30 December, 2007

brand new by tomorrow

so ends another year. alas, what a crazy one it has been.

and that's all I'm saying about that...no deep thoughts, no words about living your dreams, no words about those motherf@#kers that killed Benazir Bhutto...just this year...lets all be happy!!

so Bollywood....well lately i have been thinking that it is time to leave Bollywood behind...December has been a rough month..firstly tourist are here so my agents can get them for roles at half the price i get so the work has been sparse and i have an apartment now and need things...which cost money...then, when i have worked, it hasn't been as fun...so i am thinking about a "real" job...before coming here ,i thought it would be fun to work at a call center, not for long mind you, but a month or two. it's such a hot button topic in the states and i would like to see what is means this end...so i may do that...and there are other things i can do...we shall see...

on 5 Jan i leave for a shoot in the south of India a place called Karela, it's a four day shoot and i think it may be my "swan song"...a nice way to say goodbye i think!
Then when i get back i have to head out to Nepal to renew my visa...which thanks to those fuckers who killed Bhutto it may be a longer process cause things, boarders, are tightening right now...but that's a month away so it should be better. i am really excited to go to Nepal. i was there before and loved it. it will be cold which will be nice.

for New Years there are a ton of parties...without Christmas they put all of there energies into New Years and this year bars can stay open until 5am instead of shutting at the usual 1:30am..it a big deal here, people are freaking out about it...that will be fun.

so that's India today...w!l i got your post card, thank you v v much!
so ya'll take care this holiday...don't drink and drive...THIS YEAR WE ALL BECOME RICH!!!!




25 December, 2007

good news vs. bad news

First MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

for Christmas i received a text informing me that i didn't get a part i auditioned for, bad news...good news, i didn't get it cause i look "too young"! ha!


Last year at this time i was in a really bad space...the realization of leaving Philadelphia was smacking me in the face daily. also realized that because of the fighting i would not be able to move to Sri Lanka. i was LOST, everything was bad. i was the most unhappy i had ever been...blah blah blah...

cut to one year later and basically most every dream I've ever had has come true...i am the happiest i have ever been...i am an actor in India for Christs sakes...my life rocks...so there is a Christmas lesson...always remember the immortal words of Ruth Cluenet "it is always darkest before the dawn"...

live your dreams kids!!!

22 December, 2007

do they know it's christmas...

what once was a catchy line from a pop song is now my life...i have been a little bit down about Christmas or rather the lack of...at first i thought yes i don't have to deal with it...all the running around spending etc. but know as the date approaches i am a little bit sad...i my be actually working on Christmas...i know right! but anyway...enough boo hooing!

i shot another TV soap the other day and i had lines in Hindi and English...i was a waiter...so between takes i am talking to the male lead and he says his name...i didn't know if he said robbie or ravi so i asked and he said "Ravi, Rape Always Virgins Immediately" Can you imagine...i wanted to puke...i said "that's gross" and he laughed...

yesterday i contacted a new agent and he may have work for me...he said "so you're a model?" i said "yes" anyway i know he gets his clients high paying jobs so...we'll see...i also found out about a shoot that is happening in the south (Kerela) is 15 days starting Jan 1 and pays rs.1000-1500 daily. i have never been down south and this would be expenses paid so i am excited for that.

otherwise not too much happening here...i checked the weather forcast and for the next month, it had the same forcast for...91 clear...i've been here almost three months and that's been the forcast for everyday...it never rains here...

hope you all have a great holiday and that Santa is good to you...i miss you all very much...enjoy life grrrrr!

19 December, 2007

AND THE WINNER IS....

JESSICA!!!

NOT ONLY DID JESS WIN, SHE KICKED EVERYONES ASS!!!

so i had done a night shoot which wrapped around 4am...it was a soap where one character goes crazy and tries to kill another with a broken bottle...this all takes place at a fancy restaurant...the wait staff pulls out a rope and tries to catch the crazy lady...it was so funny (a rope!!!) and they all took it very seriously...which of course made it even funnier...so i go home at 4 and crashed. 'round 8am my phone rings and somebody wants to confirm my address...i hung up...an hour later my door bell rings and there, courtesy of one Jessica CaCa-FaFa, is an Indian man holding a gift basket full of chocolates and treats...i thought i was dreaming!!! I live in India and wouldn't know how to send somebody a gift basket but Jessica did it...and it made my week...so Jessica here's to you...the winner!! (and look for you own gift to arrive from India! but be warned i am a slow mailer)

Now because the contest was a mailing competition i decided to give a second place to the first post letter to come as well...

a month ago this guy wrote to me on myspace just asking about how life in India is etc. we did some back and forth emails and i told him to read my blog...he did...and i got his Christmas card yesterday!...so the second runner up is Jon Kelly from New York...i have never met you but the card was really special and will go down as my first piece of 'indian mail'...so thanks!!!...he too will receive a gift from India!!

so if i get more mail i will let you know...thanks to everyone for playing...and again to Jessica...i have been eating and laughing all week!!

