The month began with all of the usual rumblings of an ongoing presidential election. This was a historic election, as it marked our first African American president. I found myself wondering what Dad would have thought about a moment in history like this. He taught political science in my hometown’s college, so he had always been up on all aspects of government.
With the election over, I decided to check out the Hoover Dam under more normal circumstances. It was a quick day trip to walk around and see the dam in better detail.
my friend Geoffrey invited me to a screening of Repo: The Genetic Opera at Planet Hollywood. The cast was there for a Q&A, so that made for an interesting night, including the after party.
Shortly after, it was time for another 48 hour film festival. The team came highly recommended from a friend, though my “Effect” was fated to drag me into yet another adventure. So I went with two of my actress friends to take part in this.
The most telling sign was that the production team had been up drinking all night, and were in no condition to be filming. Or anything else. What was supposed to start at 9:00 A.M. began at 4:00 P.M. My friends and I entertained ourselves with our post-Halloween wardrobes to pass the time:
Then cue “The Unicorn Guy” (or “TUG”). He was wearing a costume that was basically bright green underwear briefs, a mullet wig with a tinfoil horn sticking out of it, blue contact lenses which looked more vampire than unicorn, and white face paint. I wish I had gotten a picture of this. It was grotesque, yet fascinating.
Truth is, the film crew hated this guy, so they had him wear this ridiculous get up, which to their surprise, he did. He was willing to roll with it, so they did as well.
Then filming started. It could have been funny. It really could have. But they kept drinking more and more. Hard alcohol, and mixing drinks. They even had some Boone’s there, of all things. Boone’s, like from high school cheap drinking days.
I kept sober, as did my friends. One of two drinks is not going to spell the demise of Western Civilization, and it didn’t. Well, for us, anyway.
My character was one of the first to “die”. I had to freak out and jump over a balcony, therefore ending it all. I went through the motions, and pantomimed the jump. At this point, they had a dummy ready to throw over the balcony. “TUG” was WAY drunk at this point, and kicked the dummy, destroying it, which broke into an argument. He then went downstairs, rolling over the hood of an Audi, denting it, and then tore off the address sign of the townhome we were at. Oh, and he hit on someone else’s girlfriend too, which ended badly.
So there was a LONG fight. Everyone was drunk. The group had been drinking all night before, and literally were tapped for any ideas how to continue or end this. It was getting closer to 10 hours. Shannon had to finish her homework.
And then it got weird. Even beyond my usual capacity.
They came up with an ending, though no other real plot had been shot. The unicorn was to reveal himself as a real unicorn, and the murderer of this piece, but the new horn looked a lot like a… *ahem* “female personal assistant”. They also tied up one of my girl friends and this other girl on a bed, and wanted them to make out before the unicorn attacked them. They set up the shot, and my personal spider sense was tingling. This was getting way too weird, even for as weird as it had already been.
They ordered everyone to leave the room, save for the crew. Even TUG left. They told me to leave as well. I stared at them and said: “No. I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to be here in case my friend needs anything.” She looked at me, and nodded in agreement. The look on her face clearly let me know this is not what she signed up for.
They only filmed one establishing shot, as suddenly there was this loud crash, and a girl screamed. My other girl friend ran to the door, and entered where I was with the two tied girls. The other girl freed herself and ran to see what happened. “What the Hell is going on here”, I demanded.
And then I looked over her shoulder and saw the answer.
There was blood everywhere. Real blood. My friend who had been present outside had to relay the missed story beyond the door. TUG and his sister had been talking. Both were drunk. The sister started beating up on TUG, and he grabbed her throat. The sister’s boyfriend came out and took a swing at TUG and ended up hitting the girl instead. And then….
A full brawl broke out in the house. People screaming. Punches and people flying. I grabbed my friend’s arm and yanked her into the bedroom. “Get her arms”, I ordered as we untied our bound friend. “What the fuck is going on out there?” our released demanded. “Not now. Get your clothes on NOW. We are leaving.” I walked back to the bedroom door to allow the girls to change and see what was going on.
TUG’s mouth was covered in blood. Blood was all over the walls, the stairs, the carpet. Two other girls were huddled in the kitchen trying to stay out of the way of the fight growing in size. “You”, I pointed at them, motioning to the bedroom. “You get in that bedroom and you do not come out until this is over, do you understand me?” One of the girls started to protest. “NOW”, I bellowed at them, and herded them to the room.
My friends were changing back into their street clothes. “Do you have your clothes”, I demanded. They nodded. “The police is on their way. We are leaving now. Move!”
So there I was, running with my two friends, one arm over both of them to shield from the fight around us, the other hand sliding down the banister. To my disgust, I felt the warm ooze of blood on my hand from touching the railing.
We ran across the street from the screaming house and into Amanda’s car. The police began to arrive. Amanda had to continue dressing. I was vigorously scrubbing the blood off my hand.
Yeah, I’ve easier film shoots.
I didn’t have much time to dwell on this as I had to do stand-in for the Cheech and Chong Comedy Roast… for Tommy Chong.
The roast was certainly interesting. I got to sit next to Cheech, and chat briefly. Chong walked by and pointed in my direction: “Hey man, you don’t look a thing like me”, he said.
The “roast” cast was unique: Penn & Teller, Geraldo Rivera, and Tom Arnold among others. The day went as normal as could be expected, what with having a bong shaped podium, and having to break out of a giant dime bag:
The shoot ended, and I went to have dinner in the Caesar’s Palace commissary. On the way down, the elevator stopped, and the door opened, so I stepped out on the floor.
“Get back in here, Guy”, the other stand-ins called to me. “What”, I said as I kept walking forward. A small buzzing told me I was about to run into someone in front of me. I stopped just in time from plowing into the guy standing in front of me. I looked up, and felt my eyes widen, and I stepped back. “Oh”, I said, my surprise being very clear.
Jerry Seinfeld was standing right in front of me, looking confused.
“Hi”, I said, still blinking and taking in that Holy Hell, it’s Jerry Seinfeld standing in front of me. “Um, I’m going back onto the elevator now.”
“After you”, he said, politely gesturing towards the still open doors.
I stepped back in, and said “Good luck with your show tonight, Jerry”, and waved good-bye.
“Bye”, he said, returning the wave, and still looking a bit uncertain as to why this wiry little dude bounced out of the elevator and nearly plowed into him.
As for me, I had my own films to start shooting the next month…
Or hanging out with friends, one being my old friend Marcus from Texas, where we caught up since my trip the last February.
Life was getting back to normal… ish. Thanksgiving was celebrated with friends, and the preparations for Christmas had begun, though my heart wasn’t into it.