please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

My Photo
Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More of the Same

So what I did last weekend was log almost thirty-six hours working for World Wrestling Entertainment. That to the right there is not an image from that particular show, but it is an example of what can happen to you in the nutty world of show-biz: Chris Jericho might just ram your face up some dude's ass.
I guess the trip is notable for lots of reasons, but the thing that always fascinates me is how it seems clear to me now that the only ways one may make money anymore from a touring show are wrestling, children's shows, and religious shit.

We tend to fall into what I used to describe as 'the same twelve people over and over again,' but really I suspect there's something more on the order of perhaps twenty basic personality types, with permutations thereof and rarely, occasionally, someone who truly does not remind you of anyone else. This being said, it's lots of fun to go work in another city.
You get so used to working with/enduring the people in your own home sphere that it almost comes as a shock when you go somewhere else and note that they're there, they just changed clothes, genders, age...

This leaves me saying (in my mind, you understand); Oh, so you're the girl who complains about everything, even all the way up to refusing to accept the common phrase "good morning" with any sort of pleasantry. Or, so you're the guy who won't stop talking ever, until I find some reason to walk away, and what you're talking about is both ridiculously general and increasingly personal, spiralling down into itself with juxtapositions of, say, how folks at that other place you used to work treated you with so much more respect as well as how Americans are so blind to the 'cutthroat reality' of the world outside the United States...
Or, you're the Capital L Lesbian who needs to remind us all that you're a lesbian every five minutes, because you're a lesbian. Or you're the one who is somebody's kid, a higher-up in the local, who is a know-it-all that no one really likes, but everyone tolerates, and has dyed blue hair. Probably identifies as a lesbian, but really just can't get anyone at all -male or female- to have sex with her.
And, so you're the one that sees some sort of conspiracy at the fact that you don't work as much as I do, and you're the one who wants to only talk about health and dietary-related issues, likely to use phrases like, "See, we're only evolutionarily designed to process nuts and seeds..." And you're The Jewish Homeboy, literally from Long Island. Portland's local doesn't have one of those, but I'm always happy to see this archetype; we always get along.

Well, and in fact stagehands tend to be people who are not often seen as experts at anything else in their lives, I think. So when they have a chance to be a know-it-all loudmouth, they take it and run with it. At least he has something to be proud about, I often say.
So yes, a lot of them are not so bright, but good enough at this thing that they do that is just technical enough to be a craft that they get their rare chance at being that guy who gets to talk big.
There are also plenty of people in the industry who are quite good at their jobs and do not go around crowing about how clever they are. These tend to be the better stagehands, actually.

About The Talent: the women all have fake tits, the men all have fake tans, and are a great deal shorter than they appear on television. The Undertaker actually seems like a pretty nice man.

While in the middle of day three of this adventure, I had some hours to kill and went back to Hattie's Hat. It was Sunday Brunch, and there was critically little space for me, but I found some. I was seated next to a girl who was talking loudly about her disbelief that anyone would ever go to a gay bath house, what with all the exposure to disease, and all...
Actually, as much as she tried to make her disgust sound rational, really she was just going through the depths of The Ick Factor: all those fluids...So a guy who I had thought was her friend finally said, "Well, why does anybody do anything?" and launched into his own list of examples of how there is inherent danger in anything you do.

For some reason, this devolved into how, for instance, there's laws concerning the safe preparation of food, and (she said) that is something we can take comfort in, knowing how safe we are, while (he said) it also seems like those laws are guidelines at best that few people take seriously enough that it would seem that those laws safeguard almost no one.
At this moment, I noticed a foot-long black hair in my fries. I pulled it out of there, and joined the conversation long enough to point out that one of the codes in this law mandates that hairnets be worn if cooking, and you're long-haired.

Back to Portland, not enough sleep. Another one-day in-out with WWE, then three and a half hours of sleep, do the in for Thomas The Train... Creepy soundcheck with diseased carnival music and choruses of children screaming. (From behind the speakers, everything sounds more sinister.)
And in the middle of all of this, a focus group. I went into a room in the Terminal Sales Building (does every city have a building so named? I know Seattle does) downtown and was plied with information about Camel's new smoke-free options. The Orb (which is not, strictly speaking, an orb: more capsule-shaped), The Strip (which is much like a Listerine Strip, and every bit as tasty), and The Stick (which is pretty much a toothpick coated with nicotine). For sitting there for an hour, I received fifty dollars.

There's certainly some more to that story, but that's for another time. Tonight, more Thomas The Train, and the possibility that I'll just be called back to Seattle to do that all over again. When it rains, it floods.



Post a Comment

<< Home