Archive for the ‘John Starr Profile’ Category

Demon Seeds

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I’ve worked with Professional Child Actors since the Hit TV Show ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ in 1979 (& yes everyone knew back then, the path those youngsters were already on). They were nice to me. The good news is not every single kid in Show Biz these days is a Demon Seed. Just most.

“Wacky Balloon Guy” Johnny

Today I’ve been hired to be “Wacky Balloon Guy” on a TV Comedy, shooting on location at a Palace sized Mansion north of the city (call the area “Rocky Ridge”). Smokey Robinson lives in the Tudor Mansion down the street. Hi Smokey. These days many simple old-school things have new exciting names for no good reason (change change go away, go and visit Doris Day). 10 years ago I made “Balloon Animals.” Now, instead, I am called a “Balloon Artist”. Fancy. Excuse me while I tie a knot in this.

My Balloon Crowns are “like Art”?

At ‘Base Camp’ a burly Transportation Guy asks “Could you make a Pink Poodle for my 2 year old please?” Gladly. Wardrobe tells me they love my Burnt Rust Short Sleeve Summer Silk Shirt & Ralph Lauren Khaki Cargo Shorts so much, their Leading Man is already wearing the identical Outfit. Oops, I have their good taste. Instead they let me borrow their Loudest Vintage Aloha Hawaiian Shirt if I’ll make them a Giraffe, an Elephant & Elmo. Gladly. Thank you ‘YouTube’ for the “How to Twist Elmo Balloon” tutorial (his eyes are so tricky). I ask if I can now take a Van to the Mansion Location Set and the Driver replies “Not in that Shirt.” He’s kidding. I think.

It’s a Fake Upscale Birthday Party for a very rich 6 year old & his supposedly sweet and friendly private school chums. 15 kids are booked as Extras (& most are greedy & spoiled … & Production knows in the 1st hour, that Houston has a problem). These little Angels have their real-life Mommies hanging out back in 1 of the 3 huge garages. Let me repeat that…only one Mom is watching her son.  The rest of the actual parents are not bothering to watch their own kids, for hours, while we shoot all over this massive house. The adult Background Performers, who are assigned to play each kid’s Fake Parents, me, and a Production Assistant on Walkie-Talkie inside the Grand Entry Hall, are all awaiting our cues to come out the front door on “Action!” I’m told to start pumping out balloon animals so each child has one in every scene all day. Until they pop them accidentally repeatedly because they really are 6 year olds & want to rub the balloons & squeeze them & can not stand still. My balloons are irresistible. Pop! Pop! Pop goes the weasel & my nerves. I paste a smile on my face and pretend that patience thy name is ‘Balloon Artist Johnny.’

“The Cement Pond”

Mansions to the left of me … Mansions to the right, & here I am stuck with the kiddies again. We are now out by the large pool & the children do not want to follow the 2nd ADs’ instructions. The kids are repeatedly told to give the animal balloons back to me after each Scene Take so everything matches. Instead the girls (who are far worse then the boys) fight over everything. We are On Set & still they cry & scream. Where are the Parents? Oh, Drinking Turkish Coffee in a 4 Car Garage? Nice. Never mind, don’t bother them. Only one Mom continues to watch her kid (nice child & Mom was polite & on top of it). The Script Girl tells me my Balloon Crowns are “like art”. The kids think differently and keep popping stuff faster than I can pump and twist (the new dance craze). I go through my 1st bag of 100 balloons before lunch. Uh oh. Thankfully I have an emergency bag of 200 I grab from my backpack. By the end of the days my fingers are a bit raw from tying knots but my animals are a smash. The sharp kids keep their Crowns & get to wear them in the big gift-unwrapping scene. These kids are featured, & I keep hearing “No no…use the kids with the balloons.” The Bratty She-Devil Spawns have bubkis (nothing) after popping all their multiple Crowns. Hello and welcome to a learning Karma experience children. There is no sense of guilt as these kids are politely shamed by Production. All day long. Don’t ‘cha know?

“On Guard!”

Late in the day, I’m told to switch to something simple …  just Swords … because they’re faster. Suddenly everyone is Luke Skywalker & the fighting gets so out of hand, the parents are finally called over to talk some sense into their mini-monsters. The Moms all think that Production is talking about the other trouble makers, not their little darlings. Wrong. The Crew is placing bets on which kid will melt down 1st. I’ve got my money on Bratty Chatty with the pigtails. She wins ‘Worst Behaved’ behind her back. I heard a PA gladly repeat it on the in-house mike PA system.

“Notice me much?”

While the Prop Crew re-wrap identical real toys to be repeatedly ripped open during multiple camera angle coverage, I decide to sneak around …

“Ellie May git down here right quick!”

This Palace has Verandas, Terraces, a Tennis & Basketball Court & a Pool House Bar straight out of Margarittaville. The decorating is very “One Grecian Urn” (more like ’25 Grecian Urns’). Question: Should there be a limit on too many Chandeliers & Marble Columns? Answer: Please God Yes. Mix 1 part ‘Dynasty’ & 2 parts ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ then toss in a daughter called “Ellie May”…

“I like Fireplace with Naked Gal Statues. You, too?”

Just before wrapping, the 2nd AD asks, as a favor to her, if I will please make each kid just one more animal balloon for them to take home. Cue screaming Kids. What a treat to answer their demands “Just One each.” “But my Mom says I can have as many as I want!” “Really? Cause I’m making only one for you & if you pop it no more.” Yes folks I said “no” to spoiled misbehaving professional brats & loved it. Meanwhile I privately complimented 3 Mothers on their charming kids who followed directions & were polite all day (hope for the world).The rest of the Parents should take a hard look at why they are doing this to their 6 year olds besides dreams of money-makers. Not that I’d judge (okay I’ll judge…’Danger – Bad Parenting Crossing!’).

Back to ‘Diff’rent Strokes’…the fact that my talented Dad co-produced & co-wrote the show may have had a lot to do with me getting repeatedly hired for “Under 5” Bits (okay Norman Lear gave Dad “Nepotism of the Year” Award once…happy now?). Anywhoo, I was booked as a Delivery Boy who rang that show’s Penthouse Doorbell in so many episodes, my family still kids me with my personal classic line “Package for Mr. Drummond.”  And will I cash those $3 Residual Checks that still trickle in? Gladly.

Check out my Dad Ben Starr’s incredible Producer/Writer Career on IMDb (click here).

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September 26th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Hot Tub Swingin'

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Okay, time for everybody to disrobe. Please

Tuesday– I call the ‘Casting Availability Voice Mail Line’ …”Hello Union Men! We are looking for 35-40 Year Olds who are comfortable being in a Hot Tub in Swim Trunks at a Valley ‘Swingers Party’ Night-Shoot for a new TV Family Comedy. Additional day for Costume Fitting.” I figured “Why the heck not?” and submit myself. This job would shoot in Chatsworth (or as we call it on the Coast…The Porn Capital of The World). Not that this show will be porn. Tivo it for the kiddies. Please.

