My name is Alexis Pereira. I live in NYC, where I dabble in writing and acting. My work is regularly featured on Funny or Die and I've even created some original work for Funny or Die's Youtube page.
I currently write and perform at a monthly show at UCB, and I was even once on a house improv team there!
In this tumblr, you will find what I hope are interesting essays about my life. I like to think of myself as a statesman, though I may not know what that means exactly.
If you want to see and hear more about me, please visit alexispereira.net
Yesterday I saw a man walking with a white cane, the stick used by the blind or visually impaired to detect objects in their path (yes I had to look this up on Wikipedia).
However, whereas usually a person gently swings the white cane just off the floor in front of him, this man was dragging his stick behind him.
And fast approaching a wall.
"Watch!" I gulped out. I meant to say "watch out" but I panicked.
The man stopped at the wall, grabbed a sheet of paper off it, and turned to me.
"I’m not THAT blind," he announced.
But I guess I am.
Here are some things I’m annoyed by lately. Feel free to ignore this post.
Football is Overly Militarized
Both the NFL and college football have penalties for excessive celebration and taunting. Why is this a thing? By taunting you would think players are surrounding the opposing coach and spraying him with a water bottle, but taunting can actually be just waving to the crowd after a touchdown. I think this is part of the problem with football - they act like they’re doing something important. They’re not. This isn’t war. It’s a goddamn game. I don’t think a popular sport being overly serious is good for the psyche of the American people, either.
The 90’s Hasn’t Ended Yet Apparently
We have countless sketches making fun of production standards of 90’s tv shows and a new bar with 90’s video games. It’s part of this culture’s belief that every moment of their lives is important. It started with I Love the 80’s, which was really “wow look at my shitty life.”
Andy Kaufman Might Be Alive?
I read yet another article about Andy Kaufman perhaps still being alive. And then an attempt to recount his comedic legacy. Not very easy! We all remember the famous Andy Kaufman one hour special where he wrestled women and made us uncomfortable.
Comedic Actors Are Not Comedians
I get really upset when comedic actors, like Sarah Jessica Parker and Rainnn Wilson, get called comedians. We all remember the famous one hour special where…actually no we don’t. Being an actor that’s funny? That is a fucking art. Being a comedian? Another art. It’s tough to be both, but if you want to be a comedian you actually have to be able to write jokes.
I saw The Neighbors (and The Room) last night, and Tommy Wisseau asked the audience to blog about it. So here it is:
After the premiere of The Neighbors, Tommy’s barely discernible and long-awaited follow-up to The Room, Tommy Wisseau himself came out for a Q&A. Tommy was asked what he thought about The Disaster Artist, the book written about him by Greg Sestaro.
Tommy answered, “50/50 true. Don’t believe everything you read. Remember when they said there was no life on Mars? My teacher used to say there was no life on Mars and I said there was. Now we know she was wrong. It’s confirmed.”
We all laughed. Is Tommy saying there are aliens on Mars and we somehow all agree on it? Of course not. He instead made a clumsy reference to NASA finding methane on Mars’ surface - a pretty big deal.
But that exchange made me realize something. I don’t think Tommy was being honest about The Disaster Artist being half-true. I realized that Tommy was in fact being kind. It’s actually way less than half true.
Greg Sestaro is full of shit.
Now, I love The Room. It’s a brilliant insight into the mind of a man who loves film but barely understands (or understood) American culture, as well as film theory in general. By all standards, it’s a terrible movie.
Except for one: it doesn’t look terrible.
Mind you, it doesn’t look great. Odd set design, poor staging, and subpar special effects pile onto the disaster that is this movie. However, part of why I enjoy The Room is the amount of love with which it was made. The cinematography is edited poorly, but the shots are there. He overuses ADR, but the sound is more than passable.
Technically, it’s not garbage. The script is garbage.
Which brings me to The Neighbors. Back in the Q&A, Tommy is asked how much of it was improvised.
"None, I wrote it all. Every word on the script," he claimed.
Or rather, lied.
I’ve been on over 100 film productions, from small sketches to feature films. This show was about 90% improvised, possibly even more. In fact, I’m pretty sure actors were just told what the situation was and were told to just go at it. However, the crowd seemed ready to believe him. He knew we’d believe him. And that was the final piece of the puzzle, my metaphorical mug of coffee hit the floor.
Many years ago, Tommy set out to make a movie. Not the greatest film of all time. Not an Oscar worthy film. Just a regular film. He got enough money to make his terrible script watchable and he hired Greg Sestaro to be his right hand man.
