Since far too often we only publicly say nice things about people when they are dead I’ve decided to randomly pick a Facebook friend every day and say something nice about them.
June 11, 2019
Today’s person: Hugo Carbajal!
Here’s the thing with cool: most “cool” people aren’t, because you can feel the effort. Cool isn’t in the clothes, the car, or the trying. It’s not in copying. You are cool when you are uniquely and happily yourself,, when you wear your own skin well.
And when that complex security in being yourself, combined with a good amount of humor, a touch of honest humility, and a dangerous glint of the eye - then you are actually Cool.
Hugo is, like, one of the coolest guys I know.
Next to him I feel like the “before” character in “The Nutty Professor,” buck teeth and all. I could wear a propeller beanie and wouldn’t feel less cool than I already do around Mr. Carbajal.
And since he’s fucking hilarious, I get to feel like a straight man around Mr. Funny, as well as a pantsless adolescent around Mr. Suave.
And I did not get to work with him nearly long enough.
The thing with writing for a resident company is you’re always creating roles that stretch your friends in ways that sometimes only you find entertaining. You toss them a curveball, and it's their job to set it on fire and launch it into orbit as only they can. The first role and last role I wrote for Hugo was a particular challenge I thought was funny: an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who, whenever the cops showed up, adopted a very specific other persona...
“Can you play an older Jewish man From New York?” I asked.
I pretty sure it was the first time anyone had asked Hugo that particular question.
“I can work on it...”
And he did. Of course he did. And he was super cool and super funny throughout. Hugo took the strange, lovable curveball of Lluis and made me look good, and his brutal police chief made me look brilliant. I was looking forward to years of working with Hugo, getting his feedback, creating with him and for him, but instead fucking Los Angeles.
Because now he’s down there, getting work, kicking ass, doin’ the film/tv thang.
Those bastards have no idea how lucky they are.