“Hello, Kelsey, this is Simon Tatum. How are you jolly ol’ chap?” (Simon is British and I don’t think he actually says jolly ol’ chap, but that’s what I hear.)
“How’s life in Hollywood?” I ask, back home in Muncie, Indiana, where it’s almost dinner time. I have spit up on my shirt and I may or may not have pee on my pants. I’m not an invalid; I have kids, which is close to the same thing when you think about it.
“Well, Kelsey, that’s why I’m calling you. I’m shooting a pilot. Would you be interested in being in it?”
This was in November and I was traveling out to LA to meet Amilcar. “Tell me more.”
“It’s a show about this former con man turned magician, Matt the Knife.”
“Oh and I should probably tell you this: You will choose one of three guns, one of which is loaded, hold it to Matt’s head, and pull the trigger. The worst thing that can happen is that you blow out Matt’s brains and are scarred for life.”
“I don’t really see the upside here, Simon.”
The show’s taping didn’t work with my schedule because it would have cut my time with Amilcar short by about 24 hours, and, as it turns out Amilcar had a pretty big story to tell me. I’m not sure I would have done it anyhow. But the show must go on. Simon found someone else to participate in the magic trick.
You can see the results in the trailer below.
Simon is a fascinating bloke, who had worked with Michael Caine, Helen Mirren, Johnny Depp, Ridley Scott, and Tim Burton, and on moves like Harry Potter and The Corpse Bride by the time he was 25. How he’s turned his abilities to making nonfiction films like the Last Freak Show that will blow your mind.
Simon was recently interviewed on www.therisinghollywood.com. You should read the interview so someday when everyone has heard of Simon, you can win some cool points by being familiar with the early mind-blowing work.