I was on the back half of an improv tour turned bad. It was a holiday and I hadn't seen my family for a month. My team was staying at a Hampton Inn near the airport in Atlanta and I was feeling a little sorry for myself.
I remember waiting in the lobby for my three friends to come down from their room so that we could go to Stone Mountain and watch the fireworks there. I was thinking about how I had moved to LA about a year earlier to pursue acting. I was wondering how I had gotten to the place of being apart from my family and giving away promotional t-shirts in shopping malls. It wasn't the best season of my life.
The lady behind the front desk asked how I was doing. I knew her name at the time, but can't remember it now. We had been at the hotel for a week already. I told her I was missing home and feeling a little betrayed that my "improv" tour had transformed into very little improv and a lot of brainless brand marketing.
"What do you really want to do?" she asked.
"I want to act...to be a part of a movie that I could be proud of," I said.
"Then you should write one," she said. "And then make it."
She was right. I knew it instantly. So I spent the last few weeks of that tour thinking about what kind of movie I could make. I started a few rough drafts that did not work at all. And then I decided I would write a comedy about the things I knew...things like Bible Belt America...and Texas Hold 'Em poker. That was it. Those two worlds combined created instant comedy in my mind. And my first movie had to be improvised or it wouldn't be me. So I came home in late July and began writing.
As it turns out, that tour wasn't so bad after all. I met some great people...four of who actually ended up in the movie. And I met a wise, nameless hotel employee who deserves credit for any success this little project will generate. And I learned that all good things take time. So, tomorrow Hitting the Nuts premieres at the Cincinnati Film Festival - only 1,557 days later.
It's a funny movie. That is the one thing I was sure would be true of it from start to finish. It was written by an ex-pastor who became a pastor again before it was finished. If you'd like to be part of the world premiere, ticket info is detailed at this link.