Sunday, August 28, 2005

It's not Dirty - It's Castle Clean!

Have been a bit lax on updates, as I've been working in Prague for the past 2 weeks. Beautiful as always. Can't talk about the project, except to say the people were great.

I walked the cobbled streets till my feet ached, ate like a king, drank way too much red wine, learned a smattering of Czech and Russian, saw the most beautiful old buildings, beautiful young women and enough marionette puppets to start a small wooden army.

Thanks to Inna, Ivan, James, Igor, Sasha, Chris, Jamey, Scott, David, Otto, Craig, Tomas, Humphrey, Larry#1, Larry#2 and everyone else for making the mayhem memorable.

In the movie of life, may you never hear hear "stoplisme"!

Monday, August 8, 2005

Number 1

British based Bond fansite, Mi6, interviewed me recently about voicing the character of Number 1 (aka Blofeld) for the video game Goldeneye: Rogue Agent. Dunno why anyone would be interested, but nice to know someone is! It was a great gig, especially since it was matching a character I'd grown up with (so to speak- I'm not completely insane, thank you). Mi6 Interview.

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Cape of Good Hope has a US Release!

South African-set feature film Cape of Good Hope has a US release this september, which is great news. Typically SA films die a death in Hollywood, as did Stander, which didn't make it past it's opening weekend. However, Cape is less a political statement, and more of a story about people struggling against the odds. Kind of a South African "Short Cuts" for want of a better analogy. A bunch of stories, dramatically woven together with a measure of humour.

I play the tango teacher, Miles, which was a fun, slightly camp exercise. It took us (me and good friend Debbie Brown) ages to get the wretched dance down and the footage is cut in such a way it could be another couple's legs anyway! I think the director thought I was really a dancer and not an actor, as he had me improvising dance instruction (aaargh!) for a few minutes before the other character entered. Looking at the poster now, I don't recall a Vespa in the movie at all, let alone Debbie and her girlfriends scooting about... Anyway, if you get the chance, go see it - the performance are really strong and Debbie kicks ass!

Saturday, August 6, 2005

It's my record, isn't it?

Maybe it's 'cos I'm not a scientologist and don't know the secret handshake.

Maybe they're scared I'll blow up in this town and leave them the minute I land that series.

Maybe they're scared I'll blow them up.

Or maybe they're waiting for me to blow them.


Still - it would be nice to feel, just for once in this town, more like a wanted man and less like a criminal.

It's my criminal record, isn't it?

After recent meetings with prospective agents, I have come to some conclusions:

1) "Can you lose your accent?" is a very silly phrase. Maybe if I've downed a bottle or 2 of Merlot, I might lose it. I'll certainly be speaking a different dialect. But no, I cannot "lose" my accent. It's not like I wake up now and then speaking English with a thick Russian accent, or Tibetan-flavoured consonants. What they're asking is "Can you do an American accent?". I'm not losing anything- I'm putting something ON. Needless to say, I usually go in to these meetings with my American accent - or, put it on for a few minutes as a whip-out-the-bag gimmick.

2) How well the meeting goes has absolutely nothing to do with how interested they are in repping you. In fact, the two may be inversely proportioned. The bigger the agent, the better the meeting, the more excited you get and the more crushing the "no". To be honest, every agent I've met has declined. But then every meeting went well, too. Weird. I'm hoping my next meeting will go so poorly, there might be a chance they're interested.

3) Agents cannot simply say "no". They prefer to deflect ownership of your rejection onto the organisation or industry at large. If they can throw in a compliment, so much the better. That way, they don't feel bad about giving you the boot - heck, they just told you that you're great! Examples:

"We loved your reel...It's the foreign resume"
"You're wonderful...It's just not the right timing"

4) Agents always say "call me next week", but are never available to field your call. In fact, "next week" can become two months from now. And so you call again. And again. And again. You don't want to appear stalker-like, but hey - an answer one way or the other would be nice. And when it's a "no", did it really take you 8 weeks to make that decision?

5) Working in a foreign country consistently with verifiable credits, heaps of press, great reviews and (I quote) a "great reel" means absolutely bugger all.

The upside of all this, is that I'm more distrustful of people than I already was. Tick. Most of the industry is indeed clinically insane. Tick. I am unquestionably certifiable for attempting this. Tick.