15 December, 2007

alkeyhol kills cooties

so last Sunday my landlord (parney) had a birthday party for his ten year old girl and i was invited...my roomie and i went. so we get there and i see parney's wife i say hello..then she introduces me to his OTHER wife...yes he's got two...later when i told him in America he would go to jail for that he just didn't understand.

so all the men at the party go to the roof to drink booze and talk really dirty about women...i met a lot of my neighbors it was FUN FUN FUN. sameer and i got really drunk...actually everybody got really drunk...i danced and everybody laughed...which seems to be the reaction to my dancing..grrr! anyway Indian's don't really drink, but when they do, they get stupid frat bot drunk...sameer barfed...so that night was when i really get eaten up by bugs...since then i haven't had one single bite so i think when they bit me they died from alcohol poisoning. who needs modern medicine!

oh, one more thing about the party...when you get there you are given, first thing, a slice of cake...i thought gosh my mom would love this...she only stays at parties waiting for the cake...she could eat and run. bad news is you only get that one slice.

i did another commercial with "King Khan" this week. it's for Nokia phones and i think you will be able to see me in it. there is a street scene and he walks by me in it. i am supposed to shot another commercial tomorrow...and my role in said commercial...a banker..what else!

sameer and i were having coffee this morning and a guy walked by selling cotton candy. i told sameer what it was called in America, he told me the Indian name which was really long but the best part he said it translates to "old woman's hair". tasty!

well i am off to go buy some jeans that i can't afford...i am having money issues which i will go into next time...blah blah...

still no winner in the mailing comp...and nobody has called me yet either....

9870054384 in case you forgot....

oh and i have a Christmas list if anyone cares...

i want a TV..you see i am freaking out that "lost" starts soon and well...

oh and mom, youtube.com has the trailer for the "sex and the city" movie...i can't bring myself to watch it.

11 December, 2007

i stopped counting at 42...

no bitches, this isn't a blog about my age...it's about the number of bites i have...and the 42 number...that's just one arm...yeah, so it's bad...but i got some mosquito coils and they helped last night and i hope to get a sleep net today, so all will be well...but, i will most likely have to start malaria pills if i am getting bit this much...it's just really weird cause they don't itch and i don't feel them bite....at first i thought it was bed bugs which are a know problem here but everything i read about them says the bites really itch...mine don't...they look like a cross between poison ivy and flea bites...so enough about my deformities...

so i saw this dog get run over yesterday....(and now i am crying again)...like i have cried hourly ever since it happen...i think it will go down as the single worse thing i have ever seen happen...it was bad, just a really fucked up thing to witness...i just feel like i want to yell at someone for it or punch the driver or scream....and i wish it would leave my head...and now i am scaring the other people in the internet cafe with my crying...so i will abruptly change subjects!

i am working again...yesterday i shot a commercial for french TV...why it's shot in India...who knows! it's for baby wipes...the lead gal tells her boyfriend she doesn't want to have a baby...then smells these baby wipes and decides she does...the werid part is that she's pregnat so she is saying that the smell of those wipes has made her change her mind about abortion....the right wing in American should get hold of some of them wipes...i have to go back again today...it feels good to have the cash in my pocket!!!

ok i have to run...take care ya'll...i miss and love you all very,very much.

08 December, 2007

roomies

tomorrow marks one week since i moved into my flat...and i love it! it small and its an old building a bit rough around the edges but i love it. the only thing i don't love are the bugs...there are a lot of bugs; ants, moths, spiders, and three geckos...the first night when the geckos arrived i was freaked cause there big, 6 inches...but last night they didn't come round and i sort of missed them. so at night the some of the bugs bite, i haven't been able to figure out which ones are the culprit...i have marks all over my arms and face...which sucks, they don't itch and i don't feel it when they bite so i guess its OK it just unsightly and now that my face is my calling card...well anyway i feel like i am on survivor.

yesterday i let my friend sameer move in for a few weeks, he is waiting for his new flat to be readied. he is already being a big help...he got tiffin service started for me...a tiffin is a metal lunch box...made up of a series of small round containers that stack on top of each other and then all lock together at the top...you purchase the tiffin, give it to the "tiffin man" and everyday he fills with hot food and delivers it your door for rs.25 (us .50 cent). since i can't cook at my place, it's great...and if you're not around one day, you just call and they won't come. so he is helpful and we are really helping each other with English/Hindi learning. which is more important out here, down in the tourist are everybody speaks English cause it's part of there lively hood here..mostly Hindi. i am sure once the few weeks are up i will probably hate him but for now it's cool.

it is winter here in mumbai, which means that it dips into the 70's and at night the low 70's...it also, like in the states, means that everybody has a cold...and i have developed some weird allergies...i live right on the edge of the 'jungle' so there are many, many trees and strange plants and something is making me snotty. there are also new animals, mainly birds i have never seen before and they make really interesting sounds it's nice.

so remember when i wrote before that i needed a bollywood break, well, watch what you wish for...i haven't worked since Wednesday last week...i miss it...and i miss the money coming in....now that i don't have to pay daily hotel bills it would be really nice to have the money stack up...and i also need some stuff for my flat...like plates and a cup would be nice...oh i started use tap water to brush my teeth...the next hurdle is to drink it sameer says it is safe but...

enjoy your day... and remember...be kind to strangers...they may have just moved to your country and feel a bit lost or overwhelmed...say hi to them!!

