a lot of trashy celebrity magazines. I mean A LOT. Like, did you know Khloe Kardashian is now the hottest Kardashian, since Kim got pregnant? If you didn't pick up the latest issue of US WEEKLY and read it over a bowl of Kix cereal, sorry--you're clearly not in the entertainment biz insider loop.

5) But more important than all of that,  I have recently learned (as in, breaking news last night during a late night, not-stalkery-at-all-just-casually-interested-in-him Google search): Jason Isaacs may be coming to Atlanta to shoot a new TV series called SURGEON GENERAL. Jason Isaacs, I hear you thinking, Who the heck is Jason Isaacs?  Remember when I wrote about him in my last post? He's like Less Famous Clive Owen. Just as talented and British, but people don't recognize him in grocery stores which I hear tell he's totally fine with. So if I run into him in Kroger if/when he's here, I'll play it cool by saying, "Argh, matey. Can ye hand me over that dozen of bosun eggs? Aye, but ye're blockin' me way."

Heh, because see: he once played Capt Hook in a movie. So you probably just read my imaginary grocery store exchange with Jason Isaacs like, What the....Is she drunk?? and really had no idea why I just did that, but Jason Isaacs would totally know why I was talking to him in pirate, and I'm convinced he'd invite me out for drinks after giving me my bosun eggs.

He's also played Lucius Malfoy in the HARRY POTTER movies and the evil British colonel out to destroy Mel Gibson in THE PATRIOT. But his stint as Capt. Hook in the failed 2003 version of PETER PAN is really just a true, deep travesty of justice because, to date, Jason Isaac's Capt. Hook is the only pirate anybody should really ever even consider inviting to a dinner party. No! Not even Capt. Jack Sparrow! Seriously, I mean it. If Capt. Jack Sparrow even tries to show up, Capt. Hook and I are out of there!

He does seem to play an awful lot of villains, but I think Jason also kind of looks like Jesus here, and Jesus was a good guy. Off camera, Jason's Jewish, and guess what? So was Jesus! (I think he should make a movie in which he plays a swashbuckling Jesus who talks like Capt. Hook, is what I'm saying. Just in case his agent reads this.)

The only slight, kind of tiny little hiccup to my whole Movie Star Extra/Meet Jason Isaacs Plan? I hate hate hate being: photographed, tagged in photographs, videotaped, tagged in videos, and generally being exposed to the world in a full body shot kind of way. So I'm hoping Jason Isaacs and his new TV series crew are looking for extras they can shoot just from the neck up. I'm in big trouble if they tell me NO on that and if so I may have to figure out a better ending sentence (no use of "frickin'", no ALL CAPS) to my untitled really bad Work in Progress I pounded out in a mere three days this week.

Oooh! Wait! Coffee girl! I wonder if the movie/tv crews coming to Atlanta need coffee/sandwich go getters for them? I would be so expert at that--my off off off off off off off Broadway years totally prepared me. Off to Google it!

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