Posted by Rick 2010-02-24 06:11PM
Day three and I can't remember if it has been three days or three weeks. It's amazing to be back in a controlled environment and be able to be completely out of control. This little team of film makers has already exceeded all my hopes and lofty expectations. The movie I'm seeing from my vantage point, my real life experience of this last week, traveling from Stockholm to C-Bus and into the hands of this young gifted team is a compelling story itself. Though I'm exhausted from the design work back home and the journey West, Bushmanis is harnessing whatever hasn't already been stripped away. I've been living in a feral environment what with this renovation of the grocery back home. Carving away a place of refuge but geared for creativity. This role, this character, Ronnie McCubbing has similar traits that are slightly twisted and must be addressed and Bushmanis has completely let him into his world, 'Ronnie's World'. I must say it's a funhouse freakshow and I feel right at home.
Day three and it feels like the New Wave has hit Ohio and this little group who speak a different language are in a suburban neighborhood making some kinda film that hasn't been made in a generation. That's because they are the New Generation and they are the chosen. They have given themselves this opportunity. They see forward because they have looked back. More on this when I can make better sense. It feels good to be young again and to have lost touch with time or place and still have the constants in your life that matter. The ingredients, new and old that feed our experience and create our reality which soon becomes our memories. I'm grateful. But tomorrow is unknown. Live while your awake, dream when you sleep.
Posted by Rick 2010-02-21 06:59PM
I'm in Columbus, Ohio and start production tomorrow on a little, big film. It's called Sandbar and it's written and directed by a smart young talent by the name of Nick Bushman. I'm gonna try and write a bit every day and see if I can distill the experience. I haven't visited the blog since California and the Fall and much has transpired. Bushmanis as I refer to him tracked me down through an address I left in Malibu. I sold my house and moved to Stockholm on the fourth of July. A rock star wanted my nest. 20 years in a glass house. Ojai ran it's course. Paradise lost. My mother died around Valentines day. I bought a grocery store in the middle of Stockholm and took all the food off the shelf. A unique opportunity to feed my soul as the market is being reborn into a food for thought and a work/live studio for our team. Met some talent on that project as well and it's been brilliant. More on that later as we are midway through hell.
The film is a seven year itch. It's written beautifully and has an honesty that cements it. I play a Desert Storm Vet who has become estranged from reality and has a Christmas time visit from his 23 year old son who lives with his mother. A new young girlfriend and old bad habits surface and all hell breaks loose. It's a dark comedy and something I never got a chance to explore in my days as an actor. It was a tough decision to make because I have been committed to my design work and the new space we're creating but Bushmanis flew to the 'Venice of the North' and convinced me he was real. That was inspiration enough but it went beyond because he could articulate his talent. It's gonna be fun but a lot of work. It always is but not always fun.
Made my last film here in Ohio in 2003. Artworks it was called. Hmmm... Cincinnati. Doesn't stand out in my mind. Didn't, couldn't formula piece if you know what I mean. Didn't get to do certain things, couldn't overcome certain situations. Frustration as always in those conditions, film is a crapshoot. It has to gel as an experience for success on some level. No satisfaction. Wanna be. Loss of courage. Call it what you may.
Funny, those are elements in this new character I play but the group surrounding this piece are in it for real. No pretend Hollywood in the mid west but storytellers making pictures that feel real, enlighten and entertain. No place to hide, the first twenty minutes its bareback for me and you'll like me one way or the other.
It's new territory and soon to be discovered.
Posted by Rick 2009-05-27 06:50AM
In the day, waiting for word on a certain role or if a pilot or series was to be picked up or renewed, time would drag on and it was during these periods that I would start a new project that would be in my hands. Something tangible like furniture or a garden bed. Well it could also be a vehicle that would be impossible to fix/restore or a guilt ridden luxury expense. I find myself on a Wednesday waiting for Friday so I've plastered the entire kitchen with two coats of fine. It's like the start of the inside of an Oyster shell. I've put a complete spin on our life and the deck of cards we're throwing into the air will hopefully come out with aces. We're in wait and see mode.
Had an extraordinary visit from my friend Chris Taylor the other night. It's what my life has always been about. An empty seat and either I would slip into it or more rarely someone new sits down and you become fast friends. That's how I met Chris on the British Air flight to Stockholm back in April. He was coming home too. I've never made a friend on an aircraft but my luck change when he came aboard. He moved up to my row in the bulkhead and took the empty seat next and at first I thought, fuck he's tall and here come the elbows! It's great when you can connect immediately with someone and keep getting surprised and not have to small talk yourself away from engagement. This guy is deep and right in the moment all at the same time and to me that is the best combination. When you add things like running your own restaurant and bar to the equation it really becomes interesting.
We had a family meal with his wife and darling daughter and our kids at the beautiful Mississippi Inn. It's was my best night out ever in Stockholm for a delicious meal in a setting that really made me feel relaxed and cared for. Not service, which is completely absent in most all city dives here but rather being cared for which is the standard I
would offer any guest in my home. The Mississippi Inn cares and you can tell. The ambiance is relaxed but elegant as the lighting seduces your mood. I got a modern feel of my favorite old Hollywood place Musso & Frank. It's old and worn now but this is what it would be today, a great watering hole with sturdy food that's fresh and carefully prepared. The vibe is conversational and smart and that's Chris as well. This amazing guy has weathered many a storm and come up stronger and more resilient than before. You can sense his integrity and purposefulness straight out of the gate and that's something I admire in an individual. Check out this place, you'll come back even if it's just for the best hamburger in town, one formed by hand. Like I said they care.
