At first I was a little disappointed when I heard the set up for this week’s scene. Whereas last week the actors had to bear their skin, this week everyone must bear their soul. I thought to myself, what the hell? I can’t pleasure myself to a soul. Turns out I was wrong. Or quite possibly I am more deviant than anyone ever suspected. Who turned it out and who turned me on? Find out, after the jump.
The scenes made Mary feel many….uh….different… things?
Six contestants now remain after eternal cheerleader Monica was killed off last week for failing to convince us that she was a desperate wannabe stripper/sole caregiver for her younger brother. Now that we finally got a cast full of grown-ups the contestants are given scenes to perform that don’t involve stripping or beach blanket bingo. The scripts, or slides as they’re called in biz, arrive and we find out that each person will perform in scenes in which their father is dying and they are saying their tearful goodbyes. I’m predicting a bad cry-face from Jimena.
As everyone is going through their lines and trying to achieve that emotional arc where they can cry without pulling a nose hair, Justin says that this scene will be pretty easy since both his parents are already dead. Travis moves to console him before Justin says he was just kidding. Travis comments that Justin is a rough, tough Jersey boy, which he finds hilarious, while Ashlee says that she doesn’t find it charming or funny. The real personalities are coming out and they’re not all that likable. The cast then begin talking about Jimena behind her back saying that she’s a raging diva and whines when she doesn’t get her way. Actors? Not likable? Difficult to get along with? Whiney? I refuse to believe it!
“This ‘How to be Gay’ guide reads like stereo instructions. Let’s just wing it.”
Diva Jimena is heard saying that everyone left sucks and that she is aware that they all make fun of her. Making fun of someone behind their back just to make you feel better is just sad.
All of the actors are brought on set where acting coach Eric M. Stuart is waiting to offer them tips and tricks to performing an emotional scene. He advises them to think of someone they love kicking the bucket and then use that, and if that fails think about Britney’s performance at the VMAs. When they are able to get to an emotional place Stuart informs them to not go for the typical boo hoo cry because it’s transparent, fake and I believe Amber from Big Brother has it trademarked. The tricky part about the scene is that they need to find the emotion and hold on to it until they perform later that evening which is difficult because when someone dies you’re usually over it within an hour or two tops.
Stuart assumes the role of the dying father with each actor to run lines, coach them and occasionally cop a feel. He tells Yves that during the moment that Yves’s character walks through the spirit of his dead father it’s almost as if his father hugged him. Stuart then embraces Yves from the side and looks as though he is humping his leg. He continues saying, “it’s almost as if he just licked your face, like this.”
You know I hate to complain, but I was led to believe there would be NO shirts worn to bed.
While working with Ashlee, Stuart encourages her to not only envision her father’s face, but to think about his smell: that alluring mixture of gin, ball sweat and regret that all fathers have. Jimena used her awesome mom as her motivation, but the thought of losing her mother is too powerful and Jimena is overcome with emotion. She begins crying but has the courtesy to bury her face in her hands so we don’t have to see the ugly cry face. She says that everyone thinks that her mother is amazing, but Jimena knows that her mom could amaze circles around your mom. Stuart advises Jimena to pull back or change her choice if it’s too hard for her to deal with, but Jimena refuses. She gives us a lurid visual saying that good actors give you their heart and leave their intestines lying on the floor when they’re through. Thanks for that Jimi.
Emmy award winner, well “Daytime Emmy” award winner (so it doesn’t really count), James Reynolds AKA Abe Carver and James Scott who plays evil doctor E.J. Scott from Days of Our Lives are the scene partners and advisers this week. Reynolds has been on Days since the early ’80s when the Salem Strangler was terrorizing the city and the dude doesn’t look a day under 130. During the regular Q & A Travis asks how to maintain emotions throughout a full day until it can finally be used and crapped out on stage, as Jimena would say. Reynolds advises the actors to not hold their emotions all day and do what he does: push all his emotions into a big ball in the pit of his stomach and then put vodka on top of it. Scott says that the sheer amount of material he receives working on a soap prevents him from maintaining too many emotions. There have been times when he has received 60 pages on one day and then 40 pages the next day. That’s almost 300 pages. The mind truly boggles.
Fun Fact: Before taking on the role of HRG on Heroes, Jack Coleman played Blake Carrington’s gay son on Dynasty and the Salem Strangler on Days of Our Lives. Impress your friends.
Shortly before time to perform, Ashlee is talking smack about some of her fellow cast mates. She says that Yves is borderline, because he’s not bringing it although he has the looks and the package. I wanna find that package in my male slot, holla! Ashlee then goes on to say that Bo is a goofy sitcom actor because of his facial expressions and goofy charm. Just call him ugly, Ashlee, we know that’s what you mean.
When we cut to commercial Michael Bruno’s big greasy face fills the screen as he invites viewers to read his weekly Soap Star blog. Bruno delivers his lines like one of those ads for a phone sex line before a porn movie. “Hot, hard hunks are waiting to talk to you, live!” So I’ve been told.
Guys always ask me ‘how do you like it?’ and I say ‘how do I like what?’ and they say ‘your sex,’ and I say, ‘what do you mean my sex, like being a guy or like having sex?’ And they say ‘the second one’ and I say, ‘I forget which was the second one?’ and then they usually look frustrated and walk away.
