Video captures by Adam Brannon
In 1994, James Morrison appeared in this 40-minute film as Jeremy. It's about a man that is on his way to see his girlfriend and is stranded at a bus stop in the middle of the desert. He is picked up by two newlyweds and there the fun beings.
A touring bus rumbles to a stop beside a tiny convenience store punctuating an endless expanse of sun-baked desert. Jeremy (James Morrison) casually dressed in a tight gray T-shirt, bleached jeans, and brown cowboy boots, steps off the bus, and glances around until he spots a pay phone. Realizing he needs change, he heads for the little building where an ancient clerk is slowly counting change for another bus passenger. After a rushed, tense exchange with the dim-witted clerk ("no purchase, no change"), Jeremy ends up with some change and a cheap lighter portraying Jesus. He leaves the lighter on the counter, and dashes outside to the phone.
A kindly lady rushes after him, carrying the lighter. At the phone, Jeremy is struggling to persuade his ex-girlfriend to agree to his proposed visit.
"You're totally self-involved" she accuses him. "I'm willing to change", he claims. The lady from the bus interrupts him, trying to give him the lighter. "Keep it", he snarls impatiently. "I'm Jewish", she replies, handing him the lighter.
Engrossed in his argument with the ex-girlfriend, Jeremy misses the bus, and starts walking down the deserted highway. "God, I'm a loser, right? I give up..." Just as he reaches the end of his rope, an old van pulls up, and the young couple inside offer a ride. David and Marie, newlyweds, try to make small talk. "Don't you have any stuff?" David asks. "Possessions weigh down the spirit, don't you think?" Jeremy bluffs.
David invites Jeremy to drive to New Mexico with them. "Trust me", he assures his dubious bride. David pulls out a cigarette, and Jeremy whom says he doesn't smoke, offers him his lighter. David is transfixed by the artwork of Jesus, but says nothing. Instead he asks, "What were you doing, wondering in the desert, desperate and friendless?" "Waiting for you", Jeremy answers.
Jeremy dozes in the back seat, but suddenly rouses to find the van stopped, and David and Marie staring at him intently. "How come it took us so long to recognize you?" David asks. "I don't know", Jeremy replies, trying to understand what's happening. "Who am I?" he asks them. "Jesus Christ", Marie says wonderingly. "How do you figure?" Jeremy asks. Frightened, he hops out of the car, and tries to run away.
"I told you, he's testing us!" David assures Marie. "Hey, Jesus, wait!" he cries, scrabbling up a rocky incline. Jeremy, baffled, turns from the top of a boulder-strewn knoll and asks them, "This is a joke, right?" Seeing their uncomprehending faces, he changes tack. "Look, I'm kind of in a bind. The seraphim are all busy, and I'm stuck for a ride. What is it you guys want?"
Marie explains, "At the church where David and I met they told us to be ever vigilant." David and Marie kneel before Jeremy and ask for his blessing. At a loss, Jeremy reaches over, laying his hands on their heads, and prays, "Oh, Father in heaven, bless your children, Marie and David...and bless me, Father, because I really need it. Amen."
Back in the car, David and Marie listen to Jeremy as he imparts pop philosophy. "Staying in the moment is the key, because now is all we have. Abundance is yours if you want it. We're only subject to the laws of this world to the degree that we believe in them."
"What about death", David asks. "It frightens me", he says, relating his crushing grief as a child when his mother died. Jeremy tells a story, he can't remember if it was about Yoko Ono or Mother Theresa. She said, "The only thing that's changed, my son, is that now we get to spend *all* our time together."
That night, as they curl up shoulder to shoulder in the van, Marie excitedly reports that it's five after twelve! "The world didn't end!" she cries. Jeremy, with a quirky little smile says, "Yeah, well, I changed my mind. Just don't make any long-term plans", he jokes.
Trouble begins the next day when David awakes to find Marie cuddled up next to Jeremy as they sleep. David quietly climbs into the front seat, giving the horn a quick blast to wake them up. They pull into a gas station and David berates the taciturn attendant for failing to recognize "Jesus". Then, they arrive at David's brother's ranch, only to find it deserted, with screen doors and tumbleweeds dancing in the spurts of wind. David is devastated by what he feels is John's desertion of him.
As they sit around a campfire that evening, Jeremy tries to defuse the situation with "shit happens" jokes, but David isn't buying it. Jeremy and Marie try to cheer him up, and assure him of their friendship, but David snaps. "Life is meaningless, it's a big joke. We chase around trying to find the truth, trying to figure out the right way to live, and meanwhile you're just laughing at us! Why'd you come, huh? What's the point?"
David takes off to "find his brother", and Jeremy stops Marie from following him. "I've never seen him like this!" she cries. "He's frightened, that's all", Jeremy replies. "Of what?" she asks. "Being alone", he answers. "I'm not very deep, you know." Marie begins, but Jeremy interrupts her. "This is *not* your fault. He's right, you know. Life *is* meaningless. I was standing in the middle of a desert because I missed my bus. Does that sound like something God would do?" "What about love?" Marie asks, walking away.
Marie returns later, and finds Jeremy waiting at the van. "You didn't give me a chance to answer back there", he says. "It doesn't matter", she replies. "I think it does. You see", he pauses, then glances up. David's aiming a rifle at them. "It's always the same, faithless, faithless world. I've made up my mind, I won't let you go, either of you."
Jeremy tries to reason with him. "It's not always the same, you hear me? It's not the world that's faithless, it's you. I'm your friend, not your savior. And I promise you, I will *not* leave...Well, I don't know about you two, but I'm really beat." Jeremy walks over to the van, and balling up his jacket as a pillow, stretches out on the ground.
In the morning, Jeremy wakes up before the others. After slipping some money from Marie's purse, he takes David's shotgun away from him. "God bless you", he whispers. A few yards down the road, he empties the gun and tosses it into the scrub. But, he just can't leave. Turning back to the van, he settles down against it, and waits for the others to wake up.
This review and captured pictures is provided solely as a record of James Morrison's work as an actor, and does not intend or imply any infringement of any copyrights or trademark.