I didn’t move the writing career forward today, but I still have acting to fall back on. I went to a cattle-call today for a small film that will be in production for a couple of months later this summer. This casting is different than any of the others I’ve been to – this one’s for an actual role in the film and I would be working a couple of weeks or more, rather than days. I was applicant 99, to give you an idea of what the odds are. There were four male roles possible, but I was clearly unqualified for two of them, and it would be a reach for one of the remainders. The last role, however, ex-pat retired war photographer hanging out in Prague, I think I have a good look for. I’ll be interesting to see if I get called back to read. In the end, they’ll probably want someone with more experience, but heck, you never know.
Surprisingly, one thing I did pull off well was the chit-chat. Even after the video camera was turned off I hung out and shot the breeze with the director, talking about life in San Diego and Mexico, travel, and bars in Montana. As we were walking back to the waiting room he said, “We’re a low-budget production, you realize.” “That’s fine,” I replied, “I’m a low-budget guy!” I may be reading too much into it, but I took that as a hopeful sign.
Which marks another difference this time around. Each of the other casting calls I dropped by, thinking “ah, what the heck, it’ll only take a few minutes, no big deal.” Each time I thought afterwards that I would not get a call. This time I find myself actually caring whether I get the gig or not. That can’t be good.
It was Graybeard who tipped me off to the opportunity, and after we were done with the casting I hung out with him and one of his bevy of ridiculously beautiful young lady friends. Gotta hand it to the old boy, he is a charmer and he’s not afraid to use it. We found a nearby café with a very nice atmosphere and settled in for a while, discussing this and that. With Graybeard the conversation never stays in the same place very long; you need mental springs and you just have to expect that few topics — or even sentences on your part — will be completed. Beautiful Lady Friend got bored and for a while I was in smile-and-nod mode, but things got interesting again when Graybeard started telling stories from his past.
It’s not my place to give too many details here, but I think it’s OK for me to mention that he has been to prison a time or three, sometimes for long stretches, and you don’t want to piss him off. I made a mental note not to hit on Beautiful Lady Friend (hence no worries about a more appropriate nickname), even after Graybeard mentioned she had no boyfriend. He wants that honor.
Which made it even more complicated when BLF left and Isolde arrived. (I have probably mentioned her before with a different nickname, but it would too much work to go look it up now.) Isolde used to date Graybeard, and they are still close enough to spend their time sniping at each other, just like old times. Isolde wanted to go to a movie, French with Czech subtitles. Graybeard did not want to see it as he knows no French or Czech, but out of sheer nobility I agreed to go to the movies with a pretty girl. The sacrifices I make. I missed some of the subtle elements of the plot, like what people said to each other, but still enjoyed the flick — despite the lack of scruffy, gray-bearded actors.