Thursday, July 31, 2014

stop lying

Was considering, two days ago, how dynamics of response and enthusiasm, interpersonally, and situationally, sometimes are different from, maybe even the opposite of, what, on the surface, one might expect.

For example, when the "Friends" tv-show producers had live-taping audiences comprised of friends & family members, the laughs weren't as big as they needed.  The best laughs came from audiences made up of general-public people who came in to watch.  (You might think your biggest fans would be friends/family, but --...actually not really.  Biggest fans of you, personally:  friends/family; most enthusiastic fans of your tv-show or book or whatever:  Whomever Out There likes it.)

I noticed a similar Weird-Dynamic thing in a Season-10 episode of "Friends" -- Chandler arrives home and is excited to tell Monica about a success he had at work.  Monica isn't home, and Joey's there, so Chandler tells the news to Joey:  Chandler's creative advertising proposal landed him his "first national commercial."

So it's a big victory for Chandler.

Joey (who is an actor) says, "Great! -- Hey, can you cast me in it?"

Chandler:  "O-oh -- I don't know.  I really don't think you're right for the part."

Okay -- hang on, what just happened here? -- the viewer asks herself.

It goes so fast -- "Friends" always kept a staccato, speedy pace...part of that show's style.
And that scene goes by so fast, it's like -- WHAT -- happened here?

-----------------  Why would Chandler not want to help his friend Joey, the sometimes-employed actor, by casting him in his "first national commercial"?

--------------  That seems a little selfish, and narrow-minded -- geez, one minute Chandler's singing out his good news of his triumph at work, and the next minute he's brushing Joey off.

------------------  On the other hand -- Joey jumped in too fast.  Chandler was in Success/Relief Mode, he's all in-his-head about work-pressures, work-challenges, and, today, a WORK-SUCCESS.  And Joey turns Chandler's Triumph Moment into his own Asking-For-A-Favor-And-Wanting-In-On-This moment, too quickly.  Joey should have let it remain Chandler's Success-Moment for a longer time.  Ideally.

Maybe then chandler could have got the idea, himself, to cast Joey in the commercial.

It's like -- they are good friends, love and care about each other, and yet they're each not doing what would have been best for the other person.  Each is "selfish" -- or -- self-centered (self-centric?) in the moment.

---------------------  On another hand -- Chandler probably doesn't "cast" actors in the commercials.  This is not a small-scale, penny-ante advertising project, this is New York City Advertising Business -- there's got to be a process by which actors audition for roles in the commercials, and it's doubtful Chandler's in charge of that process.  Ideally, Chandler could have steered Joey toward the person running the auditioning and casting process. 

--------------  ANYWAY, anyway, as the episode rolls along, we keep returning periodically to this story-line:  Chandler doesn't think Joey is "right for the part."

"I really don't think you're right for this.  It calls for a stuffy college professor."

"I can play that.  I can play anything.  I'm a chameleon!"

Later -- Joey hands Chandler a VCR-tape and urges him, "Just watch it.  And if you don't like it, then you don't pass it on to your bosses."

Joey leaves; Chandler says to Rachel, "Now what am I going to do?...If I pass this tape on to my bosses and they don't like it, they'll think I'm an idiot..."

Rachel says, Simple, just tell Joey you liked it, but your bosses didn't; "That way, they're the bad guys, and you're the good guy."  Chandler likes that.

INT.  Rachel and Joey, home in their apartment.  Chandler comes in & greets Joey by handing the tape back to him and saying casually, "Bad news.  I watched the tape, and passed it along to my bosses and they weren't interested.  Sorry, man."  (He does it too fast. ...He's only focused on getting himself "out of" it...)

Joey's disappointment turns, after a brief hesitation, into suspicion:  "You watched it?"
Chandler:  "I LIKED it!  but my bosses didn't go for it."

Then Joey starts getting mad -- not mad over the idea that he isn't going to get the acting job in Chandler's commercial, but mad because he is suddenly SURE, that Chandler DID-NOT-WATCH-THAT-TAPE.

"You did not watch this tape!"
"I DID!"
No you didn't!"
"Yes, I did!"
You're lying!
No I'm not lying!
You're lying!
No I'm not!
I watched the tape!
No you didn't!

Joey storms out of the room, closing the door behind him.

Rachel (to Chandler):  Did you watch the tape?
Chandler (impatient tone) -- No.

-----------  So then Chandler's storming about, all aggravated.
Chandler:  "I HATE being called a liar."
Rachel (with gentle logic) -- "But you ARE a liar."

Chandler:  "WHAT did I JUST SAY??!!"

It's an interesting evolution:  Joey's initial

mild disappointment at not being given a chance at an acting opportunity

develops into

being really pretty upset that Chandler's just lying to his face.

Joey comes back into the room, brandishing the videotape:  "First you lied.  Then you lied about lyin' -- then you lied about lyin' about lyin'...anyway, STOP LYIN'!"

Then -- "Here's how I know you didn't watch this tape."
And he puts it in the VCR:  ("Now you wanna remember, I got paid a LOT of money for this, and -- it only aired in Japan...")

And he presses "PLAY" and it's this very silly commercial for a lipstick -- for men.  (The lipstick's color is a sort of whitish-blue.  Kind of says, "Hello.  I'm real cold, AND I just ate a grape popsicle" ...)

And Joey realized Chandler could not have really watched that tape, because Chandler would have teased him and made jokes.

[And turns out Chandler was wrong, too, about Joey being "wrong for the part" -- after they all see the tape, Rachel and Chandler, impressed, look at each other and agree that Joey is indeed "a chameleon."  That's what acting is -- you "play" the part of someone that isn't you. ...]

"Twisty" story-line...What do we learn from this?...

-- Don't Interrupt Someone's Great Moment To Ask For An Opportunity For Yourself; Wait Until The Time Is Right


-- Do Not Be So Quick To Not-Help Your Friends.


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