31 January, 2008

Rambo 4 is a homophobic piece of shit.

monday i went for a shot on this film called taveer, which means photograph, and i was again a business man. alas, never cast as male model. i was really excited for two reasons:
1. the star of the film is Ashok Kumaar. he is the highest paid actor in bollywood right now. he was really nice and didn't run off to his trailer in-between takes. he walks by me in a scene, which means i won't end up on the cutting room floor (hopefully)
2. the director and crew of the film also worked on "bombay to bangkok" which i just saw so i was able to tell them i loved it, which was a white lie, but the music is good and the lead actor (Shreyas Talpade) was great! anyway....
it was supposed to be a two day shoot but they finished in one.

tuesday i went to figure out my travel arrangements for Nepal...(i know i still haven't left yet?). i really wanted to fly, so i went and checked ticket prices...rs.16000. then i checked the train...rs.450. my train leaves on monday.

wednesday i had a shot for this film called "fashion". i was excited to work on this film as well. it has been getting a bit of press cause it features a "positive gay character". i got to the set eager to see the character. the shoot was a fancy runway show, we were all in suits and had to act posh...so then i see this one guy in a bright pink shirt and earrings...so much for the "positive gay character". it is a big deal the last film with gays (Deepta Mehta's 1996 film "fire") was banned otright so this is progress(?). anyway it was fun and i am glad to be part of it however small my part is.

today (thursday) i am going to buy my train ticket (tuesday i was just "gathering information") and eat at my favorite restaurant and try to watch "lost" online at the internet cafe and then buy a sweater.

friday i have a date...wha..wha..WHAT! yes, i have a date. i am sure it will end in boredom and betrayal like all the rest...sooo whatever!

saturday i have a party to go to.

sunday the roommate is moving out yes!

monday is nepal!

so there you have it kids...i will blog again soon...
take care of your friends, they are important!
that reminds me i am having trouble finding padded envelopes which i need to send gifts but the search continues i haven't forgotten you all...

a song from bombay to bangkok...

27 January, 2008

all i want to do is see Rambo 4

the past four nights i have been on a night shot for a film called "money hai, honey hai". i have no idea what that means. the shoot started every night around 6pm and went until 6am, i was paid $25.00 per night (that is considered good pay). the shoot was relatively uneventful. the scene was a fashion show spoof. the models wore really crazy outfits. i was in the audience, the camera did a close up of me so maybe I'll be in the film, maybe not, luckily i get paid either way.

the first night: being winter in Mumbai, at night it gets cold, really cold. that first night everyone froze. we had not been told it would all be shot outdoors. i just had on a tee-shirt, that sucked. we were shooting at 'film city' which is where a majority of the studio's are. it's this massive mountain on the edges of the city and everywhere you go films and TV show are being shot, it is really exciting there. after the shoot finished (6am) we were all to board a bus that would carry us from the top of the mountain to the train station. the bus was really crowded the bus driver refused to go, so everyone started fighting with him. the driver was punched a mirror was pulled off the bus and the air was let out of his tyres (in India, tire is spelt with a "y"). it went from calm to crazy in two seconds. we had to catch riks to the station.

second night: when i got to film city (the bottom of the mountain) the police where there to question everyone. i played dumb "all Indians look the same to me, i don't know who did what". i didn't want to tell him two people i know where the jerks that punched the driver and let the air out. they got a random guy on a motorcycle to drive me up mountain to the set. when i swung my leg to get on the bike i kicked the police man in the ding dong, he sort of stumbled, the bike took off and all i could do was yell "sorry!".

the next two nights there were no fights and no ding dong kicking. the shoot was only to run two nights and i was happy with that. when they announced a third night, i felt trapped. i had a really nice Saturday planned in my head, which the highlight of was to see Rambo 4. normally the idea of a Rambo film wouldn't be a joyous event for me but...

the first time i was in India back in 1994. Rambo: First Blood Part 2 had just opened, a full 10 years after its US release date. i think the idea that Rambo 4 is opening here the same time as it opens in the US is a great indicator of the changes that India has gone through in the last 15 years. i also love that its number four and i am celebrating my fourth month here. i love that it opened on India's republic day. it's the day they got the British out. [republic day is also a dry day, no alcohol can be sold in India.]

so when they told me that there would be a third night i just keep thinking "all i want to do is see Rambo 4". they hold your pay until the end of the shoot, you have to keep coming back. after the third night they called for a fourth. after four days of being awake all night and sleeping just a little during the day my body is reminding me that i am not 21 anymore, but i have a pocket full of cash and tonight i will see Rambo 4!

Monday and Tuesday i have a two day shoot for my agent, Amjad, that i just fired last week? confusing i know. i fired my agent cause he hasn't sent me on a job in two months, all my work has come from other sources, so i told him not to call me anymore. he is in the bad habit of booking me then replacing me with someone cheaper (it's nice to know i am not the cheapest guy in town). anyway so now he sending me on a two day film shoot as an apology. Wednesday i book my train ticket and leave for Nepal (finally). the room mate is moving out on Wednesday as well (i think/hope).

