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humor by Chuck Nyren

One annoying thing about living in L.A. is going to the movies with a bunch of actors. It's not a problem if what's on the agenda is some big special-effects flick -- but trying to enjoy a good movie is nearly impossible

It's the communal whispering, the critiquing of the real actors on the screen. Here's what it was like last week as I silently sat with four of them:

"... Wow. That was so honest the way he did that."


"He's amazing."

"He's using himself fully."

"He's the best actor working today."

"... The best film actor."

"Wait a minute. The way he got up out of bed just now and walked over to the window -- that was really phony."

"... I don't know. I liked the way he got up, but -- you're right. He was faking it when he looked out the window ..."

"Mmmm. Maybe that's it. But still, you don't walk like that after you get out of bed."

"Sometimes you do. I know I have."

"..... Oh, wow! That was great the way he opened the door, don't you think?"


"He's a genius."

"... Well, most of the time. Except when he's phony."

"Oh, I don't care when he's phony! He does it so well!"

"... Do you think he knows when he's being phony?"

"Of course. He's goofing on himself when he's phony. The question is, does he know when he's being honest."

"... Probably not. He thinks he does, but he doesn't."

"The question is whether or not you yackers are gonna shut up. Who cares if he's phony or not? He's phony all the time. That's why he's good -- because people are phony. This honesty crap is crap. People do routines constantly. The only time anybody's ever completely honest is when they're asleep or dead. If you're honest, you're phony."

".... No. You're wrong. You can be honestly phony, and that's what we're talking about. And don't call me a yacker, asshole."

"Oh Christ, you guys! You just missed something really honest!"

"... I thought it was phony."

"C'mon! Will you all cut it out? I'd like to watch this movie. May I? Besides, Chuck over here isn't an actor so he doesn't understand any of this stuff so stop annoying him. Right, Chuck? ………… Chuck?"

By that time I had moved to a seat in another part of the theatre.

After the movie we all gathered outside. Everyone acted rather coolly towards me. They accused me of being phony.

I thought I was being honest.

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