It's true. I did. And I have been sleeping with today's guest for the last 15 or so years, it's allowed, he's my husband...fabulous guy and actor extraordinaire Jeff Clarke. Jeff has agreed, volunteered even, to be the first guest in this section. So...gloves off.
Gina waits in her office, after being told that her subject needs an additional 5 minutes. Coffee? Facebook? Fantasy Football? It could be any of these things that delays him.
Gina: Please come in my office. Sit on the daybed and chat. Is the coffee okay? Yes? Oh good. It should be, you made it. Not for me that is, I made my own. I was up earlier, but never mind. It's the Starbucks VIA you bought me, which is delicious, by the way, although boiling water first thing in the morning can be difficult for me.
Gina: Jeff you are an incredible actor and have been acting professionally for 20 years or so. Tell our readers, what makes you a better actor than me?
Jeff: (he laughs, nervously) I'm not distracted by being such a brilliant writer.
Gina: Good one. But seriously. You have a BFA in theater performance and a MFA in acting , do you believe in the importance of training, or were you just trying to avoid getting a real job?
Gina: Alright, enough kidding around. You are somewhat of a commercial superstar, can you tell us, how you view commercial acting in comparison to film and tv acting?
Jeff: Commercial acting is the framing houses of the fine carpentry of acting.
Gina: Are you talking broad strokes vs detail?
Jeff: In some ways, yes. In Film and TV you are building a whole house. In commercials, you are building just one room. You get more script and time to tell the story in film and television, than you do in commercials.
Gina: I once heard you describe commercials as a snapshot of a moment? Is this what you mean? Could you talk more about that?
Jeff: The commercial industry spends an enormous amount of time, research and skill distilling the cultural needs of a particular product into several well crafted moments and it is the actors job to fully realize those moments.
Gina: Are you talking about distilling the message in 30 seconds or less?
Jeff: I'm just talking about living in the moment and not making mountains out of molehills.
Gina: That must be hard for you.
Jeff: You have no idea.
Gina: I'm teasing. You make it sound so easy. But it isn't, I know.
Jeff: I don't mean to make it sound easy, but it's just not complicated. The business is complicated, the process is complicated, it requires a lot of patience, a thick skin...but one that still needs to be porous. You still need to feel, to be an artist.
Gina: What was your most challenging role? And don't say being my husband!
Jeff: I was going to say being your husband. But lately, the role of John in the independent movie I just shot, "Dinner with Friends".
Jeff: On an emotional level the character was very complicated and selfish and deeply unhappy, and his awakening and working his way out of that was a very exciting process, but also involved doing things that I found terrifying, like...learning to play the guitar and sing in public.
Gina: That was terrifying for all of us! I kid, I kid. I actually never knew that you played guitar, what else are you hiding? More on that later.
Gina: What role do you wish you had been cast in? Any role.
Jeff: I have to say secretly...
Gina: It's not a secret anymore...
Jeff: The lead role in the tv show "Castle" would have been fun...
Gina: I thought you were going to say Omar from The Wire.
Jeff: I would have given my left nut, to do anything on that show. (pause) Just my left one.
Gina: Tell me your Dream project.
Jeff: It's an action/romantic comedy, starring me and Penelope Cruz. It shoots in Paris in the Spring...and there is at least one of the following; a chase scene, a 14 course French Dinner, and a long steamy shower scene.
Gina: Nice. I'll see what me and my writing partner Daniel Craig/James Bond can come up with, we'll be in our Central Park Penthouse office working ... A hem. Next question: If you hadn't been an actor, you would have been...
Jeff: A know it all social worker.
Gina: Egads! Thank goodness this worked out.
Gina: Finish this sentence... Acting and writing both...
Jeff: Fulfill the dream.
Gina: Anything I didn't ask that you would like to tell me?
Jeff: I really like your blog.