Monday, March 01, 2004

How come nobody ever says "The Envelope, Please" anymore?

So the Oscars were last night. Bet you didn’t know that did you? They were. Now, let me be the first person on the entire internet to give you a little re-cap.

There was nothing earth-shattering about the Oscars this year. The opening was good, Billy Crystal was good, overall, I thought that they were pretty…well…good. Most everybody won that I thought should (except for Bill Murray, and, to be honest, if it weren’t for the awesome LOTR trilogy, Lost in Translation should have grabbed Best Picture).

But the Oscars themselves weren’t the focus of my evening. Not even what people wore! Can you believe that?! Fashionistas everywhere are limply clapping their hands to their waxed chests and stammering, “oh…my…GAWD!”

I attended an Oscar party last night. Well, an Oscar/Wrap party for the short film that I just finished working on. It’s one thing to want to be a Hollywood big-shot, but when you’re crammed in a room full of people who want the same thing, it can be a little daunting. Daunting for me anyway because most everyone who was there actually gets some work. I spent most of the night trying not to look like a desperate Hollywood charity case.

Which, by the way, I’m not. I don’t need no charity! I just need everyone to love me and want me to work with them. Is that so wrong?

The one good thing about “industry” parties is that you will be visited at least once by everyone in attendance. That’s only if you look like you don’t care. If you look like you don’t care then people will assume that you don’t have to and that means that you’re doing just fine, baby. And the “doing just fine, baby” attitude is a signal to others that you may be able to get them some work…and maybe it’ll actually pay!

Don’t get me wrong, these were all very nice people. No one was an ego-maniac or anything. There were no “airs” being put on. Just a bunch of people politely milling around looking like they don’t care.

Every once in a while though, someone would pipe up and say something like “oh my God, that’s the film that so-and-so worked on! Oh my God, I’m sooooo happy for him/her!” This, of course, is another way to suggest, “I may not be doing just fine just yet, baby, but I know someone who is, which makes me next in line for doing just fine, baby.”

This is what, in Poker, is called a “tell” (and what I just wrote, in writing, is called a “cliché”). This person, desperate for attention, just showed their cards. Why you ask? Well, the “I know someone…” game is a pretty common industry game. You needn’t to go to parties to play it either. People will just do that on the street. This means that it has no place indoors. You wouldn’t change your oil in your living room, would you?

“Sour grapes!” Says you.

“You’re right!” Says I.

Sure, I want to be successful. Sure, I want to be able to go to these parties and say ”I know someone…!” Sure, I want to be envied (hey it’s their sin, not mine).

But I really do play off the “I don’t care” thing really well. And, it’s sorta’ fun to be the slacker/actor/writer/director. The confidence + the slackerness = funny confusion.

Here’s a typical scene:

ACTOR AT PARTY: Hey, man, you got any projects going?

TAM: No.

ACTOR: You aren’t doing anything?

TAM: Nope.

ACTOR: …Hey, man, who’s your agent?

TAM: I don’t have an agent.

ACTOR: Are you still looking for one?

TAM: Not really. Who has the time?

ACTOR: How do you get auditions?

TAM: I don’t.

ACTOR: …oh.

Now, I’ve essentially told this person that I’m nobody and I haven’t done a damned thing to further my career, but they always seem to think that my approach is somehow calculated and then ask me for advice.

Of course, actors would ask their pets for acting advice so that’s not saying much. We are a fragile bunch.

So, to wrap up: The Oscars were okay and I’m a catty bitch at parties.

Fun Fact: My rent is overpriced and yet it’s cheaper than anything else on the block. (Fire your slings and arrows about me not paying the rent etc…)

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