the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.

i've returned! my nike commercial has been shot, and will hit the internet waves around august 15th. it was an amazing, surreal experience that taxed my physical ability to sprint and scream.. took a couple days to recover. you can see some pics here! now i'm back to punching holes in stacks of paper so that they line up nicely in the office's central files.

so i was watching 'next action star' last night and the first quarter of the episode just totally infuriated me. the gang of hopefuls is taken to an 'acting' class where they are talked through the process of 'emotional recall' by a flaming homo who clearly gets his kicks from the power of making grown straight men cry (which is, incidentally, the origin of the bogus 'emotionall recall' process). so yes, one by one, each contestant gets up, spills a sob story and then, yes, sobs. and then they are judged on how well they sobbed, how 'brave' they were, and whether their sobs were 'deep' enough.

one man, nicknamed 'house,' went to a place so 'deep' that he couldn't move for several minutes - tears dripped off the point of his nose while mr. lispy kept asking 'house? are you with me? talk through it house, talk through it.' you can see the false concern in mr. lispy's eyes, the greedy thrill of having this kind of power, and the satisfaction that he's been able to provide some good tv to nbc. i can imagine that 'house' sat so still because it took every ounce of energy to keep himself from decking the teacher. ugh. it took me back to undergrad when we were asked to do the same thing. and i remember so clearly the corky st. clair acting teacher i had and how he thrilled at watching us all cry and then he tried to pass off what was truly an emotional rape as another day's work, as progress toward becoming good actors. and if you couldn't cry, well then you just had no hope. you would never be believable. it makes me so angry to think about it. and it makes me angry that now - this - is the country's perception of what an acting class is, and that -this- is what acting is about. ugh. so be it. cry cry cry and cry.

of course no reality show is complete without its omarosa, and here viviana fits the bill. too bad she's genuinely psycho, though - rather than a tv-savvy hamstress. viviana unleashes some brilliant psycho moments like saying 'i'm not a psycho! if i was psycho i would do this!' and then she hops onto a table, grabs a flower, bites into it and rubs the petals on her coochie. a compelling argument, viviana. well stated. had she not had a moment of sanity and said 'i'm too immature to go on with this show,' the producers would surely have kept her.

that dvd is gonna sell sell sell.

i didn't get a seat on the subway this morning, so had to stand, reading my magazine with one hand, the other holding the overhead bar. there were a few times when i noticed that the man sitting directly in front of me was staring at me, and i assumed that he was reading the back of my magazine. average looking guy, maybe 35. when he got up to leave, he casually stuck his business card into the magazine, put his hand on my back and said 'excuse me,' as he left. how brazen! what guts. i mean, i would never be able to hit on someone like that. i won't call him, but geez, you gotta admire the moxie.

other observations - have you noticed how fun and easy it is to make snap judgements about people based entirely on their friendster 'friends' pages? you don't even have to look closely, you just kind of unfocus your eyes and look at the whole page -

1. if most of the pictures are black and white, you can bet that they are either actors or involved in the entertainment industry.

2. if the overall color palate is a little washed out, i.e., taken with a disposable camera and scanned without color correction, then this person is probably pretty normal, has normal friends, a normal job, etc.

3. if there is a lot of skin, they are probably big big slutty ho-ho's.

4. if the color palate is vibrant, indicative of lots of professionally taken photos, then you're probably dealing with a model or a model-holic. and they've probably slept with everyone on the page.

5. if the person's friendster pic features naked pecs, click to see all their friends, and over %80 of their friends pictures feature naked pecs as well.

6. these observations apply mostly to gay men's pages, and metrosexuals in the entertainment industry's pages. i have no idea what the average straight guy's friendster page looks like.

7. the person is probably a big ho if their testimonials say things like:

"rich was AWESOME!! highly recommended!"