Wednesday – I get the Text Booking for this job and immediately begin 2 day pathetic attempt at losing 5 pounds by extreme dieting & overworking out (why didn’t I exercise in the last 6 lazy days? Boy do I regret it). And in next 48 hours I use an entire bottle of L’Oreal’s Body Experience ‘Sublime Bronze’ Medium Natural Self-Tanning Lotion (Streak Free!). Because I’m worth it. By Friday I will be ready to fight George Hamilton for ‘Best Fake Tan’. Hopefully.  Body Confidence in a bottle.

Thursday – 9am bi-monthly Background Casting Director’s “Visiting” Meeting with 200-300 of my closest Union Co-Extras. When called on, I say “Thank you Casting Department. I’m finally fulfilling my dream to be booked as a Hot Tub Swinger. In Speedos. In Chatsworth.” Get huge laugh.  Now off to my “Paid Fitting” munching carrots pretending they are totally yummy. I am so full. At the fitting I meet all the other Swingers and everyone is over 65 except the other Hot Tub Guy and me (call him “Dennis”). We both have Shaved Heads, Goatees, & No Tattoos (me another Sight Gag? No Way Oye Vey!). I realize I am in over my head when the Wardrobe Team brings out 4 Designer Banana Hammocks and take pictures of me wearing just Sandals, each Speedo & a smile. In a Hallway. With Crew Members walking by. I am holding my stomach in so tightly my tummy gurgles. The Day-Glo Canary Yellow ‘Emilio Pucci’ Designer Print seems to get the biggest laugh and as I walk out Dennis says “Well that was humiliating.”

Friday All Night-Call – Hot night in the Valley Backyard Location of Typical Middle Class Home. The heat makes it a tiny bit easier when we are lined up in the front driveway by the Crafty Food Table and told by Wardrobe “Okay, time for everybody to disrobe.” They flash digital cameras for continuity photos before filming starts (to make sure no one changes anything so everything matches shot after shot). There are 15 other ‘Swingers’ and everyone looks over 65 and they got the flesh to prove it. All the men are dressed like Hugh Hefner in Silk Pajamas bottoms or Boxer Shorts & NO SHIRTS. My eyes hurt trying to avoid looking at massive bellies everywhere. Everyone feels very self-conscious for a while then relaxes. The less said about the outfits the Poor Elderly Ladies are wearing, the better. Think ‘Fredericks of Hollywood’ Old Sluts & throw in a dozen Feathered Marabou Pumps.

Hotsie Totsie?

Question to my Male Readers. You are over 65 and know in advance what you’ll be asked to do tonight on set.  What is it about all the Male Extras that make them comfortable enough to keep their “Modesty Robes” off all night long? All the Gals and me kept ours on and closed unless we were filming. None of the Men with their shirts off do. I don’t get it.  The guys act like it is Miami Beach. Thank goodness no one was in a thong.

I check with the DGA Trainee to see if Producers will give me my requested higher “Bikini Rate Bump” (more money for almost Nudie-Bump for showing my almost Nudie-Bump).  She will tell me before we wrap. Badda Bump.

The Set Decorator’s Team has placed 5 Hollow Fake Marble Statues of Nude Couples Copulating around the Pool (and ’cause it’s for family viewing scarves had been cleverly draped to cover naughty bits). Dennis & I meet our Ménage a Trois Hot Tubby Girl Date. She is a plus size gal who is a hoot & a half in a One-Piece Bathing Suit the size of Milwaukee. She, Dennis & I are the lead background in the scene and are treated with kid gloves by Crew. There is a lot of skin showing here, people, but this Garden of Eden Lovenest is completely private. Just 75 Crew strangers & us. Let the Fake Orgy begin…

There is an old Former Dancer who is very sweet and has casaba melon sized double barrel boobs. She is surprisingly dressed as a demur school girl…oh wait. No she’s in a red laced Low Cut Push-Up Bra and a Purple Silk Strapless Kimono. At the last minute someone hands her a Feathered Boa and it is removed when Production realize it will cover her Money-Makers. The Director asks her to “please shake those” on ACTION and she complies with an earth moving over-the-top performance that includes chewing so much scenery she is repeatedly told “tone it down honey.” Every step she takes is a limbo lesson in excess. She steals focus away from the Actors and is cut out of the scene after the 3rd take. See you back at Crafty dear (can someone check Meryl Streep’s availability?). Pronto.

Meanwhile Dennis is directed to “grab” the Beautiful Ingenue’s leg as she walks by (she’s playing someones Granddaughter who arrives by mistake…cue hilarity!). Dennis leans out of our Hot Tub and tries to drag her in. She kicks him away & proves very game. Dennis gets a close-up licking his chops with a grin that gets a well deserved laugh. They don’t hear his under-his-breath comments about what he’s planning to do to the girl when he gets his hands on her. It’s very funny and during one take she surprises us by screaming “STOP IT!” and throwing a condom at him. Another big laugh and Dennis is in Male Hog Heaven. During the evening Dennis mutters “I get to Grope the Star. Nice” & “She hit the Lotto baby.” He laughs at his own jokes when no one else does. During a break around 1am a Crew Member tells Dennis “Hey Fella…keep your voice down it carries quite a bit. This is a Neighborhood”. Dennis had a lot of bluster but in the end he was very funny on-camera and had sleazy down pat (practice). He continues making inappropriate comments all night… joking at one point to the actual owner of this house “Hey did they ever get the baby out of your pool?” Dennis repeatedly confides he hopes his Ex-Girlfriend will not see this because it is undignified. No fooling Dennis.

After 3 hours in the water they gave us a Meal Break.  Wardrobe brought  us Towels & Robes. A Silver Haired 70 year old former Model who had just been filmed leading a Conga Line with her real life Shirtless Hubby said we were all “very brave”. She admits kissing her man more during this night’s shoot then in their last 10 years. Cue tears for Husband. She was elegant, beautiful, and they dressed her like a whore. While eating she told me that she had recently worked with a beautiful young Madam taking cell-phone calls on-set, scheduling appointments for her Female Escorts. And the Madam tries to recruit from the Extra Ranks! Shocking much?

When will these Caterers stop spoiling us? After eating veggies & fruit for 2 days to pretend I can still look 25, I gave up around 2am & instead devour Fillet Mignon (..again?) & half the Crafty Table including 2 tamales, 3 tacos, & a Fresh Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Fabulous & I don’t care. Did you just say “Fatty Fatty Two By Four can’t get through the Kitchen Door?” How dare you.

