I seem to keep veering away from my Rock & Roll roots on this blog. You have to remember, The Lloyd Thaxton Show represented 10 years of my TV life. I spent 18 years producing and directing Fight Back-with David Horowitz on NBC, which was partially responsible for my latest career as co-author of a self-help book.
The book Stuff Happens - and then you fix it (originally titled Shit Happens, cleaned up as $#&@ Happens before Stuff won out), was published by John Wiley and Sons in 2003. It was co-written by John Alston, a remarkable motivational speaker (and remarkable motivational friend). My very own personal copy is enclosed in a glass case on my office wall with the words, "IN AN EMERGENCY-BREAK GLASS." I have been tempted many times.
Right after the book was published, Donald Rumsfeld made the title immortal when he used it to explain away the uncontrolled looting that went on at the beginning of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. I sent him a copy of the book, but never heard back. This was foolishness on Donald's part because the book would have told him how to fix it. It's a fact that stuff happens to everyone every once in a while and, according to one of the book's Reality Rules, "It's not what happens to you that's important, it's how you respond to what happens." Rummey (sic) did not respond very well and, as you know, he is history. He should have broken the glass. Had he done so, he might have been King of Iraq by now.
The reason I bring all of this up is because of a marvelous book, I'll Be In My Trailer, written by feature film director John Badham (Saturday Night Fever, War Games, Stake Out, Point of No Return, Nick of Time) & Craig Modderno. John called the other night. Wow, John Badham calling me? No! He was calling my wife Barbara. Barbara worked on two Badham films and he was calling from the set of a film he was doing in Canada just to say hello. HELLO!
John’s book, I'll Be In My Trailer - The Creative Wars Between Directors & Actors is fantastic: a must-read for anyone who is considering a career in the movies, either as a director OR as an actor. It explains how a director deals with the endless joust between director and actor for control, recognition and respect? This is something that isn't taught in film school. And, with all the great behind-the-scenes stories experienced by John Badham, it's also a fun- read for anyone interested in how movies are made. That certainly includes me.
Check it out. I’d love to hear from all you cinemaphile cliquers on what you think of it. You’ll find me in my trailer.
Question of the day: If you were the director of a movie, how would you handle an actor that wouldn't take your direction?