Thursday, January 26, 2012

Selfish Jerk- LIFE IS SHORT - Joshua Jackson

I recently rented the movie "One Week" written and directed by Michael McGowan and starring Joshua Jackson. The synopsis sounded interesting and I have been a Joshua Jackson fan since the TV show "FRINGE". It was sort of the soul searching journey about how he lived his life up until the day he found out he was dying, and what he wanted to do with the rest of his life as if he had only One Week to live.

Being raised watching American movies, I am programed to want a happy ending, in other words, the couples get together, or stay together or figure out their difference and continue to love each other even if it deviates a bit from their ultimate fairy tale life.

His fiance wasn't that bad, she had a few annoying habits, but when he realizes he's got a limited amount of time left on the earth, he doesn't want that life (being married to her) as being part fate.

His parents and fiance were so worried about him, they didn't know how close to dying he was, he wouldn't call, he wouldn't tell them where he was (and I remember thinking while watching)...what a selfish jerk (well you know the writer is brilliant when I'm feeling something and talking to the tv) and then I got really mad when he cheated on her and left her.

I got upset at the movie and it's stupid ending that I thought about it the rest of the night! But, not long before bed it hit me. How many decisions we make in life based on what others want us to do, based on others happiness, based on what is the status quo, what's the accepted norm?

How many dreams and desires do we put down, shove down and think we just have to suck it up and accept it? We live a life of being comfortable and for most that means compromising what what we would really do if we only had One Week left to live.

We take life for granted and think it will always be there, like we can continue to put our dreams on the shelf indefinately, that we will trek accross the country on motorcylce one day, we will settle down and get married one day, we will write that novel we've been thinking about, we will (you fill in the blank). But we aren't promised tomorrow.

Yes, maybe there could have been a better way he went about changing his mind and letting the people who loved him know...but ultimately living a life filled with regret is no way to live at all. Each day you put down what you feel in your heart, you die a little bit more.

We've got to grab this life with gusto, throw caution to the wind and ride that lighting bolt til it electrocutes us or sends us flying to our destination.

One last question...what would you do right now, this very moment if you knew you only had "One Week" to live?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WORDLESS - the Short Film

So just as I was thinking that I need some new comedy clips for my demo reel, a young female director called me to audition for her short film...I never even submitted my picture for it. Apparently somehow I ended up in the files of her films school, she found an old Black and White picture of me from 8 or 9 years go.

It's a good thing I hadn't changed my email address since then. I read the script, it was hilarious, she was able to picture what I would look like now, and thanks to footage she found of me on the web, she knew I could do physical comedy without being stiff. I had so much fun on the set getting to let my inner dork come out and play. She did a little aging make up on me and found me some dorky pajamas, although I have to admit the leopard shirt and the hot sticks in the hair were mine. Although we just shot it less than two months ago, it has already made it into two film festivals.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Prove It! Act Your Way Out of A Paper Bag

Earlier this week I had to prove myself...I think that is the perpetual struggle of the actor; I almost said artist, but I realized a lot of art, you can do on your own like paint or write a poem without much more than pen, paper, canvas and some color...but to act. You must prove yourself. After all, you've got to prove yourself to get the chance to act.

I know a lot of artists have to prove what they are worth when it comes to commanding a certain dollar amount for your work, but for an actor, unless you are acting for your friends in your living room, or willing and able to shell out several hundred to several thousand to put a film or even a play together, you need to prove yourself to get the chance to act.

So there is this director who really likes my work, he's got a feature that he wants me to star in. But when he brought it before the Powers That Be...all the questions arose...Can she really do it? Do you really think she can pull it off? What has she ever done before? How do you know she will stick it out? Can we trust her to pull it off?

God bless the director, but he did not do his homework before that meeting. Any quick search on google for the name Katherine Norland would have a least brought up half a dozen if not more clips of work I had done in the past, so show I didn't just crawl out from under a rock. But he gave into the badgering. I got called in to have an informal screening of my work. I brought about 20 clips of previous work I had done that I was proud of. And he was put at ease and assured that "I actually can act my way out of a paper bag" :)