Walking back to set the Make Up Gal compliments my feet …”Nice Tootsies.” Thanks. 5 minutes later we have to jump back in the water for reverse camera coverage. Let the shrinkage re-commence.

My Toot Toot Tootsies….

We wrapped at 3:12 am and most of my Bottle Tan washes down the shower drain an hour later. Oh…and I got the Bikini Rate Bump (because I’m worth it). Glamor thy name is Johnny Extra…

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September 9th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Zombie Airport Alert

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Dad’s ‘Polo Country’ Jacket debut

Hi. I’m a Traveler leaving on a dream vacation. Sure hope nothin’ goes wrong. Oh look, there are two Pretty Blond Stewardesses arriving at this Airport too!  Jiminy Cricket I just bet one of them tries to eat the other one’s brains by the end of this Cheapo Zombie Horror Movie Sequel.  Can you smell a piece of Direct-to-DVD title a-brewing for a download? Let the ComicCom worship begin. Excuse me while I light a candle at the Drive-In Movie Graveside of Reanimated Corpses. Shhhh I’m watching this.

The good news is that I am in the opening sequence and live to tell this Tale of Terror. I make it to my plane and away I go. The bad news is these girl’s have a friendship tested to the limited just like their 1st movie (spoiler: only one of the original film’s girls is back….for now…until about 3/4s the way through when “someone” comes back kinda dead…are you happy now?). Opening Dialogue: “Let’s be Roomies forever and pass your Stem Cerebellum please. Yum! Pillow Fight. Yuck, Blood!”

Call Time is 10:30pm and we work until 3:00am. Yesterday we were texted ‘Eat Meal Before Arrival’. That’s tact for ‘don’t hold your breath praying Coffee & Donuts will be served’. Until they run out. Quickly. Which they always do & everyone knows. Lesson to be learned? Step One: Sign In. Step Two: Get Donuts & Coffee. Step Three: Fight Someone for the Last Bottled Water. Sadly….yes really.

Making it’s Thriller Chiller Motion Picture Debut…Ladies & Gents I present my Dad’s Ralph Lauren Corduroy with Swede Collar Jacket. Lot’s of compliments on my look, and Wardrobe Lady with great taste says “Approved obviously. Love this!” as she caresses the leather (I am not exaggerating…no you shut up). Hello … how many times do I have to say this…Fashion is Everything. Oh My Gosh I am so kidding. No I am not.

Meanwhile proving ‘Wardrobe Makes The Extra’ there is lots of Fake Cop Background work here in Los Angeles. The guy’s who have their own L.A Police Uniforms & are Big Bruisers work the most. They have all the Fake Gear including Pistols. I will rarely if ever get hired to be a Copper who says “Book ’em Dano” … but you never know. Don Knotts was. Can you imagine the Real Security Guys’ concerns over our band of merry Fake Cops carrying Prop Guns while we are filming a Zombie Horror Movie at a Real International Airport all night long? Would you fellows please take off your Gun Belts & give us all your Pretend Ammo so we can hide everything until right before Film Roll? Pretty pretty please with a “don’t get us all arrested” on top? Hello 911? I just saw a Cheap Movie being made at LAX and the Police stopped running every time someone yelled “CUT!” What do you mean you hope they paid for a permit?

Once the ‘Picture Car’ is Camera-Loaded, the Blonds pile in to Fake Drive down La Tijera Blvd towards the Flight Path. What is ‘Fake Drive’ you ask? It’s being pulled through traffic while filming with Sound Guys huddled down in the backseat. The Extras hear the scrunched up Sound Guys all grumble about the roar of the planes, which ruin shot after shot. We hear everything we’re not supposed to because a Set PA accidentally puts her Walkie Talkie down & it’s set on LOUD Speaker box.  Eavesdrop heaven commences. For 5 minutes we get to hear what is really going on and how this exhausted crew gossips about the folks not listening. ‘Funny Tired Bitchy Bitch’ sums it right up. Not many are at our best at 3am on a cool Hollywood night awaiting a plane that is going nowhere. Fast. Word to the wise…Zombies beware!

Zombie Alien VamPirate Clown (10/31/09)

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August 30th, 2010 at 12:47 am

Murder Mansion Mayhem

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Papa Papa Paparazzi…

Murder! Mayhem! A Movie Starr has been butchered at a Hollywood Hills Mansion Estate overlooking Tinsel Town! Call the Police! Call TMZ! And for goodness sake call ‘Paparazzi Johnny’ (have camera will angle). Who did what to whom and who cares?
Noon Call-Time starts with BBQ Burgers & Fries to warm up the Crew and Background Team.  How do you start a riot in Base Camp? Feed the Extras. Everybody meets at a Church Parking Lot off Sunset Blvd to take Vans up the treacherous winding road to where Star Maps pin point where the Film Folk Frolic.

Aloha Oye!

But 1st a tiny little mix-up with Wardrobe. Our Casting Voice Mail instructions say “Bring Loud Colorful Hawaiian Shirts” but on arrival we hear “No no no! Who the hell told you to wear that?” Adios to my Vintage Aloha number I bought at Ardvarks Oddark on Melrose Avenue in 1974 with my pal Ann & her then Roommate Lorna Patterson (a few years away from being cast as the Singing Stewardess in AIRPLANE & later TV’s PRIVATE BENJAMIN). Thankfully I have my Brand New $10 Bright Sky Blue Striped Target Tee underneath & a quick costume change later all is well. Someone wants Loud and I gave ’em Loud.  Give me clear correct instructions people.

Ornate anyone?

After several hours waiting for tons of equipment and people to be schlepped up this hill, we are ready to shoot in front of the Mansion by the Main Gates. People are placed to look like a crowd of neighbors gathering after hearing the sirens. An Extra dressed like a Rich Old Lady is handed an adorable 5 week old Puppy named “Daisy” to peek out of her purse (with a Licensed Animal Handler nearby off-camera at all times). There’s Rich Old Man Extra in his Pajamas and House Slippers (which he arrived on set with & wears all day…I’d have worn tennis shoes and worn my Slippers only while filming but what do I know?). A Hot Young Couple of Background Kids are in Skin Tight Workout Clothes as they jog past take after take. Dress Police Cars and News Trucks galore. 5 Background Performers as Cops and one Real Life Policeman who moonlights in TV and Movies on his days off. He is from Boston and never stops bragging how gang members love his accent . He mentions Mark Wahlberg a dozen times. Today everyone seems scared of pissing this guy off. Even the Director shows him respect which is weird because this Cop is as obnoxious as they come.  He keeps pressing the Director to give him a line and whenever they yell “ACTION” Officer Boston says “Don’t Break My Balls Charlie!” His bit works because he ends up getting Upgraded and makes more money. He shares his life story with anyone who hasn’t already walked away from him and after one “CUT!” he  inexplicitly yells “FIRE IN THE HOLE!” and freaks out the the Crew. This is only said on sets where pyrotechnics are about to be used and is a Warning to prevent dangerous accidents. Why did Boston do it? Who the heck knows. He thought it was really funny and no one else did. Everyone stares at him bewildered. He apologizes and starts talking about how much he loves “Duncies” (yes Duncan Donuts…can you believe it?). Must be his defense mode kicking in.  I shook my head in a dismissive passive-aggressive judgemental way that made me feel better than him. What?

