Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stripping On A Movie Set - Part 2

Continued from Part 1 - Click here to read

(Author's note: I will combine both part 1 and 2 into one complete post later.)

Ambyr Childers - photo courtesy of Esquire Magazine
Once Tiffanie was done painting the anniversary message on my chest and back, I put on my Metro Police outfit as quickly as I could. After that, the film crew ushered me into a white van, and we took off for the movie set that was being filmed a few blocks away. The driver used a two-way radio to communicate with another person on the set, relaying a message that “the stripper is en route.”

As we approached the movie set in downtown Mobile, I saw several real police cars from the Mobile Police Department cordoning off the movie set with flashing blue lights. One police car was blocking a street. The officer saw us and backed up his car to let our van pass. Everyone got out of the van and escorted me down the block. The scene beyond was surreal.

It was literally out of a movie. They city block looked like an artificial warzone. White smoke from an unseen smoke machine choked the street and sidewalk. The bright white lights from the lighting crew cast a washed out glow among the redbrick of the business buildings, making them look more like a stage set erected during a theater play than actual buildings. A Metro Police car was parked along the sidewalk. This scene made me feel like I was a Metro Police officer responding to the carnage. 

Before I could feel myself get into character, I saw a crowd of people down the street with cameras, lights, chairs, and everything imaginable that belonged on a movie set. My sense of immersion evaporated. 

A large and husky man approached me with a two-way radio and introduced himself as a stunt man. He told me to get into the Metro Police car on the passenger side, and he would drive me towards Ambyr Childers who was going to be in front of a parking garage. The whole movie crew was pretending to film the Metro Police car arriving on scene, and I was going to be one of the officers. Ambyr would assume that I was one of the actors and not suspect anything out of the ordinary.

Even though I was pressed for time, I was enjoying myself. I just wish I wasn’t pressed for time for my next gig so I could relax and take in the whole experience.  

I looked at the parking garage and wondered how the hell I would find Ambyr Childers in that mess. Not only did I not know what she looked like, there were too many people milling about that my brain failed to discern the actress apart from them. Then a petite girl emerged alone from the crowd and walked towards the front entrance of the parking garage accompanied by an older gentleman. They were both talking casually to each other. She caught my attention because she was dressed in some tight and shiny, black leather material from her shoulders downward. Her long blonde hair contrasted with her dark outfit.  
“That’s her,” the stuntman said. “The blonde girl in the black outfit.”

“She’ll be easy to find then,” I said in relief. “I was worried that I’d have to pick her out of the wad of people over there.” 

“Well, her stunt double is across the street dressed just like her,” he chuckled, pointing to another blonde in black leather across the street. 

“Shit! Glad you pointed the real one out then! That would’ve been embarrassing to go up to the wrong one.”

He laughed. “This is going to be great.”

Someone radioed to the stuntman that everything was ready.

“Copy,” he replied to the radio. He turned to me and muttered, “We’re gonna go in hot, so I hope you don’t mind a little speed.” 

The stuntman started the car and pushed a few buttons on a control switch mounted beneath the dash board to activate the light bar. A guy standing next to our car said that the light bar was not flashing blue lights, so the stuntman began pushing random buttons to no avail. I was already feeling each second of delay burning away my patience, so offered to help. I manage to find a switch and flip it, and saw the flicker of blue lights reflecting off the red brick buildings. 

“You got it now,” the man next to our car said. 

“Thanks! Here we go then!” the stuntman said, slamming his foot into the pedal.

We zipped across the street to the parking garage and lurched to a quick stop. The cameras were rolling. “It’s all you now, buddy,” the stuntman said.

I exited the car with a purpose, walking towards the entrance of the parking garage like I knew what I was doing. On the inside though, the lights, noise, and crowd of people in the background overwhelmed my senses. There was too much going on. I focused on the blonde girl dressed in black leather. The old gentlemen with Ambyr grinned as he saw my approach and stepped away, discreetly pointing at her for me. As I walked up to Ambyr, I heard some music come on, but it was faint and barely audible. Her face went from a blank expression to a look of horror as I started dancing in front of her. 

Someone thrust a chair behind her, but she didn’t notice and tried to run away. Somehow, some people managed to guide her into the chair where she sat and covered her face in embarrassment.

My police shirt came off first, revealing my chest and abs, and on them were the words: “Randall is God.” From the information I gathered earlier, Randall was Ambyr’s husband, and today was their anniversary. So Randall masterminded a plan for a stripper to surprise his wife. I never got to meet him, but his sense of humor infected everyone on the movie set, because I could hear them all laughing and cheering in the background.

Ambyr seemed appalled when I took off my shirt. Just before my pants came down, she muttered a quick protest, “Thanks, but you don’t have to take off your pants—OH GOD!” 

I turned and looked at her. My pants was around my ankles, and my butt encased in tight lycra briefs faced her. She was about to freak out. I felt bad for her. She curled up in the chair, her hands covering her face. 

“Happy anniversary from Randall,” I said, turning around and performing a bodybuilding pose known as a “lat spread,” where I spread my back muscles out so she could read the message on the back. It read, “Happy Anniversary” with a few hearts spread throughout my back. I hoped the gesture would put her at ease, because her discomfort was making me feel bad. 

From what I could tell, she laughed a bit at that and relaxed. 

I tried to dance the best I could, given my inability to hear the music. 

Ambyr raised her hands indicating for me to stop. “You’re a great dancer, but that’s enough.”

It was a good time to stop. In my mind, I felt like I botched the whole thing because I wanted to play out the whole charade of being a Metro Police officer a little longer, duping Ambyr into thinking we were filming a scene. I wanted to dance better and put on a more elegant show. My dance lasted probably a whole minute at the most. With that short duration, I felt like I was ripping the customer off. The crowd told me otherwise though. I turned at waved at the film crew, and they responded with cheers and applause. When I walked off towards the crowd, several people said I did a great job, and they did so with a smile or laughter on their face. Even two Mobile Police officers watched my performance and were grinning about it. Ambyr’s reaction must have been priceless.  

Since I was on the set, I wanted to stay around and watch. It’s not every day that I would get an opportunity to watch a multi-million dollar movie being made, but I was running very late for my next job. The driver of the van was ready to get me back to my car, so I could make my next appointment. I sometimes curse the excitement of my life. My schedule is so crammed that I could not even hang out on the set of a Hollywood movie. Talk about fuckin irony. 

My disappointments did not end there. I was unable to get any pictures with Ambyr since I left my phone with my real clothes in the dressing room of one of the trailers. Besides, as soon as I finished stripping, she retreated off the set in embarrassment. I couldn’t even apologize to her for making her feel uncomfortable. Even worse, I found out from one of the film crew that the Mobile Police Department arrested a man for stalking Ambyr on the previous night. No wonder she was so appalled by my approach! I felt horrible. 

Some of the crew rushed me back to the trailers where my car was parked. They did everything in their power to hurry for me. The fact that the whole crew went out of their way to accommodate my schedule was humbling. They deserve a commendation for it. 

When I got back to change, one of the crew members wanted a picture of me with the anniversary message. She took a picture for me as well:

Pic taken in dressing room of movie trailer

Even after eleven years of experience, being a male stripper always offers something new. I had to go somewhere completely out of my element, like a movie set where I’m gawking around in awe, and surprise an actress that is completely inside her element, causing her to gawk instead. I’m glad that I never got this gig early on in my career. I would not have been able to do it as a rookie. 

So now that I have stripped for an actress on a movie set, I wonder what other surprises await. I just hope that the whole scene of me stripping for her doesn’t appear on any bonus footage when the movie comes out on Blu-Ray or DVD. 

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