Love Scenes

Depending on the typecasting which exists for an actor, kissing scenes or sex scenes may be a regular part of the mix. This can throw a wrench in relationships, and in some cases, result in their demise.

Performance kissing and lovemaking (or straight up nasty fucking, excuse the expression) has to look convincing and appealing. Many actors have stated that kissing and sex scenes for the film camera, television camera, or stage are rather different from regular intimate interactions. However, the intimate acts which actors must perform are still exactly that, intimate. It’s important for actors to build up some sort of relationship with their fellow actors prior to such scenes. And though the intimate act (be it a kiss, a fondle, or a full-on sexual act) must be performed in front of the entire crew, it’s still a shared moment which would make most people blush and squirm from the awkwardness.

I am also aware of the fact that actors might not be attracted to the other actor (s) in the scene, and that they might not even be the gender to which the actor finds him or herself attracted. Yet, as the saying goes, the show must go on. Then again, they may indeed be physically attracted to their co-stars. I have heard actors admit that they get an enjoyment, a charge, out of performing an intimate scene, because there is an exchange of energy between the actors, and the artistic process is in full force.

In addition, the actors must make the scene believable, which means the passion, the lust, the hunger, must all be generated from the actors’ past experiences. It’s all part of getting into character. So in that sense, the feelings are genuine. The question I have, though, is how fair is it to say that the character is the one in the midst of the embrace, and not the actor who is performing it? To me, that sounds like a cop-out. As someone who has had to endure a partner performing such scenes, I cannot accept the rationale that the actor is not the one engaged in the activity, and that because it’s acting, it’s perfectly acceptable. Call me a prude, call me narrow-minded, but the thought of my man swapping spit, grabbing an actress by the breast or ass, or grinding up against another human in the act of feigned copulation, quite frankly makes me sick to my stomach.

Actors will often offer this rebuttal: “It’s ACTING, it’s my job. It’s what I have to do. It’s my normal.”

It’s just work? Yeah, so is stripping. And porn. And prostitution.

And what about the feelings of insecurity and jealousy which I believe would and should naturally spark in an actor’s mate? If a partner cannot seem to adjust or accept the intimate performances which an actor may be called on to perform, is that partner being unfair? What about how the actor approaches his or her partner with the news that a liplock, a bump and grind, or nudity will be required for a scene? Does an actor have the right to wave the flag of “creative license” in the face of his or her boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse?

I’ll tell you this much: the idea of my man’s lips, tongue, hands, body on another actor bugs me to no end. Such activities are private, intimate interactions, and my strong belief is that they should NOT be shared with anyone else, even during an acting scene which is supposedly an artistic expression and completely make-believe. Pheromones are released during a romantic kiss, and can’t be avoided. And quite frankly, there have been enough stories about actors hooking up off the set because they discovered that there was a sexual or romantic connection, one that might be worth jeopardizing an existing relationship for.

The only other industries which require intimate encounters between humans are stripping, porn and prostitution. Perhaps the actions don’t have the same meaning as they do when the working individual is with his or her real-life love interest, but the activities are still very much occurring. Yes, I know those of you who are actors want to debate this, especially since you only feign sexual encounters. However, no other industry besides the ones I have previously mentioned even approaches the compromising positions and intimate encounters which acting does. For actors to be called upon to kiss, fondle and grind up against others, and to expect their mates to be completely okay with it just seems like the ultimate double standard, and I am not afraid to say that I find the whole thing rather unreasonable.

Here are a few admissions from actors which I found online:

“And when I kiss a woman, in my head, I WANT HER. I committed to whatever I was playing fully. This doesn’t mean I wasn’t professional and respectful, but as a young man making out with a young women (sic), I was thinking, THIS IS AWESOME!”

“Most of the answers here are very much along the lines of ‘it’s just a job’
However, I am what is often described as a method actress. I will look at my scene partner and think about what it would be like to kiss him, touch him, what he would look like naked, what he would do to me if we were alone, those sorts of sexy things. And also if we are working together for more than a day or so, I do tend to get a bit of a crush on my scene partner for a while. It goes away and I’ve never acted on those feelings.”

“It’s like running in the rain. There’s a certain point when you go, ‘[Expletive] it, I’m already wet. I’m not going to get any less wet, so I might as well just enjoy how this feels.’ I mean, sure, there’s awkwardness about being in a weird flesh-colored thong, bouncing on top of an actress. I am not a small human being. I weigh at least 200 pounds and I’m six-foot-two. And Wiig is a twig; she’s a skinny little thing. It’s weird and uncomfortable at first, but then all the awkwardness melts away and you think, All right, we’re doing this, so let’s have fun with it. You know what I mean? You’re in that moment and it’s happening and it’s not going to get any better, so you might as well enjoy it.” — Jon Hamm, on Bridesmaids

For more interesting quotes from celebrities regarding filming sex scenes, you can click on the link here:

Fighting The Sirens


Anyone who works in the entertainment field knows that audible distractions can really throw a wrench in the works while filming, recording, or taping. Interruptions on set prolong the time that talent and crew must be on set to get clean, usable takes. Otherwise benign sounds like a cough, jangling keys, or a barking dog will register on audio recordings, requiring the director and talent to pause until the noise has subsided, then re-shoot the take.

