Things For People

No strong convictions about this blog site to speak of. Just occasional musings inspired by things that transpire outside my window: LAPD helicopters searching for fugitives, transvestite prostitutes wrestling with their pimps at 3am, and the chubby kid next door who sings in the shower 4 times per day.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Movie Star

I worked on an infomercial last Friday. I couldn't sleep the night before because I kept having dreams that I had accidentally taken an airplane to Arizona and had to jog to the shooting location in southern California. I set my alarm for 5:30 am to make it by 8:15. I followed the directions exactly as I had written them down. Somehow one of the roads ended at the ocean. There was a sign on the guardrail that said "Dead End." I wondered if maybe the money that was spent on that sign could have been put to better use. After all there was a pretty obvious guardrail, and just behind that, the ocean. I started calling everyone involved with the production to find out where I was. Nobody answered, so I stopped at a gas station for directions. The attendant had never heard of the street I was looking for and the gas station map was useless since I was in the wrong town. I had to wake Ethel up so that she could put the address in an internet mapmaker. I should have stopped driving while we were trying to put everything together. "Sidra Cove." "Fidry Road? Got it." "No, S-I-D-R-A." "F-I-B-R-A?" "Can you hear me?" "What?" "Can you hear me?" "Yes. Hello?" In the meantime I was driving all over the place. Somehow I managed to stumble upon the exit. I was thirty minutes late, but nobody was upset with me. The interns that they had "hired" were still trying to figure out how to put the camera together. So I passed the time by eating 5 pounds of doughnuts. Once we got started, the girl that was playing my wife and I kept cracking each other up. We're both almost 30 and the director had to tell us to behave several times. We were laughing so hard we were crying. It will probably look like we're both crying throughout the whole infomercial. Between camera setups my “wife” and I were discussing the ironic nature of the roles we were playing. She lives in a cheap motel while she's looking for a place to live in LA, and I sleep next to the dining room table in my apartment. So here we are, a newly married couple with a baby on the way (my “wife” looks like she's been pregnant for about 10 minutes) in a multimillion dollar home that overlooks the ocean. Ah, the magic of Hollywood. Actually, the budget was probably more suited to Hollywo. At one point my “wife” mentioned that she'd like to have children at some point (in real life) because of her good motherly instincts. Immediately after that she asked, "What the hell is that weird noise?" I replied, "It's the baby upstairs that belongs to the couple that owns this house." Naturally, we started cracking up again and the director had to reprimand us. It's always a little awkward filming in a house when the occupants are there. It feels a little invasive, but they didn't seem to mind too much. Their baby didn't seem very happy about it, though. The second location was at a home loan office in Newport Beach. People were trying to do actual work, which my “wife” and I were disturbing as a result of our childish giggling. We felt so rude and were really trying hard to stop, which only made us laugh more. I thought we finally had ourselves under control until she asked me just before a shot, "Does my lipstick look weird?" "No." "What do you mean, no?" We lost it again. At one point we were sitting in the office of the president of the company. We were filming a scene in which husband and wife were securing a loan for their gigantic house. Between takes I thought it would do me some good to learn about my chances for securing an actual loan. I asked the CEO some questions about the process. I was listening very attentively, but I could see my “wife” out of the corner of my eye trying not to laugh because it was obvious that I had no idea what the guy was talking about, even though I was trying really hard to make it look like I did. I should have taken some business classes in college.