The beginning of the month found me back in Los Angeles. Even though I had mentally written off getting on the film once the Pirates Hawaii filming started, I decided “One last try”, when a friend of mine sent me a link to the L.A. casting.
I had gotten there early expecting a crazy line. I was one of the first ten people in to be seen. It was the same as Kauai: Fill out a profile/stat sheet, take a picture, and that’s it. The castings ran 3-5 P.M. for about two weeks, but they started a little late the day I got there.
I was going to mention that I was in Dad Man’s Chest and that I’ve already flown to Hawaii to attend an earlier casting call, but I just went in “fresh”, and already had my shirt off before they took a pic of me (funny how I used to be self-conscious about that sort of thing, now I could care less), made a serious face, and done. The only thing I was really worried about is my parking meter expiring, so I ran like a maniac back to my car.
The rest of the day was just driving around L.A. and catching up with the city again. Gina and Alex graciously offered to let me stay with them again, so we had a nice dinner, then drinks and games back at their place.
Back in Vegas, I ended up with another production assistant job, no less weird than the last one. It started normally (then again, they all start normally): Typical errands, client requests, moving things…. Except that they had two offices. In two separate casinos.
From the Palazzo (with the worst motion sickness inducing elevators, by the way) to the Wynn, I had to run errands and lug heavy office equipment between the two places. This is a 15-20 minute walk either way, in 114 degree weather. It only took a trip or two to wear a person out.
Around 5 P.M., were we “wrapping up”, as there was supposedly nothing left to do, which was great for me as one of my friends that I hadn’t seen since high school was in town, and I wanted to spend some time with her before she flew back. But the production meetings basically ground to a halt, as they couldn’t decide what to do. So everyone just sat there.
So I became proactive. We needed to move things from the Wynn, back to the Palazzo, and instead of sitting around awaiting instructions that weren’t coming, I announced that I was going to start moving stuff back, and grabbed one of the printers that was ready to go.
Bear in mind, I carried things between the two casinos all day. One “emergency run” meant running to the Palazzo, then back to the Wynn for just a hole punch and tape dispenser. But I was going to move things back. In a fancy casino like the Wynn, I caught glimpses of some of the high-rollers looking at me in disdain as I was sweaty, with stringy hair and wet skin carrying a huge printer. I didn’t care. I just wanted to carry this thing back. The outside door of the casino was starting to shut when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“Oh, fuck-shit, please not now”, I groaned to myself, already knowing what was about to happen.
“Can you tell me what you’re doing with that”, said the huge security guard, motioning at the printer.
I had nothing to fear. I’d been doing this all day. “Yes. Hi. I’m on a commercial production shoot, and I’m carrying this between our offices”, I said. Hoping my lack of concern and straightforward story would be enough.
The guard frowned. “Let’s come inside and talk about this. Let’s see if this story of yours is true, and we need to figure out why you were carrying a printer across the casino floor.”
“Well, I really do appreciate the time in the air conditioning”, I said, trying to be friendly, “but it’s not a story”. I told him the production team’s name. He seemed unimpressed and told me that it didn’t sound practical to have two offices in two separate casinos, of which I agreed and shook my head again.
He took my information, and was getting entered into their suspect database, so if any office equipment came up missing in the next few days, he assured me that they’d be “coming for me”.
Freed from my arrest, I went back to the Palazzo, then the Wynn, and sat for nearly three hours as they continually stressed over drama and ignored any questions I had. They did, however, think my incarceration was “Awesome”. One of my friends went back to “casino jail” with me, and confirmed my story, which in turn cleared my name.
After my day wrapped, I did get to see my friend Angie again:
It was great to catch up with someone from “home”, and caught up on both old and new stories.
As for me, I was getting back into another 48 hour film. The last one, with its rampaging, drunken unicorns filled me with the slightest of apprehension, but Men in Vegas (a sci-fi story) turned out to be a lot of fun (even though it was a typical billion degree weather day in Las Vegas. Suits are hot in 117 degree weather, people. Suits are hot.)
The last part of the month was great. Danny was coming into town from Texas, and we were going to check out the Classic Gaming Expo.
The show was fun. My friends and I grew up in “The Atari Generation”, and having worked in the business for as long as I did, it’s one of those “veteran” events for me. I’ve worn a lot of hats in my existence.
It’s always the same when Danny and I reunite: Stay up all night, drink at various bars, eat at a number of restaurants, watch a few bands at some of the venues on Fremont Street, saw Ka along the way…. We even met up with his family a few times. Coming back to the house just as the sun was coming up was a fairly regular event, and as a rule of thumb, you want to end up a night before the sun comes up. Things get real ugly in the early daytime after partying all night.