07 December, 2007

yeah...so i am a dork

on my address...i sort of forgot something important,

INDIA

the name of the country may help...sorry kids!

thanks mom!

05 December, 2007

OH, IT'S ON!!!

announcing the first ever americanmumbaiker competition!!!...now that i have an apartment you can send me mail...soooo..who ever i get the first piece of mail from will get a special gift direct from India...i am not sending out Christmas gifts cause i don't know where the GPO is in my new town yet and i would have needed to ship last week...so if you want a gift from India, here's your chance, get mailing...

Craig WINKLER - FOREIGNER
Bldg. No. 20, Flat 2053,
5th Floor, Vanrai Colony,
Goregaon (E) Mumbai
400 065

so good luck...be warned Oliver may have an advantage being on the west coast so don't delay...for now only send cards or letters, no parcels (cash accepted haha)...and the foreigner bit is important as is the capitalization of surname and the word foreigner...because i am white they will deliver direct to my door instead of at the mail box on the first floor...i am not sure why i get special treatment that's just what i was told...maybe they have seen my films....

which brings me to "Goal" i went to see it last night...you may remember this is the film i did voice overs for....well the film is terrible. the plot is under privileged soccer team comes from behind and wins the championship blah blah blah...they added some extra Indian fight racism crap in for this market...but it was sooo very cool to hear my voice on the screen...i wanted to tell people around me...they must of thought i was crazy cause i would laugh and what was on screen wasn't funny...but it was cool, totally cool.

i got a bed yesterday, well a futonesque mattress but i love it. it cost rs.600 and they threw in a pillow for free. i have a new food love it is called pava var (i think) everyone laughs when i say it. it cost rs.5, it's a fried ball of potato, peas and over goodness put on a bun with spicy and sweet chutneys...i love it..rs.5 is US 12 cents. i order two and they look at me like i am a pig.

so i also have a phone here and if i call you it is very very expensive but ya'll can call me..9870054384 you need country and city codes which i don't know but there it is...just remember there is a 10:30 time difference.

alright that's it for today...enjoy and MAIL!!!

04 December, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

a special shout out to two birthday boyz in da hizzouze.

my nephew joey turns 10 on dec 4th...i hope he got tons of star wars lego sets

and my BBF'S son, indie, turned 9 on nov. 28th...and i hope he got lots of tofu burgers and fake bacon

so happy birthday boys...tell your moms i said to spend lots of money on you today...uncle craig would want it that way!!!

03 December, 2007

there's no place like home...

so i's gots me an apartment...moved in yesterday everything went smoothly...or as much as things can go smoothly...spent most of the first day cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen area (which is just a sink). there is a huge "supermarket" across from my colony (as it is called) so I went got a few things for my bachelor pad(because I am unmarried I am consently referred to as a bachelor here, I feel very 1950's)..anyway today have to get a bed...last nights sleep on the floor was not as bad as one might think but I need a bed. so far the neighbors are avoiding me...one came to my door this morning and asked for money...when I said in Hindi "no understand" (nay, samje) she just kept talking so I slowly closed the door. she went away.
Saturday night i went to a party on a boat my friend david came and he had a friend in from DC...it was really really nice to be able to talk freely...so much of the english i use has to be so broken down into basics..go, stop, here, after...i only talk in one word sentences...so it was nice to just let loose
oh and as you can see i have found a new internet cafe...the best part is its only 15rs per hour...my last place was 75rs. anway i have to go get a shower bucket...cause...I LIVE IN INDIA NOW!

01 December, 2007

FLAT!!

so the papers are signed and i moved tomorrow (sunday)...i am so excieted...i may be off the web until i find a new internet cafe near my flat...i have been so freaked about this whole thing it feels good to finally be this close....so until then enjoy this video below!!!

29 November, 2007

bollywood blues

this week i have been suffering from the blues...it is mostly due to the nasty, nasty cold i picked up...I've just been cocooning in my room...reading, playing sudoku.

it is also partly due to being at a crossroads with the whole bollywood thing, I've been on a couple of really boring shoots this week and it hasn't been fun...originally i said i would do bollywood until it stopped being fun. this week has not been fun...but i think i just need a break...

a bollywood break to figure out what i want to do with it...i can keep being an extra or i can really jump into "the scene" and push for parts and call agents everyday and really make a go of it...i just need to figure it all out...

i need a Colaba break. Colaba is the are where i have been staying. it is where all the tourist stay. the tourist are dirty and boring and just want to do drugs all the time and sometimes i feel as long as i am in colaba...i am a tourist..yuck! hopefully, tomorrow i will be moving in to my "flat". i've been playing phone tag with my realitor.

