Actors are best to stand on their little piece of tape and shut their pie holes. And if they do speak, it had better be scripted. Therefore, to send one untethered into the world to comment on the television show he’s working on is about as wise as betting on the hunchback at a limbo contest. Either way you can be pretty sure that both the producers and network responsible for FALLING SKIES have been paying close attention to this.
That said, I just wanted to conclude this little project by saying that everyone on the set is gay. I mean talk about happy. I’ve worked on a bunch of shows, but this group is perhaps the merriest bunch I’ve ever encountered. Though I will say such displays of happiness have to be tempered from time to time. Don’t want the brass at TNT thinking we’re actually having fun or they’ll take away the frozen yogurt machine I demanded for my trailer.
But to me, that is FALLING SKIES. Hope, in spite of the darkness. Laughter, in the face of hardship. To stand tall and yet all the while, careful not to crush the toes of the person standing next to you.
Right from the start, this project has always been a little different. On a feature or stage production, the actors job is to ‘interpret’… to bring life to the written word. But in television, more often than not, it’s to dignify crappy writing. Scripts better served hanging from a hook above an outhouse hole.
But fortunately, at least for this actor, FALLING SKIES was an opportunity to reconnect with why I ever became an actor to begin with. It’s quite the challenge actually. To shed all the usual actor ‘tricks’ developed over the years. Tricks designed to hide the fact that your script was written in Febreeze.
And so, I say well done. We’ve all been blessed. From the PA (production assistants) three miles from the actual set (the ones who flip those ‘stop and go’ signs – in the middle of the freezing downpour – at 4 in the morning) to our most wonderful FS ‘background’ players. Brilliant writers, directors, crew and yes, even those crazy actors. To say it hasn’t been a special ride, is to simply say you weren’t there.
A quality show, is created by quality people. And so, to Michael Wright, Steve Koonin, (the team in Atlanta), Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Remi Aubuchon, Greg Beeman, Noah Wyle and of course, Mr. Spielberg. Thanks for giving us all a place to work, to play and to laugh in spite of it all.
Cheers my friends.
Job well done.
I didn’t immigrate to Canada. I was traded for Eric McCormack.
Such deals are often done on the quiet and for great sums of money. And giving up somebody like me didn’t come cheap. Negotiations were tough. And so in addition to McCormack, Canada had to sweeten the deal by throwing in Mike Myers, Jim Carrey and the drummer from Nickelback. The United States, in turn, gave up ‘me’ and agreed to renew William Shatner’s visa.
But I have to say, it’s all been worth it. My ‘star’ has shot through the roof like a sex comet. That’s right, a flaming, fire breathing sex rocket.
But it’s not easy gang. It’s not all fun and games, this past year alone I was stopped on the street at least 3 times. Granted, it was for directions, but I know that if any of those people had been watching me on FALLING SKIES (instead of Ashton Kutcher on Two and Half Men) they’d have been blown away at how super cool I am. Was. Am.
That said, can you feel it? I know I can. Get close enough, and you can actually smell it. And it’s just a matter of time before Steven whatshisface comes to his senses and begins work on my magnum opus, JOHN POPE: The Man, The Myth, The Legend. Only this won’t just be some kind of FALLING SKIES spin-off, but a spin-offsome. That’s right. It’s a new word. A word that means ‘All Pope.’ All the time.
But ’till then. I’ll just have to get used to being a super star. And ya, because of that, I walk with a certain kind of strut. ‘Cause I know I’m lookin’ good. See, when you’re a STAR (editor please keep capitalized), you have to walk a certain way. That lets people know, you’re special. That, and the chicks totally dig it. Just the other day, I walked past two very attractive women and overheard one of them whisper to the other, ‘Good Lord. Get a load of him.’
So. Ya. I may be from the States. And you may not think much of me at first, but with hard work and a bit of luck, I could just turn out to be the most popular import to Canada since Helmut Oberlander.
It’s been six months since my last entry. But I might as well start here.
Tom Mason is dead.