I'm gonna write more on Chris going forward, his story is one that really inspires. It has the scope of Lawrence of Arabia and if you saw this beautiful man and his graciousness you would think in cinematic terms as I was caught doing many times as he shifted from edge to repose and back. Great to have a new window into the world.
Posted by Rick 2009-05-06 07:57AM
Well, it has been a while since I posted and it makes perfect sense that I'm back at the beginning so to speak. I arrived back in Sweden a few weeks ago. Eva had a beautiful Easter Sunday dinner waiting at the kids Flat. Swedes make Easter a 5 day holiday for some reason. It's frustrating with everything closed, I'm constantly saying "Christsakes!"
In November as a consequence of the Financial Market Meltdown we found a one owner, 1929 Flat on a Park Boulevard that was free. Well, She had been dead a while and the family thought they should sell at the bottom. That's when my wallet is full! As you can see above it's a redroom of doors. A little peal, a little plaster and I'm the new master. It's gonna be a fun project for us and it will be nice to have a pied a terre close to the kids. Spent a week at the farm and I think this will be a city year. Stockholm is about as beautiful as it gets when you have someone like Eva to walk with. We've already made some good progress, 80 years of wallpaper removed and 2 of three coats of plaster already laid down. More on this later.
My mom passed from this life shortly after her visit to us in Ojai. It was wonderful as usual to have her and her dogs for a winter vacation. It had become one of the highlights of her year since my dad died seven years ago. Life is as short as they say but memories live forever. She taught me so much, I'll always think in terms of making my parents proud. It's hard to go wrong that way.
Roy got a nice comment from a fellow in America who spotted me in the New York Times in a whataretheydoingnow article. Same thing I've been doing my whole life, scraping by! Well not literally, but I do like to scrape the surface, not scratch it. I want a fresh surface no matter the context, usually. Roy also informed me that even though I haven't been posting he has tracked my "hits" to about 6 to 10 thousand a month since the Fall. The times printed my URL and we'll see if I can get some advertising dollars from Stanley Tools or something. No acting offers please, I'm still on hiatus. I actually won awards from Stanley Tools two years running in High School for a nationwide art contest. 1st place my Junior year and the Grand Prize as a Senoir. You had to use one of their Surform tools in the process of what you were making. I was carving stone and was into Eskimo Art at the time so I fashioned some Seals lounging on the rocks. It was huge and cost me almost as much to ship it to Pennslyvania as the prize was. I bought a stereo with the winnings, typical waste of money by a teenager. My Junior year I think I carved an abstract head or something, it was actually a nicer piece. I sold both later at an Art Fair. I was a sell out from the very beginning. That's why I can scrape it together anytime. Made my mom proud.
Posted by Rick 2009-01-14 04:48PM
My mom has been visiting for two months and I haven't made time to post. Maybe tomorrow I'll start a pattern of posting. I wonder why though. I've had a saying recently which helps me avoid talking to anyone, "I'd rather think about myself, than talk about myself". Isn't that the end all? Writing offers another dimension. The perspective is probably the same though.....
Posted by Rick 2008-12-11 08:38PM
Today a terrific team arrived in Ojai to gather my thoughts, memories of working on The Terminator film from almost 25 years ago. A new Blue-ray disk is being prepared and I missed earlier chances on previous disks to share my thoughts so I thought, "why not"? I'm retired, not dead.
Where I'm sitting in the photo above is where I usually park my truck. That's Black Mountain in the background and that's about all I really remember about anything, including the movie. Well not quite but get the disk and find out about when the Terminator fondled me on the set. It was harmless fun, really.
I've been preoccupied with watching my rows of lettuce grow these last weeks in California so the posting has been infrequent if at all. That plus caring for my nearly deaf and blind mother
My mother can recall events with crystal clear clarity from early in her life but forget the route she took the day before to get to the garden. I wonder if I'll be haunted by all the experiences I've had later in my life. Post traumatic syndrome from my days on the Navy Seals set! Can't remember much about that one either right now but I have about 20 hours of 8mm tape that was shot from my camera on and around the set. We were bored to death and these behind the scenes moments caught on tape are quite telling. Truth is stranger than fiction.
Posted by Rick 2008-11-18 07:47PM
Ojai, California. A paradise and this garden is my Eden. If Haga, the farmhouse in Sweden is my Walden then this certainly qualifies. Been home two weeks and still adjusting after an 8 month absence. Also we've been caring for my elderly mother (84) and her three dogs. Yikes, that sounds like a lot. She's nearly deaf and blind. I'll probably have her through the holidays and into next year.
This picture of our view of Chief Peak says it all. Sleeping giant.
Posted by Rick 2008-11-13 10:26AM
Back in Ojai, California and a lot to refocus on. Haven't posted for 10 days and kinda missed it. Let's see if I can find the discipline to continue.
Posted by Rick 2008-11-02 02:00PM
Traveling back to California to vote for Barrack Obama and hopefully some change in our society. Some civility at least, we hope. Enough said.
Saw that my domain, www.rickrossovich.com was for sale for 997 dollars. Sounds like too much to me. You can go to www.rickrosovich.de and see what some German fellow has built around me for whatever reason. Is it advertising? I'm not writing this for any other reason other than to record my thoughts and images over this next year. Maybe I'll stop sooner than later…
I removed the option of commenting so no one can. I'm not writing for that reason, to get feedback or b.s. or applause. I've told maybe six people about this and that's enough. Somehow it's listed on the German website, who knows how. It's all an experiment.
