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WHEN I FIRST CONTACTED DAMIEN ECHOLS OF THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE FOR AN INTERVIEW LAST ISSUE, I HAD NO IDEA THAT HE AND I WOULD BECOME FRIENDS IN THE PROCESS. AND IF YOU WOULD HAVE TOLD ME THEN THAT HE WOULD SOON BECOME A CONTRIBUTING WRITER FOR TASTES LIKE CHICKEN, I NEVER WOULD HAVE BELIEVED IT. BUT LIFE IS STRANGE SOMETIMES, AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. SO READ ON AS DAMIEN TAKES THE LEAP FROM INTERVIEWEE TO INTERVIEWER, AS HE CHATS WITH HIS GOOD FRIEND, ACTOR JACOB PITTS. STARRING IN BOTH FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS, PITTS' MOST WELL KNOWN ROLE TO DATE CAME IN 2004'S MOVIE EUROTRIP. BUT PITTS IS MORE THAN JUST ANOTHER HOLLYWOOD ACTOR. INVOLVED IN BOTH THEATER AND THE WORLD OF MUSIC, JACOB ACTS BECAUSE HE CAN, AND DOES EVERYTHING ELSE BECAUSE HE WANTS TO.
Damien Echols: You're most often recognized for your role in the movie Eurotrip, but you've been in several other projects as well. Can you list some of them for the readers?
Jacob Pitts: I did a film version of A Separate Peace for Showtime, some guest spots on the television shows Strangers With Candy and Sex And The City, and a blurry few seconds in a film called K-19: The Widowmaker, to name a few. I'm probably most proud of being involved with Christopher Shinn's off-Broadway production of Where Do We Live, which was put on in the early part of the summer of 2004.
DE: What is your inspiration for acting? Why do you do it?
JP: Money. Very, very occasionally a piece of writing comes along that I personally connect with, that really twists something in me, that I will have nothing but the most fervent dedication to. In that case, I do it just for the gratification of being involved with the piece, just to say I was there. But like I said, that's about .01% of the time. Not that I'm complaining-- when it's otherwise, I'm very well overpaid.
DE: I know you're also a talented singer, songwriter, and guitar player, and that you recently recorded a demo. What itch does your music allow you to scratch that your acting doesn't?
JP: As an actor, as much as I can bring little ideas or moments to a character, I've never felt ultimately responsible for it, because I didn't write it or direct it. Acting can certainly be a bit of fun, but even at my most creatively unhinged and free-- say in Chris Shinn's play-- any idea I have about the character simply would not exist had the script not been there to inspire it. Acting, for me, is really just physically representing the ideas of a story. My body, face, and voice provide the necessary filler to make these ideas more immediate to an audience. And, compared to the handy task of actually writing one of these things, that's all I do: filler. With music, on the other hand, everything comes from myself, and these are my ideas and-- for the most part-- bitter asides that I'm unleashing. That, and all ultimate control is within my hands! Tee-hee!
DE: Who has had a strong influence on you in both acting and music?
JP: Oh, man... is that a personal question. And for publication, too. Hmmm... Bill Hicks. Now there was a man. He told the truth as he saw it. He didn't care what anyone thought, who was listening, or how many people were around.
DE: If you had to sum up your philosophy on life, what would it be?
JP: Watch out for the quiet ones. Study them. Keep tabs. They'll betray us all someday.
DE: When you need magick and beauty, where do you look for it?
JP: In 100% American, uncensored, hardcore pornography. And organic veggies and tempeh. And soy products and green tea.
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