The first time I saw Matt Myers act, he put me on my ass.
I’m not talking about the first time we saw him in a movie, I mean we’ve seen Hairspray, we’ve seen Beverly Hills Cop 3, we’ve seen Moonstruck, but I mean see him perform, in person, was on a film my friend Calvin Hill was doing and it was called STREET LIFE. The plot to Street Life is Calvin Hill (who was also directing) was playing a depressed, down on his luck man, wandering around aimlessly in a Philadelphia park, and he runs into a homeless man, played by Matt Myers and they strike up a friendship. Let’s throw this out there, it was being filmed in Philadelphia’s LOVE PARK and we didn’t have any permits, I don’t think there was much of a budget. Matt Myers was in full character, and since we didn’t close off the Love Park (we didn’t have THAT kind of money, we’re not George Lucas) people were stopping in the middle of a take, they didn’t see the cameras, and they gave Matt money, they gave him food, they brought him all kinds of things. Matt stayed in character, he was outstanding in this part. Another take, had Matt breaking down a little bit, again he was OUTSTANDING, again more people stopped to help him. It says something about that Matt Myers performance in STREET LIFE, it also says something about the kindness of people in Philadelphia. I don’t know if that film ever came out and if it didn’t, I wish it would, I have seen it, and I loved it. Matt and Calvin gave the sort of performances that stick with you. I got a parking ticket that day while being on set. 29$. I happily paid it, 29$ is a small small price to witness a performance like I had just witnessed.
I mentioned that performance to JJ Garvine who I was working on a film with at the time, and I have no recollection how the conversation went, but I remember getting the green light to call Matt and ask him to come be in “13th Grade” with us. I know I called him, I know I spoke with his wonderful daughter Irene, and before you knew it, Matt had invited JJ and me to a BBQ at his house with his great neighbors and his great family. This is how Matt did things. Anytime I’d talk business or work with him, Matt would do it in in the most warm way possible. Any film story was told with love (and he had many), any interaction was done with a booming voice, that huge laugh and hugs and warmth and even if time had passed, with Matt, it picked right up where it left off. Matt seemed to be like this with everyone, in Matt’s life, there really must have been 15,000 ongoing conversations, just waiting to be picked right back up. Soon after I was on set doing a TV movie about jersey firefighters, directed by STREET LIFE’s Calvin Hill, and starring Tony Devon and Matt Myers, I knew, as soon as I booked the part it wasn’t going to be easy for me, Matt and Tony are VERY WELL KNOWN for being the best part of every movie they’ve been in, and this film was no exception. I spent every day just trying not to get my ass handed to me on screen by these 2 incredibly talented heavy hitters.
Matt Myers left us last weekend. And time had passed since the last time we’d spoken (he’d called me after a tv appearance and had said some very very kind things that I’ll never forget) and the last couple days I’ve felt a great sadness. We lost a great man, a great husband, father, actor, but we lost a guy who I’d learned from and will continue to learn from, not just business (though I loved his approach to show business, no part was too big, no part was ever too small, he was just always wildly happy to be acting, no ego, he didn’t care about “status” he just exuded happiness for the craft, and I could learn a lesson or two from that approach). I’ll just keep saying warmth because that’s what drew you to him, that’s what you immediately loved about him and that’s what you’ll never forget. I’m sad I won’t hear that voice on the phone, the way he’d end his phone calls with “ciao” I’ll miss his humor, and how truly funny he was in “13th Grade”, I’ll really miss never finishing our ongoing conversation. I’m proud to have known Matt Myers, and the world is a lesser place for him having left it. Rest well, Matt, rest well.
The first time I saw Matt Myers act, he put me on my ass.