We've been sleeping in Izzy's kitchen for a month now and it's been fun but we gotta run. Roy has inspired me to re-connect somehow with imaging. Making images that is, I imagine and then presto create an image. Eva helped him this evening stretch a large canvas in his studio. Isabel made a costume for Halloween as well that was quite a project. A Disney/Arab Princess do. Turned out well. She can sew which is right up there with cutting hair. Useful talents that keep rewarding your pocketbook.
I'll post from California, I know the Governor there, he squeezed my ass once on a movie set. I'll explain later.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-27 12:48AM
Day Lights Saving arrive in Sweden and the end of the world is near or at least another gear change of lamenting. It's dark! It's cold! Hmmm...
Swedes can be notoriously gloomy, even on a sunny July afternoon. On the surface that is, who knows what they're really thinking (the sky is falling!). I like this first ever Fall I've experienced and will sadly be going home to potentially 40' Celsius California and a wildfire breathing down our necks. We don't get Fall colors there, everything is brown and dried out and forget about wrapping a smart scarf or topping off with a snazzy hat to ward off a chill. You're looking for shade
We haven't been home in almost eight months. At least I know we still have it. Approximately 1000 families a day are losing their homes to foreclosure in California because of this financial crisis. Amazing. It's sad to report that the Market Meltdown Shrine I constructed at a nearby intersection has been wiped from the face of the earth. It lasted three weeks. It was the remnants of some child's life that I found lost from a move perhaps, packed in plastic garbage bags. Do they have foreclosures in Sweden?
Certainly everyone here wants to have it like they do in California. Right?
My expert friends tell me we have three more years of doom and gloom on the horizon.We haven't seen the bottom yet. Oh well, Izzy's bathroom is finished at least so I can always do it for someone else and get paid. Or get an acting job. I've been retired for 5 years now, it's a blessing. My final curtain was a straight to video flick called Artworks with Virginia Madsen. We filmed it in Cincinnati, Ohio. A bit like Hell on Earth there only with better statues.
We have to make one quick trip to Haga, our farmhouse to drop the flatbed truck off. It will be interesting to see if we catch an early snow there. We had a decimeter (3 inches) on May 17 and no one blinked. I would think that's when you get the razor blades out. When Winter arrives in Spring
View from Haga's front porch, May 17th
Posted by Rick 2008-10-24 03:06PM
After showering and only having access to the basement bathroom or Roy's bathroom for 12 days it's wonderful to have a beautiful new spot to perform those rituals. Hasse is my hero for doing a splendid job. It turned out stunning for a small spot.
The shower room scene in Top Gun was a real steamer. Heavy Homo-erotic overtones. The day we shot it was like a pose off on some don't ask, don't tell bodybuilding competition.
Anyway Eva and I got the baptismal shower(dusch in Swedish, strange enough) and it was perfect.
I'll post some snaps tomorrow
Posted by Rick 2008-10-23 01:27PM
I just finished painting Izzy's bathroom for the third time. The ground coat was clear and the plasterwork look beautiful. Then I put a matte waterproof white which didn't cover exactly so that gave Eva a chance at a tone or color which has it's pitfalls. The color queen can mix all the colors in the world on her pallet in her painting studio but when it comes to what I'm rolling on she often needs a second or third coat to get it right. It's ten p.m. now and Hasse is due here in 11 hours to run the pipes. They go on the outside of the walls here so it's a beautiful detail but the painting should be complete or else you're in for a headache. Eva has the floor fan on trying to quick dry the last coat so she can go back to white after the color "Adam"made the Travertine look pink. To me it all looks like it's almost finished so let's close our eyes and pretend.
So I went to the computer and read the L.A. Times and somehow got on the site www.end of the world. com or something like that. It feels like it in the bathroom right now and another coat or two looming. Eva's drinking wine now and girding herself because she thinks she will have to correct this gaffe by herself. Hmmm
My neighbor Annette in Stjarnsfors is a landscape architect who won't talk about gardening but is happy to talk about painting. She's always painting something at her farmhouse. I painted all Spring and Summer at the farm and before that I painted all Winter in Ojai. I've been painting things my whole life and I should be an alcoholic by now but I'm not. It's a hard stressful job but as soon as I would finish a movie or season of T.V. I would go right to the paintbrush. That or dig a foundation or some other large hole.
I give Eva credit though. We had 40 doors in our Hollywood house and she painted them all, twice. That is three coats done, seven years later another couple of coats. Twice!
Anyway, I'm colorblind at least and take her word for it so I'm going back to the brush.
This is from the Summer at Haga our farmhouse in the countryside. And below Eva painting a century old floor upstairs in her bikini.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-22 01:45PM
I shaved again this evening. Twice in six months and I didn't miss it. The only good thing about it is it feels good against Eva's skin and Isabel says I look ten years younger. In my career as an actor I would shave at work in a make-up trailer running lines with other actors as their hair and make-up was in the works. That's the feeling I've had the last week and Izzy's Flat has been that trailer. Call time 7:30. Lights,camera,action!!
