Chapter 5: LA part 12 – Starsky & Hutch

For two days I was a part of a bigger Bat Mitzvah scene in Starsky & Hutch.

Starsky-and-Hutch-Jen-and-Paal-Joachim
Starsky-and-Hutch-Jen-and-Paal-Joachim-Closeup

Tuesday 10th of June

On the way back to Santa Monica I almost fell a sleep a few times so I decided to call Central Casting´s hotline to hear what jobs were available, so I had something to focus my mind on. I had signed up last Friday with Central Casting the company that gets perhaps over 60% of the extra work on TV and on film. Two jobs fascinated me, one was for Starsky & Hutch and another for a documentary. When I arrived back at the apartment in Santa Monica I called the number mentioned on the hotline for the job. The first thing Marian asked me was for my social security number which she typed it into her computer to see my picture. She asked me if I had been on the movie yet. I said no and she gave me a fitting time for tomorrow at 10am, to get cloths as a guest for the 1970´s Jewish Bahtmizvah. The work is for the following Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Wednesday 11 June 2003

Wardrobe

I really messed up figuring out where Burbank Motion Picture Custom Company on Vallhalla Street was located, so I end up getting there at 10.20am, 20 minutes late. I checked in and waited until they were ready for me. They liked my half long hair look, but also noticed the lack of side burners, but that was ok. they took a profile picture for their archive, and I was then done with the first part. I next spoke with the Scottish girl I believe is named Amy. She was having problems with allergies which among other things were affecting her eyes. Amy asked for my coat, waist, inseem, shoe sizes so that she could find me some cloths that would fit. At first she found me a white coat, but that did not fit, so then she found me a sky blue coat and pants. I tried it on along with a brown tie. It looked good on me, and I was almost ready, except that she could not find shoes for me or some nice white socks. They got that later.
Kim from Central Casting called and told me that Call Time for tomorrow is 6.30am. Just a bit earlier then I would have thought. I will be going to Pasadena again, the third time for a recording, to a private house where there will be filming a 1975 Jewish Bahtmizvah party.

Time to go to sleep. It is going to be a short night.

Thursday 12th of June

Starsky and Hutch – the movie

Day 1

I was awoken by the ringing of the alarm clock at 4.45 am, and I noticed my mind was fairly alert as if it was on cruise control in dreamland without my conscious knowledge. When I awoke the cruise control automatically turned off. I was suddenly brought back into this world again.

I left the apartment 15 minutes later knowing very well that I had lots of time to drive to Pasadena for my 6.30 Call time. Driving on highway 10 East through more traffic then I would have imagined at 5 am in the morning I arrived 40 minutes later at the parking structure at Bel Mar Boulevard. I parked on the top floor where the extras were to park and took the elevator down to catch a white van that would shuttle the crew to a parking lot where our base of operations a huge white tent had been set up.

There were just a few extras muddling around the breakfast area at this time of the morning, but soon more arrived. At 6.30 am we lined up to sign in and get our vouchers (vouchers show that one has worked on set). Waiting in line I spoke with an attractive girl wearing a brown leather jacket similar to my own. We spoke for a brief moment before we were up by the desk to receive our vouchers. She was done before me so she went to the wardrobe line while I was stuck for a moment. Impatiently I stood and waited to catch up with her. There was something about her that I felt drawn to, and I wanted to get to know her.

Wardrobe gave me the white coat and pants, a blue shirt and a tie containing mostly red that I had tried the day before at Burbank Motion Picture Custom Company. They had also been able to get a hold of brown shoes that fit my 1970´s outfit.

