Bukowsical! is self described as "Delusion, heartbreak, necrophilia, drunkenness, cirrhosis of the liver and some catchy tunes." We caught up with the talented director of Bukowsical! Dean Cameron to discuss the creative spark behind this groundbreaking, critically acclaimed musical playing now through June at The Sacred Fools Theater in Los Angeles.  

Why use Charles Bukowski for a musical?

The writer Spencer Green, and Gary Stockdale the guy who wrote the music they were joking in e-mail to each other about bad musicals. Sort of e-mailing bad musical titles back and forth and Bukowsical! just came out. Then Gary and Spencer they wrote this medley of songs that lasted about 5 minutes long. It was really, really funny. Thatís how the show came about.

You thought it would be great to do for Sacred Fools?

I thought if we expand it to about an hour we could get it done at Sacred Fools. Low and Behold itís done.

Why do you think after all these years that thereís still a big interest in Bukowski?

First of all the main part of the show has nothing to do with Charles Bukowski. It just touches on as if you were to do a xxxgaggle search on Charles Bukowski and just scanned the results. Not even click on them just look. Thatís about as much information as you get from our show. Thereís nothing about him in the show except other then what youíd learn from watching "Barfly".

Itís influenced by him, but it isnít a direct history of his life.

The show is more about the American Musical and American Musical comedy and how much they suck. It can be about anything. If you lift it up and the construction of the tunes fit in a certain mold you can have a hit show and we do.

Youíve been getting a lot of crowds going?

Weíve been selling out every show and weíre going to extend through July. Then in September weíre going to run it on the main stage show probably Thursday through Sunday.

Next stop Broadway.

Yea, exactly itís interesting because itís following the same trajectory as "Spam Scam". It started off as a joke in e-mail. I tried it out for a couple of nights and it took on a life of its own. So I will now only do shows that begin as jokes in e-mail.

Then youíll know itíll be a hit.

So, Iíll be doing "retroCRUSH: the show".

Sounds great! Thereís Cannibalism, and Necrophilia in Bukowsical!. All the good stuff right?

Yea, thereís a little story about fucking a corpse. Thereís not really Cannibalism. Thereís cirrhosis of the Liver. That happens to alcoholics. The delusion is the theater company that thinks a musical about Bukowski would be a good idea.

The fact that Charles Bukowski is so brutally honest is what makes him interesting.

The juxtaposition of that with the songs which are these bouncy, happy numbers with lyrics like: "Whatís the feeling you get when youíre down on your luck and too drunk to fuck?" Itís funny. Thatís funny stuff.

Its pure genius that someone would come up with a musical like this. Youíre good at thinking outside the box.

Every young actor goes through a very intense Bukowski period. I was no different. Iím actually a bigger fan of his novels than his poetry.

So you were working at a Post Office and picking up big fat chicks? He just seems graphically honest.

The book he wrote, "Ham on Rye" is really funny.

Thatís the one about him growing up?

Exactly, itís a great comic novel. If you want to take about Misogyny and women is the way to go. As far as writing books about hating women.

He seems to have a love/hate relationship with women.

Itís more hate/hate.

Fuck ''em and beat 'em?

Yes, exactly.

He seems to be able to zoom in on that mundane-ness of working at a really crappy job day in and day out and nobody gives a shit anyway.

For me it made me understand why people go crazy at the post office. When you have some sort of suggestion to make the process better, quicker, or more efficient they donít accept it. Thereís all this government bureaucracy built into the post office. Thatís just how we do it and if you have to do five other steps then do it. Rather then just walking over here and putting it in the bin.

Thatís why thereís so many shooting there.

Although, actually there arenít as many shootings at the post office as you think there are. Theyíre just reported.

You recently bought a house?

Yea, it almost made me lose my fucking mind. We bought a house and weíre loving it so far because we can make our mortgage payment at this point.

Thereís a lot of lying and weird stuff that goes on with loans.

These loan brokers are amazing. Thereís this one guy whoís still calling me.

He still thinks he can get a loan out of you.

Yea, and I said, "I got a loan, I bought the house, and I donít want to talk to you again." He goes, "Okay, Iíll talk to you again." The guy is out of his mind.

Your blog is great. Youíve had some frustrations with getting a TIVO. I donít mean to upset you today.