i also need a break from my clothes...i packed all wrong...its so unlike me to have packed wrong but i did and now i am sort of stuck with stupid clothes and wrong shoes...but once i relocate i can sort that out

so it all boils down to it's time to move on...i have been really stressed about this move...just because nothing is set in stone and i am to move tomorrow...and that freaks me out...

alright, this is boring me, complaining here, so i will tell you something good...

if you have not yet read "a thousand splendid suns" log off the internet, and run to a bookstore. it may be my new favorite book..OK my second favorite...nothing can touch "a suitable boy". this book is beautiful and complex and...just be warned it is the very definition of a tear jerker...

before i got sick this week, i went to a wedding, which was fun...i danced, the Indians laughed (ouch!) and i ate and ate and ate...more than i thought humanly possible...food has turned out to be a huge part of my day...i cant seem to get enough Indian food...i love it..i love it, love it..i love it!
the wedding was of the daughter, of the owner of my hotel, his name is "the captain". he is blind and his wife is a total bitch. i see the staff hide from her all the time...they told me she only comes to the hotel, where the captain and staff live, "an hour everyday to collect money and bark". the staff is made up of 5-6 young guys (15-20) they live at the hotel, at night they sleep on the floor of the lobby...they are really nice, but hardly speak a word of english..i think its a good job for them...i just wish they were better at toilet cleaning!

ok so thats india today i am feeling better today (health wise) and i would rather be down in bollywood than up anywhere else so don't fret (mom)...life is still awesome!

23 November, 2007

Goal

so i put down the deposit on my flat today!!! so i will be REALLY living in mumbai...and it is freaking me out...a little...it's a big step and means that i will be here 11 more months...yikes! so i move in next friday...the guys that currently live there are being kicked out to make way for the foreigner!

the film goal released today, it is the first film that i had anything to do with...it is my bad British voice-over...but i had already planned to see Jab We Met (when we met) it stars shihid kapur, who i totally have a man crush on. it was really really good...it was fun to see him in a film cause i've been working on his new film so much and i know him that way it was nice to remember he is actually a star.

i finished reading shantaram...it's a great read all about the dark under belly of mumbai...it was heavy in weight (900 pgs) and in thought so i am following that with the TRASHY bio of katie price, JORDAN...it awful and i love it!

heres the trailer for goal and a song from Jab We Met






so anyway hope your holiday was fun...and remember to keep those comments coming!!

22 November, 2007

Thank You...India

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE...i miss you all and wish you the best this holiday season...please eat tons of pumkin pie for me!!!

15 November, 2007

ham and eggs

so when last i wrote i was going to Tuesday for an a commercial audition...turns out it was for a film. a film i had done extra worked on...its called lucky charm (working title) anyway so i went for the audition, the part was of "the banker" there were three other whites there...i looked the most like a banker...i got the part!

when i worked on the film before i became really friendly with the crew...it was a five day shot i was on of the few extras there everyday so they got to know me (and sometimes i am nice to people and they like me). i am sure this helped me get the part...so being nice pays off...yuck...now I've got to re-think my life (darn)

i had three lines (i had one more which they cut the day of the shoot, darn!)...

banker: mr raj malhotlra?
banker: we just need your signature on these forms...here, here and one here.
banker: and here is your check...thank you very much!

raj malhotltra is being played by shihid kapur who is the hottest actor going right now...and super cute. i got fitted for a costume, a suit and was told to return at 8 am

after the audition i went to look at some apartments with my friend sameer...some were gross, some were nice...NONE had water 24 hours a day! yeah i know right, the deal here is that for 2-3 hours a day they turn on the water main and you fill a 50 gallon tank in the apartment and use that water during the day...not at home during that time? you have to save some from the day before...so that kinda threw me for a loop...basically water is an amenity and if you want it 24 hours a day you have to pay...really pay

Later that night they called to push the shoot back a day...

on Wednesday i went to see "om shanti om" the new king khan film. i knew serveral people in it. it was exciting. there was one scene where they pull up in front of a film studio...the same studio i was shooting the movie at the next day...it felt awesome just to be able to have the thought..."oh i am shooting a movie there tomorrow"...life is funny!

so the day of the shoot...my suit was huge and i had try on many before we got one that looked right...the scene went well and it was cool hanging with the actors...shi kapur was nice but kept his distance...it went kinda of quickly...normally the extras eat separately from the actors and directors so it was fun to be with them as an "actor". it is a weird feeling to have a dream (making films in bollywood) and then to find yourself living it...it felt like an out of body experience, which is cool cause i never really liked my body anyway...

after the shoot i went to look at another set of apartments and i found one! (i think)...it's small, has no kitchen (again, they are an amenity) but it has 24 hour water and it is well within my budget...so if it all works out i will be moving in within the next two weeks....i am terrified...

when i got back to my hotel i got a call from a fellow actor he was having a party at a local bar so i hopped back on the train and was off...at the sation i hooked up with a group of actors to get cabs while we were waiting i was hamming it up talking about the days shoot when suddenly i felt this WACK to my head, i reached up and realized someone had thrown an egg at me, it i had exploded on my head......and that my dear friends is what i fucking love about mumbai, this city of highs and lows...one minute you are star and the next you've got egg on your face.