Hats of to L T Golv. This team knows how to finish. The boys who can lay a floor on a wall and do it in style. Leif did a great job on Roy's lägenhet (apartment) a couple years back. This time the team got us across the finish line in just a few days. Samy led the charge in the shower stall bending floor material around bullnose corners that I shaved for him. 3/4 inch bullnose which is a tight radius inside and out. Minimum seams and surface as flat as a stone. He knows his stuff. Micke was in and out with material and scheduling and a few of the other boys put in a day here and there. These guys work together and make it a pleasure to be in their company. Today Fredrick sanded all the floors in the Flat. Living/bedroom, hall, kitchen in record time. After a fuse delayed start he ran the whole table. Great guy, great attitude. Again a pleasure to work with craftsmen who know their stuff and enjoy doing it right. Eva went right to work and bleached the floors white and will soap them tomorrow. It change the whole vibe of the apartment and now I feel like were over the hump. Hasse will connect the pipes on Friday after I finish paint. I completed plastering the bathroom this evening after a long stroll with Eva.
We walked down to Stadshuset, the giant red brick City Hall of Stockholm. It has over 8 million bricks in it and is a wonder of the world. Built in 1911 and smack on the water with a beautiful view of the city. It was a perfect Fall evening and a great way to finish a productive day.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-20 01:25PM
Today I shaved for the first time in 6 months. The day started with a cross city drive in the trusty VW flatbed truck. It has 220 thousand kilometers on it but loads of new parts that make it trusty. The nice thing about a flatbed obviously is it loads easy. What I also like about it is that everyone keeps their distance. Especially the way I drive. I have a flatbed in California as well and have had that one 17 years. I would drive it onto the Warner Bros. Lot when I was making E.R. and would get lots of attention from the Grips and Electricians. The other cast members were all driving nice rides and I was socking money into Real Estate Investment Trusts. Hmmm.
The VW is like an out of control Stage Coach and I'm holding the reins to 109 horses. It makes noise like it has steel wheels on the cobble stones. We were returning camera equipment that Roy was renting to film an advertisement for the Social Democrats. The spot was depicting a stretch limo ambulance on an EMT run. Only rich people deserve that treatment I guess and they're not social democrats. I'd take the flatbed and just blow the horn all the way if I started to stroke out. The only thing worse than me on the road with my truck is the buses and their drivers here. It was down to millimeters this morning several times. It's a little game of Chicken they like to play.
The bathroom floor was installed today and the seat beach wall. I like to put floor material on the wall here and it drives everybody nuts. It's slightly thicker and harder to install but it has a matte finish which typical wall doesn't. It has a greasy look to it and the stuff I use looks like big sheets of Travertine. Plus it's soft and warm to the touch and extremely waterproof. I used it in Roy's Flat and it's been on Leifs website for two years now(www.ltgolv.com). It looks great. Check out the Lägenhet Kungsholmen window and you can see Roy's fabulous kitchen and bath I designed and built. The deal is you have to be a pro to cut this material precise and get it to stick where you want it. It's not a game of inches, you have maybe a millimeter and then the bus drivers elbow is in your juggler.
The Flatbed also is a great platform to create art. Here Roy is making a large canvas painting back in '06, right in front of his studio.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-19 01:59PM
Gadget Man arrived today bearing gifts. Roy swung by mid-day and had a present tucked under his arm for me. Wrapped in Sundays Real Estate newsprint was something for the guy who abhors gifts of any kind, until I recieve them and then I don’t feel worthy.
I was busy putting the sub-floor in Izzy’s entry as Eva was giving her a life drawing class. They were doing a study of a nude photo I’d taken of Eva last week . Isabel has Eva’s natural gift it seems, when it comes to drawing. Everything came to a halt and Eva sorta teared up because I was getting something. I never want anything, I have everything. I’m grateful beyond measure. Eva and the kids know not to buy anything for me because I don’t want anymore. That is until I go temporarily insane and buy a building or something crazy like a Glass House for the farm. I can always rationalize that kind of stuff for some reason.
Anyway tucked under my sons arm was a MacBook Pro. I was floored and now I’m typing on it and loving the step-up from Eva’s PC. I wrote a previous post on it and lost it when I was tapping my finger too much. This will be fun, this new machine and having Roy to guide us through it will be the kicker. He’s expert when it comes to technology. His brain and fingers work like mine do for bricks and mortar. It’s amazing how the gene pool adapts.
Thank you Roy, I love you
Posted by Rick 2008-10-19 01:51AM
This is a portrait of Eva in our Flat at Venice Beach 1983. People warned me that Swedes were a different sort. Cold, shutdown, suicidal types unless they were drunk which made them aggressively gregarious and unbearable. Eva was none of that and everything more. Those lips, those eyes. She could cut hair and sew as well. My days as a bachelor were numbered.
This is typically how I looked then and still to this day I'm trying to get paint or glue off of my hands. I was the apartment manager at 35 Clubhouse. 24 units of Venice Beach inhabitants. Mostly crazy oddballs and us. We lived here for about 18 months before moving to Hollywood and what seemed like the mansion on the hill compared our little Flat.
Thinking back it must have been so exotic for Eva to land in this world after spending the previous 23 winters in Sweden, in the dark and cold.
Venice was like an incubator for us. We formed all our first dreams and patterns there. Eva started painting and we bought a piano. Our first sofa. We didn't own a car or T.V. for that matter. It was simple in one way but complex in another because we knew it was going to grow into much more.
