Monday, July 27, 2009

Even The Furniture Is Talented

We had a table read for The Beaver. If you, like me, are new to movie making you might have expected this to involve a talking table. You, like me, would have been disappointed. Why call it a 'table read' you'd say. That's false advertising you'd say. And then someone would politely ask you to try not to speak for the next two hours.

But wait! Hard as it is to believe, there are better things than talking furniture. Turns out you can put people, not people, Actors!, around the table and let them read the script. If you've read anything about The Beaver then you're aware who some of the non furniture 'table read' participants were, but the people they got to round out the cast, to just come in off the street and like, read a stupid script by some moron about a talking beaver... well, it boggles the mind. I kept smiling at them and shaking their hands and asking how they could possibly be there since in my mind they actually lived in the clouds and only materialized to appear in movies and television.

And then they would ask me to get them another cup of coffee and I would say, no, no, see, I'm the writer, and then they would say, two sugars, and I would get their coffee. But still!

Anyway, at some point in this process I've begun to wrap my mind around the idea that a group of people were actually going to film the things I had written on a page, were going to say those lines, and record it, and put it together, and show it to people. And they were going to do all this on purpose!

But hearing them do it all at once, together, around a non speaking table, well, it would have given me chills had I not been sweating profusely and wondering how many people had noticed my sweating and wondering if the fact that everyone immediately went and got a paper towel after shaking my hand had anything to do with my sweating. Long story short, it was fantastic, thrilling, and I dropped like ten pounds of water weight.

As I've stressed countless times nothing's guaranteed and these things can and do fall apart, so rather than wait for the red carpet to enjoy myself, I'm pretty much breaking out the steak dinners for every step in the process. You received my W2! Steak! The woman reading Worker #1 was in three episodes of Mad Men! Medium rare! You've never seen anyone sweat through a jacket! Which way to Morton's? At this rate I will need a bypass before principal photography. If you, like me, were just an untalented hack whose idea for a beaver driven Teen Wolf spinoff had gotten you this far, you wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Amy and the girls flew home. The ride up was so indescribably awful for everyone that driving five hours in the wrong direction to drop them off at the airport seemed beyond reasonable. Sadly, their flight was delayed so much I almost beat them back to the house and 138 innocent individuals got a solid taste of Nipples lung capacity. But....

Totally worth it.

We were not only able to carry the twins up their first peak, but my mom, a woman who gets scared of heights on her tiptoes, somehow braved actual hand and foot scrambling at more than 12,000 feet and made her first summit. That picture alone justified the ride in our rolling scream machine.

We also hiked and biked and rafted and ate and did other things that brochures advised us to do. Nixie headbanged to old time bluegrass, Ripples touched fingers with anyone who came within ten feet. Both of them realized that everywhere we went the rocks were all out of order and spent hours carefully rearranging riverbeds and trailsides.

Now we're home, where you have to work and lock your doors and everything melts by noon. For summer they should change the sign at the border as you cross into Texas so instead of 'Welcome' it just says 'Are You Sure About This?'

Monday, July 6, 2009


I'm trying to figure out how old my children will have to be before I'll get back in the car with them. Settling on a specific number is really moot. The point is that I don't expect to live that long.

It took us 27 hours to go 800 miles. One or the other was screaming for 21 of those 27 hours. Around hour 17 Amy was already suggesting we just fly back and leave our car to be consumed by Colorado wildlife. Around hour 25 Stacey decided that she was never having children of her own. And in every single hour our carefully prepared arsenal of Pixar dvd's, Raffi cd's, and bought and borrowed toys hit the girls with all the effect of creme pies thrown at a brigade oncoming tanks. I will do this again when they perfect teleportation.

But I digress. What I meant to say was, we've arrived. And that for literally no reason that I can currently remember, other than that we already had a name picked out, we've gone and gotten Amy pregnant again. Mars should arrive January 8th, which you of course know is also my birthday, along with my father's. And Elvis'. So... feel free to plan your visit or escape accordingly. Should this development leave you lying awake worried that my brood might come to your house and waterboard your ears with their cries in triplicate, rest assured that unless you live within walking distance or someone invents a cattle trailer for children, you are safe.

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