Be warned - this post turned into a rant at some point. You’re in for some expletive language, run on sentences and just poor grammar overall. In my defense, I stopped paying attention to grammar in first grade; I even remember the day it happened. From that day forth, every time a teacher talked about grammar I blanked out, I literally have to think for a second about what a verb is (action word, action word, action word) and I repeat definitions over and over in my head whenever I’m confronted with them – I tell myself “I’m going to get this sorted out, I’m going to be a well-spoken, well-written, well-read, well- educated person who knows what (insert any grammatical term here) means,” but, alas, I just don’t care enough to retain this information.
Now back to the subject at hand…
I read a great quote from Kristen Stewart in which she called her career as an actor “professional lying” -and I would have to agree. The problem is that I don’t know if she was commenting on her lack of skill as an actor, or whether she believes, as a great many people do, that acting is lying – or pretending.
Now, I don’t know a whole hell of a lot about acting. The highlight of my acting career was playing Gonzorgo in a seventh grade production of “Babes in Toyland.” But I know shmacting. I can smell shmacting a mile away.
We are surrounded by it. We are exposed to it far more than we’re exposed to legitimate acting, which is why people confuse shmacting for acting. Until you learn to recognize it, you won’t consciously know it’s happening – and people need to know because standards need to be raised.
I’m genuinely disturbed that people don’t know how bad the Twilight movies are. That they can sit through them, enjoy them, re-watch them, and be excited for the next installment is unfathomable to me.
I’m disturbed that Social Network is considered good.
I’m utterly flabbergasted that Jamie Foxx is considered a respectable actor.
When I discover that friends and acquaintances think “True Blood” is a good show, I feel like I’m surrounded by psychotic people, like I’m the only one who didn’t drink the cool aid.
How can people not know? I don’t really have an answer for this, but I suspect that its simply because they’ve never actually seen real acting – and if you’re told as a young child that Nicholas Cage is an actor, and no one tells you otherwise, and he keeps getting cast in movies, and he wins an Oscar, I can see how your whole notion of what an actor is could become slightly skewed.
Like if you grew up being fed nothing but McDonalds, you would think its food. Then one day someone gives you some real food and you realize that the reconstituted, foul, rotten corpses of tortured, genetically modified corn-fed animals injected with chemicals, stuffed between something resembling bread is not actually food, it’s a lie. You’ve been misled
Of course you might argue that this is just a matter of taste. That Robert Pattinson’s ‘acting’ just isn’t my cup of tea. No. You’re wrong. This isn’t a matter of opinion. You might like Robert Pattinson for some unfathomable reason, but you can’t possibly call what he does ‘acting.’
Just bear witness to this Robert Pattinson clip. I have no idea what he thinks is going on. He is completely disconnected from reality.
Robert Pattinson, Little Ashes
I was watching a scene with a human and a horse in it recently, and I realized that the horse was so much better at being a horse than the human was at being a human. The horse was spectacular, and in comparison, the human was just a human pretending to be human (which I guess is actually incredibly and specifically human – but should not be confused with real acting). Acting is not pretending – shmacting is pretending. Acting is being, acting is “truthing.”
Whatever confused people shat out “Valentine’s Day” need to know that it is unacceptable. They need to be held responsible. What passes for acting – what wins Academy Awards and Tonys – is most often just shmacting. Empty space and ego.
So, Hollywood, instead of trying to make a quick buck with your next formulaic shit-fest where a bunch of famous people stand around in front of the camera flapping their lips, why not try to focus on making a movie with real actors in it? I don’t care if they are ugly or fat. Does anyone care if they’re ugly or fat? I would LOVE to see some unattractive people, especially women, in film. Maybe the actors who don’t fit the mold have actually had to cultivate some type if skill, instead of spending their time figuring out which is their best angle.
What’s so wrong with realism? Just a tiny bit? Just have the people look like people. Have them LOOK human, that’s all, I’ll settle for that, just a normal looking person standing in front of the camera doing nothing would be better than expecting me to believe that Angelina Jolie, with her tiny little toothpick legs, is an overworked, single mother in the 1950′s. No. Just NO.
It’s insulting that these producers and casting directors (or whoever makes these decisions) think so little of the public that they believe sticking beautiful people on the screen will make us more likely to watch.
You know what? I think of piracy as Karmic retribution for all the years of crap Hollywood has been churning out. Who in their right mind would pay to see “He’s Just not That into You?” They should be paying us. I would actually like to be compensated for the pain and suffering I have endured in my search for a decent film.
FUCK YOU men in suits sitting around conference tables hashing out generic scripts in an effort to make a quick buck. It gives me pleasure to steal from you. You deserve to be stolen from. If I saw you in the street and I had some ripe fruit handy I might just throw it at you.
FUCK YOU shmactors who participate in these terrible movies – have some self respect and stop perpetuating this crap. And shmactresses, stop starving yourselves. Just STOP! There is no fucking excuse! Don’t you realize that for some reason people actually look up to you? And you’re fucking them up! You’re telling them that they are not acceptable the way they are and need to spend their time obsessed with their physical appearance. ENOUGH!! I don’t care if you never work again – who would want to work in that kind of atmosphere and perpetuate those kinds of lies?
If everyone in Hollywood grew some fucking balls and starting being honest (and eating) the world would be a better place.
I’ve included some CLASSIC SHMACTING GIVE AWAYS to start you off with…
Pretend Eating - Girls, stop playing with your god damn food! Put it in your mouth, chew and swallow- I know it’s been a while, but it’s like riding a bicycle. You’re not supposed to look scared while eating… unless you’re portraying someone with anorexia.
Fake Drinking– Drinking involves swallowing, you’re going to have to do a little more than just touch the cup to your lips, this isn’t charades.
Fake Driving – This is so easy, yet you would think that most shmactors have never driven a car before. Unless the character you’re portraying is a terrible driver, your eyes should be on the road most of the time.
Fake Waking Up – Contrary to popular belief, sleeping looks different than lying still with your eyes closed – and waking up involves more than re-opening your eyes after lying still with your eyes closed… something to be aware of.
Lip Biting - a big ‘fuck you’ to your audience. Every aspiring shmactor should have this in their repertoire. Am I sad? Am I flirtatious? Am I upset? Does anyone bite their lips in real life-except when trying to remove dead skin? I don’t know, so I’ll just bite my lip and let you figure it out.
So that concludes my rant – hope you’ve found it enlightening and/or mildly amusing. You wouldn’t know it, but I actually love shmactors, they’re very dear to my heart. I love tasteless, terrible movies and vapid, mindless TV shows – most of all I just love complaining about them.
My apologies to anyone I may have offended, but I actually do think you’re crazy if you like True Blood, Twilight, Nicholas Cage, Evan Rachel Wood, or Social Network.
I’m sorry, I just can’t help it.
…or 24, or Valentines Day, He’s Just not that into You, Hangover (you probably hate me now), Jamie Foxx, Pirates of the Caribbean…
PS – If you don’t hate me yet, take a look at my moveisms blog and my Three Tiered Artist Identification System