After a few months she returned to her life in Stockholm and I started a movie at Universal, Streets of Fire. We'd have three months apart and now the true courtship would begin.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-18 02:44PM
The Market Meltdown Shrine I created over a week ago at the intersection of Industrigatan and Arbertarsgatan is still untouched except that someone has taken Kermit the Frog. The Shrine, dedicated to some little girl who provided all the elements from a lost garbage bag of her belongings has become a local focal point during these hard times. Who was this little girl? And why has her small world been left behind? The two Snoopys and the Giant Stuffed Bananna remain affixed to the Down Trend Sign. As you see in the photo above The Down Trend Sign has a slogan, Jesus Saves. I don't know about that but I think the real point is we all should save, mainly ourselves, our sanity. Jesus can save my 401K. Let's start with that.
Also in the picture above is a car directly behind me. Parked in the middle of the intersection. This Intersection is a Y and this driver, Maria decided to just leave it by the Shrine. Well actually the car was there before the Shrine was assembled. I know it's Maria's car because she commented about the fact that her car was in my shot. She did this via Roy's web-site www.condemned.se I had met Maria earlier in the evening at a photo shoot at that beautiful staircase that leads down to the canal. Eva and I met her co-stylist Therese as well and I'm infatuated with her. I didn't know her name until last night when Roy told me she had contacted him. When we met these two dynamic women I had Eva call Roy via cell and he arrived with a business card on a skateboard at 11pm. We were just out for a promenade and all of a sudden I'm talking to these people like I know them. I do this in Sweden because they're like clam shells over here. It's torture to get them to talk. So I do most of the talking and in English as well. Most of the time I talk, they listen and either they laugh or get scared. It's fun either way. Chance encounters. There's always a chance. Maria's talented, I saw her site and a sample of her work. Therese is on the wrong side of the camera. Roy should photgraph her and Maria should style it.
When I met Eva I fell in love instantly. I have so much crammed into my head that it's hard to remember it all but I have a clear, vivid memory of the evening I met her. The next several days before I convinced her to cancel her ticket back to Stockholm and dump her boyfriend and move in with me at Venice Beach are also etched in my mind because it was so surreal I guess. How lucky are you when you know that you've met your soulmate at the first instant. Eva knew before me. According to childhood friends she predicted she would marry a Hollywood Actor. It's a long way from Hagfors to the Walk of Fame. Hagfors doesn't even have sidewalks now!
We were vacationing in Florence a few years back and while visiting the Michelangelo museum I was spotted by group of Japanese tourists who recognized me. It's a worst case scenario to be recognized while standing at the foot of the David. Seventeen feet, six inches of Cararra Marble and on a meter high pedestal as well. How small does that make you feel?
I haven't shaved the beard off yet. I want to but then I won't have it anymore. 6 months. I had a beard in a movie once, Paint It Black. I played an artist accused of a murder as I remember. With the beard and the hair looking like it does now I get looks that could kill. It keeps people on their toes, when you look crazy and your body language is forceful. My boots always look like I've been kicking someone as well. The boots are Blundstones, made in Australia. The best knock around boot made. It really is a small world after all.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-17 03:00AM
Big Boy under the Big Tent.
Need I say more?
The Dark Carnival Atmosphere
Posted by Rick 2008-10-17 01:23AM
Eva opened a can of paint today and just started painting. She has impeccable timing. She senses just when I'm about to snap and steps in. It's called OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I'll never get Izzy's entry to be exactly like it was in 1917 but it wiil fool your eye. All the scars and drips and bad electrical wires are gone. The cracks and voids that create shadows of doubt have been filled and smooth away. The walls are cloud like and the case mouldings and baseboards are strong and sure. The reintroduction of the two missing panel doors gives this small entry hallway all the possibilities. North, South, East, West. Bedroom, Bathroom, Kitchen, Courtyard. Take your pick,open a door. The painting has begun.
Eva and I have been doing spaces not unlike this for 25 years. I always say this will be the last one, and I usually start another project before I've finished the one I have started. It's one reason I never got into producing or making movies or T.V. I would always rush home after a shoot and continue or start the next design fiasco. On my last movie, Artworks I actually did some of the set dressing. That's really what I wanted to do before I became an Actor. Set Designer, there's still time but I do it for myself instead.
We've been redoing Izzy's bathroom at the same time. A major shift. Toilet where the shower was, sink where the radiator was. Floors, walls, lighting. We're into a wekk and a half now and today the floor is being layed. Yesterday we came to the conclusion that the shower door won't work. Well it works but you can't really close it behind you. So that door isn't an option. Time for a nostalgic, soft curtain that will give the room a warmth that the glass didn't. Bathrooms in Stockholm can be a toilet with a sink on top of it that might have a shower wand and a hole for a drain. All in the space of a square meter if your lucky. When these buildings were built people cleaned up somewhere else and maybe once a week. Hmm.....
Izzy likes to shower 4 times a day. Just kidding, but I think we take it for granted that water comes out of a tap at all. We put a bench seat in the shower stall which made my Plumber Hasse smirk. Apparently that is a novelty in Stockholm. I explained to him that Isabel is a girl and wants to shave her legs and that sitting and shaving is safer. I told him he shouldn't talk on his cell phone when he drives either. It could be blood everywhere.
Last night we broke off from the DIY project to make an apperance in the music video Roy is directing. It's a project he's been working on for several weeks and is full scale lights, camera, action. Isabel is playing a Ballerina and I'm the Carnival Strongman in a Dark Carnival tableau. Eva decided just to be a stage mom this time but usually is happy to pull on a costume. The location is outside Stockholm at a beautiful old riding stable and the big indoor arena is serving as the main tent so to speak. A talented troupe from Gothenburg was assembled, juggling, balancing, fire, clowns. Roy even managed to somehow score a circus horse and an expert horsewoman to command it. It was a scene and the sawdust floor of the arena with a large spot of light really transported you to some weird childhood memory of what it might be like to be in the Big Top Tent with all the crazy characters.
