Sunday, June 13, 2010

Me, The Crying Boy on 16th and 8th

Do not be misled by the title. I wasn't actually crying my eyes out on the corner of 16th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City. It was my latest acting gig. An acting gig that was unexpected actually.

While some may not be down with social networking sites, I feel it depends on if you use them properly. Such is the case as to how this acting gig came about. My friend, Jed Ryan posted a notice saying that Stephen Schulman was looking for "Party Boys" for a gay soap opera pilot he was shooting. Always looking for something new to involve myself in, I sent Stephen an email, and got a reply not too long after saying that he would love to have me.

Stephen was quite detail-orientented, and made sure to make me aware that there would be "same sex scenes of intimacy and comfortable being shirtless in a scene or two". I laughed out loud when I read this because as an overwhelming majority of you know,  the persona of "Tré Xavier" was born out of my being in gay porn. So the idea of being in the midst of same sex intimacy and/or shirtless for me is a "been there, done that" scenario.

The 1st scene that was shot using "Party Boys" that day had me as bit of a featured extra. I was not expecting this at all, so it was a welcome surprise to find out I was to be "Crying Boy". The part had me whining over some guy dumb enough to leave the greatness that is me. I do this whining on the shoulder of one of the featured characters. To stop my incessant whining, she basically in short, advises me to get over the guy who dumped me by being a slut, and makes me guzzle down some vodka for liquid courage.

When doing so many takes of a scene, you never know which one they're going to use. I will say that in this case, one of the takes was a complete accident on my part. What happened was that when the "vodka" gets poured down my throat, for one of the takes, I both gargled then burped, which was a total accident. The funny thing is that everyone seemed to love it. My experience on sets does show that accidents do sometimes make for the best parts of scenes.

Later, there was an orgy scene that required guys to strip down to their underwear. At first, being the exhibitionist that I am, I was a little disappointed that I wasn't going to be a part of this because of my being "Crying Boy". Then I realized a couple of things: (1) I was already been a sexual extra in "Michael Lucas' La Dolce Vita", so that's another "been there, done that" scenario for my exhibitionism; and (2) NOW, I'm embarking on a new mindset for my life - one where so many displays of exhibitionism don't seem to be as necessary as they seemed to be before, even though I still have the body where I can get away with it. Therefore, old fans get to see me in a new light, and I may gain new ones in the process. So in all actuality, everything worked out for the best. Once again, my Aries positive outlook at work.

While I was unable to find out who made the quote, "There are no small parts, only small actors", if you look at that quote the way I do, you find it quite true. A cynic may say that it's a way for someone with a smaller role to big themselves up. Maybe so. But for me, I take each part no matter how small as a way to better my skills, by not just what I take in as an actor, but by what I see of the production as a whole. So while "Crying Boy" can be just a blip on the screen to a viewer, this experience on the set of "16th & 8th" was a refresher course for me. Making this small part a tool to fuel my knowledge-craving mind.

Thanks and the best of luck to Stephen Schulman, Athena Reich, Jed Ryan, and all the actors and crew.

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