I’m not on TV a lot.
I don’t do a ton of interviews as a rule and it has nothing to do with not being asked. I’m a writer, so my thoughts aren’t as linear as they could be, which means if I’m not paying attention, my mind is a nightmare of overturned railcars all piled on top of each other in an abandoned trainyard, all the screaming, and flames and the smell of burning…
Anyway, so I don’t do a lot of interviews. Except when Davecat asks, then I don’t say no. I don’t have to tell you who Dave is because you should just simply *know* and it’s far lazier for me to point you to his blog and let you read at your own leisure.
Short version, Dave is probably one of my oldest friends. There is no one with whom I’ve stayed in consistent contact more. We’ve been bumming around since 1981, a mere four houses apart, visiting cemeteries, loitering at airports (remember when you could do that?), and watching undubbed anime – Akira makes so much more sense when you know what they’re saying. We meet for dinner once a month, we text, we raid each other’s servers for Doctor Who and Sherlock. We’re the kind of friends you read about in other people’s stories: true, life-long and loyal. We don’t always agree with each other, but we try to be there when for each other.
In the last ten years, Davecat has found himself in the company of his lovely Missus, Sidore.
Sidore is a RealDoll.
I’ll give you new people a second to call over your friends and read that last part aloud. The rest of you can continue.
It is about this relationship I get grilled when the film crews come to town. I guess he gets asked who could participate and my name comes up. I don’t mind. It makes sense, since I know him as well as anyone, plus I‘m a chick and eye candy is always a plus. All claims of misogyny can can certainly sit on it and spin. Interviewers want to know all sorts of things like if I think she’s pretty or how I feel about their “marriage”. *shrug* Not exactly a viva, but to the uninitiated upon initial approach, it can certainly appear that way.
So this past weekend (referred to as the S00PR SEKRIT PROJECT on Twitter), I arrived to the makeshift production studio, formerly known as Davecat’s apartment) for some mild interrogation.
Maddy and Adam of 20 West Productions were filming a pilot for a cable series. *shrug* They’d actually been in town since that Thursday, getting comfortable with Davecat and Sidore, setting out their vision, etc,…
Now, I’d received a call sheet earlier in the week – yes, ladies and gentlemen, an effing CALL SHEET because these are PROFESSIONALS – and looked it over with a wary eye.
12:30 – Monti arrives/Interview Monti (only Dave and old schoolies can call me that because otherwise I hate it)
1:30 – Shopping
Okay – first spot of contention. I hate shopping. Hate. Shopping. Nothing fits, everything sucks, and we won’t even discuss prices. I’m a cheapie at my core. Second, I know where Sidore gets her clothes and it’s not anyplace local. The stores I had in mind that would cater to her tastes seemed overly sensational to me, and I cannot in good faith participate in anything exploitative when it comes to her or Dave. Dave had mentioned shopping earlier and I’d ranted on about how it was a big no, and when the director called, I again presented my misgivings. However the call sheet basically told me – stfu, this isn’t your show.
I arrive only 7 minutes late (because “Please arrive promptly” is entirely relative) and stand outside with Maddy discussing what’s going to happen and cleaning up paper work. She marvels at my real job and her nervous energy is slamming hard against my completely disaffected sense of entitlement. It’s fun to watch. I think TV and movie people expect us norms to be frothy when it comes to cameras, and I have no doubt that people can become overly aware of the crew. I’m not like that, and I can’t say exactly why without sounding jaded. The sound guy (Roger? I suck at names) comes out to mic me, and that’s always fun because while it may be every guy’s dream to stick his hand up my shirt, no guy is crazy enough to try it, not even in the professional name of Sound for Art.
The first thing I have to do is walk into the apartment, be greeted and talk like we normally do.
Snag #1 – Dave and I spend a fair amount of time being catty and there was no way I putting that out there. If this part airs, I’m not having a bunch of people mad at me because I needed to keep it “real.” So we fill in with the usually airy chatter about cons and vague mentions of work. He says to me, “you’ve met the missus,” and I say, “many times thank you,” and then forget she’s there. Because that’s what I normally do.
See – Sidore has been a fixture in one sense or another since forever ago, and I don’t talk to her. Sorry, I just don’t. However, I’m also not expected to. This is Dave’s lifestyle not mine. Besides, I’m there to see him not her. She’ll get over it.
We break after some banalities which I know sound like being reintroduced to that cousin you used to bathe with when you were wee, and Adam wants us to head out the door to pretend we’re going shopping. There’s banter like “shall we go” and something funny was said and we left. We go back in and Adam says, “Dave, wouldn’t you say goodbye to Sidore?” I think, ‘no’, but we do it again, because it makes Adam happy. Small continuity error: Dave leaves his keys inside – and I secretly postulate it’s because he knows Sidore will let him back in.
It takes the crew 20-30 minutes to set up the lights because Dave’s place is oddly angled and it has some interesting wall art that casts back interesting shadows. That’s when Dave and I get to actual talking and yeah, the mics are still on and everything we were talking about was probably recorded we just didn’t care. We catch up in five and ten minute bursts, both lamenting about group stuff (his doll politics and my writing group), really revving up to full on catty, and he’s banished to the bedroom so I can be interviewed. I guess they think he’s going to send me signals about how to answer or maybe they’ve heard of his penchant for mooning while behind the camera. Dunno. We text anyway since it takes another ten or fifteen minute for lights. I sit by the AC because I am slowly roasting under the lights.
Then, the Interview. Maddy says I look great, which is good because it was hot and I was worried about looking like a sweaty mess, and we get underway. I tried to relax and give good eye contact, but I can’t do that even when sitting across the table from someone. I focused on Adam’s face and thought about his brightly colored boxers – what? they were sticking out the top – and answered the questions as honest and me-like as I could.
Should this interview ever make it in any way, shape or form, you’ll hear me use the phrase, “natural progression” a lot because it sounds very important and smart. Sidore is a progression from early experiments of hard plastic and vinyl to soft silicone and stainless steel. She is the current incarnation of his desires. She to him is like all of our relationships – we start out with what’s handy, and we evolve to something better that is more compatible. I got asked a lot how I felt about some or other aspect of Dave’s life in regards to Sidore, and I answered as best I could – if he’s happy, I’m happy. No it doesn’t bother me that he’s committed to her for now. Sure it would be nice to see him with a lovely girl but only people in bad romantic comedies expect random fixups to work. I’m not going to push for an organic relationship for him because it’s not my life to lead. Life isn’t a John Hughes movie and often our happily ever afters are best experienced in happily right now.
There isn’t much left to this story but here’s a good stopping point.
(And yes, we’ve been through this before.)