A View to Kill?

I asked the 2nd AD if I was allowed to use the Flash on my Prop Camera while snapping shots of the Investigators entering the Gates and the Director came back “yes.’  On “ACTION” I went a wee bit crazy and they loved it. All the other Paps were told to do it and we laughed the day away “fighting” to get the best shots. Studio Secret: Among us Fake Paps was a New Media Production Assistant with a Real Digital Camera shooting footage to be used on the Network’s Web Site promoting this Hour Long Hit Drama. Shhhhhh…synergy.
Hot hot hot. Nothing like being on top of a mountain in 90 degree weather without any cover. Am I the only person who knows about wearing a hat, long sleeves & that secret stuff called Sunscreen out here in Los Angeles? People are now kinda dying all over, and the Complaint Department appears to be open.  “There’s no shade!” “Waaah I’m sweating!” “This is awful!” Unfortunately the Production Team is fighting the elements here and no one seemed to plan for bringing tons of water. That’s right…no water on set for over an hour and a glorious Lagoon Pool with Palm Trees that everyone is forbidden to touch or enter. One Extra gal dips her feet in and is fired on the spot. What part of the 2nd AD’s “Don’t go near the Pool or you will be sent home” didn’t she hear? Cue weeping and begging. Honey it doesn’t work on ‘American Idol’ and it doesn’t work here. Bye bye Lady who doesn’t follow instructions.  Her exit line… “You people are inhuman cruel Bastards!” Welcome to Hollywood Baby.  It’s murder.

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August 21st, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Famous Friends

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I’m spending 2 nights with a Big Blonde Hunk of Male Movie Star (let’s call him “Abs McSurfer”). Just him, me, & a couple hundred buttinsky Show Biz Pros who won’t leave us alone. When told of this booking my Boyfriend mumbled “Hmmmph!”

All-Star Casts are rare and this 75 Million Dollar Heavy-Duty Legal Drama is shooting at the Court House Downtown from 6pm-6am with multiple Award Winning Actors. Where a Star there a Star. Production has taken over the entire building, but they have to remove every piece of equipment before start-of-government-business each morning (then bring it back 12 hours later…oye). I stop counting after hearing the 10th bad Crew impression of “You Can’t Handle The Truth!” There is lots of tension to speed things up just when I get a tap on my shoulder. It’s a dear college friend’s Hubby…who just happens to be a Famous Star. I get to spend 2 days shooting with someone who is a terrifically talented hilarious guy who everyone loves that I actually know! I introduce my Pal to the Background Casting Director saying “And this is my close personal friend the ‘Big Shot’.”  Let’s hope her laugh means “Hmmm John Starr knows famous people…I should cast him more often.” It could happen.

Wardrobe loves all my ‘Courtroom Professor’ outfits…

john starr lawyer

… I seem to have “Tweedy” down pat!

john starr lawyer

Night Calls for Background Performers in Major Studio Films are like a Cocktail Party (& I have many friends here). We feast at Midnight on all-you-can-eat King Crab Legs and T-Bone Steak and gossip about the Stars and Director (who me?). My Pal the Hubby Famous Guy lightens the Set Stress after chow by suggesting to the angry Director that a “Spit Take” might be right for his character. Everyone is grateful for his needed laugh. Cinema Secret: They are shooting this huge movie with a Red Digital Camera. No actual Film is in the camera anymore. Bye bye Film. During a scene, my Pal delivers his dialogue and walks past me down a hallway filled with Courtroom Background. “Hi John Starr” he surprisingly says under his breath and makes me crack up on-camera. For the rest of the 2 days his goal is to make me lose my composure whenever Camera Rolls. This proves to be an easy task. I spend the rest of the shoot biting my quivering lips every time “ACTION!” is yelled. Funny Hubby turns this job into a total blast and also does an excellent Jack Benny impression to boot (“Oh Rochester….”). I like having Famous Friends.

Meanwhile I have an interesting habit following Male Stars into Restrooms. Don’t be shocked, lots of Extras do this. It started in 1974 when my Dad graciously suggested I might have fun using his Academy Award tickets (yes he’s a Member and I went 14 years in a row and saw everyone).

john starr lawyer

1974 at the Oscars!  Look at my former curly locks and wave farewell

At 19 I found myself taking a piss next to Paul Newman (and how often does that happen?). It was a complete coincidence that my date & I got out of my Mom’s Ford Falcon Station Wagon the same time Paul and Joanne Woodward got out of their Limo. Yes we may have followed them down the Red Carpet “a little closely”. Yes I was in ‘Women’s Wear Daily’ Newspaper the next day in a photo of Paul & Joanne laughing at a sign in the stands that said “Nixon for Best Sound Editing” (that’s 10% of my face cropped on the right side of the photo).


And yes your Honor I admit I may have followed Paul Newman into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s downstairs Men’s Room…by accident. Okay not really. Butch Cassidy and the Devil made me do it. Did too.

So when I did the same thing at 2:20am downtown with Abs McSurfer, I was on auto-pilot I swear to Goddess. At least I had the decency (and fear) to go into a stall instead of stand next to Abs while he hummed and pissed (he hums while he pisses? Is that something people do?). Get ready for the 64,000 Dollar Question. Did he wash his hands?  All I can tell you is … my days of following Stars are over. I swear. You shut up.

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August 10th, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Secret Agent Man

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john starr secret agent

I have a Paid Audition (thank you Unions!) with a Hit TV Comedy Director who used to be on a 90s Sci-Fi Show. He is famous if you watched that show, but I didn’t & never heard of him. He is open and friendly. Yay. There are 9 guys auditioning for 3 roles and whoever is picked plays opposite Secret Agent Man Lead Star who is Charmingly Adorable (evidently a Spying Prerequisite). I like the odds…particularly since 5 of the guys are 15-20 minutes late, drenched in sweat & panting when they arrive in a frantic panic. Too bad boys. The 2nd AD says “Better Late Than Never” and makes those guys go first. Ha ha. Feel free to quote me…Karma’s a Bitch, ain’t it fellows? They immediately go down in flames and are dismissed. 4 auditions left & Baby needs milk.

