Recap from Guest Blogger- Part II...
"So I start doing background, getting quite a few gigs right away, and then I got the audition that changed it all again."
The Beard That Got My Seattle Back (Conclusion)
by CJ Brady
|Something Wicked Dwells|
The film Something Wicked Dwells, a short by Waide Riddle, was to be entered in a slew of upcoming film festivals. Originally, I auditioned for a naked dead guy- again, it was the beard got me in the door. The project sounded fun and I am a firm believer that in movies now a days, you don’t see enough T and A. Remember back in the day, you’d get a love seen, with actual breasts, and a naked shower scene? Today, for whatever reason, there are bras in the love scene. Really, a bra? Not very authentic... So anyway keeping in that fashion, I figured if girls should, I should do the same. The audition process was by far the scariest and funnest things I think I have ever done. Guys know, and most girls do, or anyone who has ever watched the “I was in the pool” episode of Seinfeld, guy parts change. It will disappear when you don’t want it to, and be its most amazing when you’re all alone.
But I did it, and I was proud. I got a call back, and I was cast, just as a dead guy but still, it was a movie, an IMDB credit, and money. The movie grew as more people invested, and the poem it was based off got recognized all over: NYC, Austin, California. And right around Christmas time, about a year in on the beard, I got an email: the script has grown and you now have a part with lines.
Well let’s be honest, I freaked. I’m not an actor, I just do random background work. But after doing the hardest prep work I had ever done in my entire life, I had something, and I loved it. Now I’ve worked a lot of jobs: construction, roofing, sales, media, gyms, management, so on and so forth, and I can say that without a doubt, acting for me was the hardest job of all, but also the most fulfilling thing I had ever done. The days come and go, and we shoot Something Wicked Dwells.
It was an amazing experience, and as I am still awaiting the final cut, I am very proud nonetheless. What happens next is that I have changed my mind yet again. I don’t want to just do random background, although I will, to bring in money, but I really want to again do what I really enjoyed, which was actual acting with lines and parts. The beard helped, and I continued to get more work from it.
Then one day on the set of John Benjamin has a Van, I’m talking with another beard background actor. He is telling me when he first came to LA, there were about 8 bearded actors, and only about 3 of them could actually act. Now he says, we got about 30. It was like some kind of secret union. I give them my story and hear theirs. One guy is the go- to Homeless Guy whom I had actually met on another show a while back. Another was a Hasidic Jew, so on and so on. They urged me to grow that beard longer, to keep it going, promising me that I would work 5 or 6 days a week, and mostly principle(more money).
But while hearing this, and keeping with my Seattle-tude I thought to myself, I can be more then just a beard guy, or at least, I have to try. So the next week, voila. I shaved off 7 inches of hair and the beard was no more. I took new head shots, started studying for the acting class I want to join and here I sit today.
That brings us up to now. I had once lost myself, and by something as simple as growing a beard, my life changed courses drastically and for the better. I stopped caring what other people thought, and realized the only opinion I cared belonged to the love of my life. I stopped working crazy hours on a stagnant reality show that had served its purpose and was no longer benefitting me. I found my Seattle self again, started creating music once more, and believe me, when you create something from nothing, no matter what it is, it’s satisfying.
"We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams."
For more on CJ Brady, check out Twitter @thecjbrady