Theyíre fine problems to have. I try to stay aware of that. Iím not dying or Iím not shitting myself to death while drinking Gatorade.

Like Bukowski you seem to open up about things like that.

Thatís why I like Bukowski because heís honest. There is thirty years of darkness about him, but he had a sense of humor about it. I sure do identify with that. I donít feel a lot of darkness, but I understand how it can be funny.

You have to use humor in life or youíll go completely batty. Did you enjoy directing "Bukowsical!"?

I had a great time. I always believed that the most important thing is to pick the right material and cast. Then you donít have to do anything. They literally do all the work and you just take credit for it.

They pretty much did it on their own.

I choreographed a bunch of stuff. I originally I hired a choreographer. I donít know if you read about it in the blog or not.

It sounded gut wrenching because it sounded like a good friend?

Well, he wasnít a good friend, but it was an older guy who had done a lot of stuff. He just wasnít cutting it.

He was doing it as a Broadway musical?

He didnít "get it" which I mentioned that could work if youíre really going for it and trying to do it. As a Choreographer or a Director you have to be able to adapt to your material and your actors. I didnít cast dancers. I cast singers so they canít really dance very well. He was doing some intricate dance steps. I just wanted bone head, crappy high school musical choreography which is all I really know. Thatís what I ended up choreographing and I love it!

Apparently even in Variety and LA Weekly you got some good reviews.

Yea, they mentioned it. Who knew?

Whatís next for Dean Cameron?

Weíre taking "Spam Scam" to New York in June and theyíre actually giving us money to do that. The big news is this thing called the "Just for Laughs" festival in Montreal which weíre going to. Theyíre flying us up there and theyíve created this special spot for us. Weíre in a section of the festival with some really heavy hitters.

Are you going to be naked on stage?

No, I wonít be naked on stage this time. These guys Iíve seen in Scotland are going to be there: Dimitri Martin, Stewart Lee, and Phil Nickel. Nobody knows who they are over here, but their huge and really, really great comedians. Weíre in the same section of the festival as they are. Itís quite an honor. Thatís in July. After that I donít know.

It seems like you bounce back and forth between coding and acting.

Iíve been consulting at a web company called Skilljam. Iím doing coding for their e-mail.

Itís always good to pay your bills. I wish I could do more of that.

I can make a real nice living doing voiceovers and I do. The coding money is my retirement fund.

Are you going to do anymore gay roles?

I dunno. My wife works for this company and one of her friends looked me up on internet and imdb.com has this discussion about my sexuality. I thought thatís pretty cool. Iím married to someone named, "Jessie". That could be a guy.

Maybe youíre not telling us something. Could be a Tranny?

Could be.

Hopefully, you know that by now?

Trey Parker and Matt Stone said, "Weíre all a little gay."

Some of us our a lot gay.

Iím meeting to talk about directing a movie next Friday for sometime next Spring.

Do you tend to like directing better?

Yea, itís good to shake things up. I think I find when I act I get bored. I look around and watch other actors. I think how they could do it so much better.

You find yourself wanting to direct automatically. Youíre so brilliant with your musical stuff.

Ah jeez.

I love you for Rockula.

People love it.

Iíve interviewed other people and my friends donít know who they are. I mention Dean Cameron and they say, "Oh yea, I see him on cable all the time!"

Itís amazing.

Bukowsical! sounds very cool and I think other people should go see it.

I do too. If youíre in the area go see it. Come say, "Hi" because Iím usually there.

You had a cool thought on Immigration.

Itís not my own itís Julian Simon whoís an Economist who was very influential. Itís how I formed a lot of my opinions. He died a few years ago. He had interesting things about immigration and the environment.

I want to read that now. See, I have nothing else to do, but read your blog. Iím your ultimate stalker. When you do the "retroCRUSH" musical you can have me singing about Dean Cameron and reading everything about him.

You have very good taste. Iíve traveled to other countries although Europe is sort of like the United States in a white, light skin sort of way. I totally get people wanting to come to the United States. Weíve got plenty here. Let them in!

Continued success in your career and Bukowsical!

Rock on!

-Randy Waage

Support alternative, way cool theater by seeing Bukowsical! 
Tickets are only an amazing $10!
Check out Dean's TOTALLY AWESOME WEBSITE & BLOG: http://www.deancameron.com/blog.shtml

Completely gratuitous web gallery of the handsome Dean Cameron:

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