Freudian Slips: Not Just Blowing Smoke

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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.

December 12, 2007

Not Just Blowing Smoke

“The truth may make you odd.” Judy Blume
While I have always inhaled life, they say you never forget smoking your first cigarette. My memory of this experience is somewhat different and artificial from the reasons you might imagine.
Gauging from my style of clothing and every nuance of my surroundings, the year is 1973. I know better than to judge a book by its cover but my mind wrestles with convincing me otherwise. I am sitting alone at the counter of an eatery in one of those new shopping adventures called a mall. Immortal actress Susan Sarandon walks by. Her presence alone graces the company of Mark Wahlberg. I pay them no mind because that is what I am being paid to do.
A robotic camera mount hooked to a long swinging arm pans the crowd. Although distant, it films in my way direction. From my padded bar stool, I suck on a cigarette like a good actor faking a bad habit. I motion to the big haired waitress for a cup of coffee. Take after take, I blow billowing smoke in the air in a time dated backdrop to public places of yesteryear. I feel light-headed.
There is a break in the action to check the playback on the last scene. Academy award winning director, Peter Jackson soon enters the same eatery. He offers last minute recital to actor Reece Ritchie, who stealthy appeared on the set. Chatting only a few feet from my perch, my mouse ears stay glued to their conversation. My shortened cigarette end singes my fingers to remind me not only of the dangers of smoking but of my small role in the making of this movie, The Lovely Bones.
Once maestro Peter Jackson is satisfied how the scene will play out, he leaves the establishment. Reece hikes himself up on the bar stool next to me as an entire set prepares the many pieces and checkpoints before filming can occur. Reece tells me he flew in from England to play Ray Singh, the boyfriend of Susie Salmon in the feature film.
“Backstage I started reading the best selling book.” I mused. “Here is some irony. Off camera, the author Alice Sebold just introduced me to your character.”
“What do you think?” hoodwinked the teenager.
I marveled at the art imitating life. “Great casting but I must remember to never read the book when filming the movie. The characters are jumping straight from the pages onto the set. It's wild.”
The director quieted the set with an English accent laden with pedigree and order. Reece walked away to stand on his first mark. As I often do, I snapped a picture of the ironic moment in my mind for total recall. Then I returned to smoking my first cigarette, the Lovely Bone that it was.



Anonymous Damien said...

You are a dedicated Actor to be a smoker in your scene, I like that. I am the same way, geez, I'll smoke ham even if they ask me!!! Cool you did really well on your day bro. Me too!!! Lol.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

I am a ham and I don't smoke my kind. lol

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Damien said...

Lol, nice. But I heard you've been known to be "hamming" it up backstage on sets which is good! Lol.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Backstage is a prop for me. PS I mailed your souvenirs today.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey joe, it's lauren.
i looked up susan sarandon because i really don't remember anything she was in, but i found out she is Janet in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which i think is amazing.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

lauren pie,
It is an honor for you to visit here before Rachel. Yes, Susan Sarandon is one of the great actresses of our time. Just standing near her gave me goose bumps. She would be proud to be remembered as Janet.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Evil Chicken said...

Peter Jackson. Wow. That’s too cool. This guy is one of the greats – no doubt about it. I can’t wait to see the film. I’ve never read the book but I hear it’s a good one.

God bless ya Joe! I can’t wait to see you on the big screen!

11:28 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

The director wanted mainly SAG on the film. I just got in a good spot. I am hoping it makes the final cut as a longshot at best.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Zelda Parker said...

Congradulations JT, sounds like you're really doing well. Such a good book will likely be a better film now that you're in it! God bless!

7:51 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

now you know why i wasn't in mays landing last week.

6:27 PM  

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