the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.

apparently i'm boring

mr. dolan says my blog is boring and lame.

yeah. well. so. um.

is not.

time to geek the hell out

i've been following the productions of peter jackson's 'king kong' and periodically, episode 3. let me say that i have the highest expectations for 'king kong,' and every indication that those expectations will be fulfilled. i mean, the man fulfilled my every expectation for 'return of the king,' it's really not expecting too much for this film to be fantastic. the on-set diaries at are amazing. the work he's doing, the care and attention, but also the freedom and fun he has while working is so inspiring.

i hate when people blame the failure of something on 'expectations being too high' (see: final episode of seinfeld). it's a bullshit excuse for mediocrity (see: episode 1). now, there are some rare cases where expectations can affect how a film is received - i think alien 3 is a good example. on it's own, it's not a bad film. it's not great either, but taken out of the context of the trilogy it stands much better as its own entity. 'alien' is one of the best horror films of all time, and 'aliens' is one of the best action films of all time. there really was no place to go other than in a new direction, rather than try to outdo the previous films. but there are instances where expectations can inflate an only mediocre film to the perception of greatness, and it's only in hindsight that we see how wrong we were (see: indy 3, which looked like a masterpiece after indy 2, but now seems a bit bland. i'll even confess to having liked ep. 2 while still in the opening night rush of it).

but now episode 3. sigh. the prequel trilogy might as well be directed by chris columbus. 1 and 2 both have chris' trademark, squeaky clean sheen peppered with stock emotion. like columbus' harry potter films, both sets of movies are about magic and wonder while containing virtually none of it.

george's team managed to cut together a fun trailer that uses no moments of acting, two lines of dialogue, and mostly footage from the previous films. sad, but this is what it takes now to squeeze out a moment of true star wars joy.

'return of the king' has been on rotation on cable and i find myself compelled to watch sequences of it again and again. the film, like 'empire strikes back,' which i just wathced again recently, has genuine emotional resonance.

remember those days in high school when lucas and speilberg held like 8 of the top grossing films of all time? it was like all 3 star wars, all 3 indy films, back to the future, and et. it was awesome.

here's the domestic list now:

1 Titanic
2 Star Wars
3 Shrek 2
4 E.T.
5 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
6 Spider-Man
7 The Return of the King
8 Spider-Man 2
9 The Passion of the Christ
10 Jurassic Park

shrek 2 is number three? of all time? are you kidding me? and episode 1 and the jesus movie are scars on that list. but check out the adjusted for inflation list - which is really a much better barometer of a film's popularity:

1 Gone with the Wind
2 Star Wars
3 The Sound of Music
4 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
5 The Ten Commandments
6 Titanic
7 Jaws
8 Doctor Zhivago
9 The Exorcist
10 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

this is more like it. shrek 2 is way down at #30, and empire and raiders rest comfortably within the top 20.

it's interesting, i was talking about 'king kong' with neal and he said that the original is pretty boring. i countered that in 1933, when it came out, it must have looked photo-realistic, and was certainly entertaining on a whole different level than how we view it today.. and i think the same is true of the original 'jurassic park.' it's really not that great a movie, but visually, my god, it was the first time that we had ever seen an effects shot seamlessly composited into steadycam movement. we went into the film thinking we knew all the visual rules for special effects and then saw them shattered. that was what was so amazing about jurassic park. it's almost impossible to sit through anymore.

virginia madsen

should win. granted, she was given one of the best speeches of the year, but her delivery - gentle, heartbreaking, and just damned honest. that giamatti is not nominated is a travesty. even with all the hype, this one scene made my heart stop. i know, i'm a sentimental softie. after some searching i found the entire scene. posting it just cuz i want to read it a lot. if you haven't seen the film, maybe you shouldn't read it. actually i don't think it would ruin anything. in fact, out of context, this scene probably seems quite boring - and when you see it, you might be amazed at how packed with meaning these simple words can be.

Wow, this is really starting to open up. What do you think?

