Bottle Service: Don’t mess with Justice, or you’ll deal with me!

So here’s the score.  Sunday I spent the entire day in Saratoga Springs, filming my cameo scenes at Mare for the web series / TV pilot “Bottle Service.”  I had a great time and everybody involved with the production was absolutely fantastic to work with.  In fact, I added a few Facebook friends from the event, so that was a good thing in and of itself.

As I’m leaving Sunday night, Tabitha the production assistant asks me to give her a call in the morning for a call-back – there were some other scenes that required a paparazzi photographer, and if I had the free time, I should come back for another day of filming.

Mind you, my faithful