Real People

It’s always amusing to go into an audition as an actor and hear the casting people say, “we’re looking for Real People.”  But doubly amusing is the fact that most actors have no idea how to be Real People.  Ostensibly, we are all Real People, as in living, breathing, natural human beings.  But turn a camera on someone, and ask them to read a few lines off a whiteboard about enjoying a burger, and suddenly everyone becomes Nicholas Cage.

Directors make themselves look that much more amazing when they cast the right person for the role.  After all, we’re in LA, land of a thousand actors.  Otherwise, you spend most of your time on set trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. I mean, it’ll probably get in there eventually, but what a waste of energy, especially when there’s a round peg out there that’s a much better fit.  Also, get your minds out of the gutter.  And also, why is Amitabh Bachchan, my favorite actor of all time, making his debut in the West as Meyer Wolfsheim?!  I’ll be very interested to see how this casting works out.  It’s such a tiny part for such a legendary talent.

Besides running around to auditions, I recently AD’d a short film for Film Independent’s Project:Involve with some good people that I knew waaaay back in the day through Artwallah (damn, I miss that festival!).  It was so much fun to be on set, working with a great cast and crew, and cramming crafty food down my gullet.  Apples with caramel dip?  Score.  Next up is a freelance job with an awesome ad production agency, and then back to the writing desk.

I’m chipping away at my scripts, sending in writing applications, and working on getting a short film off the ground for the summer.  The short is an idea that I’ve had forever, and it’ll keep my creative juices flowing as I work towards my next feature.  And in the meantime, whenever I want to look through a lens but don’t have production funds to burn, I pick up my trusty camera (my baby), strap on my child (my actual baby), and we go for a walk around the neighborhood.

Here’ s a gallery of some of my favorite photos (that one above is from a garden in Shanghai).  I took these in Kenya, Egypt, China, Europe, and the good ol’ US of A.  Lovely Pranidhi Varshney in her incarnations as actor and yogi.  My late grandmother’s hand.  A label on a fence (way to be creepy, fence).  Broken glass, white mannequins in Southall, graffiti, bridges, bubbles.  I’ll try to keep adding more as I sift through my hard drives.

Enjoy!  Happy spring!

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