The Difference Between Theater and Film
Mailer was a founding member of Back House Productions, a theater production company in New York. His play "Crazy Eyes" had its World Premiere in Athens, Greece, in March 2005. From 2003 to 2004 he served as the Executive Editor of High Times magazine. He has lectured at the University of Notre Dame, Wesleyan, and the University of Athens.
Question: What first drew\r\nyou to the theater?\r\n\r\n
John Buffalo Mailer: \r\n You know I grew up in an artistic\r\nfamily where everyone was doing something in one field of the arts or\r\nanother. I was I think 12\r\nyears old when I did my first acting at the Actor’s Studio and, you \r\nknow,\r\nJames Dean once said that the only reason to become and actor is because\r\n you\r\nhave to. I think that you know\r\nfrom a young age if that is a certain rush that you’re going to need to \r\nsatisfy\r\nyou and to make you feel fulfilled—and if you don’t then you shouldn’t \r\ndo\r\nit. It’s just too brutal of a\r\nbusiness most of the time. So I\r\nthink that at the ripe old age of 12 I figured out, you know, I kind of \r\nlike\r\nthis thing. I like talking to\r\nthese people.\r\n\r\n
Question: How is working\r\non a play different from working on a film?\r\n\r\n
John Buffalo Mailer: \r\n Man, it’s apples and oranges. You can’t \r\nreally beat movies. It’s a fun gig. \r\n I mean it’s nice to have a trailer and\r\nmakeup and you know an entire army that is basically all there for the \r\nsame\r\npurpose, which is make the best film we can. Yeah,\r\n when you’re on an Oliver Stone set everybody brings\r\ntheir A game. Everybody brings\r\ntheir A game, from the top to the bottom and in between. \r\n In terms of theater you know there is\r\nno way to really duplicate that rush you get when you take an audience \r\nthat is\r\nlive and right there in front of you through the journey of a great play\r\n and\r\nyou go through these emotions so that they can experience them without \r\nhaving\r\nto go through them themselves. \r\nIt’s a certain kind of human compact that obviously you lose as \r\nsoon as\r\nthere is a screen and a camera there, so I think we’ll always have\r\ntheater. I think theater will\r\nalways be a powerful force because we need that human touch, \r\nparticularly as we\r\nspend more and more time with machines, cell phones, computers we start \r\nto lose\r\nour humanity. I mean the price of\r\nour technology may very well end up being our humanity, so I think you \r\ngot to\r\nhave that balance. Personally I\r\ntry to do one for one if I can. Do\r\na movie, do a play, do a movie, do a play—while at the same time writing\r\n and\r\nbeing in that cycle. Those two\r\nfields are very… Writing and acting are almost diametrically opposed in \r\nterms\r\nof being an actor it’s in your interest to be in shape and to be healthy\r\n and to\r\nhave a strong voice and to be flexible. \r\nAs a writer you’re sitting in this position for hours on end. You get up and you can’t put your\r\nshoulder down. It’s not a healthy\r\nexistence so to speak and it’s probably not healthy for the person that \r\nlives\r\nwith you either, but you do the best you can.\r\n\r\n
Question: What theatrical\r\nwork are you proudest of?\r\n\r\n
John Buffalo Mailer: \r\n You know I’m probably most proud of the\r\nplays that I’ve written just because as the playwright, you know, you’re\r\nGod. You get to do everything. You\r\n don’t make any money hardly at all,\r\nbut you really get to kind of control the scene. As\r\n a screenwriter you’re the towel boy in the\r\nwhorehouse. I mean you know\r\nyou’re lucky if you’re invited to set. \r\nIt’s kind of like here is the blueprint, go and that’s you know \r\nthere\r\nhas been some debate as to whether or not a film should be by the \r\ndirector or\r\nby the screenwriter or by both. \r\nThe screenwriter lost out on that. \r\nDirectors win. In theater\r\nit is absolutely the opposite, but you know I’m proud of all the… Well, of most of the theater acting\r\nthat I’ve done. The thing is, to\r\ntry to talk about a performance that will never be seen again, that was \r\nonly\r\nlived by the people there, it’s kind of like telling somebody about your\r\n dream. You know if they love you they’ll\r\nlisten and smile, but they can’t really get it, so there is a certain \r\ninfinite\r\nquality to film that is nice. You\r\ndo the work and you know it’s always going to be there. The\r\n flip side is if you do bad work\r\nit’s always going to be there.\r\n\r\n
Question: What are your\r\ngoals as an actor and playwright?\r\n\r\n
