A Friendship Built on a Common Ground

Joe shows Nic a YouTube video of two men fighting with swords that or on fire.  Joe watches Nic’s reaction more than the video, and Nic watches with his mouth hanging open.  The video ends, and they sit in silence for a moment.

JOE: Thank goodness I didn’t see this while we were working at the shop, with all those power tools and scrap metal –

NIC:  – and yet, at the same time, I am sad that you didn’t –

JOE: – because we would have ended up trying this and impaling each other or setting each other on fire.  Probably both.  I mean, I figured that’s how we would go out anyway, but not so soon.

NIC:  There has to be a job out there where we could do this stuff all day.  I mean, I would think special fx could be considered in that line of work, but I think what we imagine goes beyond that because what we envision is meant to be made practical.  Making a sword that has to be on fire for a scene is easier than making a sword that is meant to stay on fire throughout an entire battle.

JOE:  Practical effects that work like that are usually implemented more in commercials.  Like commercials for food, when they have slow-mo restaurant food flipping in a pan over giant flames.

NIC:   (unsure)  Hmmmmm, not really what I’m after.  I guess fabrication would be the line of work.

JOE:  Propmaker?  Or an Art Department?

NIC:   I guess, I just wish it wasn’t so much cornered in the Entertainment industry.   “We Make The Crazy Shit In Your Head REAL!”  That sounds like a good company motto.

JOE:  Well, if you do enough hours, you can get a fire certification and if you get enough levels of that, they’ll hire you for a full day to just be there when someone lights a candle for a scene.

NIC:  Hmmm . . . it just seems like a watered down version of what is in my head.

JOE:  A friend of mine made a fire tornado on his down time, something like that maybe?

NIC:  Yeah, except getting paid do it.  I think I’m imagining a job that doesn’t exist; part engineer, part construction, part insane and part awesome.  Just making crazy awesome shit for its own sake and getting paid for it

JOE:  It’s also part actor . . . . oohhh, that’s right.

Long pause.

NIC:  Shit, I know there’s a joke in what you said, but my brain isn’t catching it.  It almost does, and then WOOSH, all gone.

JOE:  It’s just that you’d have to do all that and you’d have to be an actor too, and I don’t know why you’d ever want to be an actor.  But then I remembered that you and I met in theatre school and all of our friends were actors and why is that?  Oh I guess it’s because you had some sort of ambition to be in with and among actors because, you know, maybe it’s because you are an actor.

NIC:  Ah.  Yes.   Yeah, if I didn’t have this fucking crazy bug dream up my ass, I don’t think I’d feel such like a failure.

JOE:  Yeah.

Pause.

JOE:  For the record, I’m not saying you’re a failure.  I’m saying that I’m stupid.

NIC:  Oh, I know.

Pause.

JOE:  What?

NIC:  By which to say, I know that’s what you’re saying.  Not that you’re stupid.

JOE: Oh.

Pause.

NIC:  Let’s just agree that we’re both not living up to our potential.

JOE:  Agreed!

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