It was a bad night all around and Tom wasn’t the only one lost. There were a lot of dead. A lot of wounded. Anthony got hit bad. Real bad. And it was touch and go with him for about a week. Don’t know how they did it, but those doctors actually brought the man back from the brink of death.
Mason himself turned out to have more balls than a bubble gum machine. Son of a bitch actually boarded a Skitter ship. Unbelievable. It took guts, yes, but… that was the end of him. No more Tom Mason. Hard to say wether I’ll miss him or not. Some here are still holding out that he’ll be found alive.
Me? I say if the man isn’t already dead, he’ll wish he was.
Naturally, such an absence has knocked the entire 2nd Mass on it’s ass. But I always try to look to the bright side of things. Tom’s sexy little doctor friend, Anne Glass? I can only assume she’s single now and could probably do with a back rub.
And so begins another chapter.
The Second Mass is running short on everything. Fuel, food, tempers. Hell, give us another week and we’ll be out of dirt. Everything you touch here is either rusted, broken or poisoned. The damned lizards nuked so much of the atmosphere, even the rain tastes funny.
But at least I’m out of the kitchen. Not only that, but Weaver’s actually given me the green light to put together my own crew. The Captain’s a smart man. And so, after hours of meticulous consideration and having interviewed some of the best and brightest, I have whittled it down to a crack team of ‘five’.
It would have six, but the other guy stepped on a rake.
There’s a quiet in the air. Not a silence mind you, but a quiet. A din made all the more empty with the distant crack of a rifle. Lives once so very much alive here no longer cry out in either pain nor laughter. So many voices have been cut short by either infection or a Mech bullet. As for those left behind, there’s simply not all that much left to express out loud.
In short? War has a way of killing a perfectly good tune.
It’s one of the first casualties of any conflict I suppose, but it’s true. Nobody here sings anymore. Too much pain. Too many dead.
That, and after a while you just forget the damn words.
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the base,
not a fighter was stirring. Not a Cootie to chase.
The weapons were hung by the chimney with care,
in prep for the Mechs that soon would be there.
The Skitters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While Mason and Hal imagined them dead.
Dai and Anthony. Maggie and Matt.
Lourdes in camoflauged pj’s and hat.
When outside the tent, there arose such a clatter,
Mason sprung from his bed to see to the matter.
Away to the med-tent he flew in a flash,
To check on his hottie, most yummy, Anne Glass.
The moon had brought treaty, to our 2nd Mass
A moment of peace, but not one to last.
For, what to my wondering eyes should there glitter?
But a custom sleighed Harley, and eight harnessed Skitters.
Its pilot, so hip, so lively and dope.
I knew in a moment it must be St. Pope.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Cooties! Now, Lizards! Now, Maggots and Squids!
When the kids see me comin’, they’ll sure flip their lids!
To the edge of the bivouac! Beyond the mess hall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each Skitter hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Pope, came in with a bound.
He was dressed all in leather, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all splattered with blood, sweat and soot.
A bundle of Ammo he’d flung on his back,
Looked just like a convict with loot in his sack.
His eyes were half swollen! His hair kind of greasy!
His face was so cut up, it’d make you feel queasy!
A Colt in it’s holster, slung down nice and low.
But he’d come not to steal, but to love and bestow!
The stump of his pipe made him look oh-so regal.
But he never once lit it, cause smoking’s illegal.
I’d left him a snack, and he cried out EUREKA!,
Cookies and Milk, with a side of paprika!
He was skinny, but ripped, a right jolly old elf,
And I smiled when I saw him, in spite of myself!
I thought with a wink, alone in the med-tent,
If it wasn’t for panties, I’d probably get pregnant.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all my weapons, with ammo and mirth.
And when he was done, gave a flick of his hair.
Then back up the chimney, with purpose and flair!
‘Twas a kick to his Harley, then team he did cry!
And away like a rocket, Hell’s Angels on high.
But I heard him exclaim, as he rode out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all.
And to all…
Take out a couple legs first. THEN the headshot!”
Why is it that every time I go shopping I have to belong to a club?
“Are you a Club Member?”
