Archive for February, 2011

The Pitfalls of doing a lot of short films, or just being me

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Ok, so for those of you who don’t know me personally, I have a problem recognizing people. I actually had a doctor from Harvard give me a test for Prosopagnosia. While I think his test was a bit flawed at recreating real-world scenarios, it was good enough I guess. His analysis is that I don’t have it, but that I’m much slower at recognizing faces than normal people. I basically have to make a conscious effort to memorize faces. I’ve gotten a lot better these days, and it helps that I only see a certain number of people regularly. Plus facebook is a HUGE help because I can review every so often to refresh my memory on people I rarely see. It was a lifesaver on the set of Leading Ladies.

If you’re thinking, ‘Man, everyone has times when they don’t recognize someone they don’t see very often.’ Well, I once didn’t recognize my sister when she came into work and started talking to me. I realized who she was pretty soon, but there was enough time before that Ah-ha moment to realize there is something wrong in my brain.

So that’s an issue I have anyway. When it comes to acting, it’s something I actually worry about regularly. In a business where networking is so important, it’s awful when you can’t remember what someone looks like at all. Confession time: I can rarely remember what the casting directors look like that I do workshops with. Within a few days of seeing them I’ve forgotten their face. If I’ve gone to multiple workshops, eventually I learn their faces. This is why I try never to be an asshole to a stranger- I might actually know them, and/or they might have jobs for me.

Compounding this issue is that I mostly work on short films, webisodics, etc. which means I meet a lot of people in very short amounts of time. My initial memory tricks of ‘Dark hair, glasses, thin, white guy’, ‘stocky, short hair, black guy in red jacket’, etc. don’t really hold up over time. They do well enough on a set even if I forget names (of course I forget names) because at least I can remember who the AD is and the DP and the makeup person, etc. In the long term they are not so effective. Most of the faces are completely erased and those that stay are fuzzy. The exception being people with really distinctive features and people I spent the most time with. Then I might actually recognize them out of context. Might.

So here’s where my nightmare becomes reality:

This morning I had a USC audition. (I do a lot of USC projects, it’s a great school and I always recommend it to other actors starting out. They are always very professional.) Being on campus, it’s pretty likely I run into some of the students I’ve worked with recently. So I go in the Cinema Arts building and run into a fellow I immediately assume is DirectorA, from the most recent shoot I had with USC. Dark hair, glasses, recognizes me from working together. Yes, must be DirectorA. I tell him I was just talking about him because someone was saying how LA apartments don’t have intercoms and that I recalled seeing one in his apartment. Turns out DirectorA happens to be assisting at the audition I’m going to! Cool! Plus the guy doing the project is an old friend from Boston U., where I went freshman year. So two ‘familiar’ faces.

I go upstairs and see my friend and go in the room while he’s still setting up. I’m like- ‘Oh, I ran into DirectorA downstairs, I just did a project with him.’ I used his ‘actual’ name.

DirectorA joins us and comments on how he was telling my friend about the hassles of the bathroom in the library when we were shooting. I didn’t think it was that annoying because in my head we were shooting outside and I just went downstairs to the bathroom there. ‘Oh, it’s wasn’t so bad!’ I say.

As we are chatting I admit that I copied the short he sent me to my hard drive but forgot to watch it. I felt bad. And then I say how I need it since all my reel footage is old with long hair and that the only short hair stuff I had was from this other USC short I did.

I do the audition and promise I’ll watch the short when I get home. Say bye and leave.

Halfway to my car it hits me that maybe he was not DirectorA at all, but DirectorB fron the year before!! ACK! No wonder he seemed confused by my talking about his apartment and why he was talking about the library, because we were in the basement and it was kind of a hassle (I had a lot of blood on me). His was the film I was referring to that I had used footage from already. I felt bad it’s been a few weeks since receiving my copy, and he thought it had been like a year!

Now I feel like a TOTAL JACKASS.

WOW! So I double check on my phone on Facebook and find a picture of DirectorA. Yep, I am pretty sure I was not talking to that guy. That guy looks more like my friend Asa. DirectorB doesn’t as much.

I call DirectorB and leave a message to apologize and let him know I watched and used the footage long ago. And I explain it’s just an issue I have sometimes. I didn’t hear back from him, but I’m assuming he had a good laugh and maybe thinks I’m a ditz.

It was seriously the most farcical, sit-com style situation I’ve had in a long time, maybe ever. I think that’s also the longest I’ve gone before realizing who I was actually talking to. It just so happened I used the bathroom int eh library for both. I think if I hadn’t I’d have realized it sooner.

Man, I don’t get embarrassed very easily, but that will do it!

So, yeah, if you know me and I am being weird and maybe don’t seem like I recognize you, it’s nothing personal.

New Commercial Rep

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Today I switched my commercial representation to Kim Gola at ABA Talent. We hit it off chatting about f*$%ed up movies. She gave me some recommendations on a few things I should do, commercial classes, etc. I’m due for new head shots, so she gave me some tips on what I should focus on to market myself as a young, hip me. 🙂 2011 is a year of newness! And hopefully full of bookings.

Precepts of Knighthood – final shoot

Friday, February 4th, 2011

I forgot to write up my shoot last week! I guess I’ve been busy.

I had been pretty sick for about a week and I was really worried about being well enough in time. Luckily my runny nose had eased up and I wasn’t really coughing much so my voice was ok. Phew!

So they originally planned to shoot for 2 nights, Thursday and Friday, but really who wants to shoot on Friday night if you don’t have to? They decided to leave Friday as a safety day in case they didn’t finish Thursday. We really just had 2 scenes to shoot, so it wasn’t a ton.

We met up around 4:30 pm to have some rehearsal time. We ended up having plenty because setting up took longer than planned. But, once we got going it went smoothly. There wasn’t any fighting or anything, but we were walking down along a building so they had to light the whole area and make sure there wasn’t anything weird in the background, etc.

It wasn’t as cold as before, but it was still cold. No raccoons this time! We finished the first scene and they set up for the second one. I started to get a bit sleepy around midnight, but we didn’t finish up until 3am. But that was it. Photography wrapped!

I had to work the next day, but I got all the important work done by around 1:30 or 2 I think, so I left work early to go take a nap. I got home just in time when the 3 hours of sleep caught up to me. I had to make up the time later, but at least I could work at home.
Night shoots are tough in the middle of the week. 🙂

New IMDB credit – My Personal Demon

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Got a shiny new credit added to my IMDB page: My Personal Demon, which you can still see online here:

Leading Ladies down under

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Leading Ladies will be playing at the Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney, Australia. Woo!



And The Melbourne Queer Film Festival, but the schedule isn’t out yet.