Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Professional Disqualification

Last night, I sat in a group of five at a bar a couple block from my girlfriend’s apartment. We just finished playing about five rounds of Spongebob Squarepants bingo. We won the little boxed game as a third-place prize at bar trivia a ten minute walk away. We were all putting a dollar in for each round for the heck of it. I won twice, everyone else but my friend Larson, won once, so everyone who was up tossed our winnings back into the pot and bought him a beer. At least, I think that’s where the money went.

The next game we played was something they call the movie game. Someone names a movie. The next person in the circle names someone who was in it. The next person names another movie that person was in, etc etc. If you can’t come up with something, you’re out. If you don’t think the person who just named an actor or movie can come up with an associated movie or actor, you can challenge them, and if they can't name anyone/thing they’re out instead.

This is a game that highlights one of my main failings as a professional actor. I don’t know any famous actors or movies.

Here’s how bad I was: I didn’t even bother playing the first round. When the second round came, three people went, and Todd, the guy immediately before me, was given “Robert Downey Jr.” He looked at me and you could just see the pity in his eyes. He decided to try to be nice.

“Iron Man” He said.

I’d watched it once out of boredom on my laptop. I didn’t remember anyone in it.

“Was Don Cheadle in that?” I asked.

Everybody hemmed and hawed a bit. Todd said “Well, technically that was Iron Man 2, but I’ll take it.”

That went to Dana, who blanked and challenged me to name another movie with Don Cheadle.

I shrugged. “I dunno.”

Todd rattled off about half a dozen movies with Don Cheadle in them. I recognized Hotel Rwanda, but I’d never seen it. The rest of them I don’t think I’d heard of.

Movies just aren’t a big part of my life. I don’t have anything against them. I like a good movie as much as the next guy. But aside from a handful of group outings to this joke of cult movie called The Room, I’ve seen the inside of a movie theater a grand total of two times in 2011. Possibly 2010-2011, actually. I don’t remember seeing anything in theaters in 2010. One of the 2011 movies was a valentines day date to Gnomeo and Juliet (Dana has a thing for gnomes), and another was randomly seeing the Ides of March with a friend of mine.

It’s a bit of a handicap when people are trying to use movies and celebrities as shorthand for work I’m supposed to be involved in. I try to make an excuse saying I’m more of a theater guy. It sort of works.

I know that as an actor, Netflix could be counted against my taxes as a business expense. I’m sort of tempted, just to help get me in line with normal civilization, let alone my industry. But if I try that, it's going to take a lot of hours to catch up.

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