11 November, 2007

Saawariya

hello boys and girls...today i went on a shoot for a TV show. I had already been on this show about two weeks ago where i played a guy grieving at the hospital and today i played a bartender, i got to be in the scene a good bit it was fun and the actors remembered me from before, so that was nice. i am not working tomorrow but i have an audition for a TV commercial that would shoot the following day...commercials are good money. the deal is you audition then if they cast you, you have to bargain with your agent about the price...it's being short at Yash Rei studios (and i don't think i spelled that right) it's the studio King Khan is part owner of..which again means money...so keep your fingers crossed...i would be playing a business man...when my agent called he said they needed somebody "old"...this business is a bitch. after the audition Sameer and i are going to look at flats...double cross those fingers kids...

and now a bit of my favorite song of the moment...its called Saawariya from the film of the same name...enjoy!!

10 November, 2007

A + S

hey kids...i have finally been able to upload photos...more to come...

these are my two friends Amaan and Sameer



bye for now....

08 November, 2007

my best friend ricky martin

I've been slightly homesick this week...i think it had to with...Dewali...its the Indian Christmas (sort of) and it is a week long celebration the height of which is this weekend...people exchange gifts, put up lights and spend time with family...it just reminds me of thanksgiving and Christmas approaching...so enough of that...

this week i did a TV show on Tuesday...it wasn't fun...the scene was a girls birthday party...i had to dance with this Indian girl and she didn't seem really thrilled that she was stuck with the white guy and not one of the young hunky Indian boys...i felt the same! she didn't speak any English so i had fun telling her..."you should try trim spa baby cause you're getting thick" "did you but that shirt at a thrift store" so the insults were lame...but you have to watch what you say cause they'll tell you they don't know English but they do, and besides you don't want to be too mean but it sort makes you feel better. and trust me they do it to me to anyway...

yesterday i had an overnight shoot...they start at 8pm at night and run til 6am...i have avoided them until now cuase the hours...well they sound terriable but it wasn't as bad as it sounds...it was an outdoor disco party...they had a fake band playing, the name of the band was "life roxx" which i loved!

while i was on set i got a call from Ricky martin...wha wha what..OK so it's not that Ricky martin...but its this guy named Ifraam who i meet at the Jesse metclaff shoot and his brother runs a call center and might have a job for me....so Ricky (Ifraam) was born to a Muslim father and Christan mother...he got into drugs and almost died and then found Jesus so he is converting...when the Hindus or Muslims convert they pick new "christian" names...and they almost always use celebrity names...he choose Ricky martin...Ricky's great to talk to, he studied in America for four years and speaks fluent English, which i miss sometimes as my friends Amaan and Sameer are not so good...

and now fashion news...everything you need in India you can buy on the street...jeans, condoms, water, fans, Cd's and fakes and by fakes i mean name brand fake clothes...shirts that say "prada gap" and other bizarre combinations of brandsare everywhere...especially popular is diesel...the day pack that i brought with me was all wrong so i got myself a hot little diesel pack for around six bucks. i don't buy much of anything here cause i have limited space, i have gotten a couple Hindi film soundtracks, i mostly spend money on food...i eat all the time...i had forgotten how much i love Indian food...OK my agent just called and my shoot for tomorrow got cancelled which means he found someone to do it cheaper so now i have to go find my friend bankhesh cause he's got a shoot tomorrow

oh...but let me tell you this...i went to the movies and before the show started they had an announcement flashed on the screen in English giving instructions on what to do if a bomb exploded during the film and then another announcement warning not to accept food from strangers in the theater...i love this place!!!

03 November, 2007

why am i like this, three's company and six is a crowd

this was a long week of work. i did a film called lucky charm" and it was three 13 hours days in a row. i was going to take Friday off but i got a call about a TV show and they are my favorite thing to do so....when bollywood calls...no, actually, when bollywood calls you sometimes don't answer the phone. i had three different jobs i could have done today (Saturday) but i declined...isn't this supposed to be a vacation as well as my life!

the film was long hours but because it was with the same people and same location it had a bit of a "family" feel to it...but the kind of family i was ready to leave!

the TV show i did on friday was set in a London hospital...which i didn't understand cause the set is permanent...but it is not always set in London??? none of the actors spoke to me..but it went quick and the set had A/C which is good cause there is a bit of a heat wave in the city...it 35 degrees which i can't figure out what that's means...i know there is some math equation to convert to Fahrenheit but...whatever...anyway the show is called "why am i like this"...which sounds more like an after school special...i had to sit in a waiting room and act like i had just received bad news...there is this gel stuff that you stick your finger in and then wipe in your eye to make yourself cry...i see all the actors here use it...so i asked for some and they said "no, just pretend!"

today on my day off i had planed to see a film but the timings weren't good for me so i took a train to the Bandra area of town...which is the "high end" shopping district...which means they have shops like reebok, tommy hilfiger, and KFC...which i ate at and it kinda sucked. i guess i am just too far from Kentucky. it was so hot out i didn't really enjoy it...so I trained home and napped and ate.