21 January, 2008

back: part two...the iranian invasion

the Iranians arrive and a large group of us are sitting around a grouping of tables. they start going around the table asking where everyone is from. they get to me, i swallow "America" there is silence...one Iranian shouts acroos the tables "hey America, will you tell your president to fuck our president" i pick my mobile off the table and fake dial, like i do, "hey bush will you fuck Irans president" i hold the phone from my ear "bush says OK...hows next Thursday"...they scream with laughter and i become loved by all.

the shoot was pretty uneventful..we were soldiers and just sort of had to march around in the background, kinda boring. i kept thinking in America they would digitally put us in there. we worked for two days then they said we were done...then said we weren't and then back and forth. i was really tried of the Mumbai freaks and just wanted to go home...after three days of not working...all spent at the beach...we were called to work again. we shot during the day, then they said they need some folks for a night shoot so i did that too...for the day part we were paid rs.1200 and for the night rs.800...john told me we only got rs.500 for the night part but everyone else said that we got rs.800 so when i asked he got really mad we got in a small fight and he lost my friendship over rs.300...which i think is us 7.00. Indians are difficult to trust, they have a different meaning of the word but i always thought he was a bit different...but you know what they say "different is just a fancy word for exactly the same".

the best part of the trip beside the postcard perfect scenery was meeting the Iranians, imparticular three. Farshid, Mohammed #2 (there were seven Mohammeds), and Wahid. they were three of the nicest people and we became instant friends. at the end of March i am going to pune to visit them (except Wahid who is leaving to go back to Iran this week:(! ). they made the trip for me. it was really great to talk to them about politics, 911, culture, Jews, and arranged marriages in a really open and honest way. these are the people my president says i should hate? listening to us describe our presidents actually sounded oddly the same...not following the peoples will, creating war out of nothing, acting unilaterally, etc...they are counting downs their president days left in office the same way we are.

so in the end i still made money, lost a friend made three better ones. my towel died (it picked up some weird smell) again i got a new better one and everything is right again.

back in mumbai, my apartment was OK. it was the first time the roomie was home alone, i was a bit nervous. he is moving out next week and it is time...i will have to write about his marriage plans...it funny...that will be later...this week i was going to go to Nepal but after the trip south i just need some time before i head out again...i start a five day shoot tomorrow...i think i will leave for Nepal Feb 1.

oh and i never made it to Joyce...i left late trains were crazy and anyway...but i told this man i was going there and he paid for my cab and said' i am Christan too" oh and on the train an old man grabbed at my crotch and i punched him in the stomach...was that too brief to write at the end sorry it wasn't really funny it felt gross. i guess it was funny i punched him i was just really mad.

and here is my song of the week, it is from the 1998 film "Dil Se" staring SRK, it still plays everyday at this theatre downtown its been running since 1998: enjoy

18 January, 2008

back

hello gang i am back...and it feels great!!

i went down south to Karele for a film shoot...it was sort of a nightmare and yet really fun as well...here be the details....

i got called at 12:30 last Tuesday to say i had to be on a bus in half an hour...i ran home threw some stuff in a bag and was off to meet the group from mumbai that i would be going down with...there were six of us...a collection of total freaks...

freak one: amit...he is Indian but gets jobs as a foreigner cause his dad is white and he is 6'5" which is giant compared to Indian men...he thinks he is the coolest thing living and lives just on the fence between totally annoying and funny...he is really cheap, after paying a bill at a restaurant if there is money left after everyone collectively pays he's the guy that pockets the change.

freak two: joson...he is an albino from south Africa...he mumbles and i can't understand anything he says...except one time he got mad and said "i am not a boy, i am a man" he sounded like a line from some nelson Madella documentary...he traveled really lite...he brought nothing..no toothbrush, no change of under ware, no nothing...we shared a room and he used my razor and then asked where the toothbrush was...i said " there is no the toothbrush it's my toothbrush"...he bought one of his own two days later.

freak three: john...again Indian guy that gets jobs as a foreigner...john is my friend and always gets me work, he speaks really good English, he was the one that got this shoot put together...he was the only one in the group i liked...unfortunately our friendship won't ever be the same after this trip...read on for that...

freak four: Alex...he's Russian...i don't meet many Russians that i like...they seem to have unresolved issues with Americans...anyway Alex once hit my friend Amaan so i really don't like him...two hours into the trip i told him if he ever touched Amaan again i would kill him...TRAVEL NOTE if are ever going to spend a week with a Russian don't tell them the first day you are going to kill them.

freak five: Craig....well, you all know what an ass he can be!

freak six: rick...rick is half Indian, half Australian. i don't believe the Australian bit at all...rick has vigilito (the Micheal Jackson disease). i think he makes up the Australian bit to cover up the fact that he's just an Indian with a skin disease...once this Australian guy was asking rick about Australia, rick couldn't answer. the guy was like are you sure you've been there??? but then again rick is stupid so maybe he has and is just too stupid to remember anything....rick likes to try and act like he is really worldly and smart but it takes two seconds to figure out he's just stupid. his voice sounds like a girl.

so there we were six freaks from the big city on a bus heading south...the bus took 26 hours...yes 26, then we had to get a train that was another three hours...we found our hotel, showered, then went for beers...that night just as we were about to sleep they switched out hotel we had to sneak out of the hotel and run to another.