Sestaro signed off on most if not all of Tommy’s decisions. What does Greg know? It’s really hard for anybody to know how decisions made during filming will affect the final product, let alone a novice like himself. They shot it. Edited it. It came out terrible. And everybody noticed that Greg’s name was all over the movie.
And that’s when Greg created “fictional Tommy Wisseau.”
Real Tommy Wisseau is an amateur filmmaker who doesn’t quite have all his marbles. That’s basically 1 in every 20 people - they just don’t get $7 million. “Fictional Tommy Wisseau” is a megalomaniacal lunatic who made thousands of rash decisions while poor Greg looked on. “Fictional Tommy Wisseau” wanted vampires in his movie! (And yet there isn’t anything supernatural at all?) “Fictional Tommy Wisseau” was in love with Greg and was upset when they didn’t sit next to each other at the premiere (because they spent so much time together and he thought he was his friend). Frankly, Tommy’s accent allowed us to believe the worst of him.
Tommy was upset about all the true stories and fake stories that were compiled to create this character. However, he kept his mouth shut because he was soon approached by people who told him how lucrative this character could be. And in fact, it is lucrative. Not millions of dollars worth, but there were two sold out theaters last night in NYC and I’m sure there are quite a few more.
Those people who approached Tommy convinced him to pretend he was in charge of the new comedy, “The Neighbors.” However, this “show” was nothing like the Tommy we know. Everybody in The Room has sex because they actually do love each other. The Neighbors is just a sick soft core porn. Tommy’s score in The Room is a sweeping, flute-heavy melody. The Neighbors was just pulsing techno. Tommy prefers closeups, The Neighbors is all in the wide. Tommy mic’d everybody in The Room, the Neighbors has a boom mic about 20 feet from the actors.
Somebody who knew what they were doing made the Neighbors. They then put Tommy as the front man (and really, what else is he doing) and pretended The Disaster Artist struck again.
But Tommy is not the Disaster Artist. He is a kind Eastern European man who accidentally made one of the worst movies of all time.
And I got nothing but love for that.
When I was 17, my dad paid $150 for my headshot, a terrible black and white picture of which there no longer is proof, and another $100 for 50 copies of it.
This was a scam run by a casting agency that sent out extras for Law & Order and horrible indie movies. As soon as I got cast (after doing a small monologue in a midtown office), they told me to get a headshot (at a place they recommended). The headshot guy then recommended me a printing place.
You can put 2 and 2 together.
However, this casting agency did get people work. They first got me a part as an extra on Law & Order, which I couldn’t do, and then they got me a part as an extra on a film called David & Layla.
For $60, I spent about 12 hours at a Jewish temple in Brooklyn. It was mostly just sitting while the crew yelled at each other. There were a ton of snacks, and they had catered food, though extras were not allowed to touch the catered food until the cast and crew got to it first as per SAG/AFTRA. (I know this because I opened the lid on one of the trays and got yelled at.)
Of all the extras, I was one of the only ones who got paid because of my casting agency. They all said they were trying to beef up their resume, and I of course put this movie on my resume for years. I had been dying to see this movie to see how I look in it, and I finally watched my scene today after finding out Netflix just bought it. (The clearest picture of me is below.)
A couple years later, an actress told me she researches movies that film in NYC and puts them on her resume. She said that she’ll find shooting locations and claim she was an extra or maybe even had a speaking role that was cut, and will give the location if pressed. She said she was never pressed though.
It was the beginning of me realizing that, wow, this whole thing is so fucking stupid.
My favorite Steve Jobs story is when he himself canceled the first iPhone because the screen got scratched up IN HIS POCKET. He was and continues to be the only person at Apple who isn’t an idiot.
When I was a kid, I mostly loved the X-Men cartoon. I say mostly because I hated that Morph died (in like the third episode) and I lost interest around the time Jean Grey became Phoenix and it got complicated and weird.
But what I remember most was an episode where people turn against mutants. I don’t remember specifically what happened but normal people hit the streets looking to beat up mutants.
I thought this was crazy, considering they were about to get frozen or blown away or whatever, but they did find one. He was a homeless man with hair all over his body, and when they grabbed him, he went, “I’m a mutant but my only power is that I’m hairy!”
Everything about that scene was so crazy that my brain nearly collapsed on itself.
Firstly, this mob, without weapons, is upset that mutants are dangerous. So what do they do? They go out and try to beat one up?! Can you imagine if they ran into the Juggernaut? He’d murder 500 of them with one jog.
Then I thought about this poor hairy guy. He’s just hairy! Does that make him a mutant? And he’s homeless. Come on, guys.
Anyway, I just remembered that this morning and I thought I’d write about it.