My turn. Mr Nice Director talks me through the scene (“Subtle” was not in his vocabulary). It is a silent bit where Cute Secret Agent goes on many job interviews to get “real” work. All the Personnel Guys he meets realize too late they are in danger & get killed by Chaos Bad Agents (including Poison Blow Darts to our Necks…tell me you love this).  My Big Death Scene is rather broad (unless you consider me falling off a staircase delightful French Farce). I get a big laugh and am told “John they loved it you’re Hired! You other guys go home.”

Wardrobe Team compliments this Classic Grey Pinstripe Suit my Mom bought me years ago. The 2 other guys hired seem fine. One looks like John Candy and the other is an Asian American I will call “Baxter”. He is mid-30s totally Nerded out & says he is a “New York Actor”. Yesterday Baxter ended his audition fawning over the Director’s former Sci-Fi Series. That is a No No Baxter (& is considered rather unsophisticated). He knew it too & said “It just slipped out” & I replied “I hate when that happens.” It didn’t matter because he got the job, right? Today he will break several more Background Performer Cardinal Rules. Immediately after “CUT” he asks the Director for a picture taken of them together…and is turned down. No No Baxter.

Both these guys turn out to be brilliantly funny during their shoots. Mine goes very well too but I am only pretty funny (hey…pretty funny is still pretty funny, right?). I said “Right?” Fortunately they hired me for my dying shtick and I manage to kick over everything on the desk and fall out of my chair when the dart hits me. Stuff flew up and people behind the camera were surprised & laughed during the film roll. I literally fell on my ass. “CUT!” I got applause from the crew and The Director slapped me on the back and said “Thanks for taking one for the Team!”  I gave them the big finish I was hired for. Let’s pray the Editor uses my desk finale stuff and doesn’t include any of my 3 Takes pretending to throw up. Please please please let them include the other 2 guys vomiting before they keel over from their dart seizures & not me! Yes I had to do it because of my deep artistic integrity (also I do what I am told). They say “Barf” & I say “How high?”

Later, signing our Contract Vouchers, we were happily surprised to find we got an “ADJ” (‘Adjusted Featured Bump’ = more cash). Well earned I assure you. While changing out of our suits, the John Candy type said he’d seen me arrange all the stuff on the Desk before my Shoot and wondered what was going on. I had set it up while the Camera Crew was working because I knew I’d kick everything over and needed things to be near the edge so it would all fly around.  Nice to have my prep noticed. We all ran into the Star again on our way out. He shook our hands and said “You Dudes were really funny! Nice working with you.” He was a real Gent…who runs outside to smoke like a stack after almost every scene (sorry truth hurts).

We finally get driven in Golf Carts to parking across the Studio Lot and Baxter screams at a Talk Show Host passing by “I follow you on Twitter!”  No No Baxter…

Watch my Dad…Ben Starr’s Emmy Television Legend interview:

john starr stage 10

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August 6th, 2010 at 1:20 am

Conga Clown

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A typical TV Scene for a Rock Band’s House Party featuring a Polynesian Fire Dancer doing his act indoors with Real Tiki Torches, an Alien Robot & me as a Clown sight gag!

I get2 date the Lead Guitar’s Tall Beautiful Blonde Ex-Girlfriend and …Spoiler Alert… the house burns down! Cue Hunky Fake Firemen Extras. Whoops they’re too late as we party goers dance a Conga Line through the flames. Yes really (& they paid me at a higher specialty rate to boot).

The day starts with a 4:30am Alarm for 8am Hollywood Set Arrival (it takes a while to pull Johnny the Clown together). At 6:45am I’m running late and look a hot mess because I smeared my smile and cheek Make-Up with a powder puff brush (hate when that happens). How do you fix smeared Make-Up? Just add more…lots more. Several layers later I finish & jump in the car. 10 miles away I realize I forgot my Balloon Animal Pump. Disaster. Oh wait last night I pre-packed an extra Pump in my Fire Engine Red Back-Pack. Never mind. Whew.

Of course when I arrive it is Hollywood Street Cleaning day. Half the usual parking spaces available. I drive around 10 minutes & finally park & walk 5 blocks to the Studio causing a panic with cars driving by yelling clever stuff at me. Yes I know I am a Clown. Thank you. Somehow I arrive early & the Gate Guard is in a joking mood and says my Drivers License Photo doesn’t look anything like me. Good to know. A crowd is gathering so I use my Harpo Horn. HONK! Big laugh and the Guard passes me in.

Wow. On the side of the Sound Stage is a poster of the 1960s hit show MR. ED about the talking horse (a horse is a horse of course of course).

My Dad co-wrote that show and today I’m shooting on the same Stage. I call Pop and he loves it. Meanwhile the Producer introduces himself and there is a major discussion on whether my Hat stays or goes. Only above-the-line Production chimes in & I keep my big drawn-on mouth shut. The Hat stays (whew…it is pinned on & removing it would be a hassle). Wardrobe flips over my hand-made Costume. My new Red Wig and Yellow Derby get compliments in the Make-Up & Hair Departments …they were going to fight to keep the Hat if needed. It is decided to make my look Bigger, Brighter and Better. “Are you wearing those?” they ask about my glasses. “Never” I lie and say (they always make me put my glasses away so I’m kinda blind all day & no I can’t wear contacts so don’t suggest it, thanks anyway).

90 minutes later my face is completely re-done and I really like the new Eye and Lip Shades they use. Wonderful Make-Up Gal sprays the top of my head with “Profaces: No Sweat” & I’m good to go (they use it under rubber horror prosthetic masks and it will help me stay cool). Who knew? I then foolishly make the mistake of putting my own Wig and Hat back on and almost cause a Union Riot. The Hair Lady puts the wigs on people, not the talent. Oops. I am really really sorry. She is gracious and accepts my 3 apologies on bended knee. I make a Snake pop out of a can & say I stole it off a plane. She laughs. HONK & exit Stage Right.

The 2nd AD rushes me to set where there are so many Tiki Torches on Fire there is a full crew of Real Firemen for safety (they are standing next to the much better looking Fake Firemen Extras who are all Bodybuilders with Spray Tans). We are warned repeatedly not to get burned. Several people notice my large bag filled with flammable Balloons and the scene is re-choreographed so the Clown does not catch on fire while we Conga-dance around the room. Move the Torches back people. Protect Clowny.

Today I’m introducing a Classic Bit into my Act. Ladies and Gents, meet my New Purple Twirling Mini-Umbrella (thank you to my Boyfriend’s Aunt who is a Craft Wiz with a Glue Gun…her Gold Fringe & Pearl Plastic Trim are show stoppers). I work this Brolly like nobody’s business every time they yell “ACTION!” Conga this.