I was minding my own business today. I was excited to have 3 films in post production, and 3 films that’ll come out in the next couple months, (The Bob Hawk movie is doing a sneak peek in Brooklyn on Friday 10/30 all! If you’re nearby, drop in! it’s FREEEEEEEE) likely all 3 “officially released” in 2016, all with different jobs on them too…one as producer, one I wrote and one I wrote and directed, those all have stories and fun stuff to talk about, and I’ll do that soon, but for some reason this link that was sent to me, http://buff.ly/1KlsGac right here struck me. November is “Write a Script in a Month Challenge” it goes on par with the same idea but “first draft of a novel”. I like the idea of it, why not right? I love the idea of something not existing on October 31st, but November 30th, there it is, a pile of pages looking right at you. I’m in. I’m going for it. Time scheduled for this, won’t be easy with other time and work commitments in November , but I’ve decided to do my work on this in my less-scheduled off hours, late at night (coffee coffee coffee) and worst case, if it’s unreadable dreck, it’s ok, no one has to see it. Best case? You open it up to read it and YOU HEAR ANGELS SINGING. Ok, maybe not angels (YET), it’s a first draft, those are normally hard to read, but maybe it’s something worth taking another look at after November expires. (by then it’ll be December and you know what that means? STAR WARS STAR WARS STAR WARS STAR WARS. Oh and holidays, but mostly STAR WARS STAR WARS STAR WARS STAR WARS HAND SHOT FIRST STAR WARS STAR WARS)
But look, if it’s not a book or screenplay, let’s just all jump in and write something, write ANYTHING. Songs? GREAT. Shopping lists? Cool. Journal entries? Cool. Top 5 lists? LOVE THEM. I’m jumping down this rabbit hole. I invite you all to jump with me. Everyone plans on using the #ZD30SCRIPT tag, just to keep fellow challenge takers in on how it’s all going. I’ll use it when I babble about (I babble about it more on twitter @Tim_Carr than Facebook, but I do babble on both…and I babble often) I’m going something brand new from scratch. But whatever it is, let’s all jump in on it, and let me know how it’s all going! You can do it, I know you can and why not? It’ll be something in out there in the world that hasn’t been put out there before. FAIR WARNING: like any first draft of anything (many call this THE VOMIT DRAFT), if you get halfway through it and decided that you hate it, want to set it on fire and punch yourself in the face, IT MEANS YOU’RE DOING GREAT, KEEP GOING, it’s only a first draft anyway, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get that idea or thought down. Don’t give up and let’s all try and get something written in some way shape or form. Why not? Some new ideas and thoughts in the world never hurt. Let’s gooooooooo.
Now who’s got the coffee?
Take care and be good, Tim
Just a couple weeks ago, my friends and I did a show at Upright Citizens Brigade theater in NYC. It went great and there were laughs and good times had.
For me though, after a show like that, and after kicking around this business for a couple years, I’m star struck, not by the show, but by the crowds. I’m grateful. When anything in my life is happening, TV airings, screenings, sneak peeks (like a film I’m doing right now) or a live show, when, (movie preview voice) “in a worrrllllddd” where so much is going on, at any given time you could be doing anything, the fact people come out and pack a theater or venue, that’s what I take away, when LEAF started its tour a few years back (I know I know “about a month later than expected”) and we had some packed shows 2 straight weeks, one even after a blizzard, I took the Q&A from the theater to the parking lot in icy zero degree weather, because I was so star struck that so many great people cared to come out and hang out and see the film, there was no way I was leaving the venue that night without hearing everyone’s feedback and answering everyone’s questions. It blows me away, it will always blow me away. “Thank You” isn’t a big enough word, it just isn’t. So please know, whenever there’s a screening and anyone comes out, there are people star struck, but trust me it’s not the audience, it’s the people up front. I thank anyone and everyone who’s followed me along this journey, I always say “thank you”, sometimes I’ll bring an audience snacks and thanks, that’s not me trying to be silly or funny. That’s me, being blown away, anyone would give me a couple of hours. I’m thankful, I’m grateful, and my next film is about to start it’s tour here in the coming months (more on that later) and I assure you, during this tour I’ll answer every question, I’ll tell stories about how we made it, but really, what I really want to do is have a bowl of chips with each and every one of you and thank you so much, because you could be doing ANYTHING, and you’re out there with us. I’ll always be star struck by all of you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Your Friend, Tim
