I got up at 6:30 am last Sunday. For anyone who knows me, this is medal-worthy in and of itself. I got in the car and I drove it at 7:50 am. Miraculously without incident, I was on location by 8:15. I was acting for the camera by 8:45 am; reciting lines that had been mostly memorized, improvising on command, even. The issue with all of these things is two little letters – a and m, put together. Yeesh. Perhaps a modest 2,000 lb commemorative statue erected downtown is a more proper reward-to-accomplishment ratio.
All this early morning insanity was for my role as Nerve 123080 in The System, Cristina Cordova and Juan Antonio del Rosario’s latest adventure – a feature-length independent film “in which a red blood cell and a neurotransmitter set out to save the world.” It is, of course, about many other things – the effect of cocaine on the body, class warfare, socialism v. capitalism…I could go on, but I won’t, because you just need to see it and I can assure you it will be good. Juan Antonio and Cristina, as you’ll recall, were my directors for Chasing Windmills, the web series in which they also played Q and D, respectively. I adore them, and I adore working with them – so an 11-hour good-time was had by all. Yep, 11 hours for me that day. 11 hours that led to the introduction of some seriously first class actors and some actors who are seriously first class people.
One of the highlights of my afternoon involved fellow actor Sean Erik Hoffman (in the role of Sacco) making up a hilarious 1980s-style sitcom-opening-credits-song about Trotsky (played by Gary Keast who had just finished rocking the hell out of his Big Speech) – Sean did a little dance and sang, “if you’ve got a pizza, he’ll share it with your friends! – TROTSKY!” Picture a stoic Trotsky walking along a sidewalk, suddenly jumping into the air, clicking his heels together, arms spread wide – freeze frame. We found it hilarious. Perhaps you had to be there. We were punchy. Sacco also nicknamed me Nervil, which was just shy of completely adorable.
To wrap up the day, sweet Cristina gently touched a finger to my forehead and said, “don’t forget you have this on” – she was referring to the barcode that had been stamped and re-stamped there throughout the day. Only the Nerves (there were three of us) were stamped…I guess I felt special, so I kept it on until I got home, when I tackled it with makeup remover. And yet it remained. Then I tried Aloe. Didn’t work. Soap. No dice. Baby oil. Denied. I posted about it on Facebook and got a speedy reply that led to toothpaste. It stung a little. And it worked.
Anyway, keep an eye out for this puppy’s release. It was a hell of a lot of fun to film (Juan Antonio and I tend to get a little giggly when we’re supposed to be working together), and I imagine it’ll be a hell of a lot of fun to watch. In the interim, you can follow the film’s progress via the blog and Twitter.