M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, July 26, 2002  

I gave up on being a movie star a long time ago. That’s not just because I’m short on talent and charisma; lots of people with less talent and charisma than I have are doing just fine in Hollywood. No, the main factor was a lack of commitment. I could never reconcile the opportunity cost of starving and spending years in a tiny apartment totally devoid of right angles just so I could regularly get shot down at auditions. I have nothing but respect for people for whom it’s actually worth it, people who are out there paying their dues to get into the business, not least of all because I don’t have their determination and drive. It’s just better for everyone if people who don’t have the fire in the belly (me) stay out of the way of those who do (people who aren’t me).

That’s not to say I didn’t go to an audition or two after high school. My last (and, really, only) big one was in response to a newspaper ad that said they were doing an open casting call for 16-20 year old guys for a Disney movie. This was right about the time that I’d heard that Robin Williams’s follow-up to Good Morning Vietnam would have him playing a high-school teacher, so I figured what the heck. If I didn’t take a shot at it, I’d never know. Well, now I know. I made it to callbacks and my video audition actually went pretty far in the process from what they told me, but they went with the other tall, skinny guy. Now, whenever you see James Waterston on the silver screen, know that that could have been me if only I’d been cast in Dead Poets Society instead of him. Ah, well. Now I look at Robin Williams and I think, “It would have been cool to work with Peter Weir.”

So, yeah. No movie career for me, which is fine because I don’t want one anyway. No, seriously, I really don’t want yer stupid fame and fortune and life of luxury and adulation. Not if you gave me a million bucks. Who needs it?

There is one part I woudn’t turn down, though.

There’s been talk of trying to make a biopic on the life of the Who’s late drummer, Keith Moon. Mike Myers’s name has been mentioned as a possible lead, and I can see it; not only can the guy do more British accents than Peter Sellers, his gifts for physical comedy will translate well in reproducing Moon’s frenetic flailing behind the drum kit. I’m thinking James Franco (warning: popups) would be a pretty decent Daltrey, with the chin and the cheekbones and all. I’m stumped on Townshend; dude’s been accurately described as a nose on a stick. As for my personal hero John Entwhistle, there’s a picture on the cover of the rarities compilation Two’s Missing, in which he looks exactly like a certain actor. Unfortunately that actor is a youthful Steve McQueen, so that just leaves me.

Not that I look at all like Steve McQueen, youthful or otherwise. And not that I look that much more like Entwhistle, come to mention it. And not that I’m English, or a good enough actor, or a good enough bass player, for that matter, to convincingly inhabit the role of the Ox. But come on, it’s not like Entwhistle’s going to get any lines in the movie anyway. He barely got any lines in real life.

I just think it would be a lot of fun to get to be onstage in reenactments of some of the Who’s greatest performances. I’d just have to stand there, completely expressionless and motionless (except for my hands) while guitar and drum shrapnel whickers lethally past my head. What a great gig. Plus I’d get to meet Myers, which would be a trip. And it would help me bring my bass playing to the next level, because I’d refuse to mime it. Of course, they would have to play my footage back at quadruple-speed, but you can’t have everything.

I wanted the part a lot more a year ago, when Entwhistle was still alive and getting the part would have likely meant getting to meet the man himself, maybe even for a bass lesson or two. But I’d still be willing to don a giant-mixing-bowl-haircut wig and a wardrobe of fugly-even-for-the-seventies outfits and that desperate “Boris the Spider” necklace and strap on one of those curvy, pointy space-basses he insisted on playing if it meant I got to meet Pete Townshend. There’s actually not much I wouldn’t do for that chance.

So who do I talk to about this? Can anyone out there hook me up with an audition? I promise I’ll stay away from the business for good afterwards.

* * *

Speaking of me strapping on basses, in case you’re wondering how our gig went (you know, the one I had a nightmare about in the 7/10 entry), you can read all about it here, at the band’s website. It’s like two entries for the price of one! I don’t think you people realize what a bargain you’re getting here.

posted by M. Giant 2:50 PM 0 comments


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