The three S’s

A tent had been set up for male and female changing rooms, and a makeup and hair section. So after changing into my outfit I went to makeup and hair for an inspection. The Australian girl I spoke with was not pleased that I had not shaved that morning and told me to remember the three S´s, Shower, Shit and Shave. I was so sure that I had shaved, and I said that I had shaved and she said no you have not. It went a little forth and back, and I looked into the mirror and wondered if I really had not shaved that morning. I felt embarrassed that I had forgotten to shave the two day short stubs. Actually that morning I had not done any of the S´s. She loaned me a shaving machine and I did my best while looking into the mirror a few feet away. I bcame even more embarrassed when she came over and shaved what I had not noticed. I was not going to forget to shave the next day, and if I had they had the right to fire me.

As people finished up and became ready for set we lined up in a row outside the huge white tent we had just been in.We were asked to line up so that makeup/hair and wardrobe could do their last inspections of us to be sure we were ready for set. I walked over and lined up next to the person standing in the row, and the attractive girl with the shoulder length brown hair who wore the brown leather jacket lined up next to me. She matched my own outfit in her off white 1970´s gown, and it seemed like we had just arrived the party together. I felt like I was a part of a parade as the various people from makeup, hair and wardrobe walked around correcting whatever they thought was off. I was glad that she was there next to me, so that I could connect with her again.

Access Hollywood

As we stood and waited a camera crew begun slowly walking down the row of gathered extras. Interviewing one guy, and slowly coming down toward Jen and I. Making their own inspections figuring out who to ask for an interview, they came to us, stopped, a moment passed before David Gardner from Access Hollywood asked if it was alright to interview us. We both said yes, and David asked us how it was to be back at the reunion (pretending that this was a high school reunion). We both played with it and I said it was great to be back again while quickly reaching my arm around Jen´s waist pulling her to me and as quickly letting go again before she even had a chance to take her arm around me. I also told him that I was surprised that my old outfit still fit. He asked us how it was to wear the 1970´s outfit again, and I said that I only need look down at my shoes to be reminded of the 70´s. Also saying that one never knows when it might come back into style again, actually I think Jen said that. David wondered how we found out about the Starsky and Hutch job, and I told him that I was on my way back home to Santa Monica from working on an independent movie and was having a hard time staying awake. I knew I had to do something to keep myself awake, so I called up Central Casting´s hotline. And here I am.

The interview was over. (There was more, but I can not remember, as it was a long day with many impressions. The interview disappeared into the archive at Access Hollywood. I do not think it was at all used.)

One of the crew members asked if we wanted to be a part of the opening scene for the tv program Access Hollywood, some people left including Jen, but I thought it would be cool so I stayed. We gathered around the back of one of the white trucks with a back lift that the Access Hollywood camera team used to record us from. Makeup/hair and wardrobe girls directed us to how we were to stand so the ones with the best outfits would stand in front. The Scottish girl, Alison from wardrobe that I met the day before as I for the first time tried the white coat grabbed a hold of me and placed me in the row in front, as others were grabbed and placed in specific positions. We were now ready. One of the camera guys told us to say “Access Hollywood starts right now!” We tried it once and on the second try they recorded it. When Starsky and Hutch is released, my personal guess is November, Access Hollywood will have air an half our special from the making of the movie. I will try to get a hold of a copy of the program as I am in it.

Waiting – having pictures taken.

We were sent back to the Holding area, and we hung around in the area waiting for the call that we were to head to set. The message came and a 3-4 white van shuttles lined up to take us to a expensive neighborhood close by where the recording was to take place.

The shuttles dropped us off at another parking lot almost a block away from the mansion. I suggested for Jen that we get our pictures taken with my camera, and I could e-mail her pictures later on, so we asked a girl sitting by us if she could help us. Three pictures were taken of us, and it made me think of my own parents back in the 70´s. Jen had a hair style similar to my mom, and we both were outfits that would be similar to what our own parents would have used at that time. We sat around for a while and talked and rested before one of the crew called out that it was time walk on over to the set.

The Scene

We entered through nice metal gates and onto the lawn. We waited to be further directed onto the set. In front of us was a tennis court covered with a huge party tent. Floors had carpets, and in the middle of the room was a stage with a dance floor in front. Chandeliers hung from metal wires, and over on one side was a huge gift table for Elizabeth a 12-14 year old who was having her Bat Mitzvah.

