All Night Shoots
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The DVD Shoot
A very good comedian friend of mine called me to ask if I was available to shoot a sketch that he wrote. He started his own production company and even got a distribution deal to produce his very own DVD series called The Victor Cruz Show. Of course I accepted the invitation and was very excited to work with him again. We have been working together for some years in the comedy club circuit as well as on the T.V. show LLEGAMOS on LTV.
The shoot began at 9pm, a night shoot, at in an apartment in Spanish Harlem. I arrived thirty minutes early and stood in front of the building looking very out of place. Although I am Spanish myself, the sketch called for me to play an announcer and so I already had my suit on and in that neighborhood I stuck out like a sore brown thumb. I smoked a cigarette to appear “tougher” and waited for the crew to arrive.
After 2 and a half cigarettes they finally arrived and up we went into the apartment building. While the crew was setting up I began to study my lines. It was challenging because I had mini-monologues through out the script and couldn’t seem to get the grammar down. On top of that I had this monster zit right on my nose, it was a super pimple. I went into the bathroom and began caking my zit with make-up and by the end of the process the hill now looked like a mountain. I now attempted to take focus off that part of my face by pasting on a Groucho like mustache that nearly covered my lips. The director almost rejected the mustache but after giving him a taste of my character he decided to keep it.
Can You Say PENDEJO?
The script was a commercial spoof for a product called “Pendejo Watchers”, for those of you whom are non Spanish speakers, Pendejo means pushover, chump, jackass, and pussy – whipped bitch boy all wrapped into one. It was about how men today let women walk all over them because they are too passive aggressive. In our efforts to please the modern woman we men have giving up being men for being life partners, it really is a sad state of affairs. I myself am traditionally modern and try to be a little bit of both. In the skit a man presents his girlfriend with 2 tickets to a concert and she takes it upon herself to invite her cousin Tita, leaving her man alone at home. At which point the announcer enters and gives the man a special “Pendejo Card” in order for him to keep track of all the times he became a chump. After accumulating a certain amount of “Pendejo Points” the man is now allowed to check the “Not this time Bitch” box and have his revenge.
TIME a TICKIN
After a few hours it dawned on me that after 1am on a week night the buses going back to New Jersey were few and far in between. This made me nervous, agitated and stressed out. I can’t be stuck in the city all night when I have to get to work by 8am the next morning. I implored my friend to get me wrapped up before 1am but by 12:45 I knew this wasn’t going to happen. After I voiced my concerns I felt childish and unprofessional after all I didn’t want to rush them and burn any bridges but what could I do. By 2am I had given up trying to go home and just accepted the fact that I may be stranded. Being in this state of mind I could not concentrate and so when my part came up I could not remember my lines for the life of me. It started to become a nightmare and I was embarrassed. Standing in front of the camera I pulled myself together and delivered the lines as best as I could to no avail. Finally I just started to improv the speech hitting the points as close as possible. Every one was tired but the director remained patient and I appreciated his attitude.
That’s a Wrap!
We finally finished by 3am and the crew offered to give me a ride all the way back to Jersey which saved me. After we loaded up the car we had a long ride back and all I did was think about how tired I would be the next morning. The things I do for my career. I wasn’t happy at all with my performance and wished I could have planned this night out better, oh well, live and learn I guess. To end the night when I got to my car I found a big fat ticket on my windshield to go along with my big fat pimple.
I got to my bed by 4am and just thanked God I was home and not in the middle of Time Square. I barely awoke 3 hours later and drove to work half asleep in a zombie state of mind.
A Comment on Comments
Recently I received a comment that someone from a nursing home that follows this blog passed away. While I did not know this person I was touched by the comment and needed to respond to it. Life is so precious and all we have in the end is our memories. I would like you to know that when I received this news I was very saddened and offer my condolences to her friends and family. I’m sure she was a beautiful person who was surrounded by friends. I can only hope that this blog provided them with a smile every once in a while. Thank you for being part of my life. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Until next time God Bless.