›› Performance Anxiety
a short film by Reid Waterer.
2012 | 15 mins | US.
starring: Danny Lopes / Jacob, Lawrence Nicols / Duke and Anthem Moss as the Director.
Official Synopsis: "Two straight actors must rehearse for their impending gay love scene. How will they make out?"
You have to hand it to writer and director Reid Waterer and here cue his pure romantic delight You Can't Curry Love, in that he knows how to cinematically entertain the boys and this, one of his latest short films is guaranteed to please. Although as to which short you may prefer in the double short + bonus footage set, that is Global Warming - such I suppose depends on whether you're in the mood for romance, or some sensuous man-flesh.
For it's certainly on display here, as our two leads strip down to their ever so tight fitting briefs, or alternately out of them altogether. Naughtier than before as a result, not that anyone is complaining, here we find Waterer ponder the sexual mindset of two straight actors contracted to perform a gay love scene for the latest rainbow coloured feature. Yet and in as much as this is a work of fiction, I dare say that the scenario is an all too real one for many an actor; indeed the very actors involved here. For how comfortable, or perhaps that should be uncomfortable, is it for a straight man to get up close and personal with another man? Answers on a postcard to that one folks. Whatever, it's a question that Waterer delights in comically answering, along the way showcasing some of the tricks of the trade involved in creating a passionate sex scene without engaging in the act itself.
Getting up close and personal in Performance Anxiety.
Yet and in as much as a work of this nature cannot help but shine the spotlight on the Kinsey scale of human sexuality, here I cannot help but wonder if one of the governing factors of any simulated sex scene, regardless of its sexual orientation, may relate to how relaxed the individuals concerned are in being naked on set and in this instance, both Danny Lopes and Lawrence Nicols appear to be well and truly at ease, not that this should arrive as a surprise given Lopes' former Playgirl model status.
All in a day's work in Performance Anxiety.
Playing the whole scenario for all of its seductive worth and here cue the "two straight guys getting it on" angle, Waterer casts both characters "open-minded and gay-friendly," yet equally keen to proclaim their heterosexuality. Laced with many a "SO not into that" comment as a result, our hetero pair nevertheless find themselves having to kiss gay, touch gay and well, you can guess the rest. Only do the boys protest too much? My lips are sealed on that point. What I will say is that this is fifteen minutes worth of unadulterated sexy fun, played with zeal by cuties Lopes and Nicols, who along the way are only too happy to show their muscular torsos and more for the boys, given Waterer switches half way through from staged rehearsal footage to the finished product; that of a 1950s-based period piece, as depicted in striking monochrome. As to whether or not both men stayed in the straight lane of life, or hereafter took the fast track to the joys of sexual diversity, well perhaps there's room for a sequel; after all, who wouldn't want to see more of these sexy boys?
A cue for the line that I cannot help but feel that this is just too short, a short. Indeed and personally speaking, I would have loved to have seen how their friendship developed from that point on, given this is a short film that brilliantly cuts to the heart of masculinity and how a kiss, is just a kiss; after all "it's called 'acting' dear boy."
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - the full monty.
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars.