My Second Aztec Gold TV Performance

(A blog I wrote last weekend but did not get around to posting until THIS weekend.)

What a weird and wonderful day. And I can only write about it by hitting the Tecate and blasting, post-midnight, Royal Trux’s post-junky punchy and punky shoe-gazer brilliant bullshit.

My Saturday started early — for me. I got up at 7:45 because I knew my alarm clock was going to wake me up at 8:00. I reset it for 9. But, fuck, I couldn’t get back to sleep. So I obviously freaked out a few people by answering their emails at an unreasonably early hour.

I made it to my office at C4 Workspace right at 9:30. That was when I was supposed to meet with Seme Jatib. I almost tarried at home to, you know, make coffee, maybe breakfast. I mean, Seme’s often late. But, maybe she’d be on time today. And so, yes, she was. I was shocked. Seme has the same disregard for the early morning as do I. But the moment I pulled up to C4, she was doing the same.

Seme wants to make a dance film for the upcoming neighborhood film contest. She’s keen on the murals on the westside.


We visited a few of the murals. She zeroed in on a couple. Her concepts are pretty cool. I think she has a great approach. We had breakfast at Taqueria El Chilaquil on Commence and then rushed off to URBAN-15.

Because I had shot some of my Jump-Start Performance Party film at URBAN-15, I needed to pay them back. So, my Saturday afternoon job was to sit at the studio while a production company held an audition.

Well, to call these folks a production company would be akin to calling the participants of the Wednesday Night Darts League “athletes.”

Nothing to see here folks. Just another future train wreck slated to flounder all over YouTube in the weeks or months ahead. I have zero patience for those who refuse to pay their dues; learn the craft; remove head from asshole long enough to find out what’s happening in the arts and cultural communities in this very creative and exciting and fucking friendly city. Ah, but some folks just can help but be pulled to the heady and spicy aromas of the amateur hour circle jerk.

(Once I get my WTF Film Festival up and running, I’ll start the groundwork on my cable access show: Amateur Hour Circle Jerk.)

As the small crew was setting up for their audition, I talked some more to Seme about what she wanted to do for her film. (I was heartened to be speaking with a true artist, while, elsewhere in the building, others were floundering about on a doomed-in-utero project, absolutely devoid of one scintilla of aesthetic sensibility — such as is my educated prognostication.)

Eventually Seme left. I ignored the auditions going on and worked some on codifying the numbers from the Luminaria Media Arts Committee meeting. I fielded several phone calls … such as three people calling to give me three different — and divergent — insights into this new San Antonio Film Society. My assessment? Though I haven’t officially been asked for my input: 1.) absolutely, keep Joy-Marie Scott as the head of this nascent organization; 2.) make sure that the organization’s operational space, meetings, and screenings happen in the downtown region, because art fucking does not happen on the north side; and 3.) under no circumstance, make a serious press-release concerning the organization until the structure and leadership has been established, vetted, and legally incorporated — we don’t need this potently wonderful organization prematurely exposing itself in the shameful manner we’ve come to expect from the San Antonio Film District and the San Antonio Film Council. We, the serious members of the San Antonio film communities, have pissed away enough of our time apologizing for the peddlers of snake oil who run such organizations as those. Let’s all move away from those pariahs.

So, I hope those individuals and organizations coming forward to support the San Antonio Film Society understand that this is something new and good. I’m thrilled to see Joy-Marie Scott, with her clear vision and impeccable credentials, pushing to finally help us put San Antonio on the film production map. So, all you folks in San Antonio who produce, shoot, edit, act, develop, distribute, etc., please oh please don’t fuck this up because of your god damn ego or intrinsic lameness. Join and be humble and be honest.

But, um, I degrees. What was I saying?

Oh, right. URBAN-15. Studio-sitting. Phone calls.

I had already turned in my DVD for the Jump-Start Performance Party the previous night. But I wanted to know if the disk was able to play on their system. I tried calling Billy Munez — among other things, he often runs the Jump-Start light / sound / media booth. He told me he was in the middle of rehearsal. He’d try to call me back. Fair enough.

And then I received a call from Victor Payan. We had several things to talk about. Luminaria; Jump-Start-Performance Party; San Antonio Film Society — we are currently connected on several levels.

Just before he ended the call he asked if I would be willing to serve as an actor in the Aztec Gold TV segment he was providing for the Jump-Start party. It was a live performance piece, and, I should add, to be staged that very night! I could hardly say no. I mean, I’d suggested that Jump-Start invite Aztec Gold. (Well, the truth is, the Jump-Start people are no fools. Of course they wanted Aztec Gold.)

Anyway, Victor, as he was winding down the conversation, was pretty much telling me how the skit would play out. “It’s basically the Dating Game, Aztec Gold-style. JoEl Settles and Gabe the Babe will be the over-the-top skirt-chasing bachelors numbers 1 and 2. You’ll be the sensible and sedate bachelor number 3.” At this point I’m sure I was saying something like: “Um, well, now, I’m not sure that–” And Victor jumped in with: “Your character will, of course, get the girl.”

The bottom line is that I can’t act. But because something weird has happened to me over the years, I said: sure, why not? The weirdness is that my youthful paralytic fear of expressing myself in front of crowds has, over the decades, inexplicably evaporated. What would have paralyzed me in my teens and early twenties is nothing now. Well, the fact is, in my thirties is was still pretty damn painful. But in the last five years I’ve been interviewed on two local live television shows; one TV remote interview; I’ve thrice sat on the SA Film Commission’s Film Forum panel; I sat on the Jump-Start stage with Seme as we talked about a collaborative work during a WIP performance; I took the stage three times at Luminaria 2010 in front of thousands of people to speak of films I was involved in; I took to the stage for the Aztec Gold performance of the Rudos y Technicos event at Gallista Gallery to play an improvisational role; and tonight I took to the stage at Jump-Start to do a bit of improv in front of about 200 people. The strange thing is that everyone else seemed to be nervous. But not me. I will say that Gabe, JoEl, and Victor, each nervous in his own way, did such amazing work. My performance was smaller and more basic. (Honestly, it was quite lame.) But it didn’t bother me. And I will not apologize for my poor performance. I’m feeling weird because, good or bad, I did my performance without single twinge of nervousness.

The best thing that came from that fun bit of controlled impromptu silliness was that the person chosen from the audience to be part of this fake dating show was Victoria Garcia. This was pre-decided because we knew Victoria would be in attendance, and she’s a friendly and adventurous type. The fact is, anyone who’s ever met Victoria knows what a heart-achingly beautiful and appealing woman she is. And, clearly, this is the closest I’ll ever be to getting a date with her — during a silly staged skit. But it was all great fun, and I’m happy that somehow, over the years, I managed to get over my paralytic neurosis towards public speaking and the et cetera that that entails.

Here’s a rough edit of what Pocha shot for Aztec Gold:

And here’s link to the Jump-Start blog page where you can watch all three hours (!) of the great Performance Party XXVI.

Please, don’t everyone at once rush me for autographs….


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