BLOGGER’S TAG!! “SMACK!” You’re IT…

I’ve never done a bloggers tag before, so I’ve got to thank Kim over at Tranquil Dreams for reaching out and smacking me with a tag. Thanks Kim! She’s got a great blog going over there and just recently put up a recipe for yummy Banana Cake if you haven’t made her acquaintance yet, click on either of the previous links and check her out. She’s great.

Now for the rules. Sit down in the back and stop sighing! You know there’s going to be rules; it’s the nature of the beast. Does everyone have a pen and paper? Right, let us begin. Oh and spit out that gum, unless of course, you have enough for everyone!

The Rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven random facts about you.
3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post.
4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they have been tagged.

*Self photo (life sized) and 11 factoids about moi.*

A couple of mugs…
  1. After owning this laptop for almost 4 years, I only just discovered that the web camera had a plastic covering over it.
  2. I love, love, love Starbucks coffee.
  3. After stopping smoking on the 30th of August 2012, I’m now addicted to the damn nicotine gum.
  4. On the 30th of August when I had my heart attack, it took me 3 and a half hours to make up my mind to have my daughter call the ambulance.
  5. While I tried to figure out what was happening to me on the 30th of August I drank 3 cups of coffee and had 4 cigarettes.
  6. I was cast in a Peter Fonda film when I was in High School but never got to film the part.
  7. I met Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, et al) when I was in high school; he was a very nice and patient man.
  8. I once saw Sean Connery without his hair on.
  9. I am incapable of passing items that say touch me or press me without doing as requested.
  10. I was once nearly decapitated by a sheet of flying sheet metal during a sandstorm in New Mexico.
  11. I am in the (very slow) process of writing/finishing a collection of short stories.

Now for Kim’s 11 questions:


1) Cookies or Cakes?

Cookies every time although I do like a bit of Black Forest Gateau.

2) What was your first Blu-ray or DVD you ever purchased?

I honestly don’t remember, I’m pretty sure it was Wrong Turn with Elisa Dishku, but I could be wrong.

3) Whats the most inspiring book/movie you’ve ever read/seen?

      The book that most influenced me was The Stand by Stephen King and movie was Terminator 2.

        4) Cats or Dogs? Or other pets?

Both, I love animals, but I’m too lazy to want to look after them!

5) What type of music do you like?

I like all music! Up to and including Dub-step!

6) Whats your favorite Grimm’s Fairy Tales?

As a fan of horror, it’s got to be Red Riding Hood. That woodsman and his axe! Yeah baby!

7) Console, Handheld, PC or Arcades?

Console all the way!

8) Favorite flavor of chips?

English crisps – Salt and Vinegar, American Chips – Green Onion.

9) What animal do you visit first at the zoo?

The monkey house every time.

10) What food could you eat every single day?

I could eat Quorn Chilli every day of my life!

11) Who is your favorite superhero?

Superman, I used to watch George Reeves re-runs when I was really little. Although I do love Buffy who is a modern day super hero!

Now it’s time for my 11 questions:

  1. Snow, rain, or Sun?
  2. What is your favourite genre of literature/film?
  3. Do you snore when you sleep?
  4. Who hogs the covers in your house?
  5. If you could be a movie character, who would it be?
  6. Do you watch sub-titled movies?
  7. Who is your favourite movie director?
  8. What is your “guilty pleasure?”
  9. Seaside, mountains, or desert?
  10. Would you crash your car to avoid hitting an animal in the road?
  11. Do you prefer mornings or afternoons?

Now for my “Tag-ees:”

Serendipity

Written in Blood

Mad Ramblings and Assorting Musings

Tim’s Film Reviews

Cinema Schminema

ClaratsiMovieBlog

Robbins Realm Blog

foxxiecinnamon’s Blog

jackie.eat.world

Issac Picture Conclusions

Cinematic

So there you have it! Another fun way for us to spread the word about other blogs out there that are fun to read; click on the links and check these folks out, you won’t be sorry. And as usual I apologise in advance for those deserving blogs I did not get to tag, I really do love you all.

Cheers!

Another Versatile Blogger Nomination??

Just when I thought it was safe to start blogging again, I got nominated by a person I nominated! So I owe a double thank you to Christopher, a self proclaimed blogging noob, over at . I also have a small confession to make, I am also a noob when it comes to WordPress! I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half, but most of that was on another site.