"9.876 for the dismount"

"arrived promptly, matched description, transaction was very easy!!! A++++"

new look, dammit

time for a new look.

so the director of the nike commercial is the acclaimed director of robot stories. pretty cool!

i was initially a tad disappointed that i wasn't playing the alien. it's a very fun part, but later that night i saw a promo picture for the upcoming 'star wars' with a mon calamari in the background, and the caption read 'senator amidala waits with a mon calamari senator (doug willis).' now, who's going to believe doug when he says 'yeah, that's me! it's really me!'

will be hitting the gym twice a day up until the shoot next saturday.. i'm already sore from just the few sprints i had to do for the audition. will need to do lots of practice and research on the sport so as not to look totally nelly out there.

was great to get the afternoon off to meander around downtown after the audition. went to the south street seaport and popped my head into manhattan's only abercrombie and fitch where i was greeted by impossibly beautiful, sexually ambiguous, possibly-actually frat boys or posing-as-frat-boy types in their artfully roughed up shorts and almost too tight, but not so tight as to look decidedly gay t-shirts. it's always an adventure walking into that store, when the hottie says 'can i help you?' and i just want to say 'well, you can and you can't.'

i'm the frustrated asian nike-wearing sprinter!

so i'm up for the part of 'frustrated asian nike-wearing sprinter' and 'nike-wearing asian surfer-dude alien.' it's a great little spot, and would be fantastic to get.. i'll find out in a couple hours. if i get the part of the alien, i have to go in tomorrow to have a cast made of my head so they can design the prosthetics, which is just about the coolest thing i can think of.

went to a party last night that was attended by 'boy meets boy' james getzlaf. it was so amusing to watch the entire room kind of part to make way for him - everyone totally aware of his presence, but not wanting to look like they give a damn about some reality tv star. but damn he was hottt.

just got called in to audition for an on-line nike commercial.. today! great reason to take a half day.

my new favorite show is 'next action star.' i love how the hoity toity kid from yale drama was summarily kicked to the curb. yeah, wave that diploma 'round buddy, and welcome to the real world of acting where training don't mean shit about charisma, manners, and humility. boy, you can bet they milked him for ironic quotes. 'reggie, tell us how qualified you are for this.. tell us how deserving you are for this..' so perhaps he was 'cast' as the hoity toity yale drama kid and i've fallen for the editing tricks. or perhaps i'm just jealous of his edumacation. hum.

new blog has been set up. will let you know when there's good stuff on it.

so last night i watched the last minutes of that horrific 'wb superstar,' and what a letdown. the big 'revelation' to the 'winner' was such a cop-out. bryan mcfadden tells her that the competition was actually for the (worst) singer with the MOST charisma!!! then he gets the crowd to cheer for her, then before she can figure out what he said he throws another $50k at her. cut to the other kids posing with big fat checks, forgiving the producers of everything. i guess humiliation comes cheap, and if they can pay off rosa for $5k, humiliation is a hell of a lot cheaper than it costs to get actors to do it.

six feet under is the greatest show on television, and that is that. after having read seriously mixed reviews of last night's premiere, i was prepared for a rocky start, which is to say that i was completely unprepared for an exceedingly strong episode that had me emotionally on-edge and disturbed - as all good art should. it looks as though the show undergoes a big shift in tone in next week's episode, and according to interviews with alan ball, the entire season will play a little lighter than last year - so we'll see how that goes. i have great faith in the creative team, though. they have had a few bumps along the way, but nothing even comparable to the bumps that plagued 'oz,' 'sex and the city,' 'carnivale,' that continue to plague 'deadwood;' and even struck down 'angels in america.'

there's now an 'hbo-ness' about many of these shows (mostly deadwood, carnivale and angels): a great deal of skill and artistry poured into a beautiful, intelligently drawn product that ultimately allows you to feel nothing. which really, if that's the worst hbo can do, is still quite a compliment. 'six feet under' remains separate somehow - so truthful and accessible i think through its humor. 'deadwood's' attempts at humor fall horribly flat, and 'carnivale' didn't even try. let's hope they do better the next time around. the best thing about a show should not be its opening credit sequence.

in other news, i went to my first audition in forever, only to be turned away because i didn't get there early for a slot. which is fine, because what matters more than actually audiioning is the fact that i took the time off work, got myself out of bed, prepared, and got my ass out there to do it. makes it much easier to do it again in the coming weeks.