Isabel really was beautiful, a Ballenchin Ballet Star on point, spinning like a top.Eva off to the side whispering encouragement. She dance ballet for close to 30 years so she knows a thing or two. As the Carny Strongman I performed feats of strength, bending a steel bar in my teeth. I even brought a step platform along that I've been using to plaster the cieling with so I could be a little bit bigger than life. The old beefcake boy was brought back to life for a moment in time and the wild hair and beard was a nice counterpoint to the still bulging biceps.
We arrived midway through production for our bit and when we opened the door to the Artists Lounge it was like opening an old trunk and seeing your lifes work stored away. All the memories of the moments of anticipation that surround work like this came swirling back to me. Twenty-five plus years of answering the call. It's always been a Weird Carnival to say the least. I didn't think I missed it but this was different, I was working with my kids and best friend. The other players as well were eager and excited to perform. The lounge was full of costumes, hair and make-up and craft service was a table heaping with food. Katja and her sis putting on the warpaint. You bond instantly in these circumstances and that's the beauty of the life of a performer, naked but fully embraced.
What really struck me most though was watching my son take the reins and calmly work. Listening as much as directing which showed me his level of maturity and respect for the people who surrounded him. I think he's on his way, what ever path he chooses. And me? Maybe I have a second act as well.
I'll post some pictures next time of the Dark Carnival
Posted by Rick 2008-10-14 01:47PM
Another day of toil in the Box. Isabel's entry is getting closer. When you prepare an interior for paint you go as far as you can and then you quit and paint it. Some people, who should be jailed paint over grease in a kitchen for example without cleaning let alone sanding. I sand and then I change gears and plaster. Back and forth. this is the fourth day counting the day I prepared the doors on the street. I'm thinking I can piss away two more days before I throw in the towel and let Eva begin her brushwork.
She's an artist with any kind of brush. Hair, Scrub, paint you name it and best of all, brushoff. A Cancer and a complete healing, nuturing, compassionate person but when she pivots because something isn't right, lookout. It's the Swede in her that can ice it. That's how she paints as well, no drips, no holidays.
I plastered inside the box of doors twice today. The entry walls are looking like clouds. White plaster then gray then white again. Plastering is like icing a wall. It's confectionary and I've been playing the same music over and over again as I do it. It's the sound track for "In to the Wild", my favorite recent film diected by Sean Penn. Eddie Veder of Pearl Jam fame did this and it really is such a journey. I recommend both highly.
I like to listen to something over and over when I'm doing something over and over. Tomorrow it's Neil Young.
Well the Chocolate Factory deal is no box of chocolate yet. I'm trying to get a Flat in the building which is classified as an over night office. Perfect for an American who must work extra if you know what I mean. I want to create the ChocolateBox Studio, a multimedia affair. Painting studio for Eva, expandable photo studio for Roy, Rave space for Isabel. Cancel that. And a place for me to base my ego. Maybe I need the entire floor for that and a view. The place does have a view of the Canal and St. Eriks bridge. It's part basement and part 3rd floor which is great because you can either hide or jump out the window when things get really bad. I'm waiting for a counter offer. So I sand and plaster and listen to Eddie.
This is an action shot from August when I was plastering the upstairs of the PowerHouse in Stjarnfors. It's a Atelje for Eva when we're at the Farmhouse in Varmland. I did the downstairs last year and Roy photograph there this Summer and got some beautiful shots of Anna. Check them out at his site, www.condemned.se
It's been great working with him this year and I look forward to more colaboration. The music video is Thursday and I can shave my beard after that.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-13 02:26PM
Today I spent in Isabels Flats entry. Its about four square meters and has 4 doors. Five doors if you count the vault door the Foreningen had installed a few years back. I put two doors back but regardless it's four doorways and a lot of sanding and scraping and getting down to the original beauty of a 1917 Stockholm middle Svensson type Flat. Beautiful thick pine floors and an intricate moulding that was smeared with several bad paint jobs. The original paint was a classic soft sage green and I just couldn't get down to the original wall color. We did find some traditional flower motif blue wall paper in the toilet area.
Amazing how the layers of life amass themselves. In my first pad with Eva 25 years ago in Venice Beach, California we had about the same size apartment as Izzy's Flat. We redid that one together too. 35 Clubhouse Avenue. We called it the Clubhouse and that's what it was. I also managed the other 24 units and did that for a year before we moved on tho Hollywood.
In that Apartment in Venice I removed a typical mirror cabinet and replaced it with a larger single mirror. That left a void in the wall which I filled with al sorts of creepy totems and pictures of myself. I probably wrote some crap on the inside of the wall as well, don't remember what. I know my first headshot photos in there. I had an Afro my first year in Tinsle Town. Then I shaved my head for The Lords of Discipline. From that point on it was the military and the police force. The afro never made it back. I did have kinda long hair for a movie I did with Bruce and I refused to ever comb or have it styled during the whole shoot. What a thing to do! No! This is how my hair is, live with it. I looked crazy. Bruce, what was the name of that movie? Funny how you forget things but can see them in your mind.
My hair is almost as long now. Kind of a matted Afro. I was voted best hair my junior year in High School. The next year Don Qualls stole my my hairstyle and took the prize. My consolation was winning Most Creative and Biggest Showoff. Funny how those types of things are like bad layers of paint stuck on your trim.