I also have another confession to make, I don’t have a list of ten folks to nominate. Having not been on WordPress that long, I don’t follow that many people yet. So I will be nominating a lot less than ten sites. I managed to nominate ten sites the first go around and that pretty much covered my little follow list!

So here is my list of nominees:

1. LKD

2. lesleycarter

3. alittlebirdtweets

4. mgedwards

Lord help me if I ever get tasked to nominate fifteen folks for anything!

I don’t know if there are any rules negating ‘re-nomination’ (I looked but could not find any) so I’m going to steam ahead and list the rules.

1. In a post on your blog, nominate 10 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award; and link to them.

2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.

3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.

4. In the same post, share 10 completely random pieces of information about yourself.

5. In the same post, include this set of rules.

6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

I also have to put the award in my post:

And last but definitely least another 10 amazing (not) facts about me:

1. I have a lot of  Native American blood on both sides of my family.

2. I sang as Dean Martin as part of my act for my high school talent show.

4. I got Honourable Mention in the same talent show.

5. For about ten years I was licensed to broadcast radio from ship to shore.

6.I once talked to actor Alfred Molina for a full five minutes before I realised who he was.

7. I once, very briefly, worked with Alexis Denisof of Angel and Buffy fame.

8. I was once in the same film as Christopher Lee.

9. When I was 17 I auditioned for the Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) fifteen times before I got the part.

10. I did a television commercial in 1989 that was seen all over America and none of my family realised it was me.

And that, as they say, is that except to thank Christopher again for my re-nomination and to message the remaining folks I’ve nominated.

Name dropping, really?

Alfred Molina at the premiere for An Education...
Alfred Molina at the premiere for An Education, October 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Looking over my last blog post I saw that I had stated I had not met anyone of consequence apart from Jonathan Demme. I realised immediately that was not really the case. I have met and interacted with a number of folks some of whom were nice. Others were not so nice and others just plain terrifying.I met and talked with very briefly a much younger Alfred Molina , aka Doc Ock, on the set of Requiem Apache. This was a Channel Four funded production. They were known as an independent company and I remember my then agent telling me to make sure I brought lunch as independents are notorious for poor catering. This turned out to not be the case at all, so my sausage roll stayed in its wrapper that day.

I was sitting in the “supporting artists” double decker bus on the first floor (that’s the top of the bus if you’re from the USA). I was doing what I always did when I wasn’t watching how the magic was made. I was reading a paperback  book. I was thoroughly engrossed in the story when a face appeared at the top of the bus steps. “Excuse me, but have you seen our illustrious director?” I looked up from my book blinking and trying to re-focus my eyes and saw the face and shoulders of a young dark complexioned man. I have to admit that at the time I did not recognise him as the star of the feature we were working on. I gave a shrug and looked around the bus’s interior as if to say, here?? Alfred then laughingly said “Oh silly me, whatever was I thinking. Well thanks anyway. Oh and if you happen to see him can you tell him I’m looking for him? Thanks!”

It was only after he left and one of the other supporting artists asked me what Alfred Molina wanted that I realised who I had been conversing with.

It was on this set that I also got to meet the marvellous  Kenneth Cranham. I used to watch him on the telly in the long running Shine on Harvey Moon. He also just recently appeared with good effect in Hot Fuzz. He had a witty outlook on seemingly everything and everybody that day and I was in stitches. That was also the day where I found myself frozen silent when I found myself standing right next to the intimidating form of   Brian Blessed.

Brian Blessed at Cambridge Film Festival, crop...
Brian Blessed at Cambridge Film Festival, cropped version of photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was watching them film Alfred and Kenneth in a crowd scene. I had just finished “playing” with a portable camera,  a very heavy looking piece of equipment with what looked liked one half of a giant Q-tip attached front and back of the camera. I glanced at the chap who was operating it and said, “Rather you than me, mate.” He laughed and told me that despite being a bit on the heavy side, it was very non-taxing to operate. He offered to let me “have a go” and I did. He was right. It was so incredibly well balanced you did not notice the weight at all. It was after this that I had a scene with my “wife”  strolling and looking in store front windows. We finished our bit, she disappeared and  I stood to watch the rest of the film being made while waiting for my next bit.

