I'm really good at auditioning if the character I'm playing is supposed to be nervous
There's an element of RISK being an actor. You're EXPOSING YOURSELF and there's a good chance of making a total fool of yourself.
It has been suggested that people become actors for the same reason they like extreme sports. Both have similar challenges that test one's vulnerability.
One of those times when a HAT really comes in handy
It took several years of jumping out of airplanes before I discovered an adrenaline rush can also be found being an actor ... with less chance of being KILLED.
The ACTING challenge is getting out of my own way ... giving up control of my body to the CHARACTER so he can jump inside and become alive. It feels uncomfortable at times when he does things I wouldn't do ... or uses secret fears & emotions in my own personality to express himself.
It's fun, though, when he CUSSES a lot. I don't know why, but for some strange reason it feels good to say "#>%!" and "≠?¤#$"in front of a lot of people and not get in trouble for it.
So far I've been everything from a mathematical genius in a stage production of PROOF, to a judge who likes wearing women's clothes in the movie comedy SCAMELOT.
In FRANKLIN WUNDER I was a widower who has a major heart attack while swimming and later escapes from intensive care wearing only a hospital gown. (During filming in downtown Portland I held the back of the gown tightly CLOSED when people drove by laughing & pointing at me.)
It's a beautiful story of a dying man who questions whether he has ever done anything "good" for the world. Without realizing it, everything he does on the last day of his life starts a chain reaction that benefits the lives of strangers who happen to cross his path. The film ends when Franklin decides to go swimming again in a lake where he had fun as a teenager.There he has another heart attack and dies. This required stripping down to my underwear and jumping from a dock into cold water about 8-feet deep ... then swimming to the middle of CullabyLake near Astoria, Oregon(pictured here).
There was a slight wind and It was cloudy when this was filmed with temperatures somewhere in the 50's. The water was FREEZING cold! When my "dead" body was pulled to shore and the cameras started rolling again my first thought was how underwear sometimes becomes almost transparent when it's wet.
And, yeah, the thought ALSO crossed my mind about how cold water can sometimes SHRINK certain things (if you know what I mean) and that people may not see me at my best.
Between camera takes several members of the crew poured warm water all over me to calm down the shivering ... then, to appear dead, I held my breath as long as I could before starting to shake again. Playing a wet DEAD guy in a movie isn't easy when you're shivering uncontrollably.
There ought to be an Academy Award for that.
My wife and me at the Portland premier
I've played characters who DIE in several films (probably because I look good DEAD) ... and it always seems strange to hear the director say, "action" after I've already kicked the bucket.
Shouldn't it be "inaction"?
FLYING SOLO – A couple of people got murdered in this film. I was one of the guys who killed 'em. The movie is now in post-production and was filmed in Fort Smith, Arkansas by Devon Parks - a Hollywood director and recent EMMY winner.
SOW REAPER - This is an Asian film made in Singapore. I played an "accident prone" American guy who has crazy stuff happen to him. Among other things, he FALLS while taking a shower. Since this was to be a nude scene I was pretty nervous. There were some "muffled" giggles from the crew looking on. But, It turned out OK.
__ Singapore would be a great place to make a James Bond Movie, and next time I'd like to be a "cool" guy like him instead of being "accident prone".
PATHFINDERS – An action movie directed by Michael C. Humphreys (young Forrest Gump in the Tom Hanks film).
I had just a small part in this one playing an American General who questions the wisdom of invading Normandy. The story is based on actual events from WWII.