When you’re trying to succeed you sometimes have to stretch the truth a little. Build yourself up. Everyone does it: on LinkedIn and other social media sites, on your resume, in your author or actor bios, at parties, and–of course–at job interviews. After an in-depth analysis, I came up with the Self-Promotion Scale:
1–Low self-esteem (i.e. negatively self-promoting)
3–Tasteful pretend modesty
4–Confident but honest
That brings me to Brent Frisk*.
I was introduced to him through a poster for a local web series called The Moral Floozy*. Intrigued–and recently hooked on Broad City–I watched a few episodes on YouTube. It was almost as bad as The Room, but not it’s-so-bad-it’s-funny. Just bad. When I was feeling low, I’d watch an episode or two to lift myself out of my funk.
Wondering how the director, producer, and star of a web series–which often features Brent Frisk shirtless–got funded, I began my research. First off, the series rides on the coattails of a successful book of the same name, even going so far as to use the book’s cover photo for its Kickstarter campaign. Second, Brent is the son of the real estate developer who owns the building I work in, which explains all The Moral Floozy posters on the doors. It also explains why Brent Frisk and his crew occasionally film in the building, which once involved blocking the door to our store with set pieces. This led to a bizarre confrontation with my boss:
My boss: (very politely) Hey, are you going to be moving this prop soon? It’s blocking one of the doors to my store, and customers might think we’re closed.
Ben Frisk: (angrily) I don’t have time for this right now.
My boss: (taken aback) Well, you could have said that a little more nicely.
(My boss comes back in the store, shaken, and tells us about the encounter. 10 minutes later, two of Brent’s crew members come into the store.)
Crew member 1: I apologize on behalf of Brent. He’s in a lot of physical pain right now.
Crew member 2: He didn’t mean it.
(My boss nods, still upset. The handlers leave. My boss stares out into the common area resentfully.)
So, how does a series like The Moral Floozy get crowdsourced when there are great ideas out there that don’t get a lick of funding? The Moral Floozy’s Kickstarter page boasts how it earned its requested 30 grand. After some simple math, I figured out that–in terms of actual crowdsourcing–the show only made two grand. So where did the other $27,000 come from? Just a wild guess: the rent from one of Brent’s dad’s many properties. Or could it be that Brent Frisk made the $27,000 during his “career in Hollywood”?
Brent’s IMBd and Wikipedia pages wax on about his long “film career.” They mention how he starred in a Will Smith film. In an uncredited role. They also include a T.V. series–that never made it to T.V.–written and directed by Brent. He co-stars in “every episode as a different character,” which brings me to his acting reel from his trying-to-make-it-in-Hollywood days. Great stuff. I also found an interview in a local newspaper where Brent claims that he was in negotiations with HBO for The Moral Floozy, but the plan was “scuttled” because the network wouldn’t let him stay true to his artistic intentions.
At that point, I’d had it with this fraud. Promoting yourself is one thing, but what this guy was doing was falsifying reality. Whenever Brent films in our building, I spy, hoping to catch a look on an actor’s face, saying, “Why am I working with this douche-bag?” But Brent is either pulling the wool over their eyes, or they’re genuinely good actors.
One day, a new flyer appeared on the door:
Come to The Moral Floozy’s season 6 launch party this Thursday at 7pm. Beverages and ______ (an amazing local band) will be playing.
Seriously? A season 6 launch party? The views since the Kickstarter funding had gone from 4,000 an episode to a few 100–which probably included dozens by Brent. Yet he kept going, as though season 6 of The Moral Floozy would be the one to make it big. Poor Brent Frisk.
Brent would probably consider himself much more successful than I am, since I don’t have the funds to fund my own Kickstarter campaign. Generally, I vacillate between Low Self-Esteem and Tasteful Pretend Modesty on the Self-Promotion Scale. Brent definitely falls somewhere north of Narcissist.
*Names have been changed to stop any further promotion of this actor/director and/or his web series