Tilting at windmills. Or in this case, the Bat-Signal.

13 11 2010

Howdy everybody.  Zach here.  I have embarked on a quest.  A quest that is irrationally optimistic, completely fantastical, and a high percentage chance of failing completely.

But if you’ll give me a chance, allow me to explain.

As you may or may not know, casting is currently going underway for the third film in the rebooted Batman franchise, titled The Dark Knight Rises.  Directed by Christopher Nolan, the gentleman who also helmed the previous two films, it’s set to be released in July of 2012.

There have been multiple rumors on who the villain of DKR is going to be.  The Riddler has been eliminated, but that still leaves Nolan with a rich collection of rogues to pick from the Batman mythology.  Tom Hardy has been cast in an unknown role, but people are saying it’s likely he will be the main antagonist.

But I’m not here to talk about Tom Hardy.  I’m here to talk about me.

I want a screen test.  More specifically, I want a screen test to play one of Batman’s less-antagonistic antagonists, the Penguin.

Now why in the world do I want to do this?  A couple of reasons:

1) It’s Batman.

2) I honestly think I fit the physical characteristics of the Penguin pretty damn closely.  In the comics, animated series, and the Burton-directed Batman Returns, the Penguin is a short, fat man with a slight waddle to his gait. I too am a short, fat man witih a slight waddle to my gait.  Slap a prosthetic nose on me, and BAM! You got the spitting image of a young Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin’s actual name, for you non-Batman readers).

Keeping up with my Don Quixote-esque quest, I’ve started a Facebook page which you can find here.  Like the page, and let’s see if I can pull off a Betty White and get noticed through social media.

If you’ve read this far, thank you.  And if you read the previous two reasons as to why I should do this screen test, and are needing some more persuasion, I understand.

So, why?  Why am I pretty much setting myself up for failure?

Honestly, I don’t have that much to lose.

I’m 26, working in an ice cream store, and attending college.  While those latter two statements work fine together, it’s the former that stands out.  Working in an ice cream while being in college is great if you’re 18, 19.  Not so much great when you’re old enough that your car insurance has gone down in price.

Don’t think I’m being pretentious.  I enjoy my job, and I’m happy to be going back to school.  But why not have this dream?  Why not try to make something of it?

I’m not demanding a part in the movie.  I’m asking for a screen test.  And being over here on the east coast with no representation, the onus on getting Warner Bros. and Nolan’s attention falls on me.

So I’m asking for your help, Click the link.  Like the page.  If you want to email me directly to offer support or to tell me I’m a fool, you can find my email address on the info tab.

Oh, and yes, I have acting experience.

Thanks for reading this, and thank you for the support.

Zach

And one more link for the page: Get Zach Arnold a Screen Test for The Dark Knight Rises.

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Confessions of a Frustrated Blogger

17 04 2010

Such a sad, strange, man.

Disassociated Press, 4/16/10

Zach Arnold takes a long drag off his Marlboro Light before tapping the ash down to the concrete.  He’s a short man, rotund.  Comparable to the Penguin, one of Batman’s several nemeses.  Or perhaps that Travelocity gnome, which proclaims affordable deals for all travelers.  Tonight, however, as we sit on the patio of a TGI Friday’s, he most resembles what several of his generation have become…a frustrated blogger.

“You see people…” He takes another drag off his cigarette.  “…When most people go online, they aren’t looking to expand their worldview.  Nah, they wanted to do that, they’d read a book or…or a newspaper.  Nah, when people get online, they’re looking for escapist entertainment.  I mean, how else can you explain LOLcats and keyboard cats and dramatic animals…”

I nod.  Not in agreement, but to avert Arnold’s eyes as I close out my Twitter page on my iPhone.  Our drinks arrive.  The waiter sets my cranberry juice in front of me, and a Yuengling with a tiny umbrella inserted into the mouth is placed in front of Zach.  “That makes it classy,” He chuckles, pulling the umbrella out, nearly stabbing himself as he sucks out what little beer was absorbed into the wood of the toothpick.  He then asks me where he was.  I slide my notes over to him, which he pores over with intent eyes.

“LOLcats…dramatic animals…right, yeah.” He shoves my notepad back over toward me before leaning back in his chair, the tempered steel of the seat groaning under the massive pressure his grotesque body exerts upon it.  “Now, you see, I started blogging a while back.  Probably 2002, 2003, something like that.  And at first I was having fun with it.  LiveJournal.  Just putting random thoughts down, entertaining the few friends that read it.  Then I got to thinking that hey, I could use my writing prowess for something productive.  Get some debate going.  I was having people write some decent comments out, so why not fan the flames a little?  The first entry was supposed to foster a discussion on if our President at the time, George W. Bush, was using appropriate measures in his fight against terrorism.  I put that blog up and guess what?  Not one single comment.  Only 2 hits.  I know one of them was mine because I logged in at the library, see if anyone had posted anything.  That night, I put up a post debating the merits between eating ice cream in the hot seasons, and eating ice cream in the cold seasons.  Know how many hits that one got me?  65.  The writing was on the wall, baby.”

