Thursday, January 14, 2016

By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There by Tom Sizemore

Tom Siexmore with Anna David. By Some Miracle I Made it Out of There: A Memoir. New York: Atria Books, 2013.]

Sizemore writes how he overcame drug abuse and restored a career that had been harmed by his imprisonment.

Sizemore was addicted to heroin as well as crystal meth. He admits back then he was not seeking sobriety.

Sizemore grew up admiring his two uncles who were drug dealers, even though his father did not use any drugs.

Sizemore, as a child, read books about James Dean and Montgomery Clift. He decided he wanted to be an actor. At age 20, Sizemore tried out for the League of Professional Theater Training Programs. He was accepted into Temple University’s program. He immersed himself in studying acting. He played on the college’s main stage as a first year student. He continued with graduate school and received an MFA. He worked performing in theatre in New York City. He attended the Ensemble master acting class.

A casting director, Risa Braman, helped bring New York City actors such as Alex Baldwin, John Torturro, Ethan Hawke, and Anthony LaPaglia to Hollywood films. She cast Sizemore in “Blue Steel”. That led to a role in “Point Break”, “Strange Days”, and “Born on the Fourth of July.”

Sizemore filmed with director Oliver Stone Stone thought Sizemore acted well. Yet Sizemore was very self-critical. Stone added Sizemore to additional scenes,

Sizemore was cast in the movie “Lock It Up”. Sizemore was amazed by Mickey Rourke’s talents.

Sizemore believes if you can imagine yourself being anything else but an actor, then you should be doing something else” He notes that an actor is selling, not a product, but the actor. Being rejected for a role is “the most personal kind of rejection.” He decided when he was rejected for a rle he would grieve for a day and then move on.

Sizemore had a recurring role on the TV series “China Beach”. Several more movie roles followed. He received a leading role in the movie “Passenger 57”.

When Sizemore was cast in “Natural Born Killers”, he realized he needed to become sober. He went to AA and achieve brief sobriety before filming.

Sizemore completed a 30 day rehab program. He returned to drugs without four hours after getting out of rehab. He still wanted to get high. He notes that “it sounds insane, I realize, but if you even heard that a guy OD’d fro a certain batch of drugs, you’d find out who his dealeer had been because you know that heroin was good.”

Sizemore was cast in “Saving Private Ryan”. He had to promise producer Steven Speilberg he could remain sober during the filming.

Sizemore next portrayed John Gotti in an NBC-TV mini-series “Witness to the Mob” He gained 40 pounds to play the role. Hw loat the weight under doctor[s supervision. He then was in the movie “Florentine”.

Sizemore went into methadone maintenance. He started at 200 mg, the largest amount allowed. He became addicted to methadone. He was on methadone for two years. He returned to using heroin. His wife called an ambulance when he didn’t respond and was told the ambulance got to him before he suffered brain damage.

Sizemore appeared in “Red Planet” with Val Kilmer. Kilmer kept production waiting 3 to 4 hours daily while arguing with director Antony Hoffman for script changes. Val Kilmer and Sizemore got into an argument and Kilmer responded by throwing a lighter at Sizemore. Kilmer later kept everyone waiting for nine hours. Kilmer got angry at a 18 year old prop gifl, called her a “dumb bitch”, and threw a lit cigarette at her which burned her chest. Things were so tense a producer asked Sizemore, if he came to blows with Kilmer, not to hit Kilmer in the face as it might be hard to cover that up with make-up. Sizemore did hit Kilmer in the chest, stomach, and arms. Both Kilmer and Sizemore were going through divorces. They later spoke to each other about their personal troubles and became friends.

Sieemore dated convicted prostitution madam Heidi Fleiss. They consumed meth together. Sizenore noted “when you’re letting yourself fall deep into a hole with drugs, whatever reins you have on other aspects of your ife can easily disintegrate.” Heidi Fleiss told interviewer Howard Stern has hard Sizemore’s movie “Black Hawk Down”. The film producer canceled a planned Academy Award campaign for Sizemore.