Jennifer and I stood close together on the lawn by the set and along with a few others around us we were gathered and directed to a table by the stage. Jennifer became my “wife,” and Adam a 9 year old boy became our “son.” We sat together at the table and Adam joked around with both Jen and I. Adam sat on Jen´s left side, and Jen sat on my left side. The first scene was a dance scene, and the 2AD (Assistent Director) asked who wanted to dance. I was not sure if I wanted to dance or not, but I knew that I would not mind holding Jen close to me if it was that kind of dance. We did not raise our hands so we sat at the table watching the scene. A guy with a red round wig sang to the music while we watched. The cameras were behind the dance floor aimed forward at the dancers. It seemed like we would be on the edge of the frame, so I held my arm around Jen, and she held her hand on my thigh.

The next scene was similar to the first but this time the camera was located on the stage aimed out to the right directly at us and Reese and Kevin two characters in the movie standing behind and on the side of our table. As we waited for the next scene to take place we pretended that on Adam´s left side was Jen´s sister, and how a guy sitting at another table behind us was my brother.

The 2AD came over and told us to move to the side as we were somewhat blocking the view of the camera of Reese and Kevin. Jen was placed standing with another girl a few tables away. I was to bring two glasses, one I brought with wine and other with yellow bubbly juice for myself since I was her husband and it was my turn to drive (it makes it even more fun to get into character). I was to walk directly in front of the camera, which had been placed directly in front of Reese and Kevin who were standing close to where Jen and I had been seated moments ago. The 2AD said now and I walked across directly in front within reaching range of the camera, watching to be sure that I did not stumble on the tracks that had been laid on the floor for the camera to smoothly role closer to Reese and Kevin. I walked over to my wife smiling, giving her the wine glass, and the three of us mimed and whispered to each other. On the cue of Reese walking away, the three of us would walk back to our seats. Jen and I back to the table where our son was sitting and waiting for us.

The camera was placed onto the stage filming the audience. The scene was redone with the same movements as before. But this time I did not need to watch out for the tracks as they had been removed. Around us people sat at their tables watching the bad miming going on on the stage. Reese made comments on how bad they were and said out load that it was not him that hired them. The mimes were Starsky and Hutch in disguise, faces covered in a white makeup. Slowly they closed in on the “bad guy” Reese.

Famous actors

Starsky is played by Ben Stiller while Hutch is played by Owen Wilson. Ben Stiller is smaller then I thought, and has more of a wrestling type of  body. It was interesting observing what was going on, knowing that both of these guys have played in a bunch of movies. They both seemed like normal guys to me. At the end of day-two shoot back in my regular cloths two black cars pulled up close to where I stood and Ben and Owen jumped out heading in the same direction that I was going. I said a “good job” to Owen and he reacted with a smile and a thank you before he suddenly remembered that I was an extra that was not supposed to talk with him.But what did I care, they could not fire me now since I had finished, and a “good job” did not  matter. I was not bugging him for an autograph or asking him questions. On many sets the 2 AD will tell extras and others that they can not approach actors, and sometimes the actors wonder why no one talks with them. In “protecting” actors from bothersome people 2 AD´s go to extreme measures almost asking people to pretend that the famous actors do not at all exist. But everyone likes to be acknowledged, so it is up to the actors to talk to the AD´s about the situation, so it can be changed.

The massage

The next scene began, and sometime during a break in the scene one of the older guys across from where we sat at the same table said something about that we as guys had to take care of our girls by giving them massages. I thought that was a great idea, as both Jennifer and I had been sitting secretly thinking the same thing while watching him give a massage to the woman he sat next to. I began to massage Jen´s neck and noticed almost immediately that warmth came through my hands and into her neck. I continued and her tight muscles began to relax. The warmth from my hands spread down her spine until it came to a tight area behind her heart. There was a feeling of a dam that blocks water from passing. I could guess at causes of why the energy stopped in the spine area behind her heart. But instead of asking about her blockage I talked about my own and let her comment about her own when she felt like it.