I had no idea why Mr. Arnold had addressed me as “baby”, but decided to push that aside.  This man was obviously getting drunk off one beer, or had been drinking before arriving at Friday’s.  I glanced at my watch.  Where the hell were my fried green beans?  A loud belch from across the table snapped my attention back toward my portly interviewee.  Swallowing the small amount of bile that had crept into my throat, I asked him to continue.

“Let’s see…ah, yeah, after that LiveJournal thing, I stumbled onto blogspot, and spent maybe a year or so using that thing.  My heart wasn’t really into it, though, and I stopped posting maybe 8 months in.  But!” He exclaimed, snickering as he leaned forward, resting his short arms against the table.  “I got asked to join this spectacular improv group, called Made of Bees.  And whaddya know, we get a website going on WordPress.”

I nodded again, this time in agreement.  Yes, Made of Bees was an improv group nothing short of phenomenal.  Over the past two years, they had entertained hundreds of people, leaving a residue of hilarity with every crowd they encountered.  Truly, greatness personified.

My eyes return to Mr. Arnold, who while I pontificated on the magnificence that is MoB, had fallen asleep.  A quick shake arose him from his slumber, followed by five minutes of assuring him that yes, only five minutes had passed.

“Sorry about that.  Anyway, I decide that hey, I’m in this group, I need to start contributing in some way, other than sheer sexiness.” He leers at me, a sloppy grin across his face before continuing.  “So I start writing on there.  And I figure that since we’re a comedy group, I need to write some funny stuff.  So I had blogs about me and my cousin wrestling in the backyard, how I named my sideburns, all that crap.”  Arnold accosts our server just as she places my appetizer down, requesting another Yuengling with umbrella, punctuating his drink order with a “darlin'”.  After watching our server leave, he continues.  “So I get a few posts into it, and once again, I got people putting comments up!  Telling me how they’re enjoying the hilarity and cleverness and that they’re looking forward to my next tale.  Once again I had ’em in the palm of my hand.”

Arnold looks off into space, a mix of nostalgia and drunkenness clouding his eyes.  “I had power.  That felt good.  It felt…right.  But I wanted to use this power for good.  To bring some light into this world.  So I started writing some satirical stuff, like about how Obama was getting in trouble because he wanted to address all the schoolkids.  People reacted well to that.  And once I got that reaction, it was like a drug.”

His euphoria wouldn’t last long, however.  Arnold’s eyes grow dark as he begins the next part of his saga.  “And then…Aaron had to come and screw it all up.”

Aaron Grant, another member of the spectacular Made of Bees, was also a regular contributor.  He had written three pieces.  One decrying the former Ukrop’s market chain for utilizing senior citizens as cart pushers, and two which detailed his adventures in the gym.  The first entry discussed a woman with a horrible tattoo on her lower back, while the other discussed the inability of old men in gym locker rooms to be clothed.

“And what do you know?” Arnold slurs, his eyes closing and opening slowly.  “When I come back on to check the blog, the views on Grant’s entries sky-freaking-rocketed.  I looked at the search terms, the words people used to get to the site.  I was…shocked when I saw that 20 people had come to the site using the search term ‘elderly nudes’.  I mean, ‘elderly nudes’? What kind of sick freak looks up ‘elderly nudes’?”

A plethora of them, apparently.  Grant’s blog entries quickly became the crown jewel of MoB’s site.  In fact, his first volume on the disturbing things he’s seen in his gym has garnered over 3,500 views alone.  That’s almost half of the total page views for the Bees’ site itself.

I look back at Arnold, who is now weeping openly.  There, at this TGI Friday’s, sits a broken man.

“I’m done, baby…” Again with the baby.  I brush it off.  “…From now on, no more suave political commentary.  No satirical stuff.  Just straight, flat-out funny stories about my life.  I mean, everyone loves to hear stories about fat guys getting stuck on things, right?”

I assure him he’s correct.  He smiles a sad smile, leaning back in his chair, of which the legs are now bowing out.  “I’m proud of Grant, I am.  That boy knows what the people want.”

I nod in silent concurrence, glancing back at my iPhone, enjoying a silent triumph as I become the new mayor of Friday’s in 4square.  My victory is only slightly marred by my now-cold fried green beans.

Fin

-ZA