First, I want to thank Charlie for having me back at the Teahouse. It’s been way too long, and I appreciate the chance to stop by.
Second, today is a special day! My newest novel, No Sacrifice is on sale for only $.99 today at the Dreamspinner Press website! On top of that, a portion of the proceeds from today’s sales on the Dreamspinner site will go to The Trevor Project. So, if you haven’t purchased it, do it today to help a great charity.
I actually struggled to figure out what to write for today. My beta suggested I talk about the research I did behind acting and what happens on set. It was, no doubt, fascinating. I learned a lot both through long conversations and digging into the back-most corners of the internet. But truthfully, the information itself isn’t really all that exciting.
Which is, I think, the fascinating part of it. Almost every movie or TV show out there has a “making of” segment somewhere on their DVD. Or they’ve got TV specials out that talk about the behind the scenes stuff. But it turns out that even that is really more exciting than most of what happens on a set.
A lot of it depends on the director, of course, who really does decide almost everything. Some of them, from what I have gathered in my conversations, are pretty much the exact opposite of my Jack from No Sacrifice. They really do talk to their actors, give a general idea of what they want to happen then let things go naturally.
Others… well, let’s just say that Jack, while maybe a bit extreme, isn’t as bad as I thought he’d be. Jack likes to control everything, from the things he should, of course, down to head tilt, how wide someone smiles, and even more. I’ve actually talked to a couple of people from on a set who’ve said that some directors really are like that. I think I’d hang myself. Or punch the director, which Patrick is very tempted to do more than once in the book.
One of the things I didn’t find a lot on at first was how sex scenes go. Cursory research would say that everything is so scripted, so mechanical that there’s no chance of anything happening. And I’m pretty sure most actors would be perfectly happy if that is what most of us believe.
But it’s not always the case. I found more than a few accounts where things got awkward very quickly because the guy not only got hard, but actually came during the scene. One actress talked about how embarrassed the poor guy was while she had to clean the spunk off her stomach after the take was over.
Patrick actually faces this very problem. In fact, the idea that he could get turned on during a scene never really occurs to him when he takes the role of a gay man on TV. He’d heard plenty of times exactly what I said above—that it’s too scripted, too choreographed to be anything sexy. Yet at the same time, he knew some things happened. How many Hollywood couples come out of a movie they’ve done together? Then there’s the line Patrick mentions he’s heard too often that goes something like, “Darling, one of two things is about to happen. For either, I apologize.” Obviously, if that’s out there, then it happens, and likely more often than they’d like.
It’s no wonder there are specific nudity and sex clauses in actors contracts. I couldn’t find any public copies of them, but I heard mention of them often. The Screen Actors Guild had a number of their contracts online, which I found to be very interesting, but none of them included those clauses.
It was this lack of preparation that really caused Patrick to be so shocked when he no only reacts to a kiss, but to the kiss from his male co-star. Perhaps if he’d known that was more common than he thought it was, then he might have been able to handle it better. Though, really, I know Patrick and that’s not too likely. I had way too much to put him through. I almost felt sorry for him when I wrote it.
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Do you believe the stories that nothing happens? What would you do if you found yourself suddenly aroused on set?
Don’t forget that a portion of today’s sales from the Dreamspinner site goes to The Trevor Project. And, if you leave an answer to the above questions, one lucky responder will win a copy of one of my Golden Collar titles!
Thanks again to Charlie for hosting me!
Patrick has taken his acting talents from high school all the way to a role in a major television show. But as the show progresses, his life of absolute certainties crumbles when he finds himself reacting to the kisses of his male costar. He refuses to accept it, reminding himself he’s married and a father—and thus, straight.
One night he goes to drink his worries away, meets Chance Dillon, and can’t take his eyes off the man. After having a little too much alcohol, he spills his problem to Chance, who helps him realize there’s something other than gay and straight. Patrick’s new understanding of his bisexual identity helps him sleep better—until the next day, when he discovers Chance is a sound technician on the same set.
As their friendship grows and Patrick’s marriage ends, he recognizes a possibility for much more with Chance. But Patrick isn’t ready to be out the way Chance has been for so long, and when the matter is taken out of Patrick’s hands, he pushes Chance away to spare him the mess Patrick’s life has become. By the time he realizes his mistake, it may be too late.