I have been on set for many different projects over the years and have been witness to various noise distractions. However, I had never experienced a nonstop cacophony of sirens and horns while on set until a couple of weeks ago, while I worked on a commercial set in New York City. Our first day on set was punctuated by a relatively steady stream of horns and sirens which added another ten minutes to our shoot day, since we had to pause for every single one, then launch into an additional take each time we had an interruption.

Day two was even worse, because evidently an “incident” in NYC right near the studio warranted a profusion of police vehicles, ambulances and fire engines at the site. In addition to all the sirens which blared for several hours, irate drivers on the road insisted on expressing their frustrations by leaning on their car horns. It’s no exaggeration for me to say that the steady interruptions emanating from the neighborhood added another twenty minutes to the shoot that day.

It’s difficult to maintain your cool when you land a perfect take, only to have a siren or horn blare right at the tail end of the take. Guess what that means? It means the take is rendered worthless because of the extraneous noise.

Everyone on set became increasingly irritated by the challenges to getting a perfect take. It became a bit of a joke as we kept rolling, launching into another take, only to have another siren assert itself and ruin that one as well. It was like a big F*&% YOU to all of us on set, and it kept occurring!

The clamor of alarms continued mercilessly, and our frustrations rose in direct proportion. Towards the end of the second shoot day, we switched to uttering expletives to more adequately express our increasing annoyance with the whole situation. The one positive note about all the interruptions and our reaction to them was that we all bonded even more during the project.

If you are planning to shoot a commercial, television project, film, music video or other entertainment related footage in New York City, and the studio you shoot in isn’t soundproof, you had better brace yourself for the probable onslaught of noise which will challenge the patience of everyone on set.

Acting Chops

comedy and tragedy

Most people who know me would never guess that I have flirted with the world of acting for decades, because it just isn’t something I talk about very much. But from the time I was a child, I have been surrounded by actors, producers, writers and directors. While I don’t live, breathe and eat acting, I respect it and have a keen interest in it.

It had been so long since I had taken any acting classes or workshops that I decided to take an on-camera audition skills class during the months of November and December. In order to go to these classes, I have had to sit through two hours of rush hour traffic to travel 20 miles from my house to the class. The classes run until 10:30 pm, but always go late (usually 10:45 or 10:50 pm), which means that I don’t get home until 11:30 pm. Yet I am completely committed, have showed up on time, and have completed every exercise even if I felt incredibly uncomfortable doing so.

There are many areas I want to study: scene study, cold reading, on-camera, and voice-over study. I am also considering an improv techniques class further down the road. Because of my interests, I plan to spend the early part of 2016 auditing classes to see which ones grab me. Then I will narrow things down and figure out which classes fit my busy schedule.

For those of you who think I may be abandoning my medical or fitness careers to pursue a career in acting, don’t worry. I am simply exploring an interest I have had for a long time, and feel that the experience will make me grow as a person, and will take me out of my comfort zone.

That Doesn’t Look Like Me!

headshot gallery
How do you react when you see images, or film or video footage of yourself, in which you don’t look like yourself? I have had this happen to me, and it rattles me every time. Most of the time it can be attributed to bad lighting or camera angles, while at other times, the makeup and hair are so off-kilter that you end up looking incredibly strange or unattractive as a result.

The most recent situation I found myself in was with headshots I had taken two weeks ago. I trusted the process and didn’t think of questioning the photographer’s abilities or asking to see the viewfinder. I wish I had. If I had seen what was being captured, I would have cut the shoot short and left graciously. Instead, I went through the entire shoot, gathered my things, and headed over to a CVS to look at the images and print out some proofs.

The instant I saw the first image, I was stunned. Who was that wide-nosed, unattractive woman staring back at me? It honestly didn’t even look like me. My face looked FAT, there were wrinkles on my face in weird places, and I just did NOT look good at all. The lighting was terrible, the backdrops looked cheap and bad, and even the poses which I was put in looked awkward. The images were so awful that I didn’t even keep the proofs or the disk. Why would I, when the images almost made my stomach turn? Yes, they really were that awful.

So what do you do if you see images which you don’t like? Well, if the images were shot for a paid assignment, or if you did TFCD, then you can’t really do anything. As a matter of fact, you should never second guess the makeup artist, wardrobe stylist, or photographer/videographer unless you see something glaringly wrong with the setup. I have shot commercials and photos which I absolutely HATE, but I can’t do a darned thing about them because I signed away any rights to the images.

However, for headshots, there is never an obligation to use any images you don’t like, especially if they are unflattering and do not portray you the way you really look. You are paying for a service in which the images are supposed to present you in the best way possible. Would you really want to use headshots you hate and which make you look like someone else?

Thankfully, I was able to shoot more headshots three days later with another photographer who got some incredible images. The image below is the main image which I will use from that particular shoot, but there were so many outstanding images from that shoot that it was difficult narrowing down our top choices. That’s a good problem to have!

Maroon Small (819x1024)

Super Bowl GoDaddy Commercial 2014 (Yes, I am in it!)

Though I am only seen towards the end as a split second flash of hot pink shorts and swinging long hair, I made it into this commercial! As we are running towards the Spray Tan shop, I can be seen at the bottom left of the frame at the 24 second mark. Though I hate the color pink with a passion, I am actually glad I am wearing that color, so that I can easily be spotted in that split second. Too funny!