Confections to bakering
In the early summer, June or July, of 1998 I auditioned for an independent short titled
a satire being done in the format of a late-night television commercial.
The audition was with its writer director
and I got to have some fun with it, and he found my audition extremely entertaining.
With no word one way or the other after a few days, weeks, and months, I came to the conclusion it wasn't entertaining enough.
In late Octoer 1998 I moved to Los Angeles; retaining her New York city job, my then-girlfriend stayed back east with my mother.
In mid December my mother called to notify me a call had been left on my answering machine.
She provided me with and number and the caller's name: Huck Bokto.
I called him back and he congratulated me regarding Kandyland: he wanted me to work on it.
I told him that I thought that that was cast with someone else and filmed months earlier; Huck told me they had been seeking the funding, and now had it.
I had to tell him I now lived in the west coast, but that I would be back for a week or two for the December holidays.
Sadly the schedule was for the weekend prior to my return.
But Huck still wanted to work with me.
He had a personal project of his own,
Graham Cracker Cream Pie,
in which a role for which I'd be perfect.
We made arrangements and he flew out to Los Angeles in early 1999
(long before I started these reports, so I do not recall the exact dates involved).
Huck faxed to me the script pages for me to study, to portray Huck's psychiatrist.
Huck and I met up and we drove around Hollywood and such, looking for a suitable location.
We finally set on the parking lot of the famous Griffith Observatory.
As we were driving about, Huck explained that this was one of a series of short films, dark satires which sounded engagingly twisted.
We already arranged that the lines he wrote were more outline that anything; I could "make them my own" however I needed to make them sound convincing, but genearlly all the facts to be conveyed were to be used.
As there would be no actual credits beyond the film's title, I would be allowed to use my own name.
We filmed my emerging from the car to greet Huck
(who throughout the film remains behind the camera),
and we converse about my concerns for his upcoming plans with his brother.
I warn him not only of the legal ramifications but urge him to channel his frustations in a less destructive direction, etc.
It took maybe about an hour, filming the lines said at different spots, at one point just able to see the famous Hollywood Sign over my shoulder.
Huck was quite pleased with my performance, and even agreed to send along the previous films in the series for me to view, which he did.
While all four films have been shown at various underground film festivals in New York and such,
only Graham Cracker Cream Pie obtained an IMDB entry.
Back east I'd done at least one student film, but never received a copy.
In Los Angeles I worked on seventy
(from 2000 through 2011),
about half of which I actually received a copy, from which I was able to compile
my first demo reel.
When I saw Graham Cracker Cream Pie, I suspected I could use part of my performance... but I could think of no one to whom I could show the rest of the short.
I viewed the first three shorts first, obviously, starting with
I wondered whether these should be called the Stomach Churning Series, as while I can appreciate the jet-black satire, for some they might have to view it on an empty stomach.
Fruitcake was followed by
which I found far funnier, but again, not something I'd suggest my mother to view.
I had to wonder if these were elaborately filmed jokes or true depictions of what Huck was actually doing for real.
After making it through
(Huck sent me each film on its own short VHS tape: this was years before DVDs),
I started watching
Graham Cracker Cream Pie...
Huck and I stayed in contact for a time; he reported that when the short was shown at various underground film festivals, no one suspected I wasn't a real psychiatrist.
In late June 2010 I stumbled across that Huck Botko co-wrote
The Last Exorcism,
the trailer for which I'd seen, and I was seriously considering seeing it, its hand-held'edness notwithstanding, my having learned from
Blair Witch Project that I get
virtual motion sickness
when it comes to overly long shown hand-held camera work.
I made it through the otherwise hilarious
film/s by mostly only watching the overnight static shots: the daytime footage I kept closed my eyes and listened as though to a radio play, opening my eyes momentarily if something Very Important was happening, story-wise.
Huck's initial email had been disconnected years before, and with his work on a theatrically released motion picture, I searched again for information on him, finding
Huck Botko's website,
listed on which were his previous films, including but not limited to
Graham Cracker Cream Pie.
It was interesting to watch Graham Cracker Cream Pie again: though it did drive home how much hair atop my head I'd since lost...
On knowing on what else he worked, I Netflixed his co-written and co-directed mockumentary
Mail Order Wife,
which was done so well I had to check to clarify they were actors and not a real documentary.
I also sent an email to Huck with his newly found email, congratulating him on
et al, and conveying my availability on any future projects for which he might find a use for me.
Huck has never responded...