visitors from new york mentioned some things and i carried the ball (george segal, larry johnson, leo ford, lance and donald moffett)
This from Canyon Cinema:
House of the White People
- George Kuchar |
- 1968 |
- 17 minutes |
- COLOR |
Rental Format(s): 16mm film, 24 fps
Cast: Donna Kerness, artist George Segal and his wife Helen, Walter Gutman. Having nothing to do with racial tensions, HOUSE OF THE WHITE PEOPLE is actually a chunk of film removed from a bigger chunk called UNSTRAP ME. It is a documentation of George Segal creating the basic elements for one of his statues preceded by rare glimpses into his own private museum. Donna Kerness serves as his live model. Walter Gutman sits on a chair and walks around a bit, being that he produced the film. Helen Segal, personifying the ageless saying, “behind every man there stands a woman,” stands behind her man and also stands in front of him occasionally. The film is a unique invitation to view the hidden rituals of a famous artist and his infamous model, half naked, snowbound together on a lonely farm, with a silent wife and a notorious guest.
|16mm film, 24 fps||$68.00|
The idea is to maximize the attention span the reader/viewer has for the work of art, which I imagine to be equal, say, to that of a daily horoscope or beauty tip.–Larry Johnson (from Walker Art Center)
Larry Johnson, Untitled (Giraffe), 2007, color photograph, 45.5 x 92 inches (115.6 x 233.7 cm) David Kordansky Gallery is linked
(below) Untitled (A Different Larry Johnson/I Can’t Believe I Stayed) 2012, appropriated text with color, self-hosted WordPress template and cheek
In September, I answered an ad on X for a film in Boulder, CO called X for a part. I was currently living in Stamford, CT and attending acting classes in NY. It said deferred pay, and I was interested in the story. I sent in a video audition and was offered a role and 40,000 deferred contract and a two-year commitment. Everything about this situation was wrong. There was no distribution and no backing. My lawyer friend warned me against it. I was not going to do it, but then I get an email saying that he wanted to offer me the lead role because the girl in the lead had quit, or he had to let her go. He told me he needed me out here right away and couldn’t wait. I told him that I needed to get reimbursed for my moving expenses and we agreed upon expenses up to 500.00. He also agreed to pay me 500.00 a week once filming started in April in Turkey. I also told him that I needed to get paid prior to Turkey because I was not going to get stuck in turkey with strangers and never come back. He agreed. The contract also was very bad, he said he was a lawyer, but I have now learned he has been banned from the bar association. I moved out here on the 8th of October. I show up to rehearsal, and it is in his bedroom!!! He has been rehearsing in his bedroom for almost a year. He has no backing, no investors, and no distribution and has never done a movie ever. He kept asking me for the contract and I delayed because I was trying to get an attorney to look at it. He advised me against going to an attorney and pressured me into signing it. He also told me that the agreement was 500.00 a month and not 500$ a week. I have proof that he said 500 a week. After a few weeks of rehearsing in his bedroom, a girlfriend of mine who was also on the cast told me that she showed up to rehearsal and no one else did, and he told her to come upstairs because he wanted to work on scenes with her. He told her they needed to work on the intimate scenes, and she said she was very uncomfortable and he tried to kiss her. She finally got out of there and told me what had happened. I couldn’t believe it and we should’ve went to the cops right away. Twice Larry had called me to ask me out. The first time I said I was busy, and the second time he called on a Saturday night, and I didn’t respond. On Monday morning he sent me a long nasty email saying that he will not be ignored, and that I need to check my email every day, and I need to return calls, and my acting is too explosive. Well this was Monday Nov. 1st and I was at work. We were arguing back and forth over email and he kept saying that he didn’t want to discuss it over email, and that I had to go up there right away. I told him he could take my name off the production and he began to tell me that we need to discuss it in person. I can’t believe I went there by myself, but I did. He began to tell me that there were a lot of rumors going around about him and the movie and he didn’t want me to fall into that trap. He said he’s not going to let anyone dictate how he lives his life. I can’t believe I stayed. Well shortly after that, he told my friend that she had to rehearse intimate scenes with him until he cast the role opposite her. When she wouldn’t kiss him or go out with him and told him she had a boyfriend, he began to question her acting ability and made her feel really upset and uncomfortable. I told her she was talented and not to let this guy insult you. Then I told him I couldn’t rehearse on Friday night because I had plans, and I would come Thursday instead he said fine. Then I get an email saying “I told you I don’t want you here on Thursdays!” I was like what?? He said, oh you just got that, sorry I was in a bad mood. That was the night my friend was rehearsing. He kept scheduling her for rehearsal on nights she wasn’t available and wanted her there by herself, and she said she was uncomfortable. He then told her that he cast himself as the role opposite her, and that they had to rehearse in private, and there were 2 new sexual scenes that he wrote for the script and he would not tell the rest of the cast. That’s when she quit. He continued to send her poems and tried to ask her out. He told me to talk to her and