Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Running with the Bulls in NOLA

I've discovered a lot about myself while working as a background actor. If a giant monster attacks New Orleans, I will be the first to be eaten. The director set up the shot by saying: "Imagine a monstrous, forbidding, swirling cloud descending upon the city and destroying life." The director should have remembered that this is New Orleans. That description of our imaginary monster is the weather report several times a summer down here. These people don't run in fear from large murderous clouds, they run to a bar and invent a drink to honor it.

We got the gist of what he wanted. Running in fear toward the camera, looking over our shoulders at a computer generated monster who will be added months from now. Ironically, we were looking in the direction of the BP oil spill. He wanted fear and terror, panic and confusion. He got it. People from New Orleans work well together only if you dress them up in costumes and line them up in the street to perform in the same direction. It was just another form of parade. Imagine if everyone on a crowded Bourbon street simultaneously saw the same hallucination, that's what I did today at work.

I'm 47, I don't run. I have flat feet, and today is the first time I ever wore sandals. There were several flip flop injuries that instituted wardrobe changes for tomorrow. When the 300 or so of us would walk back to position one (the starting point,) we would see a half a dozen or so shoes scattered down the street with cell phones as punctuation marks. New Orleans takes a lot of pride in it's well organized evacuations.

The last time I had to sprint 2 blocks was in Belmar NJ on my forty third birthday. The reason I was running is complicated. It involved a stolen eight ball of coke, a criminally insane stripper and a very irate Italian mobster driving around Belmar looking for us. I probably shouldn't say much more.

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