For my summer so far, a lot of it has been bouncing around like this life often requires, however, lately, I’ve been back hard at work with Upright Citizens Brigade. Now some may ask WHAT IS THAT? It’s sort of Saturday Night Live feeling monologues/sketch comedy started in Chicago by the legendary Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Amy Poehler and is now set up in Los Angeles and New York City, it’s live and absolutely without a net. Also, without writing, you go out there with some of the funniest people on the planet without a single game plan. A suggestion is yelled from the audience. No way to have any idea what’s coming. After someone from the crowd yells something, like “chainsaw” 3 monologues happen, that actually happened to us in real life, somehow “chainsaw” related, and from those monologues, come sketches, on the fly. 3 acts, and who knows what happens. It’s invigorating, to be able to work on a film or tv show, you get takes, opportunities to try things over again etc etc, with UCB, not only do you bypass any chances to get it perfect, you also bypass anything that had been written for you, it organically happens, right there on the spot in front of everyone. When it fails? It stings a little, but when it works…it’s downright blissful. So my friends and I go out there and act up, get laughs (hopefully) and it’s really creative and fun (and scary sometimes). So there will be a big ole monster show coming up on Saturday 8/8/15 at the original venue for Upright, it’s on 307 W 26th Street in Chelsea NYC (right off of 8th ave), we start at 1pm. We end when they shut us down, or kick us out, even if they kick us out, it’s not to say the show won’t spill on to the street. There’s been an UCB TV show on Comedy Central (here's a clip! https://youtu.be/1XAPxidW7pU) , the crew has played Bonaroo, they’re in LA now at Franklin Ave, there is even a “Del Close Marathon” in New York which was something like 72 hours of comedy, this year was torrential downpours and we STILL had amazing crowds and some amazing jokes. This is my year 2 of this, last year my friends and I played and had a blast, this year my friends and I have been playing later, there have been some late late nights roaming around NYC doing our thing. So Saturday on 8/8 will be a culmination of working together and laughing together for a while. Hope you can all come, if not, totally understood, it’s a Saturday in Summertime, if you’re not around NYC, go play at the beach, but if you are in the tri state area? Come on out, laugh a little, dance a little, we’ll take good care of you.
So when is this madness?:Saturday 8/8/15 starts 1pm ends whenever who knows
Cost?: 5 dollars? 5-ish dollars? I don’t know. The 5 spot goes to the theater to keep things swanky. 5-ish is good. Could it be 10-ish? I don’t think so, tell you what, check back here later if you don’t mind, I’ll get the exact amount. I bet 5-ish dollars that it’s 5-ish dollars to get in. (UPDATE! CONFIRMED! 5 SMACKERS)
Who’ll be there?: Some really really funny people. I’ll be there trying to be as funny as them. Won’t be easy. These are FUNNY FUNNY peeps.
What’s happening afterward? I don’t know, let’s all hang out. It’s right there in Manhattan. Let’s eat ramen or noodles of some kind together.
After Saturday I’ll likely be kicking around the city doing “Barrel on Broadway” a little more and doing that tour all over the place. I’m doing this as a “pop up” tour, basically showing up unannounced and doing the show for free. I look forward to getting that show in a few more cities, I’ve been eyeballing the great state of Pennsylvania on that one. More on that to come, more on everything to come…lots to tell you all about in the coming weeks, but until then, let’s hang out on 8/8! Saturday!
