FIREZINE: Good morning Phil, how are you today?
PHIL PROCTOR: Well I'm here, which is relatively speaking, I'm sorry I'm not there. I hear you're having giant sidewalk sale. I'd certainly like to go out and buy some giant sidewalks. We don't have any in California. We never have any giant sidewalk sales in California, we have garage sales. People are always selling their garages to try to keep the house together, basically. We don't have sidewalks here. Its basically, you know, just cars, and there is no place for pedestrians in Los Angeles. In fact if you move the letters around it spells legs on sale. And that's pretty much the story out here.
But yeah, I'm kind of awake. It's 7 o'clock in the morning here in California and again California doesn't really start, I mean the real life in California doesn't start till 10 o'clock. The movie life has already started. People have already had their breakfast, from trucks at 5, 5:30 in the morning. And people are now filming fantasy entertainment for the entire world. That part of life is very real in California, but real life, what we call real life, does not start till about 10 o'clock. you can't really do anything.
I had some work done on the house here once, because we had to move out of the garage, we sold it. And as we were working on the house, people would come early in the morning, 'cause usually the workmen who work on houses come from movie sets. They're trained artisans, basically they build towns overnight, for the movies in the morning. They came to change the look of our house. They came early at 6 o'clock in the morning. We would have to leave the house, because they were changing it, and it's very messy. And there was no place for us to go. There were a couple of places that were open, as they're open 24 hours a day, and we'd go in there and work on a crossword puzzle, you know, and eat breakfast and things like that. But for the most part we had to drive around. The libraries wouldn't open till 10 o'clock. Most businesses wouldn't open till 10 o'clock. Its just, you know, nothing to do, no place to go. You know if people think I'm joking, I'm not joking. No, no, no, no, no. I'm not joking! Choking yes because of the quality of air, you know. But joking, no! This is true.
We're undergoing kind of a typical July fog weather. As I look out now I see it looks like a Japanese landscape, you know. There's some trees and then there's this whiteness beyond that, kind of cool and nice. Earthquake weather. Everyday is earthquake weather out here.
Sylvester Stallone, speaking of earthquakes, I guess, he used to live at the top of the hill. See everybody lives near famous people in Los Angeles, unless of course they leave Los Angeles, which Sylvester did do. Sly lived at the top of our hill. OK? As does Kirk Corcorean, one of the wealthiest men in the world. He just bought MGM again, right? He lives at the top of the hill here, where I live. And he owns the top of the hill. Let's call it living. Sylvester owned a house on Kirk's property. And because Sylvester liked to drive his little car real fast down our little street, here in Beverly Hills, and because our little street was a typical little canyon street, you know, crummy, Kirk Corcorean spent half a million dollars and put in a new street for us, while Sylvester was living on this street so Sylvester could drive quickly up and down the street. This is all true.
While we were having skilled artisans, who were unemployed from the motion picture industry, work on our house, to change the exterior of the house so it would look like it was worth more money than it really is, Sylvester Stallone was also having work done on his house, but he hired his own construction crew, from one of his movies, to do his house. And they were doing the inside of the house, not the outside of the house. And the inspector, Larry Kybell, the city inspector, who used to come down and look at our work, would come down looking like sometimes, like they say in England, the cat that ate the bat. Alright? And I'd say, "Larry , what are you smiling about?" and he's say, "Well I was just up at Sly's house." I'd say, "Yeah, what did you give you something to drink or something?" He said, "No, I was looking at his work and he said he's hired those workman from his movies." He said, "And they're doing it completely not to code." He said, "It's gonna fall down!" He thought that was kind of amusing. And sure enough when the earthquake hit, I don't know if you remember it, the reason why Stallone is in Miami now, living his movies out in real live, apparently, having his security men shooting one another, is because his house fell down during the earthquake, the inside of his house fell down, because he hired his own construction crew to put it up. Look those guys, all they're gonna do is put up a set that they're gonna take down in a couple of weeks anyway! So he really should have known better, you know?
FZ: It's like living in a movie then.
PP: Life here is living in the movies, or in television. I'm in Beverly Hills 90210, and one of the producers of "Melrose Place", television series, who used to work on "90210", lived next door. He's moved out now because he's so successful. He's moved out of 90210 because "90210" was so successful, that he lives now in Bel Aire. But his house is still sitting over here, his modest little house, right next to my modest little house. You see? What is reality?
