What MAKES Sammy Run? – THIS CAREER IS NOT A PART-TIME THING
Caption: This career may not be a part-time thing, but the sacrifices are well worth it for moments like this when you get to see your film's title on the electronic scrolling marquee, just as Sam Borowski did here with Night Club at a beautiful multiplex at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
So, as I came home Monday night on Memorial Day, I had 5 work-related messages waiting for me, and it wasn’t hard to get the idea for my next BLOG. It was just there waiting for me, just like the e-mails, trumping any other ideas I had.
OK, wait for it …
This career – for actors or filmmakers – It’s not a part-time thing.
And, I have the miles to prove it. As I said a few months ago, there was a stretch where I spent something like five out of seven or eight Easter Sundays on the road. And, I remember just about every one of them, the last one being on my shoot NIGHT CLUB, where most of the Out-of-Towners, including myself other producers and actors, went to a wonderful restaurant in Beverly Hills and then bribed the pianist at the restaurant to play the song, “The Best is Yet to Come.”
See NIGHT CLUB and figure out why we did this. ;)
We ended the night at the Hollywood Wax Museum – as sort of a gag – getting actress Ahney Her – the female lead in Clint Eastwood’s GRAN TORINO – to pose with a wax figure of her GRAN TORINO director and co-actor himself.
That was just as fun as when I was producing REX in Georgia, and spent Easter Sunday at a beautiful church with one of my actors, and then we joined up with my director Christopher L. Miller and went for one of the best brunches I ever had. We exchanged some Easter gifts back at the director’s place, and got caught up comparing and speaking about our scripts, when my good buddy, Daniel Roebuck called to wish me a Happy Easter and tell me he was looking forward to coming out to Georgia for the REX shoot a week or so after that.
There were several other Easter Sundays that run into each other in California, one of them spent at Universal Studios.
It’s not just Easter Sundays, either. I’ve spent holidays and other occasions all over the globe. Heck, my good friend, J. Todd Smith, who acted in REX and produced NIGHT CLUB along with me, and who has a small supporting role in the current feature, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING, spent Thanksgiving with me in 2010, because he was up North working on NIGHT CLUB post-production with me.
Still, my family and I were glad to have him.
So, what am I getting at with all these heartwarming tales of holidays past spent on the road? I’m glad you asked that. ;)
THIS is what I am getting at:
This career – for actors or filmmakers – It’s not a part-time thing.
Yea, Sam, we know that … really we do.
Really, is that why I have a hard time getting so many students to take it seriously? My last workshop – held this past Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend – was attended by three serious students. Three people who decided their careers were not only important enough for them to give up a Saturday, but who also enjoyed it and wanted to be there.
They’re in the minority, I can promise you. And, you would recognize all their names, because you’ve heard them all before – and undoubtedly will again. Moreover, I saw someone post on a social network they were "in editing tonight "– yes on Memorial Day!
But, that’s what this business is about – often giving up holidays and other days so that you can live out your dream. However, I can also promise you the first time you are at a major film festival and see the audience react to your film – whether you are a director, producer or writer … or all three – it will all be worth it. The first time you see yourself appear on that BIG screen, or see your name in the cast credits, will make being an actor so much more special. All of the sacrifice and hard work will have all been worth it.
The moment your first film sells for real money; the first time you get to go to a movie theater and watch your movie in a theatrical release, you will have the most special feeling.
The first time you step on stage – either at a local film festival, Sundance or at the Academy Awards – to accept a trophy, plaque or statuette saying someone loved your film, you will have a feeling so satisfying that words here can’t accurately describe it.
Becoming close friends with people such as 2-time Oscar-Winner Albert S. Ruddy, Paul Sorvino, Academy-Award Winners Ernie Borgnine, Benicio Del Toro or Martin Scorsese, or legendary producer Samuel M. Sherman. Going to dinner with Academy-Award Nominated actress Sally Kellerman and her husband, major producer Jonathan Krane, who has made double-digit movies with the great John Travolta.
Going from struggling actor, artist, filmmaker, to being to pay your bills by doing something you love. Maybe being able to pay for a lot more, if you work hard enough.
But, ultimately, getting to tell stories and entertain and move others. Helping give others a form of escapism. Touching others and perhaps doing a little good. Or as Mahatma Gandhi said, getting to, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
What kind of a price do you put on these types of things? Because, they do come with a price: hard work, blood, sweat and tears.
That’s because this career – for actors or filmmakers – It’s not a part-time thing.
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