Actor Crispin Glover opens up about when he began making his books, funding his own projects, and promoting his work through “Crispin ‘Hellion’ Glover’s Big Slide Show.”
You are in a good position as an actor now. You can fund your own projects that are important to you.
After “Charlie’s Angels” came out it did very well financially and was good for my acting career. I started getting better-paid roles and I could continue using that money to finance my films I am so truly passionate about. I have been able to divorce myself from the content of the films that I act in. I look at acting as a craft that I am (using) to help other filmmakers to accomplish what it is they want to do. Filmmakers have hired me because there is something they felt would be interesting to accomplish using me in their film. Usually I can try to do something interesting as an actor. If for some reason the director is not truly interested in doing something I personally find interesting with the character then I can console myself that with the money I am making to be in their production I can help to fund my own films I am so truly passionate about. (Most of the time) I feel I am able to get something across as an actor that I feel good about. It has worked out well!
Do you feel that touring with your work and talking about it in person gives you an advantage over the usual Hollywood ways of promoting films or projects? If so, how?
The live aspects of the shows are not to be underestimated. This is a large part of how I bring audiences into the theater and how I recoup is by what is charged for the live show and what I make from selling the books after the shows.
For “Crispin ‘Hellion’ Glover’s Big Slide Show,” I perform a one-hour dramatic narration of eight different books I have made over the years. These are taken from old books from the 1800’s that have been changed into different ones from what they originally were. They are heavily illustrated with original drawings and reworked images and photographs.
When did you start making them?
I started making my books in 1983 for my own enjoyment without the concept of publishing them. I had always written and drawn. The books came as an accidental outgrowth of that. I was in an acting class in 1982. Down the block was an art gallery that had a bookstore upstairs. In the store, there was a book for sale that was an old binding taken from the 1800’s. Someone had put his or her artwork inside the binding. I thought this was a good idea and set out to do the same thing. I worked a lot with India ink at the time and was using the India ink on the original pages to make various art. I had always liked words in art and left some of the words on one of the pages. I did this again a few pages later. When I turned the pages, I noticed that a story started to naturally form. I continued with this. When I was finished with the book, I was pleased with the results and kept making more of them. I made most of the books in the 1980s and very early 1990s. Some of the books utilize text from the biding it was taken from and some are basically completely original text. Sometimes I would find images that I was inspired to create stories for. Sometimes it was the binding or portions of the texts that were interesting. Altogether, I made about twenty of them. When I was editing my first feature film “What Is It?” there was a reminiscent quality to the way I worked with the books. As I was expanding into a feature from what was originally going to be a short, I was taking film material that I had shot for a different purpose originally and re-purposed it. I was writing, shooting, and ultimately editing at the same time. Somehow, I was comfortable with this because of similar experiences with making my books.
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