Over the last few years, I've been bothering Leon Acord to let me have a part on his web series, "Old Dogs & New Tricks." The story of four gay men over 50, living in West Hollywood - and how they react and adjust to getting older. It's a hilarious, well-written and acted show. Leon and myself met around 1996 when we both had parts in an indie feature-film named "Roommates and Cafe." While the film is impossible to find (we both saw a screening of the completed film and got a copy on VHS), it launched our friendship. Over the years I've watched Leon do prolific and challenging roles, and grow into a very grounded and truthful actor. When he launched his webseries here a few years back, I began to bother him - (occasionally!) - to find out if there was anything I could do.
Finally an email came with an offer to do one line (actually, three sentences) with Curt Bonnem, where I play a Bored Office Counselor to his Brad King. I got to experiment with the line delivery and do a bit of improv on the spot with each take - and it felt great! Everyone on set was very supportive and funny - so I immediately felt like a part of a big, extended family. Best of all was having Leon clap the slate board for each take, while he watched the scene from behind the camera. It was great to see Leon again after so long, and I am so excited to have done a small role in the series. Hopefully there will be more that I can do in the future (a Season 4..????). If you've never watched any episodes, go check out the series website here. I'll have the footage up sometime soon.
This visit to LA was not without it's excitement, though.
The house shook and rolled for about 10 seconds, early morning, close to 6:30a. I didn't get back to sleep after that; I was too excited anyway, and this is how I started my second day.
A meeting with a talent agency, later that morning. My first meeting, ever - in LA. It was exciting to pull up to the backlot entrance to Universal Studios and be admitted in, with my name on the list. I found my way driving past buildings labeled "Costume Shop," and into a parking lot that sat behind what was clearly the New York Street set. After a few minutes of breathing and checking-in with myself, I made my way to a bungalow that housed the agency. I was greeted kindly and waited in the reception area; signed movie posters hung around me.
When I sat down with the owner and head of theatrical division, it was a great conversation. I felt very comfortable, and it really felt like a couple of friends just chatting about anything under the sun. At this point, I don't know the outcome until I check in with them this week; there's a 50/50 chance I could have representation in LA - based on this one meeting. This new dynamic would have a lot of benefits, of course, but it also brings up more questions than anything at the moment. Though not to list everything that is running through my mind, I felt very lucky to be taking a step like this in my career. I'm in this for the long haul, and a step like this was going to come sooner or later. SO. We shall see what happens.
I spent the rest of my visit seeing friends and family. And got to see some parts of LA that I'd never really spent time in. I spent a few hours at Griffith Park - and it really calmed me down. I also got to spend time with the great Bobbie Breckenridge, an actress with huge talent - and a passion for really making the most of everything. We went to see an improv show at the Upright Citizens Brigade - and I laughed so hard - I was really impressed with the talent. Improv is so enjoyable to watch, I want to do more of that!
I came back to SF seriously burned out and tired with all of the activity over the course of two-and-a-half days. But it was well worth it. Back to the daily grind here.. until....?