by Wil Forbis
Lately, I've really
been getting into this actor named David Cross. He's comedic performer
who's had bit parts on shows like "News Radio" and "Drew
Carey" and I believe he has his own HBO show called," Mr.
Show", which I've never seen. I hadn't really thought much about
the guy till this friend of mine sent me some underground culture mag
that had an interview with him and I was like "Hey, it's that guy."
And I started to realize just how memorable David Cross is, how he really
is a great actor, even though he's still essentially a nobody.
And when you think about
it, the world of TV and film is filled with guys like David Cross. Faces
that we recognize, but never really get to know the person behind them.
Guys that may make 23 films a year but never really grab onto star status.
For instance, remember that guy in "Repo Man", the guy's who's
a janitor and gives that great speech on how people are being kidnapped
in the Bermuda Triangle by spaceships that are actually time machines.
The character was one of the key icons of my teenage years, yet I have
no idea who that actor is. I've seen him in roles since then, most notably,
"Conan the Destroyer", but I still know nothing about him.
Yet I know more than I'd ever want to know about Kevin Costner or Sandra
Bullock, or any of the star studded celebrities that have about one
tenth the talent of the David Crosses or the "Repo Man" guys
of the world. Why is that? I don't think it's just a looks thing. There
are plenty of unbeautiful but famous celebrities (Margaret Cho, Woody
Allen) and plenty of beautiful but forgettable actors (see any soap
So what stands in the way
of the David Cross and the Tracey Walters (that's the guy from "Repo
Man", I just took the time to look it up on E-online)? In Cross'
case, maybe the answer is: nothing. He could simply be a star on the
rise, a character actor who's seeing the culmination of his years of
bit parts. But what about Walter? Whereas he's certainly had a long
and successful career, it's doubtful he'll ever become a household name.
And this disturbs me. I mean,
I've always considered him a really talented guy and it seems disappointing
that he's never get the acclaim he deserves. However, compared the the
life of the average actor, Walters is doing pretty good. Most actors
either become professional waiters, pornographic films stars or sales
clerks at K-Mart. Hell any career in "the arts" is rife with
disappointment You have to take a look at all the actors, the musicians,
the writers, the filmmakers, and most importantly, the chefs, and ask
"What are these people doing with their lives?" Clawing away
at a piece of the rock till they turn forty and realized they've blown
it. It's too late to start a real career, there's nothing to do but
settle into a nice rut of opium addiction.
Ahh, but I'm really not that
jaded. I think there's something to be said for the thrill of the hunt
- it's fun trying to be successful in your vocation. If you're careful,
half the reason you pursue such a career should be for the enjoyment
of just doing it, whether you grab success or not. And if you fail,
you've always got all that opium to look forward to.
I really have no idea what
I'm saying, do I?