This is the top of my head. Eva has been painting Sheep lately. I've asked her repeatedly to paint a sheep with my face but she won't. She wants them to look like sheep. Oh well.
Like I said, I was in a box all day with 4 doors to everywhere and no way out.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-12 02:06PM
Eva made lasagna tonight. Maybe the best one she ever has. She was explaining to Isabel that a kilo of cow is necessary for a large glass dish. As she was cooking it I was scraping six layers of wallpaper off the entry of Izzys Flat. I put a thin layer of plaster over the entire wall and then a half hour later scraped the paper off like wet skin. A Centurion Exfoliation so to speak.
Anna Britta lives upstairs, she's about 90 and has lived here more than 75 years. If she complains about any noise from the renovation I'll graciously offer here a complimentary exfoliation. She's a sweetheart really and is full of piss and vinegar. I brought her some Blueberry pie but she wouldn't open the door. Eva went back later and knock as well, then she looked through the mail slot and talk about lasagna, her place so full it was layers of time. A neighbor thought she was dead in there a couple of months ago so they called the Fire Department and they broke through the upstairs window on the street. It was a scene, glass everywhere! She wasn't home obviously or dead. They couldn't get through the front door because the association, which is the individual owners of all these 34 apartments chose Italian made security doors that are similar to a bank vault. Morons! People are so afraid here in Stockholm. The doors have zero charm and in fact the handle broke off of Izzys and Eva was momentarily trapped in the apartment until she figured out that she could escape via the balcony door.
My neighbors and I are part of an association that's called a Foreningen. We make all our rules and keep our building in check. I don't live here though, my two kids do. I just paid for it and created the spaces. Check-out Roy's Studio on HGTV in America. We did a show about it. That design/build took a few months and has been some of my best work.
Isabels place is turning out equally as well but different. She's a beautiful young woman and that's why I put a bench seat in the shower. My Swedish plumber thinks I'm crazy of course.
It's all about layers. just use enough meat.
I don't know who is reading this. I've only told Bruce and my neighbor Annette who has the farm next to ours. She's a famous Landscape Architect who lives in Amsterdam and has the farm to escape Holland. Funny thing, she won't talk about gardening and that's all I ever want to talk about. At least to her, just to provoke her. She gave me some beautiful plants and bulbs though this year and Hein, her husband put about 50 small fish in our pond as well.
I think I'll alert Vince I'm writing this so he can have another activity while he lays in bed with 6 dogs. a cat and some type of bird I think. He's my acting coach. I never train though and I'm out of shape obviously. Vince is 80 this year. Time to exfoliate! Actually it was always about stripping away the layers in Acting Class. Getting to the meat was the trick.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-12 05:27AM
The makeshift Market Meltdown Shrine has been altered and it doesn't bode well. The Giant Banana that I had dressed in baby and doll clothes was stripped bare. This was no easy task as the clothes were actually pulled onto the banana and wrapped with a coiled bicycle lock to the steel downtrend sign. Someone managed to leave the banana undressed but still coiled. This tells me that the markets still haven't found their bottom. In a true capitulation someone would have peeled the banana and eaten the stuffing. Monday might be another selloff but another way to look at it is the banana is still ripning. I hope someone eats it before it falls much more.
Speaking of Fall, Eva and I walked up to Kronobergs Parken and were treated to an amazing display of color. The park is also a good option if you want to watch dogs drop turds or kids scream. Somehow on the way a purple balloon blew into my arms. Some hidden meaning I haven't connected yet. I carried the balloon for close to an hour before I spotted a small girl out of the corner of my eye running towards me and nearly into traffic. She was mesmerized obviously by the maniac with the balloon so I calmed her mother and explained that Purple Balloons just look like balloons to dogs because they are color blind. She was amazed, she didn't know. I gave the gasbag to the little girl and warned her that it could pop and then it wouldn't look like a balloon anymore. She didn't care, she was busy talking to it.
Talk about gasbags.
This is my first October in Sweden in 25 years so I've never had the experience of the almost liquid color of the Maple trees. It's saturated and the light is so pure.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-10 12:57PM
It was a full day. I sanded beautiful century old, meter wide panel doors that I found in Isabels basement. I've re-installed them where a generation before they were ripped out. It really brings the character back to the Flat. Six doors adorn the interior 41 square meters and create a beautiful jewel box like appeal. I sanded the doors on my flatbed truck which is on the street/sidewalk and created a dust storm that fascinated passersby. Street art comes in all forms. The typically stoic Swedes wanted to talk today.
Later Eva called up to Formaggio's and ordered two pies. We swept up the street on the most beautiful Fall evening and before I closed the door behind me to the restaurant they were leading us to a table and carrying our pizzas in hand. Amazing timing, amazing life. Today was suppose to be Black Friday! The final blow to the worlds fortunes and I'm still eating hot pie.
We promenaded afterwards over to Industrigatan (a street close to the canal) and spied the old Cloetta Chaocolate Factory. I made an offer on a Flat there today for a Painting Studio for Eva. I always blame her for aquiring more space. I have a fascination with developing spaces. I hope a deal is in the works.
We crossed over to Arbetargatan (workers Street) to desend one the the cities most beautiful staircases and we came upon a photoshoot in progress. There we met the most beautiful young woman who was actually the hair and make-up stylist. Well I said, quit your day job and get in front of the camera. As an actor, an observer more to the point. Someone who looks deeper and sees more. An imagination, if you will. I could sense something here more than just stunning beauty. This young woman exuded emotion that was more comfort than complexity. Perfect.
