I am back in movie-making biz, baby.
After a 15-year hiatus, which coincided with the birth of my three children, I have begun acting, writing, and directing short comedy films again. So fun.
There are so many more wonderful women comedians and directors out there now for me to emulate. Not like when I left the biz, way-back when. The world has moved on since the days of Mary Beth & Friends, my cable show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network in the early 1990s. There’s now Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, Nancy Franklin, Amy Poehler, and Kathryn Bigelow. Right, I know Zero Dark Thirty wasn’t a comedy but I just want to mention my name in the same category as Bigelow’s).
On December 1, my name was pulled out of a hat. I won the “Wanna Be a Star?” contest at the Iron Mule short comedy film festival. The next thing I know, I’m getting eyelash extensions. ‘Cause I’m hoping that my eyelashes will distract viewers from my crow’s feet (smile lines!). I’m wondering if the camera still loves me. Vanity!
The name of the movie was shouted from the audience, the Alan Ladd Syndrome. And so last month, I starred in a funny short film written and directed by Victor Vornado. (not available for viewing yet.)
The premise is that the less popular the actor Alan Ladd was, the shorter he grew. When I threatened to break up with my boyfriend, played by the hilarious Michael Martin, he claimed to have this syndrome too!
I had so much fun performing in this little film that I announced to my husband Chris, a broadway veteran, I’m going to call my old commercial agent to see if I can start auditioning for commercials again.
“Well,” he said slowly. “You reach a certain age…” And he paused, presumably, sparing my feelings.
“Really?” I said, defensively. “Because I see people like me in commercials all the time — dog food, Viagra, anti-depressants?!” Yes, that’s what I said and that, indeed, did make me feel depressed — in need of some dog food, Viagra, anti-depressant.
“Maybe?” Mr. Broadway said, noncommittally.
Then the movie aired January 2. The Iron Mule Short Comedy Film Festival shows the first Saturday of every month at 8 pm.
Jay Stern, co-host with Victor,
interviewed me in front of, like 80 or so audience members.
I felt proud and cocky ’cause, hey, I had just starred in a movie. Besides, my eyelashes looked awesome.
I mentioned that their festival needed more women filmmakers. (And, if you know me, I think every institution needs more women, especially the White House cabinet.)
“Even though you probably have binders full of women.” Yes, I said that. Witty, no?
Jay asked me, in front of everybody, if I’d write and direct the next one. And so, of course, I said yes.
And, as usual after committing to a job, I had to overcome a few little hurtles — namely, a morass of self-doubt, inertia, procrastination.
Did I manage to get the film made? I’ll tell you tomorrow.
Read what’s coming up on the Iron Mule blog: Iron Mule NYC