Opens on Polynesian Fire Dancer tossing Flaming Batons. Party goers cheer him as guy dressed as Alien Robot does pathetic dance to Herbie Hancock’s ROCKIT.
Enter Tall Beautiful Blondie Chick with Circus Clown.

Lead Guitar’s Best Friend: “Mitch your Ex-Girlfriend just got here with some Clown.”

Mitch:  “Hello Madeline. Hello Clown. Don’t get any of your hideous face paint on the couch. That goes for you too Clown.”

People start dancing but DJ screws up music so Mitch leads Conga Line.

Lead Guitar’s Best Friend: “Everybody let’s go to the Clown’s house…he’s got Animal Balloons!”

Mitch: “Oooooh Animal Balloons. You’ve done alright Madeline.”

Conga Line exits. Cue fire. Wrap Clown.

Later I couldn’t find my car because I refused to spoil my look by putting my glasses back on. A kid in a house yelled “Look Mom a Real Clown!” An excited tourist from Indiana stopped his rental car and took pictures. After a 15 minute hopeless search I dug into my back pack, put on my glasses, found the car and drove home. Another day at the office…

Watch my Dad’s 1957 Pilot Script for the long running smash PERRY MASON & an episode from THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW on Ben Starr’s IMDb page:

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July 29th, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Janitor Johnny

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I’ve waited a lifetime to say…”I’m not a Janitor…but I play one on TV.” Yes folks ‘Janitor Johnny’ at your service at popular Screen Actor Guild prices. Have Mop will Travel. They call me ‘Sanitation Schmear Starr’ and the family is dang proud of it. Theatre Degree get thee gone sirrah (King Lear for those asking).

“Richard” is the other Janitor Background booked today on this Hip Hit Violent Cult Cable Show featuring a Major 1990s TV & Movie Comic-Book Franchise Star in his successful Comeback Series (a fine hint kiddies). “Richard” is a Mid-Forties Strong Masculine Latino who plays a lot of Cops, Army Guys and Janitors. His first words at 6:30 this morning are “You’re White. There are no White Janitors.” I replied “Gee I play them all the time when done with Cricket” Okay not really. I actually said “Oh. Ahhhh. Hmmm. I’m John Starr. Hi.” Thankfully the 2nd AD told us to jump in the Van from Base Camp to Location Set.

And what a Location. We’re shooting at an Industrial Warehouse doubling for a Mental Institute in an unincorporated part of East Los Angeles. Sorry but everyone is talking a lot about how scary the neighborhood is (the Off-Duty Real Police/Security Team is in full force). Wardrobe puts us in matching Work Overalls. Make-Up tells me to remove my glasses. Me without glasses. It’s a Whole New Look. Tough. Rough. And Ready.

The Action Scene we’re Shooting: Lovely Daughter (a Regular) has been kidnapped over a 5 episode arc and is held prisoner in this State Run Nut-House. Her Hero Father (The 90s Star) and his Band of Buddy Ex-Cons Who Live Life By Their Own Rules break her out in a Gun Battle Escape and desperate Pick-Up Truck tires squealing 360 Stunt-Driving Dust Busting Get-Away witnessed by two Masculine Shaved-Headed Janitors on the Loading Dock (and one of them is totally me). Me.

Oh my goodness but choreographing Gun Battles takes time. Something very important about no one getting hurt. Which brings us to this week’s delightful trip in the ‘Way-Back Machine’ called “John’s Misfire.” In 1974 I was booked for the first time as a “Pedestrian” for one episode of MARY HARTMAN MARY HARTMAN (the 1st Situation Comedy Soap Opera).  I was in a Crowd Scene watching a Killer hold someone’s Daughter captive in a store (isn’t it always someone’s Daughter?). We shot it on the same Sound Stage where 1927’s Al Jolson “1st Talkie” JAZZ SINGER was filmed (now it’s KTLA and they shoot HANNA MONTANA there. Yes really). I got noticed for being the only Extra using the Popcorn provided to toss and catch in my mouth. It became my first on-camera “bit” and I was recalled for 10 more episodes and given an Upgrade to play “Killer’s Best Friend”. And I got to be the Killer’s ‘Hand-Double’ too (‘Double’ Bump. More Dough). Production saved money hiring me instead of paying Full-Rate for the Guest Actor on a day he had no other lines. So the Prop guy hands me a Loaded Blank Hand Gun and says just pull the trigger when they yell “Action!” There’s a Crowd slowly coming to the front of the store and Sound Guy plays back pre-recorded Killer’s voice over Mega-Phone “Get Back or I’ll Shoot!” and you see my real hand with the Pistol creep around the door and I fire On-Cue. And almost really kill or injure several people. Someone (let’s call him Head of Props…but no name calling please) forgot to tell me to aim the Blank Gun towards the floor. But this a-hole instead of fessing up blames it on me like I’m some kind of idiot who pointed a Blank Gun directly at people 10 feet away. Didn’t I know how dangerous these were? Well. actually no. I am sure it is your job to tell me that before you put a Gun in my hand. But I kept my mouth shut instead. Took the heat and most everyone quickly found out the truth. I was getting a lot of back-slaps by the end of that day from Crew who said I handled it all like a pro (I was all of 19). Lucky for me no one else liked Prop Guy. Timing. It was a wonderful 11 episode introduction to being a Regular Extra and the exciting possibilities of a career as a ‘Bit Player’. And thankfully no blood was shed by Johnny Two Lines (or as a favorite Casting Director sweetly calls me “Johnny One Note”).

Back to today. The Stunt Team is gutsy & fantastic and the escalating Fist Fight Shoot-Out after many thrilling Takes with much Shot-Coverage is completed. Surprise…the Daughter Escapes. Did I mention that after the 1st establishing Wide Shot the Director thought the Janitors were an “action distraction” and we were cut? We were held “just in case” they changed their minds…which they didn’t. We never were used again and won’t be on the show. Walking back to the Van some crew bitch murmured “clean-up on aisle five”…

P.S. In the late 1940s one of my Dad’s first jobs was writing for Al Jolson’s Radio Show (just before Dad worked for Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin).

Check out Ben Starr’s amazing Producer/Writer Career on IMDb:

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July 22nd, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Tween Time

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I find myself in a continuous cycle of shooting Tweenager Cable TV Shows for the 8-12 year old set. These mega-hits for the kiddies feature “18 to Look Younger” Stars posing as Sweet Sixteen. Liars! News Flash…these Fresh Faced Youth are surrounded by Extras who are as old as the hills. I just worked with a gal still doing this and she’s 34. She pulls her blond hair back into a pony tail, no make-up, wears a hoodie and a backpack & carries an old-school 3-ring binder. Voilà she’s Younger than Springtime…and she gets away with it.

