Jump, Jive and Wail like a little bitch.
Dah dah dah dah, dah dah dah dah *ch ch* Beverly Hills 90210 filmed on a tiny, middle-of-the-porn-district, grubby little soundstage, off of Sepulveda Blvd. in the valley. Right across the street from a Costco and furniture outlet mall. Classy. You'd think that an Aaron Spelling show could afford to pay for a set on an actual studio lot, wouldn't you? At first I thought that 90210 got the short end of the stick, and was the red-headed stepchild of the Spelling universe. But, no. Melrose Place filmed out in Valencia down the road from Magic Mountain. Guh? (And, yes, we could hear the screams from The Viper rollercoaster every so often. I would always be so tempted to blow off working those days and go to the park instead.)
I'd worked this show a couple of times before, but never with my boyfriend. At the time, I was dating a guy named Dave who was, to be completely honest, a real prick. And if this story ends up on the front page like my last ones did... HI DAVE HOW'S YOUR LIFE OF ABJECT FAILURE TREATING YOU?
Anyway. This was a scene in the Peach Pit set. We had been told to "wear 1 hip and trendy, bring 3, and if any of you have vintage swing dance wear, bring it too."
Oh crap. Dave fancied himself as a swing dancer. I had, at his insistance, bought a couple of dresses that looked sufficiently vintage and "swing" so he could take me out dancing. This never happened. Always some excuse. "Can't tonight, gotta work." "Can't tonight, car's busted." "Can't tonight, grandma's drunk." Ad nauseum. And now we were both booked for this job where we would be dancing on camera.
Great. Peachy. He was going to get annoying again, I just knew it.
So I packed up my wardrobe bag, firmly declined to drive over to the set in his car, and went. A note on his car: he owned a gorgeous 69 Camaro. Great lines, fantastic body, engine of shit. It never fucking worked. When we worked on Man on the Moon together, we'd driven out seperately, because the production wanted to use his car, and would be there later than I. After I left the set that night, I got a frantic phone call. Camaro was dead.
After arriving on the set, (I beat him there, surprise surprise...) I got into wardrobe, and my first choice was approved. Hair and make up gave me a nice little finger wave hair thing going on. I looked adorable, if I do say so myself. Sorry, no pics available, guys.
As I walked over to holding, I saw a big pile of instrument cases propped up against the set. With the letters BSO printed all over.
BSO? Hrm. BSO.
No. No way was it the Brian Setzer Orchestra. No. I refuse to believe it. That would be just the height of hip and trendy and barf.
Oh, wait. 90210. Spelling. Of COURSE it was hip and trendy and Brian Setzer.
The rumors were flying fast and furious in the holding area when Dave finally arrived. "Guess who I just saw out at the trailers?" he said to me as he walked in. He was so excited he sounded like he was going to piss himself.
"Brian Setzer?" "Ho
w'd you know?" He was legitimately disappointed that I'd guessed. He wanted to surprise me.
I opened up my book and buried my nose in it, as he sat down next to me and put a posessive arm around my shoulder. Then he tried to kiss me. While I was on set. In full make up. And GOD DAMN IT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION AGAIN AREN'T WE, DAVE? "Don't."
"Dave. We're working. I'm camera ready. Knock it the fuck off."
"You always ignore me." Whine whine whine. Changing the subject. Being completely irrational. Jesus God I'm this close to putting my knee in your groin, Dave.
Ah, another day in paradise. Why it took me a year and a half to dump this asshole is beyond me. Once again, he was trying to pick a fight with me while we were working. I was not going to let him ruin my job as well as my personal life.
"Cut it out. I'm serious. Go to wardrobe already."
Fights with the bitchy little shit aside, the rest of the waiting time was pretty calm. Then the cry went up; "Background on set, please!" We crammed into that dinky ass little set, all 40 of us extras. That set was about 25 feet square. Total. How they got all the camera equipment in there... like a living Tetris puzzle. We all lounged about on bar stools and chairs shoved off to the side, waiting for...
THE BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA WOO!
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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