It's dated April 17
Remember the way Rocky Balboa used to fight a match? He'd get punched in the head so many damn times you wonder what's left between those ears to keep the man on his feet. Go back and look at those movies (or, if for the first time, watch the first one, which is the only one that really matters. Anything after that is just a franchise.) See how many shots to the head that man takes? Then he pulls through to the end of the match. In the sequel, he wins the heavyweight title - the gold. But still taking a rediculous amount of punishment in the cranial area.
I feel like I've been giving myself a rediculous amount of punishment in the cranial area - or, more accurately, to the mental area. It's fucking tough living with this. But everyday brings its tiniest rewards that eventually add up to something.
Angela brought me back into the office as her assistant. I kind of like that: assistant to the boss. I have to say, she's been everything I ever wished all my friends put together could be. Sometimes she makes me feel like a rockstar. It's not as if her business would fail without me, but it's still good therapy. Probably for both of us.
So far I take care of the cash deposits, and everything else she's too busy to do. I would take on more, because I really do dig that environment, but I'm supposed to be finding my own means of support right now. But while I'm there, Rachel, the graphic designer makes me feel like a human being again. I think about why I quit the college scene: too many people anticipating some preconcieved expectations from everyone else. Rachel had followed Ben from the Big Post House to the boutique - which Angela runs now. So, while I was a dopey gopher at said Post House, she had been around at some of my most embarrassing moments. Still, she treats me as if I've been a shining success at everything I've ever done; which is rather incredible after I slept through that boom operator job I had last summer. ...christ...!
I've been scouring the classifieds for anything I could bare that offered a regular paycheck. I could have been a driver or a desk jockey for Hilton Hotels, but I don't think they like my hair. I like to delude myself into thinking I'm too much individual for their ideal environment. But it was probably the hair. And the goatee. And the subtle flirtation with the 40-something head of desk-jockey-whatevers. I couldn't help it. There was a human being trapped in a corporate suit who seemed to have had about all she could take last Thursday. ...Not that I have so much confidence in my technique; but a little personal attention usually goes a long way. I thought maybe hanging on her every word, watching her eyes as she spoke, might get me a second interview. Notsomuch. Well, that's fine. I should be out pestering all those downtown producers I used to gopher for at the Big Post House. (I was snickering to myself to find an ad for a graphics-desinger position at the Post House, remembering the guy who used to fill that position. When we were all there - Angela, Rachel, Ben and I - there was no shortage of hireables. Since new management had taken over - and gotten rid of us - I kind of like seeing them resort to the common classifieds. I thought Karyn should answer it. She has the balls to survive in that kind of place; she just doesn't know it yet. I still look forward to working with her after she's developed that killer instinct. ...even if she tries to kill me with it. oooh...prophetic words.)
So...even though the paycheck situation hasn't materialized, the networking has been promising. My first night back in Portland I met with Sean and Sam about doing P'esident United States. Sean wants Sam and I to play the lead roles in his commentary script about celebrity and power in America. I have my reservations about the viability of this particular production, but there's nothing I wouldn't do for Sean. If he asks me to jump, I say "from which floor?"
This meeting was exactly what I needed four weeks ago. Sean and I elbowed our way in past the crowd at The Matador because we know - well, he knows the DJ. We got in for free, got our first round for free and put up with three dumb broads until Sam showed up. Charlie - the DJ - is an aging punk rocker who used to show old-school wrestling tapes at the Red Room. He and I used to bullshit about late-70s, early-80s professional wrestling while he got me drunk for a fat tip. Now, I get the feeling that he's happy enough to have someone around who knows him - and appreciates him - that he'll buy us a round anytime.
So we drank on Charlie's dime and got down to business.
It was like I was back home for the first time. I shave my head, and no one remembers me. In alotta ways that's a good thing. Sam didn't remember me from the time we bumped into each other - both completely trashed at a 23rd Ave bar (on December 10th, 1999, the night of my first and last Post House Christmas Party) bragging about our documentary prospects. He had just finished distribution on a Wayne Morris documentary out of NYU, and I had just bumped into my childhood hero. I was thinking I was going to do a biographical documentary on Rowdy Roddy Piper, but I wasn't ready just yet. (I pitched the idea when I met him, becasue what the fuck am I going to do with an autograph? At least Piper might remember the conversation when I am ready to shoot his life story.)
Over Charlie's booze, Sam and I discussed what we might do with Sean's script (while Sean was flittering about the bar maintaining his network). We got along suprisingly well. I was too silly to remember what we talked about, but I remember the Bolex H16 became a bragging point for me. Funny how I'd just finished a course with that particular model, and Sam had just bought himself one off of eBay. He was still perplexed by it's bayonette mount and focusing sight. I puffed up my chest and explained to him the subtle details between the Rx mount and the...uh...non?Rx mount.
Anyway, the more he and I drank, the better we got along. Sometimes I worry that my persona is so much less inhibited with alcohol. I have plenty of that "adictive personality" and genetic history to know better. ...but, when it comes to making connections with people who don't know me, I've never been the person I want to be without it. (...do I sense a True Hollywood Story coming on...?)
In a not-so-good way, I ended up at Sam's apartment that night, watching a DVD copy of some Dracula movie. It was a mildly interesting British production; a stage play shot on film. We smoked a bowl (bad idea) and bullshitted som'more about making movies. Right now I think Sam will be integral to getting a major project finsished; but I still don't know if he'll help that happen before we all have three kids.
By the end of the night, I got the distinct impression that Sam is a very lonely guy, probably in the same place I'm in, but with a shitload more money. (Erin thinks it's old family money that will last quite a while.) I left my Works reel on the coffee table for him to watch. After screening it separately with Sean & Erin, and Angela & Ben - and even my mom, fer chris'sakes - I didn't want to sit with another person to watch that thing. I still want people to see it, but I still hate to be in the room while they do.
A couple of weeks later I found myself an unsuspecting extra on the set of Film At Eleven. It's a weekly public access show produced by local film critic DK and friends. Sean happens to be one of those friends. Hence, I was on set when they started rolling. (Again, the crew didn't recognize me with the hair. People I'd drank with before at the old location introduced themselves to me again. I played along.) The new guy was someone I'd never seen before. I didn't know what to do, but he seemed willing to start up a conversation - even if it was for the sake of making the background of the show more realistic. DK shoots his show at a wine bar on the corner of 35th and Belmont (the same place I met that Hollywood DP). Supporting friends - or friends of friends - who show up are served a free beer (or three) and expecting to make to place look like a thriving bar. On a Sunday afternoon, that's not such an easy thing to do when ther's three or four of us. But this new guy, Jim, and I found enough to talk about for an hour or so that we exchanged phone numbers and eMails for later contact. It turns out Jim used to make the kinds of films we had been studying at the Works.
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