He overheard us talking about California weather, and joined us at the table. An older man (than us), he asks us where we’re from. He’s from Canada, but he knows Orange County, and he has lived in New York. Asks us what we do, and immediately we’re friends.
He just wrote a book, and it is Kindle approved, ready for download. He tells me it’s not an easy process. He used to be a stunt man, among a life of many other stories. I won’t go into them, but his book is being looked at and adapted as a movie. Check this website out, then come back with a better picture of who I’m speaking to, before I write too at length to describe well enough.
He asks me what I do – “You’re from California and New York, you must be some sort of artist.” He tells me I’d be perfect to help sell product placement in the United States for his movie, he needs someone smart (though I doubt my qualifications for that). He asks about my work, I share recent photos and “Painted Faces.”
“Your use of words, that is a treasure to read. You’re really going to go somewhere someday. And those pictures, you know I wouldn’t even see some of those things you capture.”
Aw, man, thanks!
“No really. You know, I wish I had your help with the book. See, I’m not a trained writer, not like you. But every major publisher that saw it kept saying the same thing. ‘Words are words. But when you can read and hear them words like they are coming out of your mouth, then you’ve created yourself a masterpiece.’ Anyone ever tell you that?”
(give me a quick sec while I grab my journal and jot that down)
He describes the opening scene to his movie in full detail, the background music included. And then asks my (my!) opinion on his two options for lead actor. Keep in mind, he’s actually talking to their agents. One, THE A-list actor, both first and last names four letters long. The other, oh you know, The Notebook heartthrob. And not which do I think is cuter, but which is the better business decision. Is one famous enough, have the box office draw, is the other worth his expense. Up and coming versus already up there. This analysis lasts a few minutes. My opinion. You’ve got to be kidding me.
I tell him to let me know when it’s shooting, if he needs someone to make the actors coffee. He laughs and tells me I’m far too qualified. I tell him I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.
He talks about product placement again, about selling movie rights, about four million dollar offers. “If they offer you four million, just think how much your idea is really worth.” I tell him I’d like to make forty dollars. He says there’s no doubt if i keep doing what I’m doing, I’ll make millions more. “You’ve got the magic.”
Hah. Well, we’ll see about that. But something tells me this little journey I’m on doesn’t end in three months.
On a train to Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The hostel in Sofia offered to make me reservations at a hostel in Plovdiv.
“Do I need to do anything?”
“Nope, just show up and smile.”