John Buffalo Mailer: \r\n You know, I just I love telling stories\r\nand as long as I can make my living doing that in all the different \r\nmediums\r\nthat I have been lucky enough to, that’s enough for me. Really\r\n it’s, you know, there's different\r\nscales of stories. Sometimes you\r\nwant to tell one that 20, 30, 40, 50 million people will want to see and\r\nhear. Sometimes you do one that\r\nyou know 150 will want to see on one night. As \r\nlong as you’re telling the right story for the right\r\naudience and they’re getting something out of it it’s essentially the \r\nsame\r\nfeeling to me. Obviously there is\r\nyou know the economic necessity of paying your bills and how do you do\r\nthat. Ten years ago when I\r\nstarted out I was kind of told I was insane for trying to pursue \r\nmultiple fields\r\nat once because in five years everyone who just did one would have five \r\ntimes\r\nthe resume I would if I was lucky, but I took that gamble because I just\r\n my gut\r\ntold me it was the right thing to do and you know as an actor there is \r\nso much\r\ndowntime you want to fill it with something else and as a writer you \r\nknow\r\nsometimes you’re doing a passion project, sometimes it’s a paid gig, \r\nsometimes\r\nthere is nothing, so you can do a journalistic piece. At\r\n this point I think the shift starting about 2008, a lot\r\nof factors as well I’m sure, but whatever the reasons, 2008 it felt as \r\nthough\r\nthe combination of distribution models starting to tighten and the \r\npublishing\r\nand film and music industries having to revolutionize themselves to \r\ncatch up,\r\nand understand how this is going to work in the new millennium has made \r\nit a\r\nlot easier to pursue multi-platform careers. It’s\r\n much easier to hire one person who can do three or four\r\ndifferent things than one specialist in that field, which as I think \r\nabout the\r\ncollege graduating classes and high school classes that are coming up \r\nnow\r\nthey’re in a unique position. I\r\nmean they’re entering one of the toughest economies of all time. At the same time if they’re willing to\r\nwork really hard the ability they have to learn something much faster \r\nthan we\r\never did before is there and it’s really a question of are you willing \r\nto put\r\nin the effort and go that extra mile. Because if you are I think there's\r\nactually more opportunities out there.
Recorded March 30, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen
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Minimoons<p>Scientists have confirmed just two prior minimoons. One was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_RH120" target="_blank">2006 RH120</a>, which orbited us from September 2006 to June 2007. The other was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_CD3" target="_blank">2020 CD3</a>, which got stuck in the 2015–2016 timeframe, and is believed to gotten away in May 2020.</p><p>2020 SO, the new kid on the block, is expected to arrive in October 2020 and pop out of orbit in May 2021.</p><div id="37962" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f4c0fc8a2cba6536ea4cd960ebed3e6e"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1307729521869611008" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Asteroid 2020 SO may get captured by Earth from Oct 2020 - May 2021. Current nominal trajectory shows shows capture… https://t.co/F5utxRvN6Z</div> — Tony Dunn (@Tony Dunn)<a href="https://twitter.com/tony873004/statuses/1307729521869611008">1600621989.0</a></blockquote></div>
Identifying 2020 SO<p>The first clue 2020 SO isn't your ordinary asteroid is its exceptionally low velocity. It's traveling much more slowly that a typical asteroid — their <a href="https://www.lpi.usra.edu/exploration/training/illustrations/craterMechanics/" target="_blank">average rate of travel</a> <a href="https://www.lpi.usra.edu/exploration/training/illustrations/craterMechanics/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"></a>is 18 kilometers (58,000 feet) per second. Even <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_rock" target="_blank">moon rocks</a> sent careening into Earth orbit by impacts on the lunar surface outpace pokey 2020 SO.</p><p>For another thing, 2020 SO has an orbital path very similar to Earth's, lasting about one Earth year. It's also just slightly less circular than our own orbit, from which it's barely tilted off-axis.