My palate’s kind of shot, but from what I can tell, I’d dub it pretty damn good.

Can I ask you a personal question?

(bracing himself)

Why are you so into Pinot? It’s like a thing with you?

Miles laughs at first, then smiles wistfully at the question. He searches for the answer in his glass and begins slowly.

I don’t know. It’s a hard grape to grow. As you know. It’s thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s not a survivor like Cabernet that can grow anywhere and thrive even when neglected. Pinot needs constant care and attention and in fact can only grow in specific little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing growers can do it really, can tap into Pinot’s most fragile, delicate qualities. Only when someone has taken the time to truly understand its potential can Pinot be coaxed into its fullest expression. And when that happens, its flavors are the most haunting and brilliant and subtle and thrilling and ancient on the planet.

Maya has found this answer revealing and moving.

I mean, Cabernets can be powerful and exciting, but they seem prosaic to me for some reason. By comparison. How about you?

What about me?

I don’t know. Why are you into wine?

I suppose I got really into wine originally through my ex-husband. He had a big, kind of show-off cellar. But then I found out that I have a really sharp palate, and the more I drank, the more I liked what it made me think about.

Yeah? Like what?

Like what a fraud he was.

Miles laughs.

No, but I do like to think about the life of wine, how it’s a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing, how the sun was shining that summer or if it rained... what the weather was like. I think about all those people who tended and picked the grapes, and if it’s an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I love how wine continues to evolve, how every time I open a bottle its going to taste different than if I had opened it on any other day. Because a bottle of wine is actually alive -- it’s constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks -- like your ‘61 -- and begins its steady, inevitable decline. And it tastes so fucking good.

Now it is Miles’ turn to be swept away. Maya’s face tells the moment is right, but Miles remains frozen. He needs another sign, and Maya is bold enough to offer it: she reaches out and places one hand atop his.

(suppressing his panic)
But I like a lot of wines besides Pinot too. Lately I’ve really been into Rieslings. Do you like Rieslings? Rieslings?

She nods, a Mona Lisa smile on her lips. Come on, Miles. Finally --

Bathroom over there?


Miles gets up and walks out. Maya sighs and gets an American Spirit out of her purse.

stupid stupid saturday night snow

couldn't give us a snow day could you? just a hellish monday morning commute? damn you.

listening to the killers: mr. brightside and somebody told me

and greenday: jesus of suburbia. over and over over and over again..


due to the snowstorm, my audition today has been cancelled. i've been informed, though, that i've been officially cast in the role. i am of course a bit skeptical, as this director has never seen me, and the only time she's heard me speak was during the phone call in which she offered me the part. ah well. it's work, and it pays. turns out it is a small role, which is great. it's a union job (my first), so i'll be sag eligible, and i'll get in imdb, which will be cool. still, no bells and whistles or real celebrating until i have either a contract, a check, or a reel.


every week i submit myself via email to a handful of film projects i find out about on usually i never hear back, but sometimes there are interesting things on there. i have an audition in long island on saturday for a 'feature film.' i'm up for a 'principal role.' forgive my quotes. with independent projects it's hard to tell if you're walking into the film equivalent of waiting for guffman, or if you're being discovered by the next darren aronofsky. i'm told i'm reading for the part of a security guard, which makes me question the definition of 'principal role.' does this really mean 'speaking role'? where i'll have 2 lines like 'welcome home mrs. thompson'? or is this a film about a security guard? where mrs. thompson has the bit part? no way to tell.

either way, she tells me i'm the only person reading for the part (which makes me think it's a bit part), so 'unless you really suck, it's yours.' fantastic. need more stuff for my reel.


that's what my phone number spells .

it's yodaspeak for man-love

quadruple lives

it's interesting to see how emoticons have infused instant messenging, email, and all written communication. they give us a new form of punctuation that substitutes for facial expression. we can now say:

you look like shit today :-)

i have been, on occasion, obsessive about instant messenging, especially when writing to someone with whom i'm having a heated discussion. it's amazing what can go on in instant messages while i'm sitting in my cubicle. i've had debates, arguments, flirtations, near break-ups, forgivenesses, business deals, basically every type of human interaction save for the exchange of fluids or the throwing of fists.