my agents name is Amjad, working for him are Amaan and Sameer. they have quickly become really good friends of mine...i was telling Sameer that i need to find a flat...he suggested that we three get a place...i was caught of guard...i had imagined myself in a place of my own...but then when thinking about it i had never imagined i would be in Myrtle Beach for a year or that i would be acting in India...India is the place people come to to reinvent their lives...so we are gonna start looking for a flat...i plan on playing the part of chrissy...it will most likely never really happen but through them i will meet some agents (the real estate kind). next week is the week i get serious about that hunt.

one day before a shoot Amaans roommate, Bankhesh, took me to his house so he could shower and change...once when i had been asking Amaan where he lived he got really quite and changed the subject quickly...i felt bad because some people here do live on the street. they hold down jobs and are members of normal society but don't have the same normal living arrangements that we in the west have...Amaan is the nicest guy in the world and i just felt terrible that i should make him feel ashamed.
i was excited and scared to see his house...we were in a auto-rickshaw heading towards Amaan and Bankhesh' home and we turn on to this "street" which was the slummiest dirt road ever, piled with rotting garbage and rotting smells and i felt my heartbreaking...how could i let my friend live in this place...just as my eyes were beginning to well with tears we turned again and were back in civilization or at least the Indian version of it...we trucked on until we arrived at his place...it turned out to be nice or at least the Indian version of it. a one room flat divided by a concrete wall into two rooms. the wall is just about three feet high so you can see each room from the other. the larger room was the living/sleeping room and the smaller the kitchen/bathroom. i wasn't permitted to see that (?). the entire space was probably ten feet by twenty and is shared by five or six men. they have no furniture but everybody had there own hook on the wall which held all there clothes...upon entering Bankhesh apologized for having "no A/C only fan". Bankhesh made introductions the roommates that were there, two round my age that work in films as lighting guys and then a younger kid who had half a leg and used a crutch, he makes paper flowers he sells at the markets...later i asked Bankhesh how old he was and Bankhesh got really quite and whispered "he's handicapped". because i was a guest, snacks (biscuits) and tea were sent out for. normally the tea, Chai, comes in these terrible little plastic cups the size of Dixie cups, they are hard to hold cause the tea is severed really, really hot, for me they ran to a neighbors house and got a porcelain tea cup...so i sat there while he showered and was stared at by the roomies and various other neighbors that would poke there heads in to see the "foreigner"...all whites here are called foreigners...little kids always shout 'hello foreigner, good bye foreigner" etc. plugged into the sockets at the house they had several cell phones charging away and yet no chairs, tables, or even mattresses. mobiles are offices and that means work and money, that's what matters here. Bankhesh returned dressed, sprayed deodorant on the outside of his shirt and said with a wink "today i may meet my girlfriend" and we were off.

29 October, 2007

accents, parties and hemorrhoids!

dear readers...(firstly, i don't have, roids, read on)....secondly sorry i ve been busy this past couple of days and been blog slacking...this may be a long one...where to begin...voice-over...it was for this film called "something" "something" "something" goal...about a football team that travels to UK for some games..we had to do back ground voices...it SUCKED...it took 12 hours...and my british accents SUCKS...it was retarded...but at the end they paid me 6000rs ($120us)which rocked!!...i did the team doctors voice....i place a call to the team captain and say:

"johnny this is doctor greg...i just checked sunny bashils charts and it is very dangerous for him to play, he has a hairline fracture to his nose, johnny he is just not fit to play" and then earlier in the film i say: everything checks out fine...welcome to whitehull" so its a real actor on film but i am his voice...sunny is played by john abraham who is the hot hot actor right (google his photos you'll be glad you did)...he's just released a film called 'no smoking' which is this new breed of movies releaseing here which are "anti-bollywood song and dance"...it's a good film but bizarre...i saw it saturday...but i am getting ahead of my self...voice over was 24th wednesday...thursday i was off and didn't really do much...

friday my agent called at 5am and asked me to come do a film...so i went and it turned out to be a jesse metcalf film...hes the gardener from desperate housewives...its called 'other end of the line'..it sound terrible....so we go to this five star hotel are put in this room and there we sat four 8 hours and then told we could go home...never got used and never got to see jesse...but i still got paid and speaking of pay i asked for a raise at the suggestion of my actor friends and now my daily rate is 700rs up from 500rs...it like $4us but it increases my profile and its a bad habit to convert into us dollars because to ya'll four dollars is nothing but 200rs is important...so i was happy cause i had to ask for the raise and it felt uncomfortable to do anyway....let move onto saturday...went to see no smoking got a copy of shataram which is the new hot india book...johnny depp is doing the movie....anyway everybody read the book...its good...so it sells in the shops for 500rs and i found a photocopied bootleg on the street the guy wanted 400rs for it but i walked away after haggling with it for 120rs...went to dinner with my friend david then to a party where most of the people had just come from seeing beyonce...tickets didn't sell very well and they said she was sweating so much it looked like she pee'd her pants...i should have gone!