Having a block in the heart area is where we have our Love emotions met. It could be through a pet or someone else that is close to us that we can love and that loves us back. If we do not have anyone to share our love with, or to love us back, a blockage will likely be created of too much or too little energy. It becomes almost stagnant, fully using my heart can be very difficult for me at times. But I am in training. I meet girls be it at Kinkos, on set or other places that really makes me open my heart, so that I feel a strong love for them for as long as we are meant to connect with each other. Somewhere inside I also know it is safe to feel the attraction and love in wanting to be near them. There is a sense of knowing that this is just one moment in time that will pass as quickly away as it began. Wanting it to be only a moment, but at the same time painfully wanting something more. Opening my heart has also caused me to look at my own rootless past of much moving from I was born and until I was 11 years old. Causing me to close off parts of my heart to protect myself from being hurt every time I leave a friend behind and move to a new home.

There were other scenes taken later in the day, but the memory of those are gone for now. The end of the day came around 8pm, and we were all shuttled back to base camp, crew parking area. Changed and signed out.

Friday 13 of June 2003

Starsky and Hutch

Day 2

I arrived this morning at the parking structure closer to 6am, and took the white shuttle to the crew lot parking area. Checked in again at 6.30am. Jennifer showed up and we hung around together rest of the day.

In the first scene Jennifer and I at first stood together, but the 2AD came over and brought her to the middle in the back of the dance floor, while I stood behind wondering what was going to happen. The 2AD grabbed another guy who had an even more matching outfit, off white suit, same color as Jennifer´s outfit. He then grabbed a hold of a perhaps 13 year old girl who stood in front of Jennifer and the other guy. It looked like Jennifer now had a new family, her original family left behind. Adam our son off somewhere else, while I on the sideline watching my wife have another family.

The 2AD placed me with the girl that the guy in the off white suit had stood next to, and we stood to the side and during the scene we were to walk perhaps 10 steps along the dance floor.

The camera in this scene was placed right behind and in the middle of the dance floor. It would come closer as the scene progressed and the off white guy and Jennifer would be seen from behind as the camera would come closer.

The scene: Reese the main “bad guy” who had arranged the Bat Mitzvah stood on the stage and sang, “I Adore you” for Elizabeth a 12-15 year old girl with long blond hair. As he was almost done with the song Starsky (Ben Stiller) and Hutch (Owen Wilson) came on stage still in their mine outfits and their white faces and stopped the music. Hutch told Reese (Vince Vaughn) that he was arrested for drug trafficking, and Starsky slammed Reese into the small round table next to them. And lead Reese out from the stage hitting the camera with Reese´s body.  The scene was done a few times, and every time they had to clean up the broken wine glass that was knocked onto the floor from the round table that Reese was slammed into. I noticed the anger come up in him as he was slammed. His face became red from the treatment he was given. The actor Vince who played Reese rehearsed the scene a few times as he felt that he did not get it entirely what he  wanted, so they redid the scene a few times.

Connecting

The scene was over and we went to the temporary holding location which was close to the gate on the property we were on. Jennifer and I sat and talked for a long time about issues in our lives. She is very open to life and it was very easy to give her a massage and at the same time also do energy healing. I could easily pick up stuff that was stuck in her body, but there was one stuck area in the lower back affecting her reproduction organs that I was not to “fix” as it is something she needs to deal with. But we talked about it instead.

Much of the day passed by with lots of confusion as to whom was to come onto the set. Jennifer and I spent much of the day sitting in the temporary holding area with other extras. We found some shade under two tall pine needle trees. The location we were at have lots of tall old trees, and it was wonderful to experience that again.

