Working With Friends and the Actor

I am an actor.

And believe it or not, I have friends.

The other night, I shot an episode of my web series (The Film Pigs on where a couple buddies of mine and I make fun of our first great love, the movies. We usually start with shooting a sketch, in this case a fake movie trailer. Then we shoot a talking segment where we joke around with our guest or guests about the movies coming out in the theater over the weekend. We’ve done it 133 times so far, and we’ve had a lot of great guests. Sometimes they are actors or comics, sometimes producers or even fine artists. A lot of times, these guests are my friends.

So the other night. It was a special one because I finally got these old friends of mine, Andy and Brian Kamenetzky, to come and do the show. I’ve wanted to have them on the show from the beginning, but they are sports reporters and family men, and can rarely get away to do some silly web show just for the fun of it. Andy used to be in my stage version of the Film Pigs where we did full length parodies of movies. Brian used to run lights for us and in general help out when he could, and he had a little cameo in a video version of our parody of Footloose that we shot more than a decade ago. So this was a reunion of sorts is what I’m telling you.

Now I do get to see these guys from time to time socially, but we hadn’t worked together on something like this in forever. Both of the other Film Pigs on the web series, Steve Falk and Steve Skelton, are tight with the Kamenetzky brothers as well, so we all of course got on famously. But the really fun thing about the whole evening was that we were working on something creative together again. Granted there were several takes blown during the sketch by people cracking up, but that right there was really the fun of it. We were all friends, we all make each other laugh, and we were giddy with this recapturing of the old days.

What happened to me emotionally was…well, it was special. I am a terribly old man at this point, my body a shambles from years of abuse, but with the five of us being together again creatively, I felt like the kid I was when we first starting doing this nonsense. Sure, those times were rife with the frustrations of being a young artist in Los Angeles with no movie star family members to get the career rolling, but they were very artistically creative times as well. Maybe the very best, because there were no responsibilities outside of making the rent, so the risks we took were great despite working with no net.

Friends are great, and when they are your creative comrades, what you make can be very rich. It can suck, too, but at least with friends you laugh your balls off even as you go down in flames. This is one of the elements of this often unkind existence that makes surviving worthwhile.

Anyway. I had a good time. Is all I’m saying.

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