Yes, that’s right, I’ve finally come out of the closet. Not THAT closet! I’m talking about the BLOG closet. The plan is to post every 10 days starting the first of the month. Look at that… so far, right on schedule.
What will I/we be talking about, you ask?
Lots of things. Probably a lot of show business and even more about life. (Maybe a little about my books or writing as it pertains to life.)
The main regular feature I hope to be consistent with is Hollywood Story of the Month. At the beginning of each month, I’m going to name drop (unless I’m not comfortable dropping the name in which case I’ll just refer to the actor as “the actor”) and tell you one of the many stories I have from my (over) twenty years working in show business.
Seeing as how it’s the first of the month, I guess I better get cracking with my first story.
Hm… Where to start? I’ve already shared a ton of stories on different blogs so I’m sure some of these may be familiar. (Of course, I think they’re mostly Clooney stories and I can talk about him all day. LOL.)
You may have noticed that I already made a caveat about name-dropping and it’s because of this first story.
I was fresh out of school (The American Academy of Dramatic Arts) and had my first show biz job working as a page for KTTV. (Also known as Metro Media back then.) The job description varied depending on what show I worked on. For instance, when I worked on a talk show called Hour Magazine (hosted by the lovely Gary Collins) – wearing my gray and navy polyester suit – I escorted the talent to their dressing rooms as they arrived and picked up the dirty towels they left behind after they’d removed their makeup after the show. Other jobs included escorting the audience to their seating and working as a general eye during the show to make sure everything went smoothly as far as the audience was concerned. (Think security without the badge or gun.) And on some shows I worked as a stage PA, answering the stage phone and taking messages for the cast and crew. (That job also required picking up dirty towels at the end of the (shooting) day.)
On this one particular show, (which I really can’t name because then you’d be able to figure out who I’m talking about so… um… sorry. <G>) the actor playing the father had a very wicked sense of humor. Because I couldn’t leave until I’d collected all the towels and dropped them to be laundered, I used to loiter in the hallway and listen for the showers in the dressing rooms. Once the showers were done, I knew I only had a few minutes to wait to pick up those towels and head home. (Keep in mind that shoot days are long usually a minimum of 11 hours, so waiting around even longer for towels was not as enjoyable as it might sound. Also keep in mind that some actors liked to entertain in their dressing room at the end of the day if they had people visiting and I really didn’t want to wait around for that!)
Anyway, so I had heard the shower and knew this one actor would be done with his towels soon. (He was a guy, he was fast.) I gave him a few minutes and knocked on his door.
“Hi, it’s me, just checking if you’re done with your towels?”
“I’m done,” came his reply.
“Great, can I come in? Are you decent?” I ask.
“I’m decent,” he says.
I open the door and there he is standing in absolutely nothing with his arms spread wide. I back up and slam the door as he laughs at me. (Luckily, I was looking at his face so aside from realizing that he was completely naked, I didn’t see anything. Yay.)
“That is not decent!” I yell through the door.
He is still laughing. “You didn’t ask if I had clothes on.”
I can laugh about it now, but I was pretty angry back then. I think I even left his towel in the room so he had to use the same dirty one the next day of shooting. It was all a big joke to him, but I learned to ask the right question after that.
“DO YOU HAVE CLOTHES ON?”
The thing I learned very early on about most actors—mainly men—is that they don’t have a problem letting it all hang out. They’re used to stripping around wardrobe people so I think many don’t think twice about it. But I was very young and very green and this guy knew it.
Lesson learned on my part. It was the very beginning of a very fun road in Hollywood.
What about you? Any lessons learned from something embarrassing?