After much doo wacka doo, it’s finally time to perform. My nutter butter peanut butter sugar booger Yves is up first and he performs much better than “borderline,” Ashlee! Bruno compares Yves to a young Richard Gere. Dear lord please let him be exactly like Richard Gere without those bizarre fetishes. I mean gerbils are fine, but I think I heard he also has sex with dolled-up Llamas in Tibet. That’s just creepy. Bruno continues saying that Yves appears to be having a great time during the scenes, but if he doesn’t bring more emotion he’ll be having fun at home. The Swedish Chef, Hogan Sheffield says that his only criticism, because the scene was very good, was that he didn’t switch “Geres” much. Get it? Mary Beth Evans is uncharacteristically the harsh one and says that he didn’t interpret the scene very well and should have been more anxious. She gives understated positive notes that he has smoldering good looks, but he needs to jump off the emotional cliff and hit the high notes. Why don’t you throw in a couple more metaphors to that mix, Mary?
Bo is up next and he is remarkably unremarkable giving a predictable “boo hoo, o lawdy my daddy be dyin’” performance. Bruno says that Bo is doing an O.K. job and listening to the notes he is given but he needs to do something to stand out. “Why shouldn’t you win instead of one of the models?” I’m pretty sure Bruno and Ashlee have both called Bo ugly in less than ten minutes. Shef tells Bo that he is what they call in the business a “lug,” which is a good guy with a sympathetic face. Of course we all know that sympathetic is just slang for ugly. Mary tells Bo that the only thing she would have liked to have seen was more physicality between Bo’s character and the father, but she can understand how the actor playing the dad didn’t want such an ugly guy touching him.
Oh My God, it’s hideous!! Go back to Maryland you freak!!
Jimena goes next. OK I have been wrong about a lot of things in my life, and I am the first one to admit when I make a prediction that later turns out to be incorrect. No, Madonna wasn’t just a flash in the pan. No, Just My Luck didn’t break box office records, nor did it lead to great things and solidify Lindsay Lohan’s career as a serious actress. And no, we didn’t have a lesbian, black president before 1994. I’m more than willing to own up to all of these, and I’ll even rescind on a few previous statements about Jimena. I stand by the fact that she’s a two-face, sometimes hot, sometimes terrifying chick; however I think she may actually have a chance to win this thing. In last week’s scene she was spot on with her delivery and emotion in playing a potential stripper, and this week she brings that same confidence to the role of a daughter letting go of her ailing father. I nearly wept when she performed, and I’m not the only one. Mary got up from the table and excused herself to a corner to weep copiously after the scene. All the judges were misty eyed and had nothing but positive words for Jimena from “very good” to “great” to “just beautiful.” When Ashlee retires backstage she tells her cast mates how well she did and how she made all the judges cry, rubbing it in their faces. Bitch!
You lika da scene, eh?
Ashlee is next and her scene is the most realistic, only because she’s the only one of the group that could actually have a black dad. Beyond that it is very obvious that she’s acting and not feeling anything that she’s attempting to portray. When she steps before the judges, Ashlee is in tears as if she is overcome with residual emotion. Bruno, never one to fall for feminine wiles says that her crying should be onstage and not there during critique, to which Shef agrees. When Ashlee goes backstage she lies tells everyone that she did OK, at which point Jimena says “they didn’t cry with you?” Double bitch!
Damn girl, this headband’s too tight!
Justin. Justin, Justin, Justin. You may be a hard boiled bad boy with a leather jacket and an ass that looks like it was sculpted from the finest marble in all the garden state, but the acting chops aren’t as well defined as your abs. The judges give moderate critique saying that his crying was obviously fake, but he had some really good moments. Mary appreciated the moment in the scene where Justin’s character walked through the ghost of his dad, but encouraged Justin to reach outside his comfort zone. Ride a bike blindfolded. Swallow your food without chewing. Bang your girlfriend and don’t pull out. Live life on the edge, dude!
Speaking of hard abs and bad acting, Travis receives the final critique of the night. Mary starts off by asking him how he thinks he did, which is just like Randy Travis pre-empting his critique by saying, “what’s goin’ down dawg?” The information to follow is never good. She asks if Travis thought about his relationship with his father, and when he replies yes she says that she didn’t see that. Bruno doesn’t pull any punches and says that Justin made their job very easy because he was in shock at how bad it was. During the scene Bruno was seen looking at his monitor with a shocked expression before looking over at Mary’s as if he was wondering, “is it that bad on your screen too?” Shef is surprised since Travis is talented but didn’t “bring it” this week. Backstage Travis is convinced that he is going home and is completely prepared to begin packing. He is talking about his future career as a dishwasher or hair stylist. If I were Travis I would take advantage of the office equipment around there and photocopy my junk to apply for a job as a stripper because he was great in the scene last week. Ashlee, always the voice of reason and smack talk, tells Travis that Joyce got great notes while others didn’t and she ended up going home so you can never tell. O we can tell, Ashlee. We can tell. Bo doesn’t understand how Travis feels so insecure asking Travis, “last week you turned Hogan gay and this week you suck?” That’s actually the natural progression.
“I’m sorry Travis but you’re just not qualified enough to work at Burger World. Try the weiner barn across the street.”
At the final cut, Travis is predictably called to the front of the line along with Yves, because the judges obviously hate hot guys. Mary says that this week was really hard for them since everybody was so fabulous. “O except for you, Travis. Pack your bags and get the fuch out.”
It’s sad to see Travis leave because he’s just the kind of guy that would pretend to be drunker than he actually is and fool around with his college roommate, but all good things must come to an end. While preparing to leave Justin gives Travis his coveted leather jacket, because he’s a loner, Dottie. A rebel. The two share a heartbreaking bromance moment before Travis heads out the studio gate. The coda gives us some vital information about the path that Travis’s career has since taken.
Do you think Travis is playing a zombie or a stripper? Do you think Jimena auditioned for both parts? Do you think the curb is atleast 50 feet away from Yves’ bedroom window? Why do they call it a restraining order anyway? Find out the answer to these and many more questions on next week’s episode. Until then, tell us what you thought.