I have to admit I’ve never ever really felt very cool. Even when I was considered kinda ‘cool’ in high school, I usually felt like it would be just a minute before someone figured out I wasn’t cool and relegated me to the nerdy table with the mouth breathing band members.
In college, I thought it was cooler to not be part of the ‘cool’ fraternity system, so I was definitely not looked upon as cool. Thankfully, the whole notion of cool sort of dissipates after that unless you and your group of friends still hit bars in troops with popped collars, thinking you’re cool. In that case, yes, you’re totally cool.
The other day, though, I finally felt cool for the first time. (I will stop using the word ‘cool’ soon. Promise.).
It started when I wrote a blog post about interviewing God (it’s here if you haven’t read it). I felt I had to talk to him because I think it’s only fair that we have a chat if it’s true we’re all going to die on May 21st, like many Christian groups are saying (actually one Christian group is saying it and it’s not really a group– more like a couple of dudes. But they’re buying up billboards in LA to make us think this is the big one). I asked God lots of questions. He gave me no info and turned out to be sort of douchey.
I tried to sell my time with God to Vice magazine as a follow up to this interview with the leader of those couple of Christian dudes. They didn’t want it. I didn’t get so much blog traffic that day. I liked the post, but it seemed to be just ‘meh’ to everyone else.
Until I got a call from Funny or Die. They wanted to shoot it as a sketch for their front page! Ok, this is where I started feeling cool. Started.
Since it has to air before May 21st, we were suddenly on a production fast track. Derek and Kelly, the directing team, found a director of photography and props and made creative phone calls and shot lists. The Funny or Die team sent out a net to cast the right celebrities to play ME, and God. WHAT? Someone to play me!!! They booked a hotel suite as the interview location and spent a few grand to get the whole thing running.
WHAT!? All this because of something I thought of at some coffee shop in Venice just days before.
When I walked on set that day, the cool was rising. Both actors were from TV shows!!! Kyle Bornheimer from Perfect Couples (among other things) and Janina Gavankar from True Blood (Yes, an Indian actress played me. I would LOVE to be Indian. Why am I not Indian? Also, why don’t I watch TV? I hate my excuse about it blocking me from my creative process because then I look like the douche. At least I’m a cool douche. But I felt horrible for not having seen either show. I wish I’d had some good phrases lined up to say like, “You were so great in that pool scene last season.” I had nothing.). There was a hair and makeup lady at the ready, a guy with a sound boom… It was a full production of something I wrote. But the moment when I felt I had truly arrived was when the PA brought in the craft services.
Craft. Services. My sketch was worthy of Wheat Thins, hummus, donuts, coffee, and plenty of bottled water. Plenty! Like, we could have each drunk three or FOUR! And the hummus was that really good creamy kind.
I didn’t get to call ‘action’ or hold that clappy black and white thing like I originally planned on begging to do, but that’s only because the cool factor rose tremendously when a surprise cameo was scheduled. This surprise model graced my walls growing up. I had his calendar up from 1993-98. I was willing to accidentally mix up dates just to have this man’s pectoral muscles hang on my wall. This guy is hot. With a pack of six. I couldn’t go around set acting like I was grateful for the hummus and bottled water. I had to pose against the wall to make it look like I wasn’t posing. I had to laugh and flip my hair back casually as if shooting something I wrote was totally boring. He came in, shook everyone’s hand, read a few lines, and left. But HE SHOOK MY HAND. I didn’t tell him about the calendar. But, we did make eye contact for at least .43 seconds. I think he likes me. He’s probably going to see my name on the sketch and click to this blog and then Facebook and then email to tell me how cool I am. Yes, for sure. I can feel it. (Is anyone who uses the word ‘cool’ actually cool? Now I’m having second thoughts.)
The best part of the day was that he wasn’t the best part. The best part was watching the actors improv. I’ve taken my share of improv classes, and maybe once I made someone laugh, but these guys were pros. So funny. They took what I wrote, added to it, and made it their own. Like Levi’s. Or Burger King. Or the hundreds of other brands that tell you to personalize their shit to make it something completely unique even though it could never be unique because it’s a tea or something everyone else already has. What they did was definitely their own. In a good way.
Did I mention a celebrity got to play me?! There’s about to be a biopic out. Ok, not really. It’s a three-minute sketch, but there were Wheat Thins there!
The WORLD PREMIERE is This Thursday. I’ll post it. Please watch it. Then we can all be cool together. And I’ll finally stop saying ‘cool.’