Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Adventures in Film Part 1 To Steal a Purse...

Maybe I've Decided to Quite Blogging...Nope...


What follows is not your typical crafter interview. This month, and these coming weeks I'll be hosting a three part interview with Etsy creator
Justin Gear. As an actor, I can't help but relate to actor survival stories, if you are any good at what we do, (or even if you are just lucky) you end up doing wicked strange and dangerous things all the time, and you love it, even when it get's you in bad predicaments...

1. Tell me about one of your adventures/misadventures in film/the film industry...

Being in the film industry, you can always count on adventures and misadventures. And as an actor, you never know what scenarios you'll be asked to enact. I've experienced being the dead body at an open casket ceremony (and then having my corpse thrown in a dumpster, which was really fun and horrible at the same time), stunt driving a classic vintage RV, being dragged through the mud from an exploding truck and running around dressed as a pirate aboard The Black Pearl. It's all fun and challenging.

But I'd say the one moment that stands out as the most memorable misadventure would have to be working on ABC's Primetime, "What Would You Do" with host John Quinones. I was hired to be a part of a staged purse snatching at a restaurant in Atlanta. Luckily I knew the actress I was stealing the purse from, so we had a bit of fun with the whole thing. She was seated in the outside patio next to the sidewalk that leads to Piedmont Park. It was my time to make an entrance onto the scene and scope the area out. With about 75 people eating outside, I was definitely about to attract some attention. I was basically following the cues of the producer, who i was hearing in my ear piece. When it was time, I made my move and approached the subject. After asking her for a pen, and watching her dig through her purse a moment, I grabbed it, we struggled, I bolted, then turned to yell at her to sit down (as directed) and then made my exit. Except my exit was actually gonna wind up taking longer than the purse snatching itself.

" my ear piece I could hear,
"Oh God! Oh God! What do we do?!

When I turned around and ran, I slammed right into a patron walking in. He instinctively grabbed me while in my ear piece I could hear, "Oh God! Oh God! What do we do?! What do we do?!," but I was able to jerk free from him fairly easily, playing off of him being stunned. But behind him were 4 rugby players that had just walked up from the park and they instantly created a wall. The kicker was, I needed to get passed them to the cop that was standing half a block down ready to help me out of the scenario. But with them blocking my path, I decided to run the opposite way. I didn't get very far when I made the realization that I had to turn around and get to the cop. There was no way I could outrun these guys headed away from safety. So I darted back dodging 2 guys but before I could get the chance to get passed the rest, a punch was thrown at my head from behind me. It just so happened that I was raring down to jump through the other guys as the clenched fist grazed the top of my head, but immediately after wards I found myself up in the air suspended by a bear hug from behind me.

It was over. I was busted. What made it weird after that was the fact that the cop, as he came to rescue me/take me away, was acting so nonchalant about the whole incident AND didn't take the purse away from me. So as we left the scene all I could hear was how confused everybody was. They were yelling to put me in cuffs and to hold on to me, because he was letting me walk right beside him. Everybody was obviously concerned that I was gonna make a run for it again. But we ducked into an unmarked white van where nobody saw me.

My heart was racing!! It turns out, the guy who threw the punch and then bear hugged me was an off-duty undercover federal agent who had just gotten out of reconstructive knee rehabilitation. And during the scuffle he threw his knee back out and had to go to the hospital. But before they took him to the hospital, he along with other key eye witnesses were asked to the back of the restaurant where they had a line up with my picture in it. Which was the whole point of this particular show; that eye witness accounts are unreliable. And after guessing the wrong guy, I had to go out and face the crowd.

Needless to say, the federal agent looked pissed. That was definitely one of the most awkward and exhilarating experiences I've ever had as an actor.

Cheers, and we are out,
drop in next week for part two, "Do you believe in Santa?", next week, Friday, April 10.

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