“Yes. Are you a member?”
Why the hell can’t I just go into a market and buy a block of cheese without having to tell the clerk where I live?
I don’t get it. I mean, is this actually supposed to make me feel ‘special’ somehow? That I’m now part of an elite group of shoppers? Will it be included in my eulogy?
“A member of both Safeway and Shoppers Drug Marts, Colin took great pride in purchasing deodorants and laundry detergent…”
That, and I hate being put on the spot. Shopping is kind of a personal thing to begin with, you know? You’re standing there with all this stuff out on display. You just want to get out of there, when… bang.
‘Well. Ahh.’ Don’t really know what to say.
I actually find myself embarrassed for some strange, ridiculous reason. So, I look away for a second. Only to find that the whole damn line is now staring at me.
And I can just see it in their faces.
“IS he a member?”
“I don’t know.”
“I’ve never seen him in here before.”
“Condoms and Dog Food… Hmm.”
So. Here it is, for the record.
I don’t want your Petro Points, your Air Miles, your punch card, the free donut or the hat with your stupid filling station logo on it. I don’t want to belong to your stupid Club and have one of your stupid Club ‘cards’ that identifies me as being one of your stupid Club Members.
I’ve got my own Club. It’s colors are red, white and blue. And I flash my membership in 5’s, 10’s, and 20’s.
Hey you guys. Just thought I’d share a few of these for fun. Photos of what Pope could have looked like.
Okay, maybe not. But they should give you an idea of why I ADORE what I do. And why I’m luckiest s.o.b on the planet. The make-up was all done by my own hand and is one of the reasons I’m not recognized all that much on the street (which is just the way I like it.) But for any of you aspiring actors out there, you might find them worthwhile. Best. C.
It takes a lot of work to erase ones self. But in a way, that’s my job. To shed one’s own skin and adopt another. And even though, at the end of the day we’re all just kids playing make believe, it’s not as easy as one might think. Most of the real work is done ‘inside’, but for fun, I thought I’d post a few pictures of what it’s like to shed ones ego and comfort zone, and become a the ‘part’.
Winter can’t be any more than a few weeks away. Runny noses and the scraping cackle of pertussis has begun to echo from the med tent. Sounds like marbles trying to free themselves from a drain pipe. For the children, it’s more like a BB stuck in a copper straw. Some of these kids won’t make it to Spring.
I’m not cooking for these yahoo’s anymore. Instead, they’ve got me right where I want to be. Up front, killing lizards. Still, because I’ve got a big heart, I passed along a couple recipes to some half-wit with dirty hands. Nobody’s gonna starve but, 10 to 1, half the company comes down with the squirts.
Beginning to tire of Mason and his brood. It’s not so much the professor, but the murmuration that worship the man. You’d think the son of a bitch could walk on water. Again, it’s nothing personal, I’m just saying.
That pretty little doctor and him seem to be growing fond of each other. Talk about a game of spin the bed pan. Golly gee, if this keeps up, Tom might just pin his Varsity patch to her sweater.
Personally, I think that she’s nuts. Cares too much for people. Like she’s personally responsible for the lives of every single human being out here. But they’ll all figure it out soon enough. In this new world, ‘compassion’ is kind of like barbecuing your rice crispies in the morning. Sure, you can do it. But what’s the f-ing point?
And speaking of stupid. I mean, Cupid. Look’s like Princess Margaret has got the eyes for Prince Hal-bert. Don’t know what her angle is, but I’ll be watching that one. I’ve still yet to tell her that I had nothing to do with what those filthy monkeys did to her. I may be a lot of things, but that turns my stomach. I’d like to tell her. Then again, what’s the point? She wouldn’t believe me anyway. My brother’s dead, yes. But it was his trade. And he’ll burn for what he did.
But, one thing’s for sure. These silly inamoratos had better stop with the, ‘All you need is love’ crap, and start learning the words to, ‘Happiness is a warm gun.’