sunday i had a shoot...it was at a jazz lounge that was supposed to take place in Toronto....i had to dance...i was talking to the actor telling him that i had seen 'no smoking'...i asked what he had been in recently and he said "jab we met" and in my head i realized it was the film that opened opposite "no smoking"...so basically i told the lead actor of the film that i went to see the competitions film opening day and not his...i am winning so many friends!!!

today i did another soap...it called rhaki (rocky) it was fun i was a business man again...the lead actor is very famous and ignored me...he had hemorrhoids and everybody had to rush around looking for his haemorrhoid pillow...whenever he sat down he would say in english.."oh that burns"..i almost pee'd myself...can you imagine..i took a photo of him holding the pillow.

we got done early which is nice and which is why i can write the longest blog ever...and i still have more to say...it will have to wait...the next two days i am back on the film of the star i insulted...

oh i am having trouble getting photos uploaded...i will try...i love ya'll

23 October, 2007

can you guess...


....what the hose is for??

fingers crossed...life is funny

the sun will come out tomorrow...hopefully...i just got a call from a "fellow actor" about a job tomorrow...its a voice over which are the sweet gigs to get...they normally take only 3-4 hours and PAY BIG!!

so he asked if i could do a british accent i said no he said "it pays 5000rs" ($100) i said "pip pip cheery o'"...so hopefully i can fake it and make it...he said "its India what do they know about a british accent"...i didn't mention that whole colonization thing

monday i did another dance scene for a movie..the actress looked like a man in a BAD dress i told some of my indian friends...they got really upset...ooopppss!! she was kinda alwful all day then at the end she came round and said thank you to everybody..then i kinda loved her and her man body in a bad dress.

today i did a scene for a film that stars a famous indian TV personality...he was really nice...it's his leap to the big screen...it's a thriller action film...the best part was that it was shot at the airport that i flew into. i remember just 22 days ago arriving and learning about my missing luggage and crying in the cab hoping india wasn't gonna kick my ass...and hoping i hadn't made a mistake coming here blah blah blah...and now...i'm a star baby...life is funny!

oh and two of the people at the shoot today said they saw me on the soap i did...that felt really really cool...sort of the closest i've come to some weird kinda fame (so far)...life is so funny!!

when i am at the shoots i have really been asking people different things to say in hindi...the language is starting to make since...but then i just tried to order dinner and the waiter just looked at me and said..."in english please"

can i say it again...life is funny!!!

next post will be photos!!!

21 October, 2007

movie

so this won't be a blog about my career but it will be about bollywood....so i had friday off and i went to the movies (research)...first when you buy your ticket you have to pick your seat from a chart...then after the coming attractions everybody has to stand for the national anthem...which is a really bizarre song with parts for a man and woman...so the film starts...it was in hindi so i just have a rough idea of what went on...a woman was possessed by the devil...the film is called Bhool Bhulaiyaa and it stars Shiney somebody...who was the star of the first film i worked on...so that was kinda fun cause i've talked to him...and after the film i worked on he slept with this western girl i was fast friends with...so anyway back to Bhool...it was really long 2 1/2 hours with a 15 minute intermission...during the movie everybody talks to each other, talks on their cell phones, acts like the film isnt even happening and yet are really really into it...the film soundtrack has two of my current favorite songs "Labon Ko" and the title song, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, which has the hari krishna chant to a rap beat...i bought the soundtrack and i also got one to "OM shanti OM" which is the new SRK film opening next week..in the cd are photos from the movie and i know two of the indian extras! below is a short clip thats shiny singing except the people in the film dont really sing the songs its all lip snycing...

19 October, 2007

KING KHAN

the week started as my weeks do a 8am call time to meet my agent in front of mcdonalds to go to some studio in a suburb of mumbai. i get there and there were many other western folks milling about talking...where you from...how long you here...blah blah blah...it was supposed to be a film shoot but i heard the kids saying something about a TV ad so i asked what we were doing...turns out it was an tv advert for jet airways a new airline ya'll will be flying soon...its cheap and hip...yada yada yada...anyway turns out the star of the advert was to be SHAH RUCK KAHN...ok who...well he is only the fucking brad pitt of indian...hes actually bigger than brad pitt...he is really the star to help usher in this current wave of bollywood fun that began in the early 90's...he's BIG and i was gonna work with him...and i did and it was great...he completely ignored my existence in the way only a megastar could...i couldn't have been happier...i was star struck. i got to be his stand in...he brushed my arm and almost ashed his cigarette on me...i could have died...we were in a scene together...just he and i...and this commercial will play all over asia!! below is a small clip of the awesomeness that is KING KHAN...and yes thats what he is called here...