</p><p>So, what is it? <a href="https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/ca/" target="_blank">NASA estimates</a> that the object has dimensions very reminiscent of a discarded Centaur rocket stage from the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveyor_2" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Surveyor 2 mission</a> that landed an unmanned craft on the moon. Back in the day, rocket stages were jettisoned as craft were aimed toward their desired position. This stuff, if released high enough, remains in space. It appears that this Centaur rocket, launched in September 1966, is now making its way back homeward, at least for a little bit.</p><p>When 2020 SO arrives at its closest point in December, the rocket is expected to be about 50,000 kilometers from Earth. Its next closest approach is much further: 220,000 kilometers, in February 2010.</p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzMDk3NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODg1MTQ1MX0.HGknDwqp0GmeuczKY_AS7vrPG7KMFUc_XO95tNoI2xo/img.jpg?width=980" id="e5cda" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="85eb1f790d8c3ee5b261f7ba13eaa5e1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Centaur rocket stage" />
Centaur rocket stage
What we may be able to learn<p>Earthly space programs being as young as they are, scientists would love to know what's happened to our rocket during a half century in space.</p><p>While 2020 SO won't get close enough to drop into our atmosphere, its slow progress has scientists hopeful that they'll still get some kind of a decent look at it.</p><p>Spectroscopy may be able to reveal what the rocket's surface is like now — has any of its paint survived, for example? Of course, being out in space, it's likely to have been hit by lots of dust and micrometeorites, so the current state of its surfaces is also of interest. Experts are curious to know how reflective the rocket is at this point, valuable information that can help planners of future long-term missions anticipate how well a craft out in space for extended periods will remain able to reflect sunlight.</p>
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Credit: logika600 / Shutterstock<p>Remaining healthy requires regular screenings. Here again we see a disassociation between risk reduction and proactivity. Seventy-seven percent of respondents don't talk to their doctors about lifestyle habits that support brain health; 51 percent have never been screened for depression; 44 percent have never had a neurological exam; and 32 percent have never been screened for hearing problems. </p><p>Common early warning signs of dementia, <a href="https://news.yahoo.com/americans-worry-alzheimers-disease-survey-140644803.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">according to</a> Dr. Jason Karlawish, co-director of the Penn Memory Center, include repetitive questions and stories, difficulties with complex daily tasks, and trouble with orientation. </p><p>In terms of intervention, <a href="https://bigthink.com/21st-century-spirituality/does-lack-of-exercise-lead-to-dementia" target="_self">exercise</a>, <a href="https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/obesity-dementia" target="_self">diet</a>, building a <a href="https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/brain-reserve" target="_self">brain reserve</a>, and challenging your brain (such as learning a new language or musical instrument) are all proven methods for staving off the ravages of Alzheimer's. Oxytocin has also <a href="https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/alzheimers-oxytocin" target="_self">showed promise</a> in brain-addled mice, while researchers found positive results for a <a href="https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/intermittent-fasting" target="_self">group of intermittent fasters</a> in promoting neurogenesis. </p><p>Epidemiologist Bryan James says that dementia is <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/04/15/176920391/how-exercise-and-other-activities-beat-back-dementia" target="_blank">not an inevitable result</a> of aging. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"It's simply not pre-destined for all human beings. Lots of people live into their 90s and even 100s with no symptoms of dementia." </p><p>Professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, Andrew Budson, <a href="https://news.yahoo.com/americans-worry-alzheimers-disease-survey-140644803.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">recommends</a> aerobic exercise and the Mediterranean diet. As has long been known, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish, and healthy fasts like nuts and olive oil seem to have brain-boosting properties. </p><p>To learn more, take the <a href="https://www.mdvip.com/brain-health-iq-quiz" target="_blank">Brain Health IQ quiz</a>.</p><p><span></span>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>