( or, Why I Love Hyper-Links )
I now feel like I am experiencing L.A. Last week I went to a screening of an upcoming movie. I'd tell you what I saw but the producers and their lawyers and what-not probably wouldn't like it. That's somebody else's game.
However, these screenings are pretty interesting. An amazing mass of people showed up to participate in this. "Free, did you say? I'll be there." The star of the movie was actually in the audience although I didn't see him. Well, um, it's hard to talk about the event without talking about the movie so....um....moving right along.
Last night, T. and I rubbed elbows with a large collection of Hollywood's seedy underbelly. Well, maybe seedy is a little harsh but underbelly? Definitely.
We went to the Improvisation on 8162 Melrose Avenue. I spied in the L.A. Weekly that Drew Carey and the cast of the Drew Carey Show would be performing for the mere pittance of an $8 ticket. We had to go.
We got there early and headed over to the bar. I ordered a Cosmopolitan ($4.75) and T. ordered a Budweiser ($3.25). Then we moseyed on down to the end of the bar to be in the presence of Ryan Stiles having a drink. He plays Drew's tall-friend on the show. I used to watch him on "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" over in England on the BBC. He was one of the funniest and quick-witted out of all the players. So, I was especially looking forward to seeing him.
The thing about celebrities is that when you are in 'hang-out' mode in their vicinity they either seem painfully normal or painfully dorky.
Par Example: About a year ago I went to see The Reverend Horton Heat at The Wild Duck in Eugene, Oregon. I have been a fan of The Heat ever since my long-lost friend Stephanie introduced me to them at Liberty Lunch in Austin, Texas. At college, I forced this music upon my roommate and good friend, who shall remain anonymous (Chelsea), and through a process of brain-washing and ad-nauseum repetition she, too, became hooked.
We introduced the "Cha-cha-chaa" into popular Heat culture at the Grand Theater in Salem, Oregon, and fell in love with upright base player, Jimbo. Ahhhh... Jimbo.
The Reverend is this pasty, evil-eyed, mischievous, sonuvabtch. Believe me, he commands a presence.
Anyway, to make a short-story long, I waited around after the Wild Duck show to have the band sign this black and white photo I had taken at the Salem show. Pretty soon, out into the bar comes the band.
First stop, Jimbo. T. had to force me to go over. So, I did.
Jimbo is around 5'1" in lifts. A very short man. I was so shocked that he didn't get bigger as I crossed the room. I'd had a few beers so I thought maybe my perception was off....nope.
But, Jimbo was a truly nice guy. He introduced me to his manager and we talked a little bit about the show. I mentioned the "Cha-cha-chaa" and he agreed that it was possible we had influenced the band. I asked him to sign the photo when it got around to him (trust me, an even longer story) and he gave me a hug.
~ swoon ~
Then I got hit on by the sweaty drummer.
~ ick ~
And then I crossed paths with The Reverend in the hallway. I took a deep breath and dove right in with my semi-groupie spiel. However, much to my dismay, speaking with the Reverend was disheartening...nay, unsettling...nay, frightening. He was extremely out of it and looked more pasty in person. He had this manner about him which suggested he could drive a switchblade right into my stomach and then walk on by without so much as twitching a face muscle.
Not really what I expected.
Two drink minimum and the ones we purchased at the bar don't count so.... A glass of Merlot for me ($5.50) and another Budweiser for T. ($5.50 this time).
There were a few warm-up comedians who were so-so. We were treated with seeing the dwarf or "little person" from Seinfeld doing stand-up ("You're heightening!!!") and this really twitchy, albino-esque guy who was surprisingly hilarious.
The actual improv with Drew Carey and cast was interesting. If you've ever tried to do improv you know how difficult it can be. Kathey Kinney who plays Mimi, was there. And of course, Ryan Stiles. Oddly, Christa Miller who plays gal-pal to Drew and company was there and I had the feeling that she wasn't sure of what she was doing. I could sense that she had been dragged into this.
Mostly, I was delighted at how normal she looked. I could be her. On the show she looks really pretty and fairly hot. She is very pretty but just...normal-looking. How refreshing.
After the improv there was a final comedian who I think is going to be in a movie coming up. I'll try and figure out which one. Anyway, after yet another round of drinks (Budweiser's $11.00 for everyone!) T. and I nearly went bloodshot from laughing so hard.
After the show we ran into Anthony Clark, who used to have that Boston Common show, begging for cigarettes and whining about Nicorette. He's very, very short and, on that note, Drew Carey looks much more svelte in person.
So, the moral of the story is... don't buy any drinks at the bar unless you want to spend close to $50. No, no, no, that's not it. I just really enjoyed heading out into L.A. and doing what L.A. is famous for - pretending to know the glitterati. Does that make me a bad person?
I'm told, though, that I haven't "officially" had a celebrity "sighting" since I had to pay to see them. But, that's like saying I haven't "officially" seen an orangutan since I've only seen them at the zoo. Which lends itself to an interesting little simile which I won't expound upon now.
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