to tell her to stop being stupid. I then made the mistake of asking Larry what he was doing for the Holidays, and he said he wanted to invite me over for thanksgiving and we could cook together. I said ok, because I felt bad and I didn’t want to start a confrontation. Well, my friend came from CT for Thanksgiving, and I ended up going out with him and to his friend’s house, and we had some drinks, so I didn’t want to drive anywhere yet. so I told Larry. He said just come up, we could mess up the kitchen and get a few videos. Then I said I’m not coming. He said that’s fine; I know when I’m blown off. Well I was ignoring him after this point because of what he did to Jackie and my friend was trying to talk me out of staying. So I got the rehearsal schedule and my name wasn’t on it. So I was like ok whatever. Then I asked him for the schedule, and he sent it back and added my name to that night, well I didn’t see the email til that night, and said sorry, I didn’t see this I’m at home. He said ok that’s fine, can you come up tomorrow we can work on some scenes. I didn’t respond. I then get an email saying oh you want to come out sat night, we can rehearse, then we can go to church on Sunday and study?? I then got another fb message saying my acting ability was too explosive as he has told me before and doesn’t think I am right for the role. I didn’t respond, I then get another email saying “termination of contract”. Everything is wrong about this situation from the beginning and I was warned, by people who don’t even live out here or know the guy, so I took that into consideration while I moved out here. I figured the worse thing that could happen is I could move to LA or back to NY, but worse things could’ve happened. I could’ve been really harmed. This was the most unprofessional project I have ever seen. It is a joke. I then get phone calls from parents of the teens on the film. They say he sent out an email to everyone saying that he had to terminate me, my acting was too explosive, and that the younger girl is the real star. She’s in high-school. So I get more calls from other people saying he did the same thing to them and about 10 other people including minors. I then find out that I was the third Theodora he has done this to, and there may have been others. I also spoke with a minor who said he tried rehearsing intimate scenes with her, and kissed her on her forehead and stared at her for a long time, and made her feel uncomfortable. I spoke with everyone in the cast and their parents, and thank God everyone resigned. This has been going on for a long time with this guy doing this over and over to women, and I can’t believe nothing has been done to stop it. There have been many police reports against this man, as well as lawsuits. It’s very unfortunate that this happens, but it does all over the place, there have been many similar cases like this, and people need to me made aware to stay safe. I wish I had listened to my friends back at home, but I am just thankful and hopeful that nothing serious has happened to anyone. Hopefully I came out here to stop this thing, and bring more awareness to the actors in the area. Since then, I have been meeting with a lot of people in the industry in regards to this and everyone has been very helpful and supportive. This is not good for the industry, and there are a lot of talented people here, and it is unfortunate that things like this have to happen. People just need to be made aware to make sure they are safe and not to fall for things like this. He is not involved in the Unions, and showing up to places alone with strangers can be very dangerous. I am also putting together a story in regards to this on film, since no one else will. I will be consulting attorneys, and the police to make sure we follow the rules and nothing can be done to us. If anyone would like to get involved, please let me know.
PS: The above is not art, it’s… um… homage. Right. That’s it.
Mandolay playing in 1979 at Studio One made me doubt that I was gay. Bunch of twinkies. Then I figured out I was queer. (But I bought the 45 anyway haha and I still do a mean head bob to La Flavour.)
Leo Ford and Lance were heartthrobs when I was twenty. Larry Johnson based work on Leo while for me Lance was king. Looking at their pictures in various bookstores and reading the interviews (yes – I read the text, too) I got a sense of easy grace and humor between the two stars and I used to think, as I wandered the quiet midnight streets of my suburb and the less quiet boulevards in Hollywood, “Gee – such intimacy they have. How desirable that is to me, and inexpressible.” Somewhere inside Larry Johnson’s cynical, campy, intellectual work is a melancholic youth who either did or did not get what he wanted, and perhaps – having got it – was aware of the end, of loss, of death in life. I was so aware of this when I was young, and still am.
If Larry Johnson didn’t exist, Los Angeles would have to invent him. (Yay.)
The uncredited images above are Larry Johnson, Untitled (Movie Stars on Clouds) 1988. Each is sourced from a different fan or institution website and each image is separately linked. My faves? Under Natalie Wood find Michael Buitron, August 2001 Leap into the Void article and under the second Sal Mineo image you’ll find the delightful Tumblr site “Cruise or be Cruised.” Yay – this gives new meaning to my David’s maxim that looking at and collecting art is like cruising. So true.
And to my new friends in New York? I still don’t get your George Segal interest. Somehow I prefer the actor to the artist – but maybe I wait to be educated. Larry Johnson? Share your obsession, I guess you can tell. Oh. Donald Moffett – the other artist you mentioned seeing at Rosette’s and at our place? A total god.
I hope I see you again soon.