Siemore stopped using meth while filming a TV movie Sons of the Father” because he was afraid of carrying meth on a flight to Canada. When Sizemore filmed the movie “Swindle”, Heidi Fleiss sent women to Canada to deliver meth to Sizemore. Fleiss also put speed in his Visine bottle.

Sizemore was cast in the CBS TV series “Robbery Homicide Division”. Critics liked the show yet it had poor ratings. It was canceled after a few months.

Heidi Fleiss believed Sizemore stole her list of prostitutes. Sizemore states he believes Fleiss had a friend falsely claim Sizemore abused her and then drop the charges. Sizemore’s arrest made news but not that the charges were dropped.

Fleiss later had Sizemore arrested, claiming he hit her. He denies this. He was convicted on some counts.

Before sentencing, Sizemoe filmed his role in the movie :”Hustle”. Director Peter Bogdanovich stated people are mistaken in telling actors to become rheir roles, and an actor should strive to b the best “look for the character” inside the actor.

Before Sizemore was to be sentenced, he tried to kill himself by taking 100 antidepressants A friend something was wrong and found him, his face already blue He was told in the hospital he was near death.

Charlie Sheen was among friends who supported Sizemore at sentencing. Sizemore was sentenced to six months imprisonment reduced to three months if he completed drug rehabilitation. He left reb twice and got high He was given one last change and did not leave again. He stayed 57 days, which was longer then the 45 days we was sentenced He got high after release. He learned how to bend drug rules, including using a take penis with clean urie, He ried being in a steam room drinking water and not eating anything for four days followed by taking vinegar to become nauseous, drinking cranberry juice and taking many aspirin, only to still test positive He was found with meth and given 36 months probation. Sizemore spent $10 million in legal fees. He became broke and filed for bankruptcy.

The TV network VH1 had a reality show “Shooting Sizemore” that Sizemore calls “a piece of shit”. It showed Sizemore smoking speed and having a fake gun that he writes its use was taken out of context.

Sizemore overdosed a lot. His friends would take him to the hospital and shove him out the care to avoid arrest.

Sizemore remained “hopeless addicted” to meth. Sizemore filed a porn movie with six women. He was later arreste with meth and sentenced to 16 months imprisonment for violating parole, later cut in half for previous time spent imprisoned and in rehab. He learned he had to pick a gang to survive in prison. He found the guards were worse than inmates as they would have inmates fight to the death and take bets.

Sizemore appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew”. Sizemore failed to appear until day nine, He the escaped to get high. He was lured to return to treatment when he ran out of food and he was lured with pizza. He had to be sedatd with Seroquel to stop leaving.

Sizemore admits he filmed “Celebrity Rehab with Dr.Drew”” and then “Sober House” for the money. He lost $200,000 of the $250,000 he received for the shows. He believes some trusted firends took the money. He credits the shows for saving his life. He went to AA meetings, something he had declined to do before.

Sizemore appeared in the movie “White Knight”. He then received a recurring role in the CBS TV series “Hawaii Five O”.

Sizemore notes “the hardest part about acting, for me, is that you’re sitting there on a set for 14 hours only to act for maybe 28 minutes.”

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Lost Girl by Kathy Coleman

Kathy Coleman with Steven Thompson. Lost Girl: The Truth and Nothing But the Truth So Help Me Kathleen. 2015.

Coleman notes “the whole premise of the book should be that we’re no different.”

Coleman grew up without a father and was the youngest of several siblings. She lived in a small community an hour and a half away from Hollywood. She was not liked by her classmates who ridiculed her being a child actor. Coleman told Dinah Shore on “The Dinah Shore Show” that her classmates “beat the heck out of me.” That was edited out of the interview.