People on the Least Coast, don't understand that the Best Coast isn't necessarily all that it's cracked up to be. You can get cracked up, and that's one of the reasons we like to go to the Least Coast, instead of staying on the Best Coast.
FZ: Is there a "Mid-Coast"?
PP: I'm from the Mid-Coast, I'm from the Mid-West, originally. Actually, I'm from the Mid-East. Goshen, Indiana is more like the Mid-East than the Mid-West. but again that shows you the confusion of America. Look, our founding fathers are not Christians, they're Deists. Alright? You know? So what's the problem with our country? What's the confusion? That's why politically we're so mixed up. You know? We're living in these kind of accepted lies, and the politicians love to promote continuously these lies, because it keeps them in power, and it keeps the people confused and in ignorance. So anyway I'm from the Mid-East, not the mid-West. But if I say I'm from the Mid-East, you know, then people think I'm a terrorist. I'm a humorist! I mean they both end in I S T, but one of them is, you know, makes you fall down, the other one makes buildings fall down. You know? Let's get it straight people.
FZ: I couldn't agree with you any more than that.
PP: Well then what's the point of debating?
FZ: I'm not debating. You go ahead and debate with yourself, because you seem to be carrying it right along pretty well by yourself!
PP: Well, you know, I'm a happy guy. And so am I.
FZ: So what have you been doing lately, Phil?
PP: Well, not much, as you can tell, Fred. That's why I'm so full of material here, because I have no place to put it. You know? It's like a rain barrel, you know, you've got to empty it out at some point or it's just going to spill over the sides. Well it's kind of the way I'm spilling over the sides. Yesterday I was actually working with Peter Bergman and David Ossman, two of the foundling members of the Firesign Theatre group, doing an interactive project that Peter has created. That actually that Peter and I wrote on many years ago, but now has gotten into a new configuration that's actually being produced, that's actually going to be released to an unsuspecting public, we believe sometime in October, by Palladium Productions. And of course in keeping with the wonderful world of interactive entertainment, I can't tell you anything about it!
FZ: Well that's great, so we'll just interact with ourselves then.
PP: I mean I can titillate and hint at what it's about. It will be a parody of a very famous multi unit selling interactive CD-Rom game. OK? But it will be funny. And of course its another one of those things that's interesting about our country right now, which is particularly like the realm of CD-Rom interactive games, is that there are very few games with the exception of "You Don't Know Jack", that approaches the medium from a humorous point of view. Unless of course you think that, you know, shooting people with high powered weapons is funny. Which a lot of Americans do, I gather.
FZ: I know it is in certain movies.
PP: Oh! Oh! I saw "Eraser" the other day, with Arnold. Which is a movie that you can erase. You don't have to see it if you don't want to. But you should see the movie at home so you can save your hearing. They've cranked up all the sound effects. It's a very well made film, by the way, but they've cranked up all the sound to such a horrendous level, that you really should go in with wax in your ears. I'd advise you not to clean your ears when you go to see "Eraser". Put erasers in you ears. Yeah good. Stick pencils in your ears when you go in to see it. But the thing that was funny about that movie, at least out here, I don't know if it reached national prominence in the news, but did you know that they had to erase the name of the corporation which is the villain in that movie. There was a company called Syrex, which is the name that they made up for the movie. Syrex is the bad company that's selling arms to bears or something like that, foreign bears of course. So they had to digitally go in and erase the X in Syrex and make it Syres. Then they had to go in and re-record the word Syrex as Syres in the voice of all the actors. Now 10 years ago, even 5 years ago, they couldn't have done that. They would have had to have cut out any shots that had the name Syrex in it, because this is the name of a company in Texas that manufactures potato chips for computers or something like that, some kind of chips anyway. And they were going to sue them. you see, for using this name and making the company appear bad in the eyes of the 5 people who buy chips from them. So anyway they couldn't have done that 5 years ago, but now because of the wonders of digital magic and the heights of fantasy that we're going to here, they can do it.
