Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Camp it Up

Everything’s blurry.  Oy, vey!


            I love how you can never tell exactly what those folks you’ve just auditioned for really thought of your performance.  I’ve had people howl with laughter and actually applaud…and then never call me.  And I’ve had people look like they could not have been less impressed…who later offered me jobs.  Both are always a surprise; one obviously preferable.  Unless you’re a masochist; then it could get a little muddy.

            A case in point (of the preferable kind) came when I auditioned for “Camp Virginovich”—a teen sex comedy about two high school geeks who finagle their way to Russia to a camp that guarantees they’ll lose their virginity. I was reading for Richard Cohen, the lead character’s dad—a dorky, Jewish guy not unlike Eugene Levy in the “American Pie” films.  I read the sides and I swear no one cracked a smile.  I was pretty sure it was a bust.  But I got the job, so they must have liked something.  

            As if I need reassurance, having already been cast, when we were prepping to shooting the very scene I had read in the audition, the writer pulled out his iPhone to show the DP what I’d done.  They watched the screen and broke into snickering grins.  But they didn’t show me, oddly enough, so I had to just go with my gut.  We started rolling and I did my thing. 

“Cut!” someone yelled.   

Oops, I thought.  

“Did I totally miss the boat on that?” I asked aloud. 

“No,” they managed through laughter.  “We were just cracking up and it got picked up by the sound equipment.” 

Now that’s what I call a major motivational ego boost. 

So we forged ahead.  They let me improv pretty freely, here and there, which was also cool.  So I was throwing in bits and they ate it up.  And we didn’t have to re-shoot every scene due to laughter.  Only maybe 50%. 

 But I was not the only one inducing laughter; the whole cast was tons of fun.  Lauren Benjamin, who played my wife, was such a team player; she and I stayed in character the entire day we were shooting the Hollywood tour bus scene.  We were non-stop “Bubula, look at that!  Oy, it’s so hot I’m shvitzing!  That shiksa, she should put some clothes on, no?”  It’s a wonder they didn’t throw us off the bus.  Or in front of the bus.  But everyone was in good spirits, enjoying the sun and the silly spectacle we all made; I hope it comes across in the film. 

So check out “Camp Virginovich” when you can.  It boasts yours truly in full-on dork formation…and about two dozen totally hot babes, too.  Because what teen sex comedy doesn’t need totally hot babes?  

Uh… Coming soon!

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