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LAist Interview: Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Easier With Practice

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Being on the road can be lonely, especially when you’ve got company. Davy and his brother Sean have been spending their days driving to tiny bookshops promoting Davy’s book of short stories to sparse audiences and their nights holed up in cheap motel rooms. Then one night, alone in the motel room, Davy gets a call from a woman who wants to know what he’s wearing. What could have been a phone sex one-night-stand turns into Davy’s most intimate and long-term relationship. It keeps him going on the road but it can’t last forever; eventually Davy wants to meet Nicole, the mystery woman on the other end of the line. Easier With Practice, based on Davy Rothbart’s autobiographical GQ article “What Are You Wearing?” has an unconventional meet-cute and a twist at the end that goes to show truth is stranger than fiction.

Brian Geraghty, whom you’ll recognize from Jarhead and The Hurt Locker even though he’s not dressed in camo, stars as the film’s socially awkward lead, Davy Mitchell. Brian’s theater background (he’s currently staring in the L.A. revival of The Subject Was Roses with Martin Sheen) is apparent as he turns in a skillfully nuanced performance even through a number of long takes. That initial phone call from Nicole clocked in at around ten minutes. Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez told me they never rehearsed that pivotal scene and only shot it twice. He says he could have used either take. Brian just nailed it. I had the chance to talk to Kyle on the phone this morning. I sat on my bed in my jammies, but we didn’t talk about what we were wearing. Instead, Kyle shared the intimate details of what it was like for him to write and direct his first feature film.