and the analysis of it can be so maddening. my IM program at work tells me when the other person is typing. it also tells me when they have stopped typing, but have not hit enter. so, you can see when you're really getting to someone, or if you've stumped them, or if you've caught them in a lie - they start to type. they pause. they erase. they write something else, they pause, change their mind, erase, type again, then they hit 'send,' and the message is usually something short like 'ok.' is there anything more irritating than passive aggressive IMing?

yes yes, of course nearly all of these people i'm talking to are also at offices, and are balancing the discussion of whether or not 'closer' was a good movie with oh say ten phone calls and updating a spreadsheet - regardless, you can tell. i've sat at my desk in tears because of IM conversations. i've also sat here in rages of fury or in barely controlled fits of laughter.

how funny

with all our obsessing to look younger, when a role presented itself which might require me to look older, i was perfectly willing to point out all the flaws that might allow me to play the role - my graying hair, my weathered face, etc. actors are whores. it also reinforces the importance of having a headshot the really looks like 'you,' not necessarily the 'ideal you.' when we held auditions last year it was so disappointing to see people walk in the door and wonder 'um.. now where is the super hot guy/girl in this picture?' i need to get, as my agent said, an 'edgy' picture.

have you seen 'unscripted?' it's wonderful. heartbreaking - and at times annoying. the main characters are taking a method acting class, which irritates me to no end. it's one of those howard fine 'think about your dead puppy until you cry' schools of acting. at least frank langella plays a much more interesting and credible teacher - and also a flawed one. but its depiction of the realities of the business are so true to life; the standing around in the background of the set, having half hearted conversations with the stars, hoping they like you, watching them shake their heads at your inexperience, the always present urge to lie on your resume, the urge to sabotage your 'friends' who are up for the same part, the experience of being subtly sabotaged yourself.. you can feel the show is informed by george clooney's experience having been in failed series after failed series after failed series. even watching jennifer hall practice her monologue in her apartment is spot-on. and that these actors are essentially playing themselves - well, not truly themselves, but they are playing characters with their same names and status in the business while simultaneously functioning in the 'real' world of acting - bryan has really been on 'boston public' and 'smallville'.. and when he's doing background on 'er,' he's really doing background on 'er.'

our casting call has gone out and it's so interesting to see the plethora of people who immediately reply - and the variations of submissions that come in. some of these poor people are so misguided. it's quite an education. just by looking at 100 or 200 photos and resumes i can't stress enough the importance of having a professional looking picture - the importance of being 'classy.' beyond being really hot or sexy or whatever, a classy presentation stands out far and above the rest. it says immediately, 'i'm serious about this business, and i take the opportunity to work with you seriously.' some of these people are nyu grads submitting cropped party pictures as their headshots! the cutesy tricks scream amateurism - it's akin to dressing like harry potter for your american idol audition. to you want to be remembered or do you want to get cast?

meeting had

so, met with my agent. i gave her my reel, my fancy new headshots and updated resumes. she said 'great! call me once a week to check in and see if i have anything for you.' as we were talking she got a fax breakdown from law & order calling for a 30 year old asian male. bingo. so she's submitting me, even though she doesn't think i quite look 30. it's the start.

submissions are rolling in for our next show.. are you an actor in nyc? audition! go to for details..


inspiration is troublesome. it's interesting how when things are flowing it feels like you have so many ideas that you can't stop, that the possibilities are endless, that your field of vision is so wide and your focus so clear that you could write a song or poem or play about anything, about a leaf on the ground, or a piece of gum under a chair or the tiniest moment of irritation registered on a friend's face that they quickly tried to mask before you saw it. and sometimes when i have a camera in my hand i feel like i could make anything look beautiful, that i could find the exact right framing of a dog turd to make it fascinating, or a crumpled piece of paper, or that guy who looks like a child molestor who's always on the 8:00 F train.