Hopefully I'll be working again soon. You see the problem we have in Los Angeles, is I think again, even though this is the world of fantasy, and this is the world where, you know, we export fantasy to the rest of the world, there're still certain realities that I think we share with the rest of the country. The one being, for instance, that stars are getting too much money for their movies. Arnold Schwartzenegger now is going to Arnie make my day(Schwartzenegger voice), I think they just made his life! He's gonna get 25,000,000 schmackeroos, right, for playing a villain in another one of those dreary Batman movies. Alright? So while everybody else who's making the movie will be working for scale, and getting psoriasis, because they have to pay their bills, non the less, they're going to get less money because Arnie, who really needs the money, because his poor wife, you know, she's not making a living, he needs the money, is getting $25,000,000. This horrendous imbalance is typical of what's happening not only to our country but to the world. And the fact that people except it, you know, and especially that no stars stand up and say, "Well this isn't fair, and I'll take a percentage of the profits.", like Tom Hanks did for "Gump". You know, Tom Hanks did "Gump" for a couple of million, and then he took a percentage of the profits. He made $87,000,000 off of that movie! He just bought 7 blocks up in San Francisco, where he lives, so he could have a nice little private house. No, but he's a good fellow because he took his profit out of honest monies, well I won't say honest, that were made by the film, or by the project. Right? But the fact that they're top loading these projects is an example of the way our poor country is getting raped by people who are getting percentages of the money. That's what people don't understand. It's like the way that government, the senate and the congress, works. There's so much pork barrel all the time. If you get a percentage of $100, 10 % of a $100 is $10. But if you get 10% of a million that's 100,000 bucks. If you get 10% of 10,000,000 that's a 1,000,000 smackeroos, and it keeps getting better. So the people who make the deals, are the ones who screw it up for everybody else, and make it harder for the common laborer, like a hard working voice artist like me, to make the kind of money we should be making for our skills, because it's all top loaded.
And I'm tellin' ya, for one thing, I work a lot in the sound medium in motion pictures. One of the jobs that I do is that I put voices into the mouths of actors that can't act, and I die for famous people. I think my most recent great death was for Steven Burkoff in a picture called "Fair Game", which was fairly awful, and didn't last very long. Cindy Supermodel, it was her debut, her wet T-shirt debut in that particular movie. Anyway I die for Steven Burkoff in that movie, "Fair Game", because Steven Burkoff, who is an English actor(British accent), would not scream. He didn't want to hurt his voice. He was doing a production of "Corey Elanus", which in fact we just didn't see when we were over in London, and he was saving his voice for that, I guess. So I die for him. If you ever rent that movie, you will hear me die magnificently, as the great tanker ship explodes and slides horrendously to the bottom of the ocean, or the miniature tank as the case may be.
FZ: How many times have you died in the movies, Phil?
PP: Innumerable times, but the good thing is that my estate will receive residuals, long after I'm gone. You see? For instance, when you do a Stallone movie? Its ironic that I have so many Stallone stories, too. When you do a Stallone movie, like the early movies, particularly "Rambo". I did Rambo 1, Rambo 2, Rambo 3, and his movies keep rambling along (sung). In Rambo 3, I think it was, it was Sylvester Stallone against the entire Russian Army invasion of Afghanistan. We had to die for the Afghanis and the Soviets. The Afghanis had to die in a higher register because they're a tough wiry little nomadic desert people. So they died like a more Ahhhhhh!, (high pitch). And the Russians of course, everybody thinks the Russians talk like this, so they died of course with a great throaty, chesty, Cossack death uhhhhhhhhhhh! (low Russian accent). You see. And you have to, you know, we would line up in a circle, they call it a doughnut, and we would go and walk up to the microphone and try to match our deaths to the deaths on the screen. And believe me that wasn't easy. Sometimes it had to be 3 of us standing together going Uh! (deep), Ah!(high) Uh! (deep). It was very, actually, musically quite beautiful. The choreography was often very messy and people would get hurt.
FZ: That sounds like a spike jones kind of a gig.
PP: It's really stunt work with your voice. But these are again, secrets of Hollywood, secrets of America, things that people just deny. People would much prefer to live in a fantasy, than in a reality. You know? And I think that's the problem with, not just our country but perhaps the world. Because I see the same thing happening in England, when we were over there. Their so called newspapers are filled with very inconsequential realities. Like, you know, for instance, Emma Thompson, right? I had to look at Emma Thompson nude in the center section of I think it was The Daily Sun. Well it's appropriate I guess for a paper like The Sun would have pictures of people sunbathing.
