A pink piece of paper.
There are many things for me to be thankful for this Christmas Season. Most have to do with family and the joy and happiness you see on the faces of others. Some others come in the mail in bright colors and small envelopes. One came yesterday. The envelope is like any other. What’s inside is what makes me smile. It’s a pink 8.5”x11” Royalty Statement. Pink? Yes! Pink! Why Pink? I don’t know but it gets my attention as soon as I see it.
It’s amazing how that piece of pink paper can lift my spirits with its pleasant memories.
Is money in the envelope? Yes, that’s a part of the story. But just a part and not the part I’m smiling about. The amount of money is inconsequential. Matter of fact it’s generally not much. This time it’s a net $30.03. Not much to brag about. But like I said it’s not the money. It’s the memories!
I’ve been an active member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1983. It’s not a career I’d planned on. It happened. I’m glad it did. From community theatre on Birmingham’s Southside to the pink paper that travels across the ocean and finds me at home, it happened.
As an actor in the Screen Actors Guild we are paid residuals. Foreign payments are called Royalties. Many of the current foreign payments are from productions I was involved in during the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s.
Whenever I get one of these pink notices, about twice a year or so, I’m excited. Examining the pink paper, prompts me to look back over an unintended career. This payment is for some shows I’ve been in as far back as 23 years ago. But let me get to the point. What makes this thirty dollars so special is that it’s for foreign showings. Yep, this past quarter, I’ve been in shows and movies exhibited on television, streaming, and Internet services in the countries of Germany, Colombia, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. That makes me smile. I think it’s so cool.
The memories are priceless. Shooting from midnight to dawn outside for three weeks on Jeepers Creepers 2. The pink paper informs me that Jeepers ran in Spain. I remember flying to Los Angeles for the interview for Fight Club and flying back home for our son’s high school graduation. I got the call the next day telling me I had the job. When I remember the wrap party we had in Hollywood where I danced with Jennifer Anniston, a big smile creases my face. Fight Club ran in Spain and Switzerland. There’s the fun and friendship that still exists that I formed with my friend Joe Slowensky, the writer, on Miracle In The Woods. Miracle In The Woods ran in Germany.
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel abroad but I’ve never witnessed myself speaking in a foreign tongue in Colombia, Spain, Germany, or Switzerland. That would be cool. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get to see myself speaking in Spanish, French or German in a foreign Country. If not, I’ll continue to look forward to getting my pretty in pink memories.