Karele is the name of the region, the town we were in was called theiterry...a sleepy little town where all the restaurants close at 10:00, if you are hungry after ten, no food for you. the southern coast is really tropical, beautiful, and full of amazing beaches...it reminded me of Sri Lanka...and it was hot, really hot...i know you folks in the north east of America won't want to hear this, but, i went to the beach quit a bit this past week and i have a hard core tan right now. anyway the town is off the beaten track and they don't get many tourist there and they went crazy over us...it felt like we were celebrities...every time we went in a shop people would say are you the actors from Mumbai....the whole town was talking. speaking of talking the local language is Malayalam and to hear it is hilarious i kept thinking this has got to be a joke this can't be a real language...i wish i could do my imitation of it for you..anyway it's funny!

the next day we went to the shoot...it is a period war drama set in the 1920's staring Mamoty. He's the most famous Malayalam (southern) actor there is...he is fat, has stringy hair and people down there worship him...he was nice to us but i didn't see the attraction to him...

anyway the first morning of the shoot as we were waiting for our costumes two buses full of 60 Iranians pull up, they are to be our troops. let me tell you, there is nothing like 60 Iranians to make you feel totally and completely American!

there is a city in India called pune (pronounced pun-A), it is famous for three things
1. it is where the sex cult Osha (www.oshoworld.com)is. people are stupid freaks!!
2. it is where the bradgalina film "a mighty heart" was shot.
3. it has over 15,000 Iranians enrolled in universities there.


so here we were six freaks, one of which is American and sixty Iranians...and the hilarity ensues...but that will have to wait until tomorrow...

i need to get my hair cut, cuase i need to look sharp for tonight i am going to see Joyce Meyers, a religious nut from American that i kinda love (www.joycemeyer.org) it should be funny..anyway the rest of my trip...tomorrow!

08 January, 2008

leave me alone!

first a note to my stalker!

i come to india and next thing you know, your here. on thursday i am hanging out at the Taj Hotel, who books a room there on friday? Listen, Madonna, i know that you are desperate to be my friend but you've got to leave me alone!

now back to our regularly schuduled blog...

looks like after much back and forth (canceling and the reschudling) the shoot i had been booked for is back on. i am to leave today...which is awesome, but means that i won't be bloggin' for a few days...what will you do on the internet without me???

ok gotta run...TTYL

04 January, 2008

wel-come, a night in the life of...

i deleted my last post because when re-reading it i realized it could be seen as bitter and that's not at all how i meant it. it being the first blog of the new year i wanted no debate...
when i become a better writer maybe i will revisit the subject of my love-life but then probably not...

i be happy and i am in a really good place...yada yada yada...

so on with the year and the blog! wel-come!

i worked yesterday..and it felt good. it was at this place called madh island which is sort of near where i live yet it took me for ever to find cause i had partial directions...but i arrived and it was a night shoot...which i hate to do but i need to work...it's funny cause every time i do a night shoot i say it's my last time...then...when they come round it always when i am feeling broke...how do night shoots know when i am broke...ummm

the scene was an outdoor party for this show called mikaa, which i have been on before, but this time i was not a business man...i was a party goer. i had fun, there were three other western people there who were all fun and i knew most of the Indians there so it was good. my agent has a new assistant, which is scandalous cause i am the first to know, not even the roomie knows (he left for a shoot this morning before i could gossip)...anyway the kid is really nice, tries to act really cool, fucking loves America, just thinks i am crazy for being here, he also has the biggest nose i have ever seen in my life...just being in the room with it made me want to kill puppies.
the shoot...there is some on-screen drama that happens at the party while we all dance and laugh in the background...then as the two main characters are about to kiss and make-up it starts to rain and every one has to run inside...so that bit was funny cause they had these huge hoses and made it rain, we all got pretty wet. Remember it's winter here, so it was cold but still kinda fun...then the shoot wrapped early, 2am, which meant we were going to have to wait until 4am for the trains to start running. we walked down this deserted road looking for an auto-rickshaw to take us to the station, it was sort of creepy. luckily one of the production vans came by and gave us a lift...it wasn't really a van it was a flat bed truck with a cover and twenty Indians in it...20 Indians that were smoking in the same flat ed they were carrying gas canisters in. it was crowded, we got tossed around on the bumpy back roads, one girl cut her knee. it was a one of those great Indian out-of-the-blue hilarious moments. they dropped me really near my house so that was cool i didn't have to wait at the station after all...i tried to get a auto-Rik but the driver wanted to charge me rs.50 for a rs.15 trip. i decided to walk...as i was walking i got attacked by a pack of 5-6 wild dogs and had to climb a fence to escape...dogs here have rabies...i didn't get close to being bit or anything but it was scary...so i threw rocks at them until they ran away, then i ran away...back to the rickshaw, he only charged me rs.15 and i was home.

and that was a night in my life. nutty.
i have to go back tonight to shoot the rest of the scene.

(p.s. when indians spell out welcome they do it like this...wel-come!)