I guess the more apt question would be “Why the fuck do we do anything?” I can’t answer that for everyone, but what gets me out of bed in the morning is a queasy cocktail of insecurity and fear. I hear a lot of Men in entertainment – comics in particular – say they’ve always been motivated by trying to get Girls. For me, I just want people – Men and Women alike - to think I’m good at something. Even if I’ll never really be sure if I am or not.
For a guy who wrote, directed, starred in and helped produce a(nother) feature, playing the “I’ll never be sure if I’m good at anything” card seems pretty transparent. You’ll just have to believe me. And while you’re deciding on that, I should amend my motivation attributes: Fear and Insecurity and the self awareness to accept that I’d never be able to hold a real, steady job.
Enough about me, though. Wait. I actually have to talk about me for another paragraph so we can get to what we wanna talk about, which is this movie called IT’S US. But we have to start in and around 2010 with the sad sack in his one bedroom apartment listening to Elvis Costello’s “Home is Anywhere You Hang Your Head” on repeat, running and drinking and feeling super sorry for himself. Ahhh, the Late-20’s Upper Middle Class Pretty Attractive Caucasian Blues. It’ll really getcha. Long story short, I wanted to write. That’s what sad people did, I figured. The directing and acting thing was never really on my radar because, well, there were people – friends of mine – who seemed better suited to do those things. But luckily, as 30 grabbed me by the Dick and convinced me that there were Better Days (also when I revisited late 80’s/early 90’s Bruce) ahead, Los Angeles opened itself up to me. No, no – not like that. I mean that I realized everybody is full of shit (90%, maybe) and nobody knows or does a damn thing (again, 90%). So I said “Fuck everybody. Let’s see what we can do.”
****What really happened was that I said “Dude. When you moved here, you said if nothing really good has happened by the time you turn 30, we gotta move back East and work for Octagon if they’ll have us.” Uncle Woody is Vice President at Octagon.
I’m doing this whole chronological who-gives-a-shit bio, and that’s not what this is. Goddamnit. Before I go any further, I have to say that I have the greatest fucking friends in the world. That’s where luck comes into play. I’m a lucky motherfucker because I can’t imagine that I’ve done enough karmic do-goodery here on this mortal coil to deserve the people I get to call friends. They made all of this possible. And that’s fucking more than enough gushing about those pricks for at least a few months.
So my friend Myles and I and a slew of those aforementioned friends made a movie called LOSER’S CROWN in January of 2014 for next to nothing. And that got us here. My Man Jon Dishotsky loved the “Fuck Everybody (in LA)” attitude and believed in the cause. So, instead of trying to perfect and edit LOSER’S CROWN into the 88 minute Fargo Gay & Lesbian Film Festival darling that it had every right to be had we entered it there, I figured I’d write another script to shoot in the Fall in Vermont
(as opposed to the depths of January). We had the original gaggle of knuckleheads with a few clutch free agency signings, a lot more money (from the original nothing), Larry (my father, whose house the crew stays at) was gonna get a more efficient hot water heater and, whatta you know, the script basically wrote itself. Now all we had to do was find the Perfect Woman. “Come to Vermont and make a movie with us at my Dad’s house. I mean, you don’t have to stay there. All of my friends who are working on the movie stay there. It’s a good scene, though. Super not rapey. You gotta try this Switchback beer. We listen to a lot of Studio Dead.” That was more or less my pitch.
I have to put a governor on my want to empty out the contents of my heart in this next paragraph. Maybe I need a drink. Or some soup – Larry just made a turkey soup and I’ve always said that what he does well, he does really well. He never took a shine to that saying, but I like it. Ok, Fuck it: Eliza Coupe. I was just being nice when I said the “lucky motherfucker” thing in regards to having the friends that I have. They’re the lucky ones. Mostly kinda kidding about that, but I needed the transition, because the word “luck” doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of whatever cosmic miscommunication led to Kirsten Ames (Eliza’s manager and now dear Friend of mine...she loves Mars Hotel) responding to a cold email I sent. And THEN I’m guessing somebody straight up fell asleep in the Cosmos – and I’m certain subsequently lost their job as Secretary of Fate – when they (Kirsten and Eliza) both dug the material and wanted to meet. Or it could just simply be the centuries tested and repeatedly proven Elizabethan adage: Bitches be Cray.
I’m not a fucking actor. I should have said that a lot earlier. Eliza’ll scold me for saying that or accuse me of trying to be a contrived version of cool (and be 100% right), but I’m not. And now I’ve gotta play married? Thompson, you really fucked yourself this time. But thank God that Stoner in Space took that nitrous hit, because not only did the top Woman I wanted to do the movie want to do the movie (what if she turns out to be a lunatic? Luckily, I was quite confident that I could out lunatic her, so I wasn’t too worried on that front), but it turned out to be the only Woman who could play the part, the only Woman who could make me the best I never thought I could be...”Perfect” isn’t the right word. She’s It. And I’ll say it right here, on this blog post nary 100 people will read this deep into: Hey. She took a chance and made this movie what it is. And for that, I’ll spend the rest of my days (my days leading up to taking the job at Octagon) trying to move mountains (albeit smaller mountains, but a lot of them...low weight, high reps) and kicking down Dicks because I’ll never be able to fully articulate how Grateful I am that she came into my life. Kirsten, too. From that day we met at Café Gratitude in Hollywood, we both....ahhhh, FUCK. There it is. There it fucking is. I always said that if I ever write “...day we met at Café Gratitude in Hollywood...” I’d have to excuse myself from the computer and go stand in the cold for a half hour.
Okay. It’s like 37 degrees, so it was fine. I’ll punish myself, though – don’t you worry. What else do you want me to say? I got lucky. Not to say that I didn’t work hard to get here. I worked my Dick off. But hell, it’s not like I’m laying brick here.
My callouses are from tennis and playing Lucinda Williams songs on the guitar. And I’m not saying some shit like “with a lot of hard work and a little luck...” or whatever the fuck the saying is. I’m just saying I’m probably happy and something resembling proud and that’s because of the Friends that I have and the Woman who took a chance. I’m not gonna question it. I’m just gonna try and keep a straight face and hope nobody’s pulling the greatest prank there ever was.