I’ll Be There F You. . ..
Not so long ago, a bunch of actors sat around a make believe Manhattan coffee house set. All acting as if they were friends! One day they were in contract negotiations. That can go a few ways. One or two of the ensemble can emerge with the big money. The others can ride in the back seat or take a Hollywood hike. That hike usually ends up in a place called Oblivion.
But holy smokes! these men & women actually had become friends. They presented a united front that would’ve made the 4 Musketeers proud (that’s right 4!), Dumas.* They got a big raise, which helps facilitate being buddies. Next time they sat around that set, they were millionaires, who were acting. And real friends!
Oh, for friends like those. Or like Sam Raimi who routinely gives his brother Ted & old pal Bruce Campbell roles. In major movies! What about Ron Howard? There was a time he was the hottest young director in the world. He was also Opie. And Opie never failed to put his fugly brother Clint, his dad & even his mom into a flick. Jeez Looeez–even Eagles got back together. Well, except for Don Felder. I am like Don. Without the guitar chops or the credits. What’s he complaining about? he’s got Bruce Greenwood as a bud.
Then there’s the Kates. Every Kate who acts is married to a director. They are talented women and would get work regardless. I’d hire them. I love Kates. If you’re a Kate–call me. I only get Kathys. Lots & lots of Kathys. If I got a Kate, bet she’d be a Shakespearian one. Call me Puck, but maybe I should go for a Kim, a Debbie or even a Frances at this point. Weren’t they a girl group in the Sixties?
Me? I couldn’t get a guy who said he loved me like a brother to give me a gig when I was starving. Probably because I’m usually a pain in the ass. And it was ‘like’ a brother. Had we been real brothers, I’m sure I’d be working & much too busy/content to be saying this. Being very self aware, I realize I am not friend material. Like some men are better uncles than dads. As a friend, I’m better as a foil.
So, recently I was somewhat surprised when my sister suggested to one of her friends, I might be able to help him with a book project. [Her m.o. is to tell my old high school girlfriends, they were lucky I dumped them.] Sure, there was no advance money–you want me to die from shock? The fun, though, didn’t stop there.
There was an old, what’s the word? old friend maybe? I hadn’t seen in 30 years. Turns out the book project guy & a long lost guy were in touch. Breaking one of my many life rules, I emailed the old friend. I did not ask for a job, a loan or why he and the ‘like’ a brother guy, got to have sex with the woman meant for me by the gods, and I didn’t get her. I knew why. Well, because I just knew damn it.
My life ain’t Entourage. Now those guys know how to be friends and Musketeers. It sure isn’t Friends–the only Friend who could’ve been mine was Ross & he’d only remember me as the guy who stiffed him on a Bar Mitzvah gift. Hey! his gift was my eternal damnation. The nuns told me going to Jewish ceremonies would make Jesus sad. Probably because he had a non Jew pal who stiffed him at his bar Mitzvah, I guess. They also said I’d be ensured a one way to Hell! Nuns, btw rarely make good friends.
Back to the future: so I email this old friend, and then. . .. What? Sorry, I need to go. I’m mediating a possible new reunion of Simon & Garfunkel. The Really Old Friends Tour. Wish me luck, I’m doing it for the love.
PS Doug Ellin: your show is great. Your writing is great. Don’t ever change 😉
* not a typo