The Not‑So‑Perfect Pitch

In a mild twist of fate, I auditioned for a role on an HBO series yesterday.  This is no early Meryl Streep character that is going to require me hours of dialogue training to nail an East Prussian accent.  I doubt I’ll have to insist that all crew members call me by my character’s name so that my precarious Method balance is maintained.  If I get the role, and it is a real long shot that I will, I would basically be playing me.

James Killough’s new headshot, which will launch a sneak attack on HBO. Photo: Sebastian Artz.

I’m sure there are hundreds of actors out there who can play a middle-aged Ghey from the West Village, which is what this is.  And I’m sure we all sound alike in the end; these are lines I would actually say.  I really felt this dialogue was written with me in mind, which is why I keep my hopes up, even though as someone who habitually sits on the deciding side of the casting couch I know better.

What concerns me is the script describes my character as wearing a kimono.  Maybe the writer is savvy enough to know that I would indeed wear a man’s antique shibori resist-dyed kimono in a heartbeat, but I think she might have something more flamboyant in mind.  And therein lies the challenge.

I mentioned to my associate Tyler that I was concerned they probably wanted an old-school extravaganza Ghey, the kind who, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, is coming back in vogue thanks to that little Nellie in Glee. Tyler encouragingly replied, “Nah, you’ll be like the transvestite Liev Schreiber played in Taking Woodstock.  He looked totally out of place in a dress, but it was really funny.”  I twisted my ankle the other day stepping out of Tyler’s Ford Explorer, so the thought of slipping into a dress and heels isn’t very appealing right now.  But trying to convince the costume department to outfit me in an antique men’s shibori resist-dyed kimono rather than Haute Golden Girls Nightwear is an exciting challenge.

Borgias v Kennedys, O – O


by James Killough

It was Fat Bitch Sunday yesterday at Tuttle’s.  I made my slow-cooked Bolognese sauce and we downed cranberry margaritas while we settled in to watch The Borgias followed by the infamous The Kennedys, the production that was dumped by The History Channel, apparently under pressure from the Kennedys themselves, or from “friends of the Kennedys,” of which there are many because they themselves are multitude.

Smoking makes your voice a better actor.

For those of you more interested in what a Fat Bitch Sunday is than in a review of shows that turned out to be less interesting than the margaritas, a Fat Bitch Day of any kind — Mon, Tues, Fri, or Sun — is the one day in any exercising Ghey’s week when he can eat what he wants, and take in twice the amount of his allocated daily fat, if not more.  This means cheesy things like quesadillas de carnitas from Baja Fresh, carrot cake with ice cream, and tankards of high caloric cocktails.  To give you an idea of how serious a Fat Bitch Day is, Tuttle had two full shakers of margaritas in the fridge at any given time all night long.

First up was The Borgias. I was really looking forward to this.  Not only does it star Jeremy Irons, whose industrial-accident voice, strafed by years of chain smoking, I aspire to, but it’s also directed by Neil Jordan, whose work I have been a huge fan of up until recently.  He lost me with Ondine, the Irish selkie movie starring Colin Farrell and his ex Alicja, which was beautifully shot, but brought to mind a one-sentence review Mira Nair spiked at me personally on the opening night of a film I wrote: “The characters were believable, and that’s a lot coming from me, but I just ask myself, Why make this film?”