I met Marcos through my friend Michael. Marcos, who is often standing by Michael’s side, is 6 feet tall with the stance and demeanor of an Israeli bodyguard. He’s not Israeli. He’s 37, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and raised in Houston. And he’s not a bodyguard. He’s a filmmaker. A serious one. He smiles, and he’s amiable, but he’s not silly. I am.
There are times I wish I weren’t. Like last week, when I picked up my daughter from preschool and got the kids so hyper her teacher asked me to leave. I was embarrassed. I can’t have a kid approach me without turning it into a make believe web-slinger shootout or an ugly-face contest. Marcos doesn’t have ugly-face contests.
Marcos has a degree in finance and spent many years as a Wall Street investment banker. He then took a job at a private equity firm in Miami. “I don’t know why, but I just did not mesh with Miami. It wasn’t me. So I decided I was going to move to L.A. and use my finance background to get a job at a studio.”
After a development job, he tried his hand at directing. “I started writing and directing bad short films, which is what I consider my film school. And then I did a short film that went to Sundance. That was, I can modestly say, a really, really, good short film. Then I directed a feature [called ‘And Soon the Darkness’] for Studio Canal that was a little out of my wheelhouse, that didn’t really make any waves. I made this short film I knew was great, and I made a feature I knew was OK. It didn’t go the way I planned. It doesn’t always go the way I planned. Life doesn’t work that way.
“If I’m going to continue to work in this business and tell stories, I need to tell stories that resonate with me. I sat down and started to write this new script, and if things go well, we’ll be shooting this winter in New York.”
Marcos loves to read and loves to learn new things. He taught himself how to direct. He started classical piano lessons last year. He spent six months learning Italian. He also runs three to four days a week and travels whenever he can.
I ask about women. “To be honest, girls tend to be younger than me — I think that’s sort of normal for most men. I’m not looking for someone who’s 20 years old. There needs to be some maturity with whomever I’m dating. [Also] a sense of humor and a desire to learn as much as I do. Looks are important, too — there’s no way around it. I like to feel attracted. When I pick them up for the 10th date, I [want to] feel the same butterflies as the second date. It’s all about the chemistry. It sounds like a cliché, but some clichés are true.”
He made good money being a finance guy, so I ask if there’s any regret over taking his chances as an artist. “If push comes to shove, I can always get a gig doing financial analyses for production companies, but if all I cared about was money, I’d be on Wall Street. Because my friends who are on Wall Street are millionaires. And they’re good people — not evil Wall Street people — and I could have done that. But being a filmmaker has enriched my life. I’ve done things, and met people, and gone places that I don’t think I’d have experienced if I was an investment banker. I guess I’ll know when I die.”
Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.