I was late for a scene once that I should have been on, but it was unclear for me that I should have been on it. But I was so busy talking with Jennifer that I delayed walking up to the tent covered party tennis court location. As I got there my partner from earlier in the day had been redirected to sit at a table, and I asked someone if we were going to walk on the side like we had done earlier, but the crew guy said no, and that I was not needed for the scene, so I left heading back to talk with Jennifer.

Other scenes were done which Jen and I were not a part of, so we sat and talked just like we had known each other for many years.

Lost and found

As we talked about God, and I mentioned that I pray to God – “do what you want with me,” one of the crew members held up a palm pilot and Timian one of the other extras we had spoken with came over and told us that the crew member had held up a small pouch. Jen hurried over and suddenly the missing palm pilot was back in Jen´s hands. She had left it the day before somewhere and could not find it. I told her multiple times that she had likely left it some place, as she had a tendency to leave things. It was probably not stolen. Jen looked different as she let go of the worry over the palm pilot. She talked about angels and directed her sight upward toward the sky, and my eyes followed hers. Just below I noticed an angel sit on the top of the flag pole, and I pointed to it and told Jen.

A family again

At the end of the day, the last scene was to be shot. Jen and I walked up to the party tent and went inside. I stood on the side line while she went back to the middle of the dance floor. But her new “husband” and “daughter” were not there. The off white guy sat on the side redirected there by the 2AD, so Jen holding with one hand a glass with wine waved me in and told me that the other guy was not here. I took back my place. I told Jen that we now needed Adam our nine year old son. Sitting behind and to our right Adam sat and dangled his legs. We asked him to come over and he did for a moment before going back to the table. The 2AD walked over to Adam and brought him onto the dance floor to another couple and Jen and I called out to Paul (2AD) that Adam was our son, so he brought Adam over to us. We were now finally a family again, just like we had begun the recording the day before as one. We were gathered again for the last time, the circle complete as the moon outside.

Adam being a nine year old could naturally not stand still so he played with me having a great time while we stood on the middle of the dance floor waiting for the scene to begin. It began and we looked into the top camera aimed at us from the stage as if it was Reese´s face while he sang his song “I adore you.” Jen and I looked at each other and I placed my arm around her waist pulling her closer to me, while my other hand was on Adam´s shoulder holding him closer to me. We all three swayed to the sweet song, feeling the moment. Suddenly it was broken when the mimes came on stage stopping the music. Jen and I looked at each other stressed wondering what was going on. Hutch told Reese that he was under arrest for drug trafficking and Starsky slammed Reese into the table. Mumbling and worry came from ourselves and the rest of the audience, and I pulled Adam and Jen back to protect them from the violence, trying to turn Adam around so he could not see it happen.

The scene was redone a few times and suddenly it was over and so was the day for Jen, Adam and I. Our 5-minute family was broken a part as the 2 AD gathered the kids to take them back to the Holding Area. I will remember the comment that Adam gave me in between scenes while we were playing together. He had never known his father, and the pleasure of playing with me reminded him of that.

As Jen and I left the dance floor I walked passed the off white guy and he shook my hand and said with a huge smile, “you looked like a real family,” and for an hour we were. During our time on the dance floor while Adam and I were playing in between scenes, time stood still and I knew that this moment affected not only Adam and I but everyone around that could see us playing together, enjoying each others company. I do not know what the editors will choose to use in the movie, but the moment on the floor feeling close to Adam and Jen is one of feeling a strong Love for both. Love I hope to feel for my own family some day.

Our time on Starsky and Hutch was over.

It was back to the world outside of make-believes. Relationships lasts as long as one is on set. It is a  separate world. When two days on set can affect so strongly how will one week or one month on set affect? I will find out when I get to it.

Movies are a magical world. Not only for the viewers but also for the crew and actors that are a part of the making of the movie. People come together for a short intensive period of time, and create a new world that will affect many.