and then just as fast and hard, it stops. nothing is interesting, everything is impossible, and everything produced is shit. i must be manic or something.

calls made

so today was spend amassing the paperwork to produce an equity showcase, and placing our ad in backstage for auditions.

called my agent. we have a meeting set for thursday. will be getting a tan and hitting the gym and finding a great outfit and printing new headshots and resumes.


new music is so awesome. there is nothing better than hearing something new that toally rocks. just got the new green day. it's fucking great. it's epic. it's mature, yet reckless. fan fucking tastic (copyright j. dolan).

also read the new yorker article on mashups, so had to immediately download the two it touts as the best: 'a stroke of genius' and 'frontin' on debra.' both are very good, but 'stroke of genius' is phenomenal. really makes you realize how little the melody of a song actually contributes to the overall experience - far more inportant are the accompanying chords, and when 'genie in a bottle' is given the chords and rough backing of 'the strokes' the result is a far better musical debut for ms. christina. get on kazaa or acquisition and download that puppy!

hall of shame: i did not go to my planned audition. i left my music at work, which is the lamest excuse of all time. i must now go to two auditions as punishment. about to call my agent again to set up our meeting this week.

call made

called her. she asked where i'd been for a year. running a theatre company i said. oh she said that's great. i have a reel now i said. oh she said that's great. and an updated resume. oh she said that's great. call me on monday and we'll set up an appointment. oh i said that's great.

that friend

we all have that friend who tries to make us feel ashamed of arbitrary things.

friend: have you had the brunch at escapade?

me: no.

friend: you haven't?? i can't fucking believe that! why haven't you been? i would think that you'd have been by now. i mean, you do live in this city, right? i mean, you are a new yorker, right? wow. (to other friend) joe hasn't been to escapade! i know, right? what's wrong with you?


friend: you've seen sideways, right?

me: not yet.

friend: what? it's only the greatest american film of the last twenty years. i'm really suprised you haven't seen it. because you're so savvy about that stuff. because you really like those artistic films with developed characters. it was so fucking good. so fucking good. you need to see that film.


there are certain films i haven't seen that i will tell 'that friend' i have seen just to avoid sitting through 'that beratement.' or i'll say 'i've seen parts of it.' or i'll even say that i tried to watch it but hated it just to get them to shut up about it. there are some friends that even fixate on the same movie. one friend - if 'hero' comes up in conversation, i already have to start hiding. of if someone starts talking about 'tombstone,' i know i have to prepare my excuse: 'i saw the last half on cable,' which is mostly a lie. i've seen interview clips, that's all. but my god with these friends it is so much easier to say 'in essence, yes, i have seen the film' than to admit ignorance and face an extraordinarily irritating rant.

which also makes me more cautious of my own urges to scream 'how can you not have seen indiana jones?? are you retarded? you've never heard of the roxy? you're a gay man living in new york city for two years now and you think i'm talking about a bakery in times square?? you've never been to the east village after living in midtown for fifteen years? how can, how is that possible?

update: every time in the past that i've called my agent, she has asked me to come into her office the next day. so using that excuse, i decided not to call her yesterday, but will call today because if she wants me to come in, i can do it on monday and have the weekend to get my stuff together. so: calling today. calling today at lunch.

here's a pic of me and sunny at our makeshift reunion at my friend steve's house the day after xmas. sunny and steve are definitely -not- 'that friend.'

meetings meetings

hiring a stage manager. meeting with the director. meeting with the writer. find a costume designer. find a casting director. set an audition date. place the audition ad. locate audition space. promise people money. find money.

thanks for the encouragement, everyone. and yes, i will defer use of fan fucking tastic to mr dolan. it was a pleasure finally meeting after two years of blogging. but hmm. i don't really remember being 'felt up.' was i drunk? or maybe i'm just so damn old now that i'm forgetting. you want me to steal your virginity? um. i'll have to track down the flat bed truck in maryland where you left it. oh! suhlam! (what you get for callin' me old, cracka)

biting the bullet and calling my old agent today. rrrgh. these things make me so nervous. which is why i've been putting it off for like months.


