I HAVE BAD ACTOR FRIENDS WHO CANT ACT PLEASED TO SEE ME.
January 16, 2014
There are Actors and there are Actors. There are also charisma led personas, I know a few people with a lot of charisma, but that charisma is something you are born with, you can’t buy it, and you cant learn it. Acting is taking on a persona and making you forget the actor and the film you bought a ticket to see knowing it is all an illusion. A great actor is a chameleon, the shape stays the same but the colours change at will. Film is a complete passion for me, films have been with me since childhood, and they were my escape from the darkness. Films have given me my foundation education, in observation, art, in people, geography, and cultures, living proof we are all the same behind the masks. Film’s have been a constant in my life to this day, and I now know they will out live me. What I mean is I will never grow tired of film, I may grow too old to not appreciate movies because of diminished eyesight or impaired hearing, but while I am of semi sane mind, film ticks all of the boxes for me. Some musicians want to be actors, some actors want to be musicians, and my theory for this is… Music is real all of the time, Acting is acting all of the time. A film needs so many other factors. It’s rare an actor can make a film with that same actor starring in it, writing the script, directing, producing and filming it. Also lighting, being a self-gaffer, art and designer, set builder, assistant to oneself, the list continues. I can pick up an acoustic guitar and a recording device, sit down and record my album. I can produce, direct and star on my own album. That removes all frustration for me; some actors have to envy that kind of freedom. There lives evolve around action and cut. The closest an actor can get to wear musician’s moccasins is through the theatre, the contact with a live audiences feedback is second to none, live organic matter. Then for me, if we reverse the roles, excuse the pun, with musicians and actors it’s usually ego driven, musicians grew up enjoying film and would love to see themselves up on that BIG SCREEN. People often ask me, why don’t you make a movie, but honestly I don’t have that inner urge like I get from music, that deep love that has no room for anything else because music is total, it fills me. My music is my country in my world of other genres. I’m a musician first and maybe one day something will lead me to act, but for now I’m happy being the authentic me. I guess I don’t want to be anyone else, doing anything else. I have heard the older guy’s say films today are not like films back in the old days, I honestly think it’s one art that’s getting better. Except for HD, that’s a turn off, if I wanted the theatre I would go to the West End or Time Square for that, HD is a real passion killer for sure. Film is about magic, not watching your favourite actors in a gloss commercial. I have co-directed all of my own videos mostly with Arran Bowen who has become my directing buddy. Our relationship started like Breaking Bad me being Heisenberg and Arran being Jesse Pinkman. But over the years our working relationship has really developed into something really worthwhile and special. We have definitely cooked a winning method of total teamwork. When we are on the set filming we are two Leos, two fire signs, un-exhaustible focused, juggernaughts Our friendship it’s very similar, we have a lot of fun on the road and we really do work well together. We enjoy the research, I come up with story lines, and we both feel the narration has to come from the source, the artist. Arran makes films that he writes and directs, so with me he puts on a different cap. He takes his expertise and puts it exactly where he can make a big difference. Making music promos are very different to making film for all the reasons I mentioned earlier. Our working relationship works on artistic merit, we both respect each other’s talents. When it comes to my music, everyone involved professionally has to be on point. It’s business first but I am blessed their hearts are also in the right place.
I do love books and more and more these days, but that has only been in the last ten years. I had no time for books too long winded. I just read a great book its called ‘YOU ARE WHAT YOU SEE’, Watching Movies Through A Christian Lens by Scott Nehring. Please don’t let the happy clappy sub title put you off; it’s a very interesting book. I was singing one of my songs to Arran recently and he said “ the beauty of music is, you can get the emotion over to someone within minutes but in film it’s not so instant”. Another reason I did not pursue film, born on the wrong side of the fence, you don’t have the luxury to wait for the train, you run on ahead down the tracks and hop on while it’s moving, hobo style. Film was always like a perfect packed lunch, I needed quick fixes so I could resume music as soon as possible. I love and always live the life I’ve been given, so for a long time I super subconsciously adopted the Waldorf’s schooling approach, without the woodwork class. When I was a boy my father would bring home about four films a night. He and my mum at different times would sneak me off to the movies, because they knew I loved film as much as them, turned out later I liked film just that little bit more. My brothers and I would go to the kids Saturday morning cinema club. Then when we got older I would go to the Martial Art all Nighters. We would take sandwiches and drinks and sit within our different crews, Riverside, Fairwater, Ely, Llanrumney, Tigerbay etc, it was like a scene out of the film The Warriors only without the dodgy make up and a lot less wimps. The Chinese restaurant owners and workers were treated like royalty; they were based in Riverside and would teach the lucky ones. John Martin would share with us later what he had learned in the park and that would always turn into a free for all. Roy was the Black Belt Jones of Riverside, very talented, they say he got involved in a street brawl between a few guys and him, he won and lost, he lost his sight in one eye.
I will never forget one Martial Art all-nighter in particular, The cinema was packed it reminded me of Cinema Paridiso and Sat morning film club, full of working class people letting off innocent steam, and everyone was very excited, I sat next to my brother Tojo. The films for the whole night starting at about 11pm went something like this – Enter the Fat Dragon, Drunken Master, legendary weapons of china, Fatal needles and Fatal Fists and Snake and the eagles shadow. It was electric in there and then to complete the red carpet frenzy, in walked ‘Enter the Black dragon, are very own legendary ‘Frank Lynch’, a Jamaican with charisma and flair, definitely cool with a confident smile, he looked like a 70’s pimp with his hat perched on the side of his head, coat over his shoulders and featuring a black silver topped cane. Some of the lads said it doubled as a sword. The rumour was he had killed someone in the Kung Fu world championships, the perfect rumour for a man who just opened his martial art school. With a nod to the Chinese, the place hushed until he sat down with his girlfriend. The volume went straight back up to twelve in the anticipation stakes, by a room with the majority of young guys waiting for some kick em up Martial Art fighting scenes, it was a bit like WWE without the talking. By the end of Fatal Needles and Fatal Fists about 3:00am the cinema was asleep under Mr Lynches coat, Tojo my brother was under his hat cowboy style, and I had found the perfect spot on his great looking girlfriends shoulder. Someone shouted ‘JACKIE CHAN’ the place erupted and we all got back to our seats before Frank realised what time it was. Out came my mother’s infamous cheese sandwiches, along with the marble cake. From the glare of the screen my brother and I just smiled at each other as we tucked into the Hovis specials, while swigging down the ice cream sodas, I’ve had great moments in my life and it’s always those little ones that stick in your mind. At the end of that veritable action pact feast we left in the early hours of the morning to get the bus, there was a few hundred Jackie Chan’s battling, bless us. I continue to this day to take myself to an afternoon matinee, lately my brother Prodigal Sunn has been my movie buddy in LA and we see about three films a week. I have also always bought films, I had a great collection many years ago and got so broke I had to sell them, I was cool with it, you can’t eat plastic, but movies are food for thought. They were VHS and the only one I kept was Good Morning Babylon, you can’t even buy that film any more, it’s been discontinued. Now my collection is more extensive and on blue ray, Courtesy of Barnes and Noble. At the store they call me the Whale, it’s a poker term that means a high roller in the casinos; I’m the blue ray whale. Of late I’ve turned into the goldfish, I’ve bought all the films I wanted so these days I end up browsing. What I love about art it’s so personal, they say one mans meat is another mans poison. My favourite cinema in the world is ‘Monica’ on Arizona In LA. My favourite films of the year are all viewed at this cinema are -
No 1: Her*****
No 2 - 12 Years a slave’ *****
No 3: Inside LLewyn Davis. ****