FZ: That's food for thought. Can you think of anything else to talk about?
PP: Sure let's talk about abortion! If those people were serious, they'd be walking around with signs that say, "Stop Making Babies!". It's so simple! The Great Obstructionist Party, the GOP, is completely stumped, you know, by this plank. Boy what a plank. They're really getting planked by these Bozos. You've got a bunch of radical people, who are fixated on an issue that may or may not have a true validity and if they were really serious, they would be wearing contraceptives over their heads and marching around and saying, "Let's control baby making! Let's take some responsibility for the creation of life!" Instead of this false issue of murdering people. Listen, if you don't murder people, you can't have life. God is a murderer, let's face it! You've gotta have life, you've gotta have death! If you don't have death, you ain't got life, you've got over population.
I think Americans have very simple aspirations. The problem is that our aspirations are constantly distorted by images of greed, you know, that make us nervous. Like, "Why can't we have more?" I mean listen, we're in a consumer oriented society here. OK? We think that we're that best at that, but we're not! The English have figured out much better ways to sell things. My wife and I Melinda spent time in super markets in England, looking at the products. Some of the products we found were, listen to this, swing bin liners, ivory colored with peach fragrance. Uh? Wouldn't you buy one of those?
FZ: I certainly would if I knew what a swing bin was.
PP: A swing bin is what they call, one of the little garbage cans that has the top that never works.
FZ: I have one, I think.
PP: Of course you do. But I bet you don't have an ivory colored liner that smells like peaches?
FZ: No, it's black and it smells like something else, so...
PP: How about unisex nappies? Everybody needs unisex nappies. You don't have to buy one for a boy and one for a girl. Just get one nappy for both.
Do you know what they call rednecks in Australia? Orkies. I don't know what it means but for what its worth, they don't have rednecks in Australia, they call them orkies. I guess because their skin turns kind of orchid in the sun down there.
Let's see what else is going on. I'm on the sleep diet, "Sleep your way to slimness diet." I don't know if they have those kind of things out there. Yeah, you can take a fat nap, which is good. Basically what it is, I sleep about 20 hours a day, and I find that I don't eat during that time. When I get up, I'm usually a little too groggy to do anything but to maybe have a cup of coffee. Right? And by the time I have to prepare a meal it's exhausting, so I usually just snack lightly, and go back to sleep.
FZ: So it's like the Rip Van Winkle diet then?
PP: It's little bit like that but you do have to wake up occasionally, otherwise...let's not even go there. Because of that I'm suffering from Alzheimer's Light, a very popular condition here.
FZ: What else is on your mind today?
PP: One of those annoying things that's happening in American are those disclaimers in commercials, that the announcers read at the speed of sound. Theinfneiwijeiejoefsfdfjeofsakdfmfsfmdlip. Have you heard those? It's ridiculous! It's ridiculous! It's insulting to our intelligence to have some poor, and even though I've had to do them a couple of times, guy read those. You know? Why have they accepted this? What is this nonsense? Why doesn't anybody, you know, realize this. It's ridiculous to say all of this disclaimer stuff at the end of a commercial. And of course the people who are making commercials are doing it to basically thumb their noses at the laws that require them to do that. Do you see what I'm saying?
FZ: I guess they're going for some kind of a subconscious connection there.
PP: They're going for a speed record. That's what I think it is. You know? It's the Evelynn Wood School of Speed Talking. You know? Which is, you know, is in keeping with what Marshall McCluhan predicted about electricity causing everything to happen faster in the world. You Know? Which it does.
If anybody watches the ESPN Network, they see me for a few seconds at the top of these ESPN Sports Zone Spots, its kind of fun, apparently the ESPN Sports Zone Interactive site or whatever it is. We don't have to know whatever it is we're selling, or even believe in it. You realize that? You just show up for make-up, and say the words. You know?
FZ: Any last words of wisdom, Phil?
PP: I don't believe in last words, I just want to keep talking. I hope you people were somewhat inspired, and didn't break out into perspiration listening to some of these radical ideas, but believe me this is the truth!