Posts by cwdjohn

Acting and Belief

Originally appeared in backstage, February 20, 2014. Photo source: Backstage, Clay Rodery. I got into a mild dustup at our son’s preschool a few eons ago. One of the moms was working as a teacher’s helper and was explaining weather to the children. She was not a scientist, but she was a mom—which makes her close…

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Navigating the Shoals of Director-Speak

Originally appeared in Backstage Feb. 6, 2014. I was watching classic movies the other night. There is almost no better laboratory for studying the evolution of film over the last century. You can watch the changing standards for feminine beauty. In silent films, sex appeal was innocence. In the ’40s, it was worldliness and the ability…

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“The Primary Instinct” Kickstarted

Every endeavor is filled with risk. It doesn’t matter if you are in fourth grade and you want to ask a girl to be your partner on Square Dance Day, or you are starting a new job, or you want to try a new type of cat food that claims to reduce hairballs—there is risk.…

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Who Needs Stanislavsky?

Originally appeared in Backstage Jan. 23, 2014. I always went to acting classes with a mixture of reverence and confusion. Everything sounded logical and simple—even holy. How can you argue with phrases like “24-hour emotional life” and “sense memory”? I felt confident I knew what I was doing until my next audition. I kept wondering…

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It’s a Brave New (Media) World

Originally appeared in Backstage Jan. 9, 2014. I recently finished my first experiences acting in “new media.” “New media” means shooting a project that usually airs on a computer—like a show for Hulu or Netflix. I’m not sure of the wisdom of calling it “new.” Even cave paintings were new once. The new media agreement…

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Persistance

Originally posted Dec. 19, 2013 backstage.com I was in Richmond, Va., making a stop on my book tour for The Dangerous Animals Club. A sweet woman came up to the book table after my show. She pleasantly assured me she was not going to buy a book. She said she just wanted to ask me a…

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Harold Ramis

Photo-illustration by Slate. Photo by Matt Carmichael/Getty Images I was greatly saddened to hear of the passing of great director Harold Ramis this week.  I felt especially honored that Slate asked me to do an article remembering him, and that International Business Week ran a piece encapsulating comments I made on the Reddit AMA I…

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Why Acting Is So Horrible

Originally posted Dec. 5, 2013 backstage.com I had a revelation a couple of months ago. It wasn’t a big revelation. I had suspected it for some time: Something awful always happens when you act. By chance, I happened to be working on three jobs at the same time. This is not because I was popular.…

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My Greatest Performance

Originally published backstage.com Nov. 21, 2013. Photo Source: Clay Rodery It is always interesting to talk to actors to see why they pursued this strange career of legally pretending to be other people. Like any neurosis, it often centers on something from childhood. It could have been a desire to be Dorothy in the “The Wizard…

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