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4/22/2011

I'm On BAR KARMA: Part 1


[While this is Part 1, The PRELUDE sets this up a little bit.]

Part 1: Half The Battle Was Just Getting There

We shot the opening sequence at my home on a Friday. Sounding natural can be a challenge and I won’t know how well I really did until I see it on TV. I probably opened my bedroom door about thirty or fifty times and tried not to fuck it up. Using one properly, it turns out, takes practice.

One of the crew bumped a piece of my artwork, it fell and broke. I saw it happen. I don’t forgive much, but I forgive honest accidents I see firsthand. And, y'know, shit happens. It’s why god made glue.

I got the impression it went good overall and Rosario seemed honestly pleased. We spoke some more about how things would go on set the next Tuesday and he left me a copy of the script’s first draft. I read it, liked it and wondered what the BK Community would make of it. It was a very ...meta story and played a bit outside the typical format. But I liked it mostly because it really didn’t have to be me. They wrote for anyone of the community to be in it. My “character” has no specific name and is only identified as Community Member #1 or CM#1, my name appears only on the call sheet. I hope they credit our real names and not our screen names.

While reading the script I got ideas, I can’t help it. I’m a creative person and I gots a sprinklin’ of the ADD, so ideas bounce around in here like racquetballs. I can’t turn it off. Now, theses ideas were nothing that would change the story, only dialogue stuff. Things I saw from my perspective as CM#1. They could have been on set improvisations, actually. But I had, like, four or five. I would probably forget half of them by Tuesday or I might be too intimidated to speak up. Would I dare send an email off to Rosario? Who the fuck was I to make suggestions – to have ideas? What if I offended somebody? What if I annoyed the credited writer, Alan Goodman? All true considerations, but—what if they liked something? And what if they used it? The negative voice barked that if they did, it would only be to pleases me, a token gesture.

Here I was now, more nervous about this—suggesting dialogue ideas—than the acting on TV. I noticed this fact, mentally rescheduled the self-introspection and figured, why not? Wasn’t this all some daydream or something anyway? I wrote a email that was overly pre-apologetic and gave my ideas to Rosario, to either ignore or pass along. That was the hardest thing to do — who knows how that would be received/interpreted. I had been waiting for the other shoe to drop during this whole experience, for it all to turn sour…. It had been going almost too easy. Perhaps this would do it.

The weekend came and went without much fanfare. Monday, Pat called to tell me they were sending over another draft of the script and to expect maybe another one. Which I knew to expect, it’s the process: revisions, revisions, revisions. He asked is I was psyched about the next day. You know it, baby.

While printing the second draft, the printer jammed. As I removed the back cover to clear the crumpled paper, I whacked myself in the eye with the hard inner corner of the plastic cover. Hard. On the eyeball, I didn’t have time to blink. Down Goes Frasier. Instantly the thought was:

“This is it. This is how this whole thing gets fucked up.”

I couldn’t keep it open. Tearing endlessly, I got some ice. Then Pat called again. He was sending the final draft. Sooo, I won’t be needing the one I just gouged myself trying to print, then? I said nothing to him about the eye and played it cool. Fake it to make it, right?

I couldn’t read it right away. My eyes were driving me crazy, it was hard to even keep the good one open. Light was bothering me now. There was a big red dot in the sclera (yes, I just looked that up) or white part, of my eye. Plus, a nice sized blood vessel had burst looking like a crimson lightning bolt. This looked bad. I had planned to study my lines and go to bed early, now I wasn’t sure I’d be able to sleep from the irritation, let alone read. After a while, my eye stopped leaking as much and I Finally got a good look at the shooting script. They had pulled back on the Meta-fiction stuff a bit. But there was something else...

My ideas were in it. Three of them. Fucking cool. That brought my spirits up but I went to bed wondering if this eye thing would work itself out and not be an issue.

(The dumbest part about all of this eye business? Not the first time. I had done something very similar years ago… with the corner of an envelope. It was worse that time – I had go to a doctor and had to use eye drops for days – so you’d think I’d have learned something from that. Nope.)

I went to bed hopeful it would marinate while I slept.

END PART 1

OOOO! A Cliffhanger!
Tomorrow you get the conclusion of this endless epic!
Featuring: 16 Hrs on set! Lunch! Profuse Perspiration! Mental Shutdown!

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