Slamdance 2019: The Professional: A Stevie Blatz Story

Stevie Blatz in The Professional: A Stevie Blatz Story.

The Professional: A Stevie Blatz Story profiles a jack-of-all-trades entertainer living in Pennsylvania during what may very well a very rough patch.

Some people have to do whatever is needed in order to stay afloat.  For Stevie Blatz, this means taking as many jobs as possible.  There are risks that come with this line of work.  His debt is piling up, which is likely the last thing that Stevie wants.  Meanwhile, all it takes is one client or event to cancel for the dominoes to fall.  It’s not that he’s an eccentric entrepreneur but the flaws that come with his personality.  One of these flaws just happens to be the lack of being able to focus.  If he could do this, maybe he could hold down just one job.  Instead, he’s ten years into having his own business while struggling to make ends meet.

Stevie’s uncle, Dr. John H. Stevens Jr., works as a management psychologist.  Phone calls suggest that his uncle may also be his business advisor.  The camera captures Stevie on the phone while complaining to his uncle that his mom, Fran Blatz, wouldn’t allow him to drive to a gig because of the weather.  Stevie is just shy of thirty and owns a vehicle so there’s something here that just isn’t adding up.

Here’s the part I don’t get.  He keeps adding these odd jobs to his already growing list of jobs.  Would they make him some money?  My guess is probably but it also comes with a catch–this being his growing debt.  Steve’s relationships (more on that) didn’t work out so he’s forced to live with his parents.  Living at home means constant fights with his over-protective mother who–get this–is also managing his business operations.  Did I already mention that his mother forbid him to drive to a gig?  Crazy, right?!?

Stevie Blatz lived with ex-girlfriend Liz Gaynor for a year.  Their relationship didn’t survive because of the things he did.  Gaynor does share some rather interesting anecdotes about their time together.  Even though things didn’t work out between them, they’re making an attempt to be friends.  However, she’s not the only ex-girlfriend to make an appearance.  What this says about Stevie as a person, well, I’ll leave that to you to decide.

In 75 minutes, director Daniel La Barbera gives us a fascinating profile complete with interviews of family members, friends, and employees.  La Barbera brings an even-handed approach in The Professional: A Stevie Blatz Story that comes off as being truly fair to its subject.

DIRECTOR:  Daniel La Barbera
FEATURING:  Stevie Blatz, Fran Blatz, Dr. John H. Stevens Jr., Mary Pierce, Elizabeth Gaynor, Elizabeth Lauren Teufel, Jenn Morales, Tanner Kidd, Patrick Hilsman, Sara Steele, Jad Ali Sleiman, Rel Raw, The Naked Cowboy, Sandy Kane, Daniel Sleiman, January Villegas, Autum Kunsman, Patricia James, Sandy James, Colin K. Gregory

The Professional: A Stevie Blatz Story screens during the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival in the Documentary Features program. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.