it's time to change my life. it's time to throw open the shutters and beat the dusty rug out the balcony window like that little old italian woman in that cologne commercial.

this is gonna be the year folks, that's my promise to you. if you've been following my ups and downs and musings for the last several years (years! can you believe this, i've been blogging now for years!?) you'll be able to say you knew me when. you'll be one of those random people interviewed on 'best week ever' saying how lame i used to be and how i'd be occasionally entertaining.

i'm tired of lying in wait. waiting has made me tired. tiredness has made me lame. time to wake the hell up. will document my progress here as if you care.

production is going into full swing on my theatre company's next show, GOLDEN AGE. the show opens in march. will be fan fucking tastic.

have a couple auditions coming up. one this saturday. will practice. will ace the shit out of it.

have dvd's burned of my demo reel featuring last summer's nike commercial and the short film. will either re-sign with my old agent, or get a new agent from it. once signed, will not vanish into the ether.

have found strange new joy in drawing those little cartoons. will continue to make them the best i know how. am determined to have them published in some form. thank you to those who wrote requesting booklets - i really hope you like them! if you're feeling left out, please let me know. i'll send you one.

sorry anonymous

details of the reported clay aiken gay hookup will not be made public. the poor guy who took the bullet for all of us must be protected.

let me reiterate that the story rings true, was unsolicited, and volunteered without any knowledge of my past obsession with outing the lanky queerboy.

for the sake of google let me say: clay aiken is gay clay aiken is gay clay aiken is gay gay gay gay gay. thank you. the end.

saw 'closer' last night. fuckin' loved it. is there any greater genre than the 'cold, cruel, four character infidelity drama'? bravo natalie portman for proving that yes, you are brilliant, and that it was entirely george lucas' fault for your suckage in star wars.

also saw 'meet the fockers' on a bootleg dvd i bought on a street corner. the dvd is hilarious - you can hear the amateur cinematographer munching on popcorn and see little heads at the bottom of the screen like in mst3k. the colors are slightly muted, and the whole experience is like watching a documentary about going to a movie. even with the distractions, after half an hour, the story pulls you in and you forget what you're watching. pretty cool, really. movie was eh. frustrating mostly because of unmet potential.

this is eldora, where i went skiing over break with friends david and emily, where we went the last time i skiied with them, like, um, 20 years ago.


i've never really had a muse before. i think a muse is something different than 'those who you despise so much that the only way to express yourself is through vengeful, hatefully creative forms of art.'

i've had a lotta those.

but what happens when like, you like someone so much that you hear trumpets and french horns and see choruses of tinkerbells hitting miniature pinatas filled with glitter? what then?

i find i am inadequately experienced to write happy songs. the closest i can come is to say something like 'it's amazing how you make me not want to gouge my eyes out,' or 'even now i don't want to kill you.'

oh yes, clay aiken is a top.

happy new year.

i went to the roxy on new years. crazy scene. had fun. took me back to the good ol' college days. don't ask what i did.

anway, met a guy there who has slept with clay aiken. and i believe his story. it's specific and detailed, and i am satisfied. and i'm sure you all know that i am one skeptical mofo. and clay's a top, which is maybe the most unbelievable news of all. i'll still hold onto the belief that he was just 'trying something new.'

now the bitch needs to come out of the closet, and all you teenage girls and soccer moms gotta wake up and face reality: clay aiken puts it inside boys. the end.

went home for the break. went skiing, which was awesome. will post pics.

it's a new year, which means finding arbitrary fuel for new ambitions. hey, arbitrary is fine as long as it's fuel. i turn 30 this year which means (according to my junior high school plan) that if i don't win an oscar in march, i'm jumping off the brooklyn bridge. since my nike commercial is not a contender, it looks like i'll need to take some swimming lessons. maybe i should take out an ad in variety, 'for your consideration: joe larue as 'the runner.''

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  • 5: the man of genius

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