Freudian Slips: Bazookas, The Movie

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

November 30, 2006

Bazookas, The Movie

Maybe my blatant exclusion had something to do with my formal attire or the way I carried myself. Background actors rarely are in a position to ask questions and I might not have wanted to even know. With every extra on the movie set stationed around the bar but me, I started to lament how I got wrapped up filming the sexy comedy Bazookas, The Movie red-eyed through the live long night without actual inclusion.
Around 3:00am, director Michael Leonard finally walked over to me with his wheels turning. He informed, “Joe, I am not going to use you as a background extra.”
With acting aspirations derailed, my innermost insecurities ran rampant. I must look as ridiculous as Jerry Seinfeld festooned in a puffy pirate shirt. I have a dress-down change of wardrobe in the car. Tell the director you will gladly change wardrobe to casual.
“No?” I mustered trying to hide my disappointment.
“Joe, you are going to play the bartender. I am giving you a speaking part. You’re in the next scene.”
“Sure thing. Let me know when you need me. I’ll be eating my porridge.”
An extra on the set commented, “Am I mistaken, or did you just land a better part in this movie?”
Two and a half hours later and still not given my line to rehearse at nausea, I got called onto the set. I had a hop in my step searching for the entrance to the interior bar. Two principle actors sat bar side, one pretending to be inebriated in ale, the other intoxicated by personality. I introduced myself to the co-stars for what reason I do not know.
The lighting man stationed to my immediate right asked, “Joe, is that too much heat on you?”
“Not at all.” I beamed. “It’s my time to shine.”
The gregarious co-star parleyed my wisecrack. “This business is all about C.T., baby.”
Since the actor’s guild failed to outfit me with a decoder ring, I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t know what the abbreviation stood for. So my lips moved instinctively as my acting stretched in between takes.
I agreed, “You got that right, it’s all about C.T.”
The co-star, Joe Campellone, clarified, “Yeah, it’s all about Camera Time.”
I could not help but laugh. “That is what I am talking about, baby.”
As the director took us through a walk-thru rehearsal, I noticed the differences in the setup for the upcoming shot. The two principle actors seemed to be sitting bar side left of the mark. The lighting shone incredibly grand from my standpoint. The background extras circled around the bar that I solely manned. The soundman hoisted and positioned a boom microphone above my head. The sleek high definition camera pointed directly at me. As the director rounded out the scene, I finally got the picture. For the next scene involving a bartender flagging a patron, this would be about me and C.T. Actors took their first positions and the camera moved up to speed. In an instant of distractibility, I thought about the sleepless nights I laid in bed curbing my enthusiasm should the improbable opportunity ever present itself to dialogue one itsy bitsy line in a motion picture. I didn’t have to wonder anymore what that line would be.
With no formal training as an actor, I mentally organized my chronology checklist almost too late. Start on your correct mark. Acknowledge the drunk with a head nod. Make eye contact with the second co-star before speaking. Lean onto the bar and into the camera for your second mark. Deliver your line. Use your free hand to make a pirate’s cutthroat gesture for exclamation. Walk around the bar without tripping over the monster cables.
Quiet on the set. The movie set clapboard slapped down. Action.
The collective bartender wearing a dapper tuxedo shirt leaned into Hollywood, “Your friend here…is cut off.”
Bringing new meaning to tipping your bartender, the marvelous director coached me through seven takes from two different camera positions. If this scene makes the final cut without my “cut off” line cut out, it will be a Lifetime Achievement Award for a background actor who dreamt of one cameo in the foreground.
*DVD copies of Bazookas, The Movie can be ordered here.

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21 Comments:

Anonymous Romilda said...

Ranks right up there with Kramer's infamous line from Seinfeld:
"This pretzel is making me thirsty."

Maybe in the sequel.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Romilda,
Sometimes we have to pretend to be what others expect.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

joe, i know how happy this made you, i think it is only this begining.di

9:18 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Diane,
whatever makes me happy, sweetie.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is awesome Joe! I am happy for you......

11:38 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Anonymous,
I hired a maid to pick me up off of the cutting room floor from now until opening night. lol

11:53 PM  
Blogger rfvgardens said...

Way ta go Joe. You really hit the mark....perfect

9:33 AM  
Blogger maidink said...

You know these things go. First, you're the one line bartender; next, you'll be playing aside Naomi Campbell in a film that's set in Jamaica. Just watch out for any telephones. I hear she uses them as a weapon of choice.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never thought I would say this - but I cannot wait to watch "Bazookas" the movie!

Cheers and god cheer and best tidings Dear Joe

Nazli

10:48 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

RF.
Only a handful of people would know.

Maid,
Can I put in dibs for Drew Barrymore or Halle Berry instead?

Dr. Nazli,
Hopefully I'll be guns abalzing in Bazookas. lol

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Marcus said...

I see you as the next Rambo! You know, with half ripped shirt trying to save damsels in distress!
Man I crack myself up!

6:27 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Marcus,
As long as I don't have to run. lol

10:33 PM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

Joe, I don't know man, that promo poster looks like it's for a porn film.

Still, wonderful news for you. I can't wait to go to Sundance as part of your entourage!!

Bravo!

8:44 PM  
Blogger ell said...

congrats! this could be your "big" break!

7:33 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Pax,
Sexy comedy...so I'm told. You will be in the entourage. Now that Wing Tut has left us both back. lol

Ell,
A break would be making the final cut. lol

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Catherine Mary said...

Joe, Now that you're a big STAR, may I have your autograph?

12:19 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Catherine Mary,
I'm not a star until your son takes me on the morning show! lol
Tell Tommy I am out selling his roommate on Ebay. I am selling all my pictures of Tommy from family reunions for $79.00 and up. he will know what I mean.

9:22 AM  
Blogger honkeie2 said...

Holly Hell! You Go Joe! This totaly bad ass. Maybe I should go out and try to be an extra.....any tips on where to start?

9:46 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Honk,
how far are you from NYC?

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, this film you speak of, does it exist? When is it coming out? How long have you had this post up? Over a year? What is going on?

12:17 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

anonymous,
Independent films can take years to attract a buyer. they have not updated the official website for the movie in awhile but here it is..http://www.truancyfilms.com/bazookasmain.htm

9:42 AM  

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