17 October, 2007

to the left

beyonce is in town next week and i am feeling like a stupid american cause i kinda wanna go....but at least i am not going to see chillonaire when he is here this weekend!

this is the hottest song in india right now...you here it everywhere...all the kids sing every word perfectly...i asked this guy in a resturant where it was playing if he knew what the words meant, he said no...i said its kinda dirty, he asked if he should take it off

16 October, 2007

test patterns

so i am testing to see if i can post photos...do you see anything below...if so there is more to came

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

14 October, 2007

fresh faces of bollywood

not much going on today...jeez that was kinda of a boring start...keep reading it will get better....so i went to a party last night it was at a "nightclub" and everyone kept buying the "american' drinks so my heads a bit done in today...there were two sides to the nightclub, one that played american music (bon jovi) and the other that played bollywood hits...it was so fun to watch the kids dancing...i met an american from DC and we are going to be friends...he's lived here for a year, working at a school...his apartment is paid for by the school...i need a gig like that....as much as i love the bollywood thing i need to find something "real"...i also met an indian guy that writes for a bollywood magazine i told him to do a segment on me..."fresh faces of bollywood"...he said "maybe"...we are going to be friends as well

on friday i had an audition for a film...i know right...anyway it was ridiculous...cause i keep waiting for people to realize that i am not really an actor...but they aren't...and now my agent is saying i should summit my photo to modelling agencies...i know right...watch out tyra here i come...it seems that most of the travelers here are 20-25 so my niche is that i am "older"...finally it may pay off...so anyway the audition was hilarious cause i have no idea what i am doing...anyway i am sure i wont get it...but for five minutes it was fun to let my mind run wild with the idea.

tomorrow i am doing a commercial...which i am excited for...and tomorrow night airs the TV program i worked on last thursday...

so thats india today...don't dream it, be it!!!

13 October, 2007

not feeling well

it's hot here. it's really hot here. I sweat all the time. walking, standing, and even while showering. the heat has really been kicking my ass.

so dripping with sweat i then stop in shops, museums and cafes etc. where the air conditioner are at full blast. that in combination with the dust and traffic fumes has left me with a bit of a summer cold...

i went to the chemist and got some pills...

the best part of permanent vacation is that i can lie in bed all day and its ok...

so now at 3:31 in the afternoon i am feeling better.

do fries go with those sticks!

Last night marks the beginning of Navratri...a Hindu festival celebrating someones death or rebirth or marriage to a monkey...who can tell. the main activity around this holiday is "clicking of sticks"...people gather doing these dances which include clicking Navratri sticks...the sticks (two of them) are about the size of drum sticks and are covered in elaborate fabrics with embellishments of ribbons and piping. there is a routine of about 5-6 steps which all include and clicking of the two sticks together. when you get a street of devotees all clicking...the sound is powerful...knowing the festival was coming...i wanted sticks...


i enjoy McDonald's. i know this sends shivers down the spines of my hipster friends and fellow travelers but i am an American. a child of the 70's. McDonald's is a part of who i am. McDonald's restaurants are plentiful in India but the menu is completely different. They serve no beef (yes!) or pork (dabule yes!!). They have menus items like McLoo Tikka (my favorite-20rs) and Majaratia Mac (155rs for combo) and there cokes are served with no ice -which is strange with it being 800 degrees here.
eating at McDonald's in India:
a: is pretty safe as far as cleanliness goes
b: keeps me western-so many people traveling here are on a journey to disconnect from the western world-which i totally get it's just not my trip
c: i eat 3 meals a day-21 per week-if 2 or 3 of those are from McDonald's and keep me from being totally homesick than so be it!

the other day feeling peckish i headed for the golden arches. i got a combo. the cashier said do you need sticks...huh?...with every combo meals this week you get a free set of Narvrati sticks...(yes!)...god bless you McDonald's and god bless you Hindu god of stick clicking...I'll see you at the festival...I'll be the one with McDonald's sticks and a full belly!!

did you just give me the curry finger?

indians eat with there hands...and only the right...i feel very indian today as my fingers are now stained curry yellow!

brush your teeth, brush your god damn teeth

i had to buy toothpaste today. i planned on getting some crazy indian brand but it looked really scary so i went for colgate (28rs)...but it is salt flavored. the scary part is that it's kinda good!

12 October, 2007

i cant go to brooklyn, i am famous movie star

one week here and i am famous...ok maybe not famous...ok maybe not even well known...but i AM working...and that's a start...

on monday i had my film debut dancing...yes dancing...in a bollywood film...i did that for a couple days then yesterday i worked on a tv series...

this guy approached me on the street and asked if i would like to be an extra in a film...its a popular thing here, i had done it when i was in thailand as well...they take anyone...except fat people...yikes

so we arrive at the studio and they sort push you around put you in place and yell action...very confusing but totally fun...i am meeting tons of fun indians and some western folks as well

07 October, 2007

HERE

i am here...sorry it has taken so long for me to post...

the flights here were not bad but the lay overs killed me...my bags didnt make to india until a day later so my first day here was sort of gross i had been in the same clothes for 3 days...3 looong stiiinkkky days...but if your gonna stink, there is no better place than mumbai...i had forgotten about the smells...it's loud here!

alright thats it for today..i will start blogging...tomorrow...speaking of tomorrow i am going to be an extra in a bollywood film...and i get paid...500rs ($14us)