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Making Wild Books, Movies, and Waves In the New Frontier

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Dear gang –

Lemme slap my cards down on the table here, right up front.

I’m looking for five actresses. Five really great actresses. Who can authentically strip onstage.

Or to flip it around: I’m looking for five strippers. Five really great strippers. Who can authentically act onscreen.

Reason being, co-director Andrew Kasch, production partner/star Steve Walter and I are about to shoot a bodacious trailer for THE LONG LAST CALL: a feature film we’re crazy to make, based on my screenplay and subsequent book.

[For those of you not familiar with it, here’s the Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Long-Last-Call-John-Skipp/dp/084395843X ]

Bottom line: it’s an intense, hyper-compressed little horror extravaganza set in a backwoods strip club at closing time… when a mysterious dark stranger with a briefcase full of cash whips the war between the sexes into nightmare overdrive.

 As such, five of the main characters in this ensemble piece are dancers at the club. To whit:

1) Pearl is one of the club’s top draws. She is tough, smart, resourceful, smokin' hot but plays it cool. Mercenary as hell, but not without feelings. She's an extremely skillful dancer -- advanced pole work (spinning, going upside down) is a MUST -- and can fight when she has to.

As shit goes down, Pearl emerges as one of the good ones. And her arc is both psychologically and emotionally complex: she goes through some serious changes. She is easy to love and hard to trust. But we gotta love her a lot. And fear her a little.

Pearl is a redhead with milky-white skin, which she exposes. There is nudity (topless and g-string) involved, just to be clear. But also serious acting chops. (This is true for all of the following roles.)

2) Ambrosia is the queen bee: ruthless, shameless, smart, mean, insanely beautiful and bountiful and hot. She’s got a fiery temper and a wicked sense of humor. There’s nothing she won’t do to get what she wants. And she wants everything.

She’s a great villain even before she turns into a monster. Then she’s even scarier. Think Tura Satana (in FASTER, PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL!) kicked into supernatural overdrive. She could beat the shit out of every woman and more than half of the men in the room.

Ambrosia is exotic (all ethnicities welcome), and incredibly built. She is a wholly amoral sexual force of nature.

3) Daisy is the new girl, incredibly ripe and sweet and young, innocent-looking to the point of angelic. But she has already seen and done too much.

Daisy has one of the hardest physical roles, in that she has to start out dancing/stripping awkwardly, then evolve in the course of one sequence into an extremely skillful dancer: advanced pole work (spinning, going upside down) is a MUST.

Daisy is by far the most lovable dancer at the club. We never stop rooting for her, no matter how horrible things get, or how tragic. She must radiate light and kindness. I always pictured her as a midwestern blonde, but we’re open to surprises.

4) Kristan is a college girl who drives out to the boonies, stripping for farmers to pay her rent and tuition. She’s the punkiest dancer, in a violet wig, so tats might be welcome. She is young, hot, sharp, amoral, and intense.

She likes to think she’s above this, but circumstances dictate otherwise. So she does what she has to. But doesn’t take shit off of anyone, and could walk at any second. Is therefore a wild card. (Again: ethnicity wide open.)

5) Lily is the veteran, 10 years older than the rest, with a hard body she’s worked hard to maintain. But she’s on the way out, and knows it. She’s lowest on the stripper pecking order, drinks heavily, is nice to losers, hangs in as best she can.

When she turns into a monster, she’s sad, and so are we. But she does monster out, with frightening glee. So she’s both heartbreaking and terrifying. (Again: ethnicity wide open.)

There are ten other interesting roles in this ensemble piece, all of them juicy. We’ve put a lot of thought into who might play them, have excellent choices in mind.

But with these five women, we don’t know who they are yet. All we know is this that they have to be amazing, and that they’ll likely either be

  1. established pros who are excited by the parts, and willing to throw down that extra naked mile, or
  2. talented unknowns who are burning for a break, and want to make a significant splash doing something wild.

And this is the thing.

Every film has its unique demands. Picking the right people is A-#1. Casting is everything, both before and behind the camera. You need talented people who are fun, perceptive, creative, collaborative, easy to work and play with.

There’s a lot of intimacy involved. And a lot of trust.

If you’re a serious actress who is asked to get naked (or nearly) in front of the camera, rule of thumb is that there better be a really good reason.

So this is my promise to you.

  1. These are really strong, demanding, toothy, utterly kickass roles you would have a blast with.
  2. We love this movie, and are determined to make it great.
  3. We have a strict “No Hitting On The Actresses” policy. So it ain’t about that.

Casting on the trailer begins this week. We aim to shoot it before the month is out. We’re hoping to find the incredible actresses who will wind up in the actual feature. That is the goal.

Auditions will be conducted at a location with a stripper pole (we’re looking at workout spas in North Hollywood), so bring a monologue and a dance routine, along with the song of your choice. We will also do a little verbal improv, to say how you play off others.

If you know an actress who could kill this shit, please point her toward me at once. If you are that actress, please drop me a note right here, on Facebook, or at any of the casting sites we’re hitting. THANKS!

We are looking for the next Tura Satana, and then some: five iconographic femmes fatale that film lovers will be watching, discussing, dreaming about, and hunting down autographed photographs of, for years to come.

We know you’re out there, and look forward to having you kick our asses.

Yer pal in the trenches,


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Just to simplify things, contact me directly at johnmskipp@yahoo.com !

hey sorry about that last comment.

I am in a cranky mood and I actually thought that you were someone else. As soon as I realized that I actually like you and think that you're pretty cool, I deleted it. I didn't delete it because I wanted to do some kind of a stealth asshole move but mostly because I was being way too harsh and probably full of shit.

Sorry man. This kind of soapbox bullshit is something that I've made an effort not to do. Good luck with the movie.

Don't sweat it, man. I completely understand. On the surface -- which is what you had to respond to -- the reek of sleaze and feminine disempowerment is all over this thing. Which is kind of the point.

This is a story ABOUT strip clubs, and the weird dynamics of that petri dish subculture. As such, it's about the people, and the relationships therein. How these men and women feel about themselves, and each other. Why they're there. What they want. What their damage is. Where their power is. And how it comes out, as the slime on the money the Dark Stranger dispenses forces them to reveal who they really are.

It's actually intense and complex and personal. Which is why we need real actresses to deliver the depth. This ain't just about one-dimensional eye candy for oglers. All of these characters are multi-layered; and the amount of humanity the performers bring will illuminate the difference between e-z sexist caricature and actual human being.

I guess you'd have to read the story to know what we're really up to. Or not. As is your wont.

All I can say is, we're out to blow minds, with amazing people, in the spirit of total revelatory respect and transcendent kickass entertainment. Hope the end result answers and honors your legitimate concerns.

Yer pal,

This is great news! The book stomped my head in the best of ways and I'm sure the movie will do the same. All the best to ya, John!

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