Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Stripping On A Movie Set - Part 1

My knowledge of celebrities is a joke. When someone names a random celebrity and asks me if I know him or her, I usually say, “I don’t know.” The response I get is, “How do you not know this person?” I just don’t. I am very ignorant of the world of pop-culture and Hollywood in general. I rarely even watch movies.
When my booking agent called me today for a last minute party, I almost turned it down. I already had a show booked for Orange Beach, along with another appointment later.

“It’s going to be on a movie set in Mobile,” he said.

“Oh, okay,” I said. I’ve been on a few sets of indie films before, so I assumed that this gig would be similar to those. Besides, the only people who make movies in Mobile, Alabama are usually local indie producers.
It was a tight fit in the schedule, but I decided to take the gig. It wasn’t too far from Orange Beach, and these type of gigs usually didn’t last long.

The customer was working on the set with the film crew when I called. I think he was one of the assistant producers, but I cannot remember exactly. He told me that I would be stripping for an actress named Ambyr Childers. I never heard of her, so I thought I was safe. Then again, my knowledge of actors is very limited.

“What does she look like?” I asked over the phone.

“You can’t miss her. Blonde, short, and very pretty. Her husband Randall is setting all this up. It’s their anniversary.”

“Ok, so just a quick performance then?” I asked, assuming from experience that her husband had a sense of humor and wanted to surprise her.

“Yeah, we might dress you up in a merc outfit from the movie so she won’t suspect anything.”

One thing that came to mind was that I would be stripping on a movie set, and there would be some people around. I usually wore thongs for my show, but this crowd would want something less revealing. I asked the customer what would be appropriate.

“Wear boxer briefs or something along those lines. A thong would definitely be too much. And another thing,” he added. “Can we put body paint on you beforehand? It’s going to be an anniversary message. Are you okay with this?”

“Sure,” I said.

“Oh, and one more request,” he said. “Can we film it?”

“Yeah, no problem!” I said without a care. People take pictures and film me all the time anyway. So what if an indie film has some extra footage of a male stripper? Boy, was I mistaken.

I arrived late, of course. The show from Orange Beach held me up for an extra thirty minutes. Moreover, it took me a lot longer to get to Mobile than I had thought. The assistant producer told me to pull into a parking lot on Jackson Street that had a lot of trailers. He’d meet me there after he was done filming a scene. I almost got lost, but I managed to find the parking lot.

Trailer with restrooms, changing rooms, etc.
The parking lot had all the trailers and tents for the movie crew. A large white tent sat in one corner. Several trailers and many cars filled the rest of the parking lot. There was a police car in the parking lot that had an emblem of a shield on the door with “Metro Police” below it. Seeing the police car made me suspect that this wasn’t just a regular indie film. A lot of money went into this project.

A young black girl with a two-way radio came to meet me and asked if I was the stripper. I told her that I was. She radioed to the filming crew, telling them that I had arrived. She said that I had to wait a bit because the crew were filming now, but I could help myself to some food or drink at the catering tent. I had to pee though, so I asked her about a bathroom. She escorted me to one of the trailers and told me to go inside. There was a men’s restroom and a women’s restroom. The men’s restroom was large enough to walk around in without feeling cramped, complete with a urinal, a stall, and a sink.

Inside the makeup trailer
The young girl with the radio came and got me once I exited the restroom and brought me to the makeup trailer where I would get the anniversary message painted on me. The makeup trailer was very extravagant, well lit with mirrors and an arsenal of makeup supplies that dwarfed every modeling set that I have ever been to.

This whole setup was starting to make me feel a little uneasy. It reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography where he was talking about being in the trailers of the film set. A lot of money definitely went into this production.

I entered the makeup trailer, and a young girl named Tiffanie introduced herself to me as the makeup artist. She was going to paint some messages on the front and back of my torso, so I took off my shirt and sat down.

While she was painting some words on my chest, a few women, members of the costume and wardrobe department, entered and asked for my clothing size. They debated whether I should be a Metro Police or a Merc, types of characters for the movie. I told them my size, and they decided on the Metro Police uniform for me and left the makeup trailer.

This whole event was taking more time than I had planned, and I was going to be late for my next appointment as a result. I passed the time talking to Tiffanie to get my mind off this matter.

“So, what’s this movie called?” I asked.

“It’s called Vice starring Bruce Willis,” Tiffanie began. She continued to elaborate on the plot, which was about people paying to use androids for their own twisted desires, and one female android becomes self-aware of this fact and doesn’t like it one bit.

When I heard her mention Bruce Willis, my first thought was, “What the hell have I signed up for?” I specifically took work out of town to keep a low profile. Now I was stripping on the set of a Bruce Willis movie and I gave the crew permission to film me! I should have asked a few more questions earlier.

One of the ladies from the costume department entered the makeup trailer with my Metro Police costume.
Accompanying her was the assistant producer. He handed me my payment and filled me in on what to do. I was to dress as a Metro Police officer, get into a Metro Police car, and pull into the set quickly like we were filming a take for the movie. I would get out of the car and approach the actress, and start stripping for her—all while the cameras film my performance.

This whole gig was exciting for me. It was something new. Yet I had my reasons to feel reluctant. I know some people would love to trade places with me, but I did not want footage of me stripping to get out on such a level. On top of it all, I was really running late. What have I gotten myself into?

...To be continued

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