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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
30 Rock


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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Write Back Weekend "Based On A True Story"

Last week's question was the following...If they were to make a movie of your life, who do you think should play you and why? And in part two of this question, what title would you give your biopic?

Sometimes I wonder how people who have had movies made about their lives feel about the depictions. Was the real Erin Brokovich honored to be portrayed by Julia Roberts? Did Muhammad Ali feel Will Smith got him down right when he played him in Ali? Which Elvis impersonator would the real Elvis have given his stamp of approval to? I guess it just goes to show, some questions are out there, never meant to be answered.

Of course I'm not dumb. I know what Hollywood is all about. Because of this, I know I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting a movie made about the life I'm living now. As Rockwell once said, "I'm just an average man, with an average life..." Only instead of man, you insert the word woman and presto! You have me.

No, in order to get noticed by Hollywood's standards you either have to do something extraordinary or have something extraordinary done to you. Child prodigy is out, and so that means overcoming childhood adversities are already out, too. Everything about my childhood was typical. I laughed. I cried. I was made fun of. I survived the teenage years. That experience has pretty much been summed up by every Molly Ringwald movie from 1984-1989, a footnote added in 1995 when My So-Called Life briefly ran the airwaves.

So, what does that leave me with? Well, unfortunately there's still tragedy and overcoming adversity. If I died young, and became famous posthumously a la Emily Dickinson, then I might have a fighting chance. But it's not exactly something you want to strive for. I mean, do you really think Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, James Dean or Janis Joplin would rather have die young than risk promoting Time Life CD's in their later years? I think not.

Sure, it doesn't have have to be that morbid. I could always live, but if I did, I'd have to have some horrible tragedy that I'd have to rebound from or make a huge difference and change the course of history, not unlike Hiro Nakamura. But really, does life usually hand us situations of Hiro Nakamura proportions? It's not likely.

At best, I could hope to have a Lean On Me, Dangerous Mind type movie made about my experiences teaching the inner city youth. But then again, you've seen one "inner city youth rise to the occasion movie" every ten years, you've seen 'em all. Matthew Perry just starred in The TNT original, The Ron Clark Story last summer, so I think we're good for awhile.

By this point you might think I'm avoiding answering the question but au contra ire, I do have an answer in mind. I just wanted to point out that the possibility of this movie being made is highly unlikely, almost as unlikely as the portrayer I chose playing me as well. If there was a movie made about my life, I would want Reese Witherspoon to portray me. I picked Reese because I always loved her and we both have blonde hair and honestly, that's enough for me.

As I've mentioned in the past, one time someone told me I looked like Reese and I've clung to that comparison for years now. She's also just about my age, so that makes the time line perfect. I know she did June Carter Cash justice, why not me? Nowadays booking Reese seems to be an impossible feat, but had I been a child prodigy, I might have had a fighting chance during her Man In The Moon, pre-stardom days.

Still, since I am willing to entertain the possibility that *maybe* I couldn't get her, that doesn't mean the movie couldn't still be made. The other day I was told that I looked like Leslie Bibb for the first time. I don't get many comparisons to famous people, but that's another one I'll take. So should Reese be unable to fulfill her duties portraying yours truly, have it be on the record that I approve Leslie Bibb as a suitable understudy for the job.

As a special treat, I'm gonna go that extra mile and cast my leading man, as back in the day my fiance was told he looked like a number of famous people, all compliments in my book (although he might feel differently). My chosen portrayer for him would be George Clooney for the later years (they even have a lot of the same quirks and interests) and the younger years would be played by the sorely missed, Joshua Jackson.

So now that I've gone and cast the stars, all that's left to do is to pick the title. Well that's an easy one. It would entitled The Art of Getting By, of course. When I named this blog I might as well have been naming the book I'd yet to write or the movie yet to be made as I truly do believe it sums my general experiences in life thus far perfectly.

This blog, and the contents within in it over theyears, will be the experiences on which I would draw up my rough draft. So if one day, Hollywood should ever come a knockin', I've gone and done the hard work already, right here.

Alright, Mr. Demille...I'm ready for my close-up.



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