I glanced out of the corner of my eye a bearded longer haired man standing next to me. I was pushed a bit closer to him and I suddenly realised that this bearded spectacle was none other than Brian Blessed. He of the magnificent voice and bigger than life personality. I instantly became a quivering school aged fan-boy. I looked into his face and started to say all the idiotic fan boy things that sprang immediately into my mind. He turned and looked right into my eyes with a fierce gaze that withered my unspoken words before they had even managed to leave my throat. I wrenched my head forward and didn’t even acknowledge his presence, for fear that I would fall under that fierce look again. I have heard from other folks that Mr Blessed is quite a nice chap. I guess that fierce gaze is how he looks at everything.

Writing this has helped me remember some other great folks I’ve met, auditioned for, and briefly worked for. I’ll have to write them down before I forget them again. So I guess I will be name dropping for a little while yet.

Actors

When I was a boy I had a list of actors about as long as my arm that I wanted to meet. There was also a shorter list of actors I actually would have done anything to work with. I have had a long love affair with Theatre, Film and to a slightly lesser degree television. Ever since I came to the momentous conclusion that I wanted to be an actor, I have been in awe and enamoured of any actor whose performances move me.

Top of the list of “meet-a-bles” was The Duke. John Wayne was, to me anyway, the master of reacting. He also had a knack (one that was enhanced by his “script doctor”) of speaking in very natural tones, but with that Duke cadence that will be forever remembered.

Dean Martin ran a close second. Again, mainly because of the almost lackadaisical way he had of delivering his dialogue. I am talking about his better films here. His method of delivery was so natural, it was as though he had not memorised dialogue, but made it up as he went along.

Richard Burton, with that beautiful voice, enthralled me literally from the first second I heard him speak. I wanted more than anything to see him in Camelot. When I think of actors his name is always first on the list, closely followed by Lawrence Olivier, Richard Harris, Sean Connery and Michael Caine. All actors I so intensely admired and would have given anything to have worked with.

And who could forget the man with the sing-song, musical voice Peter O’Toole. This long lanky actor was also in the league of Oliver and Connery and Burton and Caine. Mr O’Toole announce today that he is retiring from acting. Another legend gone. The world has lost a great actor, not through death, but from age.

There was only one actress that fell into both categories and that was Elizabeth Taylor. My high school drama teacher had worked with her and she swore that they were the same age until suddenly Ms Taylor started getting younger each year. I don’t know about that, but I do know that Pat Collier still thought very highly of Ms Taylor and would sing her praises monthly.

I actually saw Sean Connery in a Holiday Inn restaurant/bar in Alamogordo New Mexico in 1981. He walked within a foot of my and a friends table. Even out of make-up and sans toupee he commanded the room. I was so shocked by his appearance in this out of the way place,  that I was practically speechless. I found out later that he was making a film with Katherine Ross and Robert Conradat the White Sands National Park.

Of course most of the actors I wanted to meet are all gone. They are treading the boards on some other plain of existence or they have “semi” retired. Of course I never really got into the business enough to insure I met anyone. I have met and auditioned for Jonathan Demme. The year was 1976 and the film was Fighting Mad with Peter Fonda.

I got the part, after a very patient Jonathan kept making me re-read it. He kept reminding me that I wasn’t on a stage so I had to tone down my performance. I left thinking I had blown it. It was a good part too. I was going to be saved by Peter Fonda’s character at the beginning of the film. I got the phone call two weeks later and went in to sign the contract with my dad.

Alas, I never got to work on that film. Due to money problems, the company (Palo Alto Productions) started cutting costs where they could and got a young stuntman to do my scene – presumably cheaper than if I had done it. I found this out from a friend of mine who was a Gopher on the film.

I have since worked on small things here and there. Life, love and the support of first one family and then another sort of side tracked me from my “artistic pursuit.” I am slowly and hesitantly backing into my first love. Writing. Before I had decided in my youth to tread the boards, being a writer was my big dream.

Sean Connery at the 2008 Edinburgh Internation...
Sean Connery at the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe one day, if I actually get my ageing butt in gear and start looking for it, I will get work acting again. But until that time, I’ll write my blogs and try to stretch my literary muscles in preparation to write the next great American or English novel.