A Letter From a Soccer Enthusiast to America.

•November 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Dear America,

Hey America, I love soccer. I grew up playing soccer all the way through high school and even though I also love baseball, basketball, and football, soccer is my favorite sport of all.

And yet I feel so empty inside.

Because soccer, or football, is the most popular sport in the world by far, and you can clearly see how it gives people from every country something fulfilling in their lives to balance out their day-to-day struggles, especially in those impoverished countries. But unless you, America, give it the red, white, and blue stamp of approval, it just doesn’t count.

America, the rest of the world needs you! We all know that without your approval, we wouldn’t have any good music, literature, movies, TV shows, celebrities, politicians, ideas, thoughts, or even food. Until you say “Yes, I will watch this,” it might as well not exist. We need you to say that about soccer.

We can even force everyone to call it soccer, if it helps you tune in.

We will even change the game according to what you like. Should each goal be worth 23 points? Done. Should we remove the position of goalkeeper? No problem. Should we do away with yellow cards, red cards, dives, flops, arguments with referees? Done, done, done, done, done. We could even talk about the possibility of using our hands. Maybe running with the ball.

Whatever it takes, America. It hurts us so deep inside when you tell your friends, “I’m sorry, I’ve tried, but I just can’t get into soccer. It’s so boring.” Please! Give us another chance! Maybe we can make the fields smaller. Or ban the English from playing for awhile.

Every time you say, “Soccer players are a bunch of pansies,” it tears us up. If you prefer, we can lose the gentlemanly nature of the sport. Stop helping up the other team when they fall, stop throwing the ball in to the other team after they give up possession for an injury, stop exchanging national jerseys after hard-fought matches. Instead, we will encourage more fights, punches thrown, benches cleared. We will offer Ron Artest a 20 million dollar contract to start at center fullback for the U.S.

The world has been working tirelessly for over a hundred years to audition their sport for you, so that one day you may deem it exciting enough to watch. Admittedly, maybe we’ve overdone it with how fanatical we get, with our flags and our noisemakers, but our hope is that you see how crazy we are about the sport and one day you will watch it and enjoy it, thereby making it something that is actually worthwhile for us to like.

Please, America, it’s so important to me that you like soccer.

Love,

A Soccer Fan

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A Letter From a Celebrity Actor to His Hometown.

•November 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Dear Wilsonville,

Hello!  It’s been a while, hasn’t it, fine people of Wilsonville?  Before I get started on singing your praises as a cute little place to be from, I want to explain why I haven’t been back since high school.

Most importantly, my parents moved back to New Jersey.  That should explain most of it right there.  They say now that it may have been a mistake to move the family to Wilsonville in the first place, but I’ve learned over time that no choice is the wrong choice, no matter how bad it looks from the outside, because it leads you to the next path in life.  I try not to think about what life might have been like had I grown up somewhere more cosmopolitan or closer in proximity to what I now consider “civilization.”  I instead, celebrate being from Anytown, USA, as it made me who I am today.

Secondly, I want to be clear that I did try to get back to Wilsonville, shortly after I starred in “Ninja Hamster” after college, but things didn’t quite work out.  See, “Ninja Hamster” was a kids’ movie, but I was no kid.  I may have looked 16 but I was actually 24 years old.  And while working with Wilsonville’s elected officials, we didn’t quite see eye-to-eye on the charity event we were trying to organize.  Besides the fact that I wanted an open bar (it was a party after all) and they wanted a crappy picnic in Bill MacAbee park, there was also an issue of money.  They didn’t seem to think the folks in Wilsonville had $500 a head to give towards a good cause.  I guess they thought Wilsonville was filled with a bunch of selfish, poor hicks.

Well I disagreed and the trip back “home” was canceled.  So now, six years later, I’m writing to let you know that I still love you, Wilsonville.

Let me first give a big shout out to all the teenagers and kids looking up to me in Wilsonville.  Yes, it’s true, I was once exactly like you. I was miserable.  Stuck in a small-minded place filled with small-minded people.  But I clung to my dream of getting out and becoming somebody.  And look at me now.  I believe it was during the press junket for the sci-fi thriller “The End of Space” when the waiter at this fancy hotel ran to McDonald’s to get me a Big Mac cause there was nothing on the menu I liked that I realized that I made it.  So to all you Wilsonville kids out there, be you trailer trash, white trash, poor white trash, or project kid, I just want to say, it is possible to get out and make something of yourself.

Next, to the regular folk.  The dentist, the fireman, the mayor, heck, even the schoolteachers, I want to say that your hometown hero has not forgotten his roots.  Wilsonville is my home and it’s a wonderful little place.  I moved there when I was 12 years old, attended Bison-Madison Middle School, then on to Cowpike High School, where I was heavy into drama (and girls!).  I wouldn’t trade my coming-of-age in Wilsonville for anything.  In fact, while playing the title role in the coming-of-age independent film, “The Redneck Poet,” I pulled from my experience growing up in “Dub-ville” quite heavily.