the tony awards were a weird kind of awakening - that my generation is starting to take over. for so long everyone winning awards seemed older than me, which was really comforting in a way. but now, it's very strange to see your peers up there at the podium, amazed, shocked, speechless. it's a double edged sword; one side says 'boy you are geting old. i imagine you've got two maybe three more good years left in you before you should just give up and leave the tough stuff to people who are really cut out for it.' and the other side says 'see! it's not impossible! they did it! dreams can come true! all this could be yours!'

one of my favorite things to do is, while i'm walking down the street on a lovely day, is to lip synch casually to whatever song i'm listening to, imagining that i'm walking toward a camera crew filming me in a music video. you know, like robert downey junior in the video for that elton john song? that's totally me every morning on my way to work. it's awesome. i like to imagine that the crew is tripping over themselves, backing up as i walk toward them, struggling to keep me in frame, the cue card guy running into the makeup girl (we need a cue card guy because i'm way to busy to learn the lyrics beforehand), a lowly techie gets in a fight with a woman pushing a stroller as he trys to clear the way for me and the crew to make it down the street in one uninterrupted take.

have you seen the video for 'everytime,' that whimpering britney spears song? terrible, terrible. i think this song is supposed to be her 'sorry justin' song - and the video certainly rips off portions of the elton john video starring justin - beleagured mega star walks down a hallway in slow motion while being attacked by fans and protected by bodyguards. added into this mix is stephen dorff as an abusive boyfriend type who likes to throw things and yell. it's all very dramatic. britney hurls a vase, then hops in the tub and slits her wrists. fine fine. then we're treated to a bunch of cliche nonsense with an angel britney watching over her own death and simultaneous birth of a baby in the neighboring bed at the hospital. then, in a huge cop-out, britney wakes up in the tub laughing. so wait, what happened to the baby? is the baby dead now? is this the price of having britney around?

though, after the death of britney, a baby being born in the next bed is really not an adequate event to restore equilibrium to the universe. it would have been more appropriate if angel britney walks through the hospital, watching ER workers frantically try to revive her dead doppleganger, then the camera pans over to the next bed where, say, osama bin laden is being captured. angel britney can then give a pouty look to the camera, as if to say 'see? see?' i don't even know exactly what all that would mean, but it would sure be more interesting.

i watched 'wb superstar' last night and fear that i will have to adopt puppies or send checks to maylasian children in order to get my soul back.

it's television of cruelty, and boy does it sting. it hurts to see these poor, poor gay teenagers trying to get through their awkward stages, paraded in front of a national audience, teased with a dream of not only greatness, but worse - acceptance, only to have it dashed against the rocks like lady macbeth baby brains.

it's one thing to laugh at what tina fey calls 'gay delusion' when those kids are summarily shot down by simon on 'american idol,' and another thing to tell them that they are amazing. it's the kind of practical joke that, left to its own devices could actually lead one of these kids to suicide. it's fine to torment grown men and women in reality shows (surprise - he's poor! surprise - she's a man!) but to do it to gay teenagers who are clearly so fragile already is upsetting. and maybe i'm just so sensitive to this because i was (and still am) a skinny, delusional homo who would easily fall into that trap. just watch - it's too soon now, but in a few years 'suicide idol' will be the big hit show: 'who do you hate the most?! only your votes will drive them to do the deed!!!'

happy news of the day:

the weather is great and i'm going to sleep in the sun during my lunch break.

i reenter the world of auditioning on thursday.

there is more porn on my ipod than music.

i have a fan who suggests that i find jesus.

he's very nice about it.

and it's not a bad suggestion, really. my mother would be ecstatic.

but for me to find jesus would be rather like me finding pussy.

i'd look at it for a moment and go: 'oh. well now. there it is. don't think i'll go in there, thanks.'

and i sort of realize that when one has a blog as an outlet for personal frustration, the readers of said blog start to think of the author as a very frustrated and unhappy guy. this is not the case. well, okay maybe it's partially the case, but i've always found it difficult to express myself when i'm truly, really, actually, definitively and with all certainty - happy.

so i'm gonna work on that a bit.

saw 'day after tomorrow.' hoo boy. what a stinker. just a really terrible way to tell that story. it made me upset. and not because it was the end of the world. couldn't they pick six more interesting people to save? of course that would mean writing six more interesting people.

slate has a great article on fantasia, and the peculiarities of this year's 'idol.'

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