Love all y’all,
I originally wrote this story the day after this incident took place. This was a small little indie film called "Suhani", and what happened one day on the set:
"Had to share this insane story. Not sure if everyone knows, but first time something I’ve written has gone into production by other filmmakers. So it’s been neat. It’s called “Suhani”.Yesterday they were filming at a set that was built at the State owned building. I went in there and WOW, full crew, catering, the full 9, great actors, good people, great times. Have a look at the first photo (first photo only!) look! Neat right? While you’re looking at that photo, please take a quick glance at the light over the actresses’s head in the back.
Filming keeps going. And I’m impressed with the quality of everything, the directing, the acting, this is going to be a really great looking flick. The second I said that to myself. That light you looked at in photo #1? Got a little hot. And when I say “a little hot” I mean “Holy Sh!t it set off the sprinklers!” Now I’ve never been on the receiving end of these sprinklers. It was a BLAST and it didn’t stop and it had chemicals in it and SO MUCH WATER. You know what, why am I even explaining? Have a look at photo #2 (lower left corner).
Chaos. Absolute chaos. The first move, was for everyone to get the equipment out there….but at that point there alarms were blasting and an automatic message blaring over the speakers “evacuate evacuate!” water was all over the place….so I run to get a screwdriver to get the camera out of its rig….go into a linoleum area and WHAM! Slip and slid a good 20 feet. To be honest, that was sort of fun. Know what wasn’t fun? The fire marshall screaming at all of us to get out of there. And I did. After I stopped to take pictures of the sprinkler-blast to show all of you. (Sharing is Caring)
So we get the cast and crew and equipment out of there, oh…. and by the way, we were on the 10th floor and the elevators shut down automatically. So I did some seriously running up and down some steps to make sure the cast and crew and equipment were all safe and then the fire trucks came and they ALL CAME (which is awesome that so much help came so quickly) have a look at pic #3 in lower right corner if you’d like.
Not looking good, looks like the set is completely washed out (actually I looked at the 6th and 8th floor too…looks like the whole building is washed out), there’s a deadline to finish filming and I’m pretty sure we’re banned from the City, even the basement flooded. So just imagine all of that water….going and flooding all 10 floors and the basement. (I oddly had a nice conversation with the lady who owned the office space and I said “So we can come back in and film right?” and she said “yes” but did it sort of in a funny jokey way, where you’re not sure if she’s serious or not?)
Everything is insured, but I was bummed we lost the movie shoot days….or did we? After I got home and got into dry clothes. I wrote the whole incident (and pending location change) into the movie, where it not only made sense, it really worked (especially since the movie began filming at Niagara Falls…I just tied them together). Looks like as of this morning…. the movie will go on.
Never a dull moment.
Bet Spike Lee never went through this."
So how did it all turn out after this?
The film gods smiled upon us. Where so many times in this business the film world can turn ugly, somehow the conjured spirits of (I don’t know, who are the film gods? Federico Fellini, Paul Newman and Sidney Lumet? THAT WORKS. They must have realized the cast and crew loved them and decided to smile down on us.) The state owned building cleaned itself up, turned out alright and wait for it….LET US BACK IN TO FINISH FILMING. Fortunately that new ending I’d written in (in wet socks, I know the original story had me wearing dry clothes, but I very distinctly remember tapping away on the script with my legs stretched out and feeling wet socks) wasn't needed and “Suhani” completed filming. Mauro Giuffrida and Jeff Bader finished post production and I’m really proud of it. They really kept the spirit and feeling I was trying to convey when I wrote this, I’m always proud of those guys anyway, but very distinctly proud of how they continued production through a really tough obstacle (which was big enough for anyone to justifiably say "lets cancel the rest of the shoot) and finished this sweet little film.
The film is awaiting it’s release but WAIT WHAT, it’s currently online? Password isn’t on it? Well then, until that changes, have a free look at SUHANI!
I’m pretty sure my socks are likely still soaked from this day. No dryer, no sunlight or physics could compete with drying those soaked things.
Enjoy the film! No one ever said it was easy.
Take care and be good, Tim