Wednesday, August 25, 2010


There's a lot I love about my job: the irreverence, the creativity, the exorbitant remuneration for just basically sitting around and coming up with crazy shit. Of course, for all that ying there's plenty of yang: myopic clients, corporate bureaucracy and casting.

Right now I'm going into production on a couple of new commercials. Sadly those commercials will require the talent of actors and actresses, a group of people I generally despise.

They make way more money than writers, they get better seats at restaurants, and they are showered with all kinds of praise and swag. (At the Writer's Guild Award show, a good screenwriter will be lucky to go home with a $25 Starbucks gift card.)

That's not to say however that I don't appreciate the efforts of a good thespian. A good actor or actress can make all the difference in the world and deliver the kind of performance that can make mediocre writing (the kind I usually do) seem almost palatable.

The problem is to find that one good performer, we, the production team, have to sift through a cavalcade of ham-fisted, overwrought, pretentious auditions. And now thanks to technology, the cattle call is now hundreds upon hundreds of web-linked auditions, each more pathetic than the last. Had Shakespeare been given a laptop and a wi-fi connection he would have quickly abandoned playwriting for a less painful job digging latrines.

On my next production, I'm going suggest the Director think outside the box and take the casting sessions down to the Los Angeles courthouse. We'd just have to watch people trying to get out of jury duty. Now that's acting.

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