STUFF WE DREAM ABOUT

on court 4

 

I don’t think people are surprised that I am slightly over 70 years old. But I’m surprised.

 

I let it happen the same way you let your car run out of gasoline or the fire go out in a wood stove. You didn’t mean to let it happen but somehow it did.

 

Sometimes I trace my problems to never running away to become a clown in the circus.

 

By the way, I don’t give my real age when I’m acting or auditioning. It’s okay for an actor to lie about his age. In fact, it’s expected.

 

I played a grandfather in a short film. The six-year-old who played my grandson asked, “Are you really old?”

 

He was confused because I didn’t need the cane I was acting with, and I was much more agile between takes than the character I played. “I’m just acting old,” I said.

 

Although I’ve always regretted that I never ran away to join the circus to become a clown, would I have enjoyed being a clown? Their quarters are small and squalid and would smell of sweat. You need to know at least one stunt, which could be dangerous or hard to learn. Success as a clown would mean that hundreds of children would be screaming with pleasure, and I hate the sound of screaming children.

 

What you always dreamed of doing, after a while, is only a job. While I was a teacher, I dreamed of being an editor. I became an editor, and then I had to dream about being something else.

 

After I played a small role in a community-theater production at age eight—the rest of the cast were adults—I dreamed of being an actor. I liked having an audience paying attention to me, laughing at my funny lines, and applauding.

 

So at age 66—my real age, not my fake one—I became an actor. I’ve done plays, comedy videos, music videos, short films, feature films, training videos, and commercials. I did one pornographic video, but it was for comedy; we kept our clothes on and faked the sex.

 

Acting is an excellent way to make money, and sometimes an excellent way to not make money but to do something that feels creative.

 

What I dream about doing isn’t doing something else, but doing the same thing with two variations: one, making enough money to keep from worrying about having enough money to live on; and two, doing good enough or prominent enough work so that strangers do what I saw strangers do with two friends of mine, talk to them about roles they’ve seen them play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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