As for the two other little Prince-letts… Masons, Ben and Matt. Now, there’s a reality check. The spikey one, Ben, freaks everybody out. You can literally see the Skitter spikes stickin’ out of his t-shirt. In another time, I might have felt for the kid. But… I don’t know. In a strange kind of way, he reminds me of my own son.
The little one, Matt. He doesn’t really talk to me anymore. Too bad. I was going to teach him how to play the accordion.
And speaking of few words. Say hello to DAI, the quiet one. Gonna sound nuts, but I think this guy makes more sense than all of them put together. Usually, I’m cautious of the silent types, but he’s probably one of the fiercest men I’ve ever met. And in a corner, he’s one cat you definitely want standing beside you. I’d never tell him that, but he has my respect.
Then there’s ’5-0h’. The policeman… Anthony. Can’t explain it, but he’s one of the few people here I actually like. Makes me cringe to think about it, but I can just see ‘me’ taking a bullet for an ex-cop.
That said, I’ll still keep my cards close. I don’t give a rats ass what color he is, but I sure as hell ain’t telling him that. If he’s got a case of black-itis, then I can use it to my advantage.
As for Weaver?
I know this man. I know him well. To be honest, he’s the only real reason I’m here.
But there is one other person. There’s a young girl here named Lourdes. And she has me baffled. One night, I overheard her saying a prayer for me. I don’t know why she did that… Why did she do that?
I don’t even know her. But she did that.
Sometimes, I really don’t understand this place.
Posted by: Colin Cunningham
Date: November 14, 2011
by Nosmo King (1938)
Have you ever been broke, just to the wide
With just what you stand up in, and nothing beside?
Living on scraps for best part of a week,
When you can’t get ‘em and know where to seek.
I’ve been like that on a cold winter’s night
The streets were deserted with nothing in sight
But a slow moving Bobby, whose job is to see
That the public’s protected from fellows like me.
Who get put inside to answer the Court
Why they’re wandering round with no means of support.
It always strikes me as a queer sort of joke,
To pick on a man because he is broke.
Do they think he enjoys wand’ring round in the rain,
Soaked thro’ to the skin with a dull aching pain,
Thro’ his stomach forgetting its last decent meal,
Just praying for the time when it’s too numb to feel.
Life isn’t worth much when you get to that state
Just waiting to die with nowhere to wait -
I remember the time, it’s a long while ago,
When I stood on a bridge, with the river below.
The last food I’d had was two days before
And I never expected I’d need any more -
That night was the worst that ever I’ve known,
With a dirty wet fog that chilled to the bone.
I set my teeth hard, and I put down my heel,
On the rail that my hands were too perish’d to feel,
When a snivelling pup came out of the fog
And whimpered at me – just a scrap of a dog.
Bedraggled and dirty like me, just a wreck,
With a sad little face on his poor scraggy neck.
Another few seconds more and I would have died
But he just licked my hand and I sat down and cried.
I covered the poor little chap with my coat
And I carried him off with a lump in my throat.
I took him along to the one place I knew
Where they’d give him a bed and a biscuit or two.
Well, they weren’t too keen on taking him in
But the sergeant in charge gave a bit of a grin
When I told him the dog could do with a meal
He said, ‘I’ll fix him up, but how do you feel?’
It may be, perhaps, that the Sergeant had seen
The state I was in, I wasn’t too clean,
The hunger and cold that I’d suffered all day
Exhausted my limits – I fainted away.
Well, they fed and slept, and gave me two bob,
The following day they found me a job.
I’ve worked very hard, I’ve put a bit by,
I’m comfortable now.
I don’t want to die.
I’ve a nice little house on a quiet little street,
With a decent sized garden that’s always kept neat,
I’ve worked there a lot when I’ve time to spare,
And I’m so very proud of one little corner that’s there.
With the pick of the flowers round a little old stone
That stands in a corner, all on its own.
It bears an inscription – not very grand -
The letters are crooked, but you’ll understand -
That I wasn’t too steady, I couldn’t quite see
When I carved it – just recently.
Here are the words that I carved on the stone:
‘Here lies my friend – when I was alone’,
Lost in a fog,
God saved my life… with the help of a dog.