No I’m not in that age-range anymore, thanks for asking. Those days left me while I was dancing in the Malt Shop on WHAT’S HAPPENING around 1976 when someone tactlessly pointed out in a Dressing Room, my rapidly expanding Bald Spot. Like I didn’t already know I was long in the tooth at 21 (my speciality was “Best Friend”). Goodbye playing High Schoolers for Johnny Extra and Hello to being on Hold for 30 years waiting to get back to the glamorous life I lead now. And yes you heard me right… let the record show I danced in a Malt Shop on-camera 25 years after Annette Funicello did it as a Mouseketeer. Top that.

I was just shooting a Tween Show about young, cute Skater Boyz (aren’t they all?) This one revolved around Professional Wrestling. The Boyz make a bet they can do anything and end up in the Ring…uh oh high-jinks await. Picture me being paid to sit in an Arena with 150 of my closest Extra pals on benches watching highly choreographed comic Hulk Hoganish-like routines that begin and end with guys being hit with folding chairs and leaping off ropes onto ex-football players tummies. Everyone screaming “Banzai!” I thought it was funny and laughed all day. Many other Background Performers (we’ll call them The Negatives) never stopped complaining about the usual (“Gee I could do that” “Why don’t they upgrade me with a line” “Do we have to stay here all day?” “when do we eat?).   Repeat after me…boring. It’s like they wandered in off the street.  What part of being paid to follow instructions and get to be on TV and the Movies do these people not understand when they sign up for this stuff? Excuse me for loving it but there goes a guy dressed like Nacho Libre swinging someone from their legs and letting them fly into the audience where the stunt guys are sitting. Ooops! Tee hee! Fun. Take Two please…
Plus several of the guest stars are actual real life famous Wrestlers that I’ve never heard of but all the Younger Extras seem very impressed with. Oh, and love seeing the gents in those tighty costumes. Hello.

I’m also a regular Extra on another Tween Show where the Mom is played by an Ex-Brat Packer from the 80s (I’m still here & so is she). Guess what her 16-year-old fake son (he’s really 18) plays? A cute Skater Boy! Do I hear a theme? All the kids on the show are squeaky clean while film is rolling and have the mouths of sailors off-camera. We often shoot on a Back Lot Your-Small-Town-Street and they hire real Children as Extras for brief scenes (with Professional Teachers to watch over them).  I walked my dog Lucky in an episode of this show (Doggie Bump…more money) and a 10 year old Girl Extra made inappropriate loud fart noises every time “ACTION” was called. Charming. She was just imitating the leads. Her timing was perfect and she had everyone in our area breaking up during every shot. Luckily we were all at the end of the street scene and no one noticed. Can’t wait to see these kids when they are all grown up dressed in white gloves with dainty manners for Cotillion. What do you mean I am out-of-touch?

My latest Tween Show is about a High School Girls Sports Team fighting to remain #1.  None of the leads are under 25 and they all smoke like stacks the second someone yells “Cut!”  Several of them have babies that their unemployed Hubbies watch during production.  Nothing like seeing Mom smoking & grabbing Baby during breaks to inspire our young viewers.  The real laughs on this set happen when the Production Photographer walks by.  Hide the Baby and ditch that smoke!

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July 14th, 2010 at 2:18 am

The Guy With The Tie

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Both photos taken moments after I spoke my first couple of lines in a Movie after a slight 29 year Hiatus…this is a continuation of my previous blog called:

‘Full Bonanza’

john starr gets lines

Last night I won the ‘Extra Background Atmosphere Player Award’. It’s like the Lottery …but instead of millions you get a Small Part in a Big Movie. It is a thrilling moment to speak out loud on a Hollywood Set and be praised instead of shushed. And you get Applause, an ‘Upgrade Principal Actor Contract’, and yes you get 10 times more money than usual and Residual Checks for the rest of your life (that start out big and peter out to pennies). ‘Plus 10%’ whether or not you have a Theatrical Agent. I don’t (ka-ching). And most everyone is really truly happy for you except the ones who aren’t…jealous much.

This was my 5th and last day on this Film. Over a 100 of the same Extras (Large Call) on-and-off for weeks so most of us know each other well.  Lots of wonderful Pros and a favorite Casting Agent we all adore. Wardrobe had us all line-up and the Head Gal said to me “You have great taste. I bought a tie for you to wear in the last ‘Wrap Party’ scene tonight. Make sure someone gets you the ‘Rooster Tie’.  They’ll know, it has the Flat End.” After she walked away I turn to my buddies still awaiting approval and say “Excuse me but I have to go Make-Up because I have great taste.”

The day flys by and I keep getting picked by the friendly 2nd AD Team to do various bits as a Fake ‘Trendy Gay Costumer’ (and since I knew all the Real Wardrobe Costumers they kept giving me tips on ‘What to do On-Camera’ to look legit). Note to Lint Remover Users….roll down not up. And for goodness sake when dealing with Prom Dresses on Professional Dancers, Fluff their Bows in the back don’t straighten them or I will walk you off this Sound Stage. I will.

12 hours and three costume changes later we are led back to the Stage for the Big Last Scene. We’re shooting a giant Wrap Party on this Fake ‘Not GLEE but Gosh Darn Close’ Spoof TV Show within a Movie Show and have been told that Real Food will be used and we can actually eat it (but only when filming). The Major Director of the Biggest Comedy Franchise in History (take that for a hint) is beloved on set (Wikipedia lists him under ‘such a Mensch’). He wants to see people really eating. Yippee! I grab my pal Steve in Wardrobe and ask politely for my ‘Rooster Tie’ please. It goes great with my new short sleeve collared yellow & this season’s purple plaid shirt that my Boyfriend’s wonderful Mother got for my birthday. Everyone complements me and I hear murmurs from the Extras behind me spreading the word that the Award Winning Wardrobe Head bought this just for me. I’m placed in the back of the crowd with a beautiful friend playing a Fake Make-Up Girl.  She tells me she wants to do more acting less extra work.

While my buddy the Lead Star Stand-In is being lit, the Director makes an announcement. “I want the Guy with the Tie and That Girl” (cue music). He says to bring them up close so the Star walks by ’em. There is a hush around me. The Director tells us both “When The Big Star walks up, grab his hand and congratulate him for the success of his Great Script.” (I’m calling him The Big Star in this blog but The Big Director calls him by his Real Name!)  For the first time in my life a Male Star who defines Tall Dreamy Hipper than You Young Leading Man appears & is rehearsing shaking my hand. He is very good at it. I smile and politely say “congratulations”. Lovely Fake Make-Up Girl turns beet red and walks away to check on her coat (I know, what was that about?). The Star says under his breath “Great commitment to Role guys.” I get it. (Cue music crescendo!)  He’s saying ‘go for it’. I am very grateful for his concise funny honest constructive direction. He has done us a huge favor. I grab The Girl, did she hear what The Star said? I explain. This is our chance…our one special moment (cue music again). We’ve got to go out there and be Extras but we’ve got to come back Principals. She nods and understands we really have to be the Crew Folks congratulating the Successful Writer. She gets it.