I don’t know if Wilsonville has gotten a good movie theater yet that shows “indie” films, but if it has, maybe some of you have seen “The Redneck Poet.”  In that film, I play the son of an abusive father and an alcoholic mother who sleeps with his sister and dreams of running away.  At the end of the film (spoiler alert!) he does run away.  It’s very triumphant and I urge you all to Netflix it, those of you who know what Netflix is.  Anyway, without my teenage years being spent alone on Friday nights while the kids with fishhooks in their hats went “cruising” and the slutty girls only seemed interested in guys with big trucks (I’m talking to you Misty Dawn – oh yes I went there!), I may not have been able to find the kind of misery that “Pete” felt deep inside.  So even in my art I am constantly paying homage to Wilsonville.

Now, after wrapping principal photography (sorry for the industry jargon) for “Ninja Hamster 2, Enter the Cage,” I am open to the idea of a hometown hoo-rah once more.  After years in L.A., I’ve come to realize that “everybody’s gotta be from somewhere,” and me – I’m from Wilsonville and proud of it.  So write to your mayor, your city planner, or whoever makes the decisions down there in Who-ville, and tell him that you want to have a party.  A celebration of someone from Wilsonville who made something of himself and is willing to give a little something back.

So please don’t think that I’ve forgotten where I come from.  I always like to think there’s a plaque with my name on it somewhere at Cowpike High, probably in the drama room, and some kid is staring up at it wondering if he too can get out and make something of himself in Hollywood or New York City.  Yes you can, young me, yes you can.

Your Hometown Hero,

Chase Summers

A Letter of Advice for Talents Agents Looking for Actors.

•August 20, 2009 • 2 Comments

Dear Agents,

Normally I’m so, so super busy that I can’t spare a minute to write to all you agents out there looking for new clients. But I’ve just seen so many agents’ missteps and mistakes that I cannot NOT write down some tips!

First, do NOT ever, under any circumstances, call me on the phone! I only have a cell phone. No secretary, no assistant. So there’s no way that I can take the time to answer your calls. BUT – if you DO call, please cut to the chase. Don’t give me all this hoopla about how you’ve wanted to be an agent since you were a little kid and your Aunt Margaret thinks you’ll be a superstar Broadway agent one day. We all know why you’re calling. I’m an actor and you’re an agent. You NEED fairly attractive medium-build white guys with short hair that can play late 20′s who have a ton of non-paying credits. I KNOW! Just say politely, “Hey Michael, sorry to bother you, but I’m looking for a new client.” Then let’s get off the phone quickly, send me a postcard about your agency, and let me get back to the busy life of an actor.

Second, get my name right! If you’re gonna take the time to send me a letter and pay for the postage, make sure you have my name right! It’s M-I-C-H-A-E-L. When I see someone misspell my name on the envelope, it makes me feel you do not know who I am. Like you don’t care who you rep, as long as he’s an actor. Then not only do I throw it away, I instruct my cat to pee on it and if my cat doesn’t have to pee, I give her tons of water, force her to drink it, hold her down (which sometimes takes the help of my girlfriend), and wait until she finally drips something out on your submission. If it sounds harsh, bear in mind, I get hundreds of letters from agents EVERY DAY. I can’t let all of you represent me.

Third, please don’t contact me until you’ve represented some legitimate, steadily working professional actors. I can’t possibly be expected to put my acting career in the hands of someone who is just starting out as an agent. And then when you hit me up – show me what your clients have done – and please have at least one client on a network tv show. Otherwise, I’ll make the cat pee again!

Fourth, make sure your picture looks like you. No offense all you beautiful agents out there, but some of you are OLD. Fine if you’re old, maybe I could use an old agent. But don’t send me your college headshot photo that you took in the mall back when you still wanted to be an actor. Show me the person that is gonna walk through my apartment door in Jersey City IF I call you in.

And lastly, remember that I am here to work for you. I am merely an actor. I show up on set, say a few lines, play a little childish game of make-believe, and make TONS of money. You are the real earner out here – so have some pride in yourself! Stop apologizing for everything, stop shaking when you meet me, stop stumbling over your words when you see me at a party. In fact, here’s a little tip for agents:

Every day wake up and before you leave the house to find new clients, look in the mirror and say, “My name is ___ ____, I am an agent, and I apologize for nothing.”

Okay, now back to my work as an actor. Agents, you know what they say, if you can do anything else, do it! If not, keep sending me your stuff…persistence WILL PAY OFF.

Michael Ferrell

Actor