THERE BE DRAGONS

And so we wait…

It won’t be long, the UN inspectors should be out today. 80% + of Americans polled believe that any military intervention in Syria should be voted on by Congress. That means waiting for them to reconvene…and anticipating partisan gridlock.

Most ‘experts’ concede there is no strategic benefit for taking action. Action may even inflame Assad to step up the carnage. So the conclusion is that we are acting BECAUSE WE SAID THAT WE WOULD. Not on moral grounds. Moral action would involve assisting the refuge populations.

Here’s what troubles me. ‘Your terrorist is my freedom fighter.” I love my president. But his words yesterday -paraphrased – that “the world community agrees that no nation can take unto itself the right to kill civilians with impunity” are unsettling to me.

Why is the use of chemical weapons any more or less moral than the use of drone strikes? I was kinda horrified to hear my inner narrative making that case even as I heard my president speak yesterday.

We have no stated goal other than to degrade Syrian capabilities. My greatest fear: SOMEONE is going to strike Israel. And once that happens, THAT will be a very difficult bell to unring. We will be glued to our flat screen home monitors, watching death and destruction taking place “somewhere else”.

ECLECTICISM

Image

My recent screening of the Lake Bell film IN A WORLD (which I hope I expressed I really enjoyed) has jogged memories of my own past involvement in that world.  I’ve always had an eclectic bio, fortunate to be versatile..and perhaps also fortunate to have been so not-mainstream…tho that didn’t always feel like a blessing.  I had the chance to work for two days with a favorite director, Robert Altman, re-voicing a lead in THE ROOM, a Pinter play starring Julian Sands and Annie Lennox. My voice portrayed Linda Hunts father; I got to tell her that, one afternoon we met on a subway 😉

Other interesting voice roles included work on DEAR AMERICA: Letters Home from Vietnam.  I voiced the trailer for THE PIANIST…and left the theater that evening to discover Shock and Awe.  We had begun the bombing of Baghdad.  And the opening narration for THE ONE, starring Jet Li.   My theater work required me to learn accents; I’ve always had a good ear.  So I found work in re-voicing the characters of others, as in THE POWER OF ONE.   I’d performed on stage in JOAN AND THE ZULUS, directed by John DiFusco, starring Grace Zabriskie.  The tutor for my accent as the Zulu king, N’Gobo was DUDU MKHIZE,a stunning African woman who portrayed the mother of Shaka Zulu in the miniseries.  My vocabulary consisted of perhaps 70 or 80 words…but it is a musical language and as I mentioned, my ear is good.

I recorded the audio book for Walter Mosley’s sci-fi novel, BLUE LIGHT.  And I did my own narration for RETURN TO EDEN.  I gave the author a break on my fee 🙂

Perhaps one of my most curious voice roles is in a rather important work of modern art by Bruce Nauman.  I was approached while visiting MOCA in the ’90s, “I just returned from Paris and saw an installation there in the Louvre.  Was that you?”  I laughed , shook my head NO and turned away to my girlfriend…and then stopped, stock still.  A memory had been awakened.  Years before, in NY in the mid 80’s I’d filmed…something…in SoHo.  It was so abstract and amorphous I had nothing to hold on to and promptly forgot about it.  In those days, I was doing 2 or 3 jobs a week but primarily for products.  Bruce gave specific guidance and I followed my direction.  I finally got to see it here in LA a few years ago.

FB apparently won’t allow me to post a link to the video, so if you’re curious, you’ll have to google it yourself 🙂

dudu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbtNahQqetw

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/nauman-good-boy-bad-boy-t06853

 

HAPPY PLACE

I just wrote this and I feel the need to say it again.

Photographer Vern Evans shrugged off my praise for having captured a singular moment in a still with “…a happy accident.”

I said that some of the greatest fucking art is a result of talent and a happy accident.

ART is so both expanding and demanding. There are many efforts to describe the state of heightened artistic reality. The Green Flash. The Zone. In The Moment.

The rehearsal of a play for me most often offers that ‘magic time’…when our discoveries are made. Our Craft then demands that we find a way to recreate that Truth in performance. In film and TV, magic can happen. And “Oh What a Lucky Man” when that ‘moment’ survives thru final cut. And it is sometimes just “a happy accident”

Last nite I got to remember the largesse of that experience, that connectedness to Creativity. I’m not suggesting that I was “all that” last nite. I just wanted to bear witness to the “cheese” to which All creative aspirants aspire: Spending time in Our Happy Place.

I was in my Happy Place, last nite.

head shot 1