I first met JC on the set of Beautiful Stranger, the latest short film to be released on-line by Dansac B Pictures. To watch his performance in Beautiful Stranger, to hear his London drawl, I was stunned when he snapped out of character and addressed me in a French accent so heavy I thought he was taking the piss. Not so; Actor, drinker, smoker, womaniser and master of Savate, JC LeSinge is a deeply talented man. He is also deeply cynical, a trait that put me off at our first encounter.
It was only months later, when I ran into him by chance in Amsterdam, that we actually had a conversation. There, in a bar deep among the red-curtained booths of the Red Light District, I realized that I had to interview this man. JC watched me with disdain while I took notes on his words, smoking constantly and drinking absinthe as if it was water.
“Do what you want, English,” he told me. “Jesus doesn’t care. You think I am so fascinating, but you know nothing of my life; you know nothing of the pain and the shit that I endure even to speak with you.”
When I asked about his acting career, he snorted in disgust.
“I spit on it; it is all rubbish. I am an artist and what I do is only art; I will have no money for it. This is why I work with Mestor Dansac and people like him, people who have no money, no bullshit. Jesus will not be paid; I know only my art.”
This strange statement led me to ask how he survived; I assumed he had an income of some sort, if only to pay the tab at the bar.
“I have nothing but myself,” he replied. “Jesus needs nothing else; money and all that go with it are lies, and Jesus cannot stand the filth of dishonesty. I live by my art, but I will make no profit.”
His art turned out to be threefold; the next day, JC phoned me while I was still in bed, recovering from a night of over-indulgence. I have no idea where he got my number, but the voice that awoke me could be no one else.
“Wake up, English. Jesus will show you his art today and then you will bother me no more.”
I met him in a run-down gym later that morning, where I was bullied into boxing gloves and forced to climb into the ring. There, JC demonstrated his complete mastery of Savate, a French style of kick boxing. As a long-time martial artist, I was not best pleased to be shown the floor six times in the space of five minutes. Looking down at me while I lay stunned on the canvas, JC lit another cigarette; he had smoked all through our brief duel.
“This is art, English; do you see how Jesus kicks your derrière and it is beautiful?”
It was true; the most fearsome beating of my life had been a joy to watch, even at the receiving end. Afterwards, JC helped me to a bar and bought a round of drinks; beer for me, absinthe for himself. We drank and talked for over an hour, mostly about the state of the world.
“It is all shit,” JC lamented, around the stub of his twentieth cigarette. “Jesus doesn’t care; let them have their shit and their society; only art matters to Jesus.”
I said JC’s art was threefold; I had seen him act and I had seen him fight; following our breakfast of booze and tobacco beside the canals of Amsterdam, JC took me to a dingy studio deep in the Red Light District and revealed the final element of his art. His paintings were incredible, but he refused to countenance, on pain of another beating, any photographs.
“Art cannot be copied,” he informed me. “It cannot be whored to reproduction; you must look and remember. This is art, like the perfect kick; perfect only because it is passing, never to be repeated or seen again. Soon Jesus will burn his paintings and start from the beginning, where only nothing exists.”
I was horrified, but JC LeSinge is not a man to be argued with. As good as his word, he took a blowtorch to the painting I had that minute admired. The smoke and flames brought his girlfriend in from the tiny kitchen, swearing in Russian and brandishing a fire extinguisher. JC only smiled at me, a rare occurrence.
“There is your photograph, English; in death, my art is more beautiful than before, but only for a moment.”
I was sorry to leave Amsterdam the next day, but JC showed up unannounced to see me on the train at Centraal Station. I had not told him the time of my departure, but somehow he knew.
“Soon we will meet again, English. Jesus is coming to your shit country to make another film. Mestor Dansac has asked Jesus to return; you will be there, non ?”
I had no idea that MD was planning another film, but JC only slapped me on the arm and lit another cigarette. “You will see; Jesus cannot be wrong. There will be another film and Jesus will perform. You must write the script, English, so that Jesus may ignore it completely. Au revoir.”
He walked away as the train pulled into the station, leaving me to board alone. I was barely through customs in London when Mestor Dansac phoned and told me about his next film. I mention what JC had said and Mestor agreed that only the enigmatic Frenchman could possibly play the lead role. I dutifully scripted Sifu Dansac, and filming went ahead six weeks later. Within moment’s of arriving on set, JC used the burning remnants of the script to light a cigarette. Look out on-line for the return of JC LeSinge to the Independent scene as Secret Sensei, master of martial arts.