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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Lights! Camera! BONKING!

I need to make a slight amendment to the rules I’ve set for myself around here.

A while back, I said to myself — and perhaps within these virtual pages — that I’d write something every day. Maybe a piece here, maybe a Zolton Does Amazon article on (next one due this Tuesday; stay tuned, online shopping fans), maybe over at Bugs & Cranks (who I’ve been neglecting badly of late), or somewhere else. Or nowhere, immediately — maybe I’d write something for submission, or for later, or for practice, or for the sake of annoying the dog with a bunch of loud late-night typing. The reason’s not important; it’s the writing that matters.

But that’s what I need to amend, just a bit. I didn’t write anything yesterday. Well, other than my name on a release form, maybe. But I feel I fulfilled my ‘creative duty’ to myself nonetheless, because I spent several hours of the day — and more of a Saturday morning than I’ve seen since I used to get up early to watch Scooby Doo in my footie pajamas — helping out with a short film project some old (and some new) comedic friends of mine cooked up.

Where ‘helping out with’ means ‘acted in’.

And where ‘acted in’ means ‘ad libbed in’.

And where ‘ad libbed in’ means ‘babbled nonsense toward a camera in’, ‘wore a parade of striped rugby shirts in’, and — many times more than once — ‘got bonked on the head in’.

“After six hours or so of flitting around the Boston area shooting footage to be mostly spliced out and ridiculed, I returned home to my loving and supportive wife.”

I’d say that’s as good as writing a few hundred words of nonsense and calling it a thing, so I’m amending my own rule. From here on out, I’m not necessarily writing something each day. But I’m resolving to do something creative each day. Something significant, that takes an hour or more, and that has the potential (fingers crossed) to make people laugh.

So, on the odd day here and there, it might be acting. Or ad libbing, or babbling or head-bonkee-ing. And it’s a retroactive rule, so yesterday totally counts. And if the short’s ever available online, I’ll be sure to link over to it, to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was bonked, repeatedly, on the head. With a broom. In a diner.

I know. It’s all intriguing and shit, isn’t it?

In the meantime, I don’t want to give too much away about the film, but I will relay a story from the aftermath of the shooting that should give you an idea of the flavor of the piece. After six hours or so of flitting around the Boston area shooting footage to be mostly spliced out and ridiculed, I returned home to my loving and supportive wife. Our conversation went something like this:

Her: So, how did your cartoon or whatever go?

Me: Not a cartoon, hon. A short film. Live acting. And actually, it was a lot of fun.

Her: Well, good. So what do you do in this ‘short film’, anyway?

Me: Well, I play a character. He’s sort of a hard-luck loser who nobody likes– picked on in high school, disrespected at his job, and he winds up being humiliated on the internet.

Her: So you’re playing yourself, then?

Me: Um… well, no. I mean… my character has the same name, but… hey, wait a minute, come to think of it…

Her: So did you shoot ‘on location’?

Me: We shot in locations, I guess. We drove all over Boston to do the scenes.

Her: Really? Where did you shoot?

Me: Well, there was a house in the morning, and a little diner, and we spent a couple of hours at a bar.

Her: I see. So — playing yourself?

Me: Yeah. Pretty much.

So, that was my Saturday. Many thanks to Jenn and Andrea for including me in their latest project. And for bonking me repeatedly. On the head. With a broom. In a diner.

I can’t wait to see the final cut. And not just for the vindication of knowing my stripey rugby shirts look as good on camera as they do in real life — though the pinnacle of my day was realizing that I was currently wearing the same shirt from the picture from my Facebook profile, taken during a standup set a few years back. Because the classics never grow old.

(They just shrink a little and accumulate old chest stains and get all wrinkly around the collar area.)

More than that, I’ll also get to see how my life is going to turn out, apparently. My character in the piece moved on after a bout of horrific internet humiliation. So if this stuff ever gets old, at least I’ll know what’s coming next. That’ll be nice.

Permalink  |  3 Comments

3 Responses to “Lights! Camera! BONKING!”

  1. ema says:

    looking forward to watching it, and if you need more actors count on me, I haven’t act since high school, if you exclude my wedding, but I have a fantastic electric swiffer. I can lend you my helmet…

  2. Jenn says:

    As I recall, it wasn’t just boinking. There was at least one “dink!” in there.

  3. Charlie says:

    Ema, if you were ‘acting’ during your wedding, then I don’t think it counts. Did the priest wink at you or cross his fingers during the vows? Did your wife use an understudy?

    Or did you mean ‘acting up‘? Because we all do that. It’s a defense mechanism.

    And Jenn, it’s ‘bonking’. BONKING. Not ‘boinking’.

    I don’t want people to get the impression it’s THAT kind of movie.

    Although if we spliced it just right and threw on the right soundtrack, play up Josh’s hairy chest and Chrissy talking dirty to the camera… that could totally work as softcore.

    I think I’ve said too much.

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