Real Make-Up People I already know surround me. They are proud and want me to do great. Well wishers. I have to lean down so they can reach me and powder me and make me look pretty Momma. Begone Shiny Dome & thanks to Max Factor my shaved head is a lovely palate of youthful splendor (okay I exaggerate but excuse me for living it to the hilts…this is how it really happens folks out here in HollywoodLand). Many friends whisper “good luck John. You can do it.” I look down at my wine glass filled with Canada Dry and notice it is not shaking. I am not nervous. I know what I have to do and know I can do it. This moment is an affirmation what I have been doing leading me to back to this. I know I am never going to work in an office again and will instead do what I love which is being on-set. Show business is my life. News Flash – Hold the Back Page.

I close my eyes and am walking onto this very sound stage as a child seeing BONANZA filmed and still feeling the wonder now that is Movie Making. I ask the 2nd AD what is the Male Star’s Character’s name? “Michael.” She reminds me to Pantomime the words not actually say them. I know that the Director instructed me to speak the lines. But 2nd AD is great to work with and she is my Direct Supervisor. During our next rehearsal I mime the words, as instructed. The Director shouts “I want him to SAY THE LINES.” People start running up to me…”Upgrade! You’ve been Upgraded!” Several people from Wardrobe start straightening my tie and shirt and more Make-Up and powder are applied by a team surrounding Fake Make-Up Girl and me. I am very calm and focused and feel extremely joyful, Extra Lucky and ready for my close up Mister Demille. The 1st AD who does not speak to Extras unless the building is on fire comes up to me and calls me “Kid”. He reads me the dialogue for the scene and tells me my cue is after Blond Girlfriend finishes her last line. I am to Pantomime the beginning of my conversation with Male Star and then when Blond walks by finishing her bit I start talking for real. “Wait for your Cue” he says.

They finish loading the camera.

“Quiet. Quiet on the Set. Rolling. Sound! Picture! Everybody!”

“Take One…ACTION!”
Camera pans large Wrap Party on a Hollywood Sound Stage. Standing by the food is World Famous Rap Star (being played by a World Famous Rap Star…who has been charmingly picking up every beautiful girl on-set all day. Everyone loves him). He is the Male Star’s Best Friend. The Gorgeous Blond Actress/Girlfriend jokes to her Producer that he never writes Big Musicals for her anymore. Waaaaah.

Enter Male Star walking past Wardrobe/Make-Up Team.

“Michael, congratulations on your great script”

Male Star:
“Naaah. You guys did the work.”

“Hey… You made it happen!”

Male Star sheepishly looks adorably humble shaking his head as he bananas through crowd toward friends.


The Cameraman says out loud “He was like a Principal.” I gasp. 1st AD slaps me on the back “Perfect Kid. Do it again like that. Great.” They like me.

Take Two timing is a bit faster and I only get one line out before Male Star walks by but I am told I was again perfect. They really like me. 99 Background Performers are asked to exit the Stage and wait outside. I am kept behind and told where and what to do to fill out my Contract. I exit the Stage to the crowd of Extras who applaud and hug me and tell me that since it didn’t happen to them they are glad it happened to me. “You deserve it!” is said over and over. Everyone is generous and honestly happy for me. It is one of the most exciting moments of my life. You can’t write this stuff…oh wait I am. But I am living it luckily…

“I’d like to thank the Academy Members, my Director, the Hot Star, Wardrobe, Make-Up, Cher’s Stand-In Stunt Dance Double (yeah I know her, she’s really cool & afterwards she hugged me twice & said “hi” to Lucky my dog), my boyfriend’s Mom for the great shirt and to all my fellow supportive Background Performers…not only my true friends but particularly the jealous bitches who tried unsuccessfully to steal my magic thunder.”

Cue applause.

How interesting when you don’t take things personally that others say — being too busy floating on a cloud of Hollywood Glamour helps a lot, trust me.  Moments after My Big Moment some lump-head says “Days ago I was asked to be a Costumer and I said no, so it really should have been me not you…just kidding.” Ahhhh no you’re not. The tall aging stand-offish platinum blond chick who’d spent 3 days talking to me while never looking up texting begrudgingly mumbled “congratulations.” But my friends (of which I have many) hugged and kissed me and were thrilled. Fake Make Up Girl was upset that she didn’t jump at this chance and also speak a line (which she had been instructed to do but only she knows why she didn’t). She was a doll afterwards and I felt for her but when fate gives you the chance you gotta grab life by the …oh you get my point. She sweetly said she hopes being this close to it brings her another chance. Many said the same thing. Some of the Extras I know shyly came up later to say it had been thrilling to see me do so well and they hoped they’d too be ready when their moment came.

It’s been 29 years since my last Upgrade. In 1981 I was in the First Major Big-Budgeted Gay Themed Hollywood Studio Film called MAKING LOVE (this was 25 years before BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN thank you). I played ‘Young Gay Man in Bar #3’ (yes yes I know Type Casting…ha ha hold your comments people for below). I got to ask Harry Hamlin “Hey Bart. Going to the Party Saturday Night?” Let’s hope it’s not another 29 years…

My Newbie Extra Pal said “John you made bank!” Yes I got a lot of money for this and that is exciting. However that is not what this was about for me. Long after everyone had been released and I had signed my Contract I went back to the Empty Sound Stage where ‘Holding’ was and got my stuff (& where Dad’s BRADY BUNCH was shot). One of my favorite things is to walk through the empty Studio Lots at night back to my car. It is a protected environment and very safe yet you stroll through New York City Sets and turn corners onto Western or European Streets that Gloria Swanson walked on in 1925. I was beaming and so happy walking past the massive Empty Lake Tank with the Sky Blue and Billowy Cloud Back Drop. Time to leave the Studio to drive home after a marvelous day. Touch wood.

Now I hold my breath by their Editing Room Door listening for my 2-Line Bit to hit the Floor.  Cross your fingers the kid stays in the picture when it is released next Spring.

P.S. Just between you and me… so keep your big cake hole shut, okay? My first couple of days on this same above movie can be checked out in my blog archives called:

‘Lucky Starr…the Movie Dog’

Don’t tell anyone. I mean it.

Fine. Spread it around. Happy now?

You’d better delete my email address before you forward this or else. No. Wait. Stop.

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July 5th, 2010 at 10:48 pm