Sunday, October 10, 2010

Clown Cash video

    This post is for Micha Grainger.  I'm lucky I'm friends with him.  I think he'd say we're friends.  I don't have tons of friends so I'll just hope he thinks we're friends.

    How did I meet him and his cool sister Heidi and their extended family known as Laser Vida?  It's all a bit fuzzy in the details but I seem to remember they had an event at the Polo Towers with a bunch of out of town bands.  It must have been like 97?  
  The bar was open and half the people there were on acid.  I'm not joking.  Well maybe I'm exaggerating but I know at least three people who were "fryin" at this event.  I love how in the 80's, in Vegas, acid was known as "fri."  Or was it fry?  Does anyone else think that's quaint now?  

    I was still in a rock band at the time and I went to this show to pass out flyers to people who would never go.  I did a lot of that back then.  I always thought it would be a good way to meet chicks but I'm kind of an idiot.    

    I was told Micha was the guy in charge and asked him if I could lay out some flyers on a table, he was cool with it.  At first he seemed a little standoffish.  But I think everyone feels that way when they first meet a stranger.  Over the next few months we'd run into each other quite often.  He got to be cooler and cooler every time I met him.  He's a consistent guy because even now every time I see him he seems a little cooler and I like him a little more.    

    He's just open and honest not to mention super talented and genuine.  Blah blah blah.

    I know Laser Vida was active for years before I met those guys but I didn't hang out with them much until towards the end of the last century.  He had a great band back then named Los Trios De Nada.  Is that right?  I think that was their name?  I don't think they ever recorded anything.  I never saw a demo anyway.  It seemed like the songs changed with every show.  Which was pretty funny. 

    Laser Vida were a crew who came at things from a real arty perspective but their art was never too pretentious.  They were fairly down to earth, unless they were on acid, and they always seemed to strike a good balance between being friendly and accepting and smart ass and clever.  They never had that hippie naivete although they were quite often zonked out on drugs.  Still their events had a spin on them that made them interesting.  Laser Vida was responsible for Zinecon which gives you an idea how hip they were.    

    Laser Vida has largely dissolved over the years with everyone going in different directions and so on.  Micha went to San Fran and helped kick start the Yard Dogs Road Show.  A fantastic burlesque troup whose success comes in large part due to Micha's presence.  That is no exaggeration. I'm convinced he's involved in most of the songwriting as the bass player.  Their songs are great.  The act is great.  When it comes to your town you must go!  

    I'm posting this because I saw a recent film he made with his YDRS crew that's really good.  Turns out he's a fairly dynamic actor.  It's better than good.  It's great.  I'm hoping this will open a whole new medium for him to master.

    I think if he were to really apply himself he could be a serious actor.  The only problem being that he is so genuine I have a hard time seeing him putting on a mask like most actors do.  Since I know him it looks very much like he is just being himself on camera.  By being relaxed and open he is convincing to the nth degree.  That's certain to be his strength if he goes on to make more films as an actor.  Which I'm sure he will.  I think as long as he gets involved in good scripts and concepts he will be able to flesh out some cool shit.  I'm excited to see the results.

    He approached me in 2000 or 2001 to collaborate on a film which meant a lot to me.  He came up with the concept of Clown Cash and I came up with the shot list.  It was shot in about 3 hours at the Katherine Gianacles Park for the Arts on Boulder Highway near Trop.  I did the editing and added the corny graphics.

    I love the concept.  It's something he's developed into a way of life.  It appeals to my socialist sensibilities.  To me this piece  is basically saying that capitalism is bullshit.  Create a way to live outside of capitalism using your abilities.  Make something that is valuable outside the system and perhaps you can work outside the system.

    Micha has certainly carved out a creative life for himself.  He tours quite a bit.  He is still creating positive messages everytime I see him.  I hope he is happy.  For all his smiles I know he gets down which seems crazy to me because he's one of the most solid guys I know.      

    I've made several films on my own but I've come to understand the only good films I've made have been as a part of a collaborative effort.  I'm hoping to make more films with other people but it's like putting a band together.  Everyone involved has to want something from the experience.  I'm hoping a new collaboration will be right around the corner for me.  Hopefully we'll see more from Micha soon as well.

Download link for Clown Cash 

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