By the time Eva and I were at the bottom of the staircase and had bid them goodbye twice I called Roy and said get over here with a pocket camera and business card.
He arrived by skateboard before the first flash went off on the shoot. The three of us stood nearby and I kinda did a scene from 'Roxanne' as I talked to this young woman about Roy and his camera. Her smile was... well I could go on, but for once didn't want to overwhelm someone so Roy produced a card and we skated off. I didn't get her name but I got "it". I hope she calls. Good hair and make-up is a must. I got the role in 'Top Gun' from a haircut Eva gave me in the kitchen of our Hollywood Hills house.
I've decided to cut my hair and shave after the music video is done. I have authentic crazy hair that isn't styled. My hair is matted from sleeping on it and wearing this wild knit hat that Bruce gave me. I think people think I'm from Afganistan and I'm looking for trouble. Then they realize the shouting is in English and get confused because subconsciously they trigger some connection they can't quite connect. It's like a nano acid trip for them probably. Some stilted performance burned into their video logic, a cop ( Lieutenant Palermo) or some authority figure and me in the flesh acting like Nick Nolte in "Down and Out in Beverly Hills". I enjoy the freak show aspect and wind it up as tight as possible.
For instance, on the way home from the photoshoot encounter I came across a mound of garbage at the intersection of Industrigatan and Arbetargatan. What it was on closer inspection was the corner of someones unfortunate life. Obviously someone was moving apartments and these two plastic garbage bags held someones most dear belongings. I sat for a moment to collect my thoughts and decided this was an appropiate shrine to dedicate the collapse of the worlds financial markets.
That is a toy bathtub in my hand. Snoopy and Kermit and Snoopy when he had a weight problem in my lap.
I used to catch frogs as a kid and my Italian Grandmother fried and ate the legs.
A horseshoe and telephone and giant banana with doll clothes.
A small crowd appeared.
We will see how long it takes before this restores a panicky public and Bill Gates is again the richest man in the world( the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet made 8 Billion dollars in the last couple of months). Buy baby Buy! More phones, more crap stuffed animals to soothe your fears. Call now for special prices.
In fact go to the shrine now! Go there and be saved! Save the world Consumers!
Posted by Rick 2008-10-09 12:17PM
I just left 4 hours of life behind in the aisles of Ikea. Eva and I bought a set of pots and pans for Isabels Flat. Her starter set which was Roys' starter set was impossible to attain gourmet status. I'm sure they were made in China and contain trace elements of poison but I love Chinese food. I'll put the old pots down in the garbage room on the shelf where people shop. I got a perfectly good Moka Express Italian coffee pot from there. Eva brews Lavazza for me in it every morning while we lounge on Izzy's kitchen floor. Swedes discard so much. It seems like a hobby. Slit och Slang is what they call it here. If your not tossing something perfectly good then you haven't arrived.
The Ikea at Kungens Kurva is just that. A big circle jerk. Kungens Kurva was an old bend in the road about 20 klicks outside the center. They built the first Ikea there probably 50 years ago and it's a big round building that you enter at the top and circle down until you're dizzy. Kinda like the Guggenhiem in New York but different. People walk around with the same museum mentality, that vacant stare, touching things they shouldn't, whispering.
My problem with Ikea is that I want to buy furnishings there and then cut them up or alter them considerably. At this particular store they have a self-checkout line that is on the honor system. Swedes are so honest. Hmmm.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-08 11:43AM
I'm currently in Stockholm sitting in Isabels kitchen. Roy just arrive with Andreas and we ladled up a bowl of Indian style lentils. He's eating it now in front of me. Andreas just told me that the cameraman he was working with today charged 3000 kronor for 10 minutes of work. That about 500 USD. He thought that was outrageous. That's the kind of money I made 20 years ago. Andreas has finished a bowl of Indian style Lentils now in just about 60 seconds. It took me and hour to prepare it. Isn't that outrageous. That's what I mean by what I left behind. It's about what's just immediately in the rear view mirror, life just lived.
Today I had an interview with Expressen the Swedish National Evening paper. It was concerning Roy's uncoming music video which he is directing. It has a "Dark Carnival" motif and I portray a strongman gone to seed.
I'm working on my daughter Isabels Flat. New bathroom and overall paint/renovation. I did Roy's three years ago. He lives next door. He's my son. We did his Flat and made a show for American T.V.
Eva is my wife, partner, muse. She cooked the Lentils. Andreas Is a handsome young friend of Roy's who thinks I have a future despite my past. He's getting me a camera, maybe. Something that I can operate without a 3000 kronor thumb. I think it might be easier to talk straight to you rather than typing. Did you see the picture of my hands?
I've been at my farmhouse in the countryside of Sweden for the last six months. On top of the world in the middle of Scandavia. It's arguably the most beautiful place in the world. It's fun though to be right in the middle of Stockholm. Maybe the most beautiful city in the world.
This will be this. This blog. Just what I feel like talkiing about. My opinion, my experience, and the characters who populate my life.
I was at Katja's studio today for photo's.
Katja's place was going full steam and I got a good vibe. I loved the place in fact and could live there. It's below street level, slightly until you go into the basement which was full of costumes and make-up stations. It felt like backstage Broadway.
Posted by Rick 2008-10-07 12:55PM