Monday, February 14, 2011
GOODBYE CALIFORNIA, HELLO FLORIDA
It's been a while since I've written here and sadly I must report that for the first time in my entire life, I had a scheduled production cancelled. That's the bad news. The good news is that we have one of the same show coming up in Florida in late August of 2011. The lessons were many. First I must realize that Los Angeles Actors are not what once they were. They don't want to work that hard because they are of "the movie shoot" mentality. A "movie shoot mentality" means that they don't really have any real reason to memorize lines. Everything's on a cue card. The great Marlon Brando never memorized a script after "On The Waterfront" He had crib notes always. A very funny true story happened during the filming of "The Godfather" with Francis Ford Coppola. A very brief scene was to be filmed and Brando discovered that his crib notes were missing from the set. He got very angry and wanted to know where they were. A frustrated Francis Coppola said "But Marlon, you only have one word to say-- "It's the word "Yes". How could you possibly screw that up?" In his classic raspy whispery "Godfather" voice brando replied "I Could say "No". Los Angeles actors today simply do not have the discipline, the devotion and the hard work mentality that they once did -- like back in 1984 and 1989 when I was really producing plays. They have expensive I pods but not relliable internet connections. They have the latest computer programs but not printers. They complain at more things-- even when there is payment for them that sure beats the old do it for the art. This group was actually afraid that references in the show to the late great Milton Berle and the very much alive (but apparently not known in California) Stephen Sondhiem was going to cause people to laugh at them in ridicule. In future, I will be interviewing actors very carefuly. No longer wil it be "actors who sing" it will be "singers that act". And it will be actors who have less conflicts than windows for opportunity. It wil be actors who can come to a rehearsal without texting all night which in my opinion zaps mental concentration. It will be singing actors who can read music and can hear a Midi rendition of a tune and be able to rehearse it. No more divas-- male or female. Maybe I should put the same sign that my friend Kenny Loggins put on the door of the "We Are The World" recording. That sign said "Leave your ego at the door, or leave you card and get the hell out." Pretty strong words. The other lesson is to not allow a fraternity of actors from another show to be in another. Bad news. The actors in this group will be "all for one" and thus they wil be the first to cause trouble. And the last lesson: give more time for rehearsal! So on to Florida we go. Evidently that's where the really professional actor has gone to. Los Angeles actors are a lot lazy--and they could never pull this crap in New York City!