Director’s Notes, 2

#spreadthelove

Earl Gray, the Director of The Forever Club, posted on social media about his experiences while making the web series.

Some excerpts appear here…

DAY 161:

What does a guy got to do to get a little respect in this industry? I mean, there’s an Oscar and a Golden Globe for movies, a Tony for theater, an Emmy for TV, and there’s Pulitzers, Grammys, Brits, and Nobels, but what do I get? Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

Who I gotta make breakfast for to get one of these things? 

DAY 180:

I don’t mean to complain. I have lots to be thankful for: good looks, charm, and a huge talent for drinking alcohol. I kid you not. I can drink 25 shots of vodka in one night, and if you hit me at the right moment (and you’re paying), I can add two sixpacks of IPA plus some wine coolers. Add some unnameables, and I’ve got an eight-hour-smile on my face and as close to invulnerable as I’ll ever get. Until the next day, when I look like this:

So I can’t complain.

DAY 188:

We’ve started episode 4, “The Familiarity Principle,” and I am sure this is hands-down the best piece of web comedy ever. Or in the past decade. Or maybe in a week. Or a day. Or this second. Yeah, this second. This is the best piece of web comedy at this second.

For however long that lasts. 😐

DAY 196:

We are right in the middle of shooting “The Familiarity Principle,” and I gotta say, if I had any principles before now, whatever’s left of them are flushed into the nearest toilet.

You ever hear the phrase “herding cats”? It’s used in the corporate world, but it’s universal in its application. It means no matter how efficient you think you are, and how organized, when you’re working with other people—for me, that means actors—you might as well give up on any hope of getting anything done.

I am not exaggerating. If actors were actually cats, you’d have a chance. You could entice them with some treats, or dangle a feather in their face, and they’d play along to the ends of the earth.

But not actors. They are the most fickle of humans, distracted by vanity and pretty clothes. Put them in a dressing room with Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” on the wall, and they will break down crying about how the the painting is laughing at them because the Victorian hat they are wearing makes their head look big.

The man in “The Scream” is bald, and he’s not even wearing a hat.

With actors, it’s all about the LIE. To get them to work, you have to lie about everything. How beautiful they look. How well they read their lines. How wonderful their ideas are when they propose a scene change (“Wouldn’t I look much better over there, under the desk, next to the trash basket? Crouching down? Isn’t my character very much like a lion? Couldn’t the desk be my cave? Let’s do it that way, please?”)

“Yes,” you say. “You ARE a lion. Let’s hear you roar.”

You lie to them about their hair, their clothes, their lines, their habits, their lives. You lie about EVERYTHING so you can get the goddamn scene done, and you can all go home and scream at the ceiling and hopefully drink yourself into a coma before you get up the next day and do it all over again.

I’ve got no principles left. I spent them all to make “The Familiarity Principle.”

DAY 221:

A question for guys: When do you kiss, and when do you lay back and wait for a better time?

Answer:

As a guy, you’re a sexual time bomb, so every second of every day you’re about to explode. Being around women (and guys, too, if you lean that way) is sexual torture which tests your ability to fake indifference when every atom of your volcanic sex-drive is screaming for a Mount St. Helens release. “Kiss me! Kiss me!” is the only begging voice in your head (the bigger one), and it’s hard to keep yourself in check.

This is a dangerous place to be.

Because at this moment, when you look at your date and think, “Now is the time. NOW is our moment to kiss!” that is the WORST time to act. Take a gulp of beer. Make a joke. Go to the bathroom. BUT DO NOT KISS THAT PERSON!

Only later, when you are all calmed down, is it ok to ask.

“Is it alright,” you ask meekly (and maybe with a good dose of indifference—a yawn, maybe, or a quick look at your watch), “Is it ok if I kiss you?”

And that’s the test. That’s what they’ve been waiting for. Just one polite question whose answer will be (if they’re into you at all), “Yes, my sweet darling, Yes!”

Or they’ll throw a drink in your face and walk out.

It happens. Sometimes even the threat of a kiss is too much. That’s why, unless someone asks, keep your hot lips to yourself.

DAY 222:

I think Jordan and Gabe are having an affair in real life, outside the show.

How do I know?

Yesterday, I was in Proper with my Cosmo when Gabe (aka Lucas) came in the door. He didn’t notice me perched at my end of the bar, and he glanced around, like he was looking for someone. Then he slipped into a booth. Four minutes later, Jordan (aka Heather) comes in. She’s got her collar turned up to hide her face, but I know her right away. It’s her. And she heads right for Gabe’s booth.

Boom!

Next second they are necking in the booth, basically pawing at each other’s bodies to see what parts they can legally maul in a public place without being arrested. If sexual heat was actual heat, as in smoke and flames, the whole bar would be on fire. We would be toast.

I didn’t stick around for the finale. I drank my Cosmo and left.

My heart glowed at how “The Kiss” brought those two lovebirds together. Like The Forever Club was a dating service.

DAY 278:

We’re talking about death.

Death is an everyday conversation for some people, but the ones who obsess about the obvious (we’re all going to die, right?), these are the big losers.

Those Carthusian monks who sleep in their own coffins.

The people in retirement homes who, every hour, check over their shoulders for death.

The middle aged who think 50 is comatose, and then live 60 in a coma.

They’re all losers. Before death catches up with them, they’re already dead. They saw too far into their own futures, and what they saw scared the shit out of them. They never forgot.

They never learned how to forget.

But me, if I was counting…

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