Abuse continued in her life. Coleman’s first marriage first marriage was to a husband who shot up their house, causing  $18,000 damage,. She hid and fled, fear for her life. Her husband was son the son of U.S. Rp. Alphonso Bell. Her husband grew up rich and without an appreciation for things. Her in-laws remained supportive of her and her children even when her ex-husband was non-supportive,

Whitman had an acting agent at age six. She was born Kathleen Buck (and never saw her father growing up and later learned she had a different father from her siblings. She used her mother’s maiden name, Coleman, while acing She first worked as Goldilocks in a Shakley’s Pizza commercial. More commercial work followed, including a part in the play “Gypsy”.

One commercial would quality as work during an unemployment compensation period. Coleman, along with numerous other celebrities, lived off of unemployment compensation.

Coleman was selected as one of the 16 members of the changing membership of the Mike Curb Congregation Congregation singing group.

Coleman was cast in the Saturday morning TV series “Land of the Lost”. The only child actor was Phil Paley. Paley and Coleman had worked together prior in a Cheez-Its commercials Paley was the youngest second degree black belt at the time, studying under Chuck Norris. Later, Coleman and Paley lived together briefly.

The writers of “Last of the Lost” developed intelligent science for adult viewers with visuals for children. Several top notch directors such as Bob Lally, Gordon Wiles, and Dennis Steinmetz directed episodes. Denis Steinnetz, a noted make-up articles worked on the series. Two sound stages were used. A chroma blue key, a.k.a. “green screen:, was used. Coleman were blue corduroys in early episodes that were changed o burgundy as the blue pants color faded in the chroma key blue.

Dinosaur close-ups involved hand puppets. Coleman noted “they could have been done better.”

Wesley Eure, an actor on the series, was originally billed as “Wesley”. He and Coleman would comptee for ad libs and last close-up shots.

When Coleman had to cry in a scene, Wesley Eure held her was she released tears. After her performance that included crying, the crew gave her a sanding ovation.

“Land of the Lost” declined in viewership when Spencer Milligan, who player her father on the show, He was replaced by Ron Harper, who was cast as her uncle. Spencer had acted as a father, which appealed to young viewers. Uncle Jack wanted to display sex appeal, Scenes between Coleman and Harper were visibly tense.

Coleman appeared singing on national TV during the Macy’s Day Parade. Minutes before she saw her mother having an epileptic seizure. She had to appear on TV not knowing if her mother was still alive. Her mother did survive.

Coleman’s agent turned down being on “One Day at a Time”. This was even though fellow cast member Wesley Eure was doing two TV shows at the time. Her agent didn’t want her to do that.

Spencer Milligan was upset that there were no payments for cast members for merchandising with their images. Milligan did not get along with producer Marty Kroft. Milligan left the show.

Ron Harper was added to the show. He made inappropriate advances to women on the set, including 14 year old Coleman on the set which was captured on tape. Coleman’s mother threatened to report the incident. She was offered the option of having the incident reported and shutting down the show, or accepting an apology from Harper. Her mother needed the income and agreed to the apology. Harper gave a weak apology. The tape was destroyed.

“Land of the Lost” was the top rated children’s show. It lost ratings as fans became confused and upset that Milligan was no longer on the show. The show lasted three seasons.

Coleman got a job in “Adam 12” through connections during a dinner discussion. Coleman writes “that’s how this business works. When you know someone and they can help you, then they do and that’s the beauty of it.”

Coleman filmed her last set of commercials for Burger King at age 17 before marrying, divorcing an abusive husband, and returning at age 29.

After divorcing a second abusive husband, who were sometimes homeless, Coleman was homeless alone for two months. She learned homeless people tend to be among the nicest people.

Coleman developed an alcohol addiction. It became serious enough that she was hospitalized for a month. She found recovery.

Coleman auditioned for the second “Land of the Lost” TV series. The director stated she gave the best reading but shoe was not cast.

Colmean filmed a scene with the “Land of the Lost” movie. Her cameo was deleted from the final movie when it was decided to use a different humorous ending.