Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy Friday the 13th! I hope you don't suffer from Paraskevidekatriaphobia!

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Speaking of Zombies, coincidentally to my last post, the AMC series "The Walking Dead" was also filmed around here (not here, as in my town, but around the general Metro Atl area).

I remember the day they
closed down I-75 and put
all the wrecked cars out.
Not being big tv watchers, we were just introduced to the series when visiting my sister after Christmas. We watched a couple of episodes on Demand and got addicted and had to get the rest of them to watch when we got back home, lol.

Filming isn't really anything new around here. I can remember back to when Smokey and the Bandit was racing along the road (and in the Chattahoochee river) we used to take to get to my Grannie's house up in the mountains before they built Hwy 515.

And the In the Heat of the Night tv series was filmed in Covington, where J worked for an ambulance service for a time.

According to this Filmography, there's been filming in Georgia since 1972 (Deliverance! OMG!). But prior to just recently it seems like, even though the movies/tv shows were being filmed here, it was like a separate and distant thing. No one local knew much about the goings on, and for sure no one we knew was *in* them.

That's all changed now. They're filming a new movie/show (or more) just about constantly now, and I know (of) any number of people acting in them as extras.  The upcoming movie Jayne Mansfield's Car was filmed in our County Seat, Cedartown, with the likes of Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton and Kevin Bacon wandering around and eating at the local eatin' joints....a lot of people from right here in my county are in that one.

The thing is (in case it sounds like I'm bragging or something, I'm not, I'm working up to a complaint), is my oldest son's dream, for many years, has been to be an actor.

We discovered this by accident back in the summer of 2001.
My youngest son, Kevin, was about 7 years old, and a little ham. He used to put on his Daddy's hats and had a fake microphone and danced and  lip sync'd a funny Nascar song. (I can't remember the song now. Ugh, crap memory!)
However, my oldest son, Daniel, who was around 14 at the time and had (has) a lot of mental and social disorders, was so painfully shy, he didn't even like to be looked at.

So that particular summer, a local Arts group put on a Children's Theater thing, I forget the name of it now, but basically the kids rehearse for a week then put on a play that weekend. I signed Kevin up because I figured that was just his thing.
The play was "Little Red Riding Hood" and he played a Raccoon. It was adorable!

Later that same year the Arts group put on the every-other-year children's Christmas Play "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever".  I signed Kevin up, and asked Ryan if he would want to be in a play and he said, "Okay."
Ryan is a shepherd in green; Kevin is a King or Wise Man in red.
I was pretty surprised when the Children's theater thing came up the next summer and Daniel said he wanted to be in it, too! On a stage, in front of all those people, looking at him. Really?

The play was the "Pied Piper of Hamelin". Daniel was a Town Councilman, Ryan a Baker, and Kevin a Towns Kid that got led away by the Piper.

The acting thing was okay, fun, when nothing else was going on, but as Mom to boys, I was all about the sports. I grew up with a sister, no brothers, but my boy cousins liked to play football and baseball, so I thought all boys liked to play sports. I couldn't care less about sports, but was trying to do my job as a Mom to Boys.

Then Daniel told me he didn't want to play football or wrestle, he wanted to join the Thespian club at school.
He was in a couple of plays at school, and inducted into the International Thespian Society within just a couple of months. He acted in many more plays over the course of his high school years and he fully intended to become a real movie actor when he grew up.

At the time, although there was movies and tv shows being filmed here, we didn't know much of anything about it. We still thought you had to move to NYC or LA and get an agent and do thousands of auditions and hope to break into The Biz.

But then we started hearing about Open Calls for Extras in all these movies/tv shows, and I'm like, there you go, that's a way to get your foot in the door.
I tell him or send him links anytime I see or hear about any calls for Extras, but he just mumble-mumble's around, with all these excuses about why he couldn't go.

In 2010 I heard about a local theater group looking for actors for a Dinner/Murder Mystery thing. He went and auditioned and got a part, and had a good time. He made some new friends, and hung out at the theater as much as he could, even when he wasn't rehearsing, if others were there. He just loves it, everything about it.

It was through this theater group that he got the opportunity to be an extra in the movie coming out today, "Joyful Noise". Some parts of the movie were filmed inside that same restored, vintage theater.

He enjoyed being able to be part of filming, and getting to see all the famous actors and actresses. I thought that now that he'd experienced it once and knew what it was about, what would go on and what to do and all, he'd be more apt to going to some of these other extras casting calls.

I said, "You know they're filming that Three Stooges movie"..."I heard they're looking for extras for the Footloose remake"...."They're calling for extras for that movie they're filming up here in Cedartown"... He would have been great in the Zombie movies/series. He loves sick, gross, and gory.

Finally he told me, "Momma, I just can't do that for nothing."

Oh reeaallly? I say. Why is that, because the acting would interfere with your job?
Oh wait,  you don't have a job.
Maybe it would interfere with your schooling?
Um no, because you don't go to school either.

So, apparently he can do nothing for nothing, but he can't do something he loves doing for nothing.

It was never about money before, him wanting to be an actor. It was the acting itself. His Art. Being able to perform, entertain.
I may be wrong, but I can really only think of one thing that it could be holding him back. (And I will stop this rant right here.)

(But I really just don't understand dragging someone down, not supporting them in their endeavors, not encouraging them to progress.)

I could totally understand if this was just a hobby, just something to do for shits and giggles, because yes he does need to get a job, but at this point he can only get a burger-flippin' job at Mickey D's, and actually he can't even get that because he got fired from his last two fast food jobs because of his temper.
He's tried going to vo-tech college twice and couldn't hack it either time.
But like I said about my friend I went to school with, she went and was extras in all these movies and shows, and now she's getting paid parts.

A few years ago I never imagined he'd ever in a million years be able to get into Acting like he wanted to. (No way he could move across the country and support himself and find auditions and all that stuff you hear these actors talking about they had to do.)
But now he has that opportunity and it's freekin' amazing and he's just standing back and watching it pass him right on by.

It's so freekin' frustrating!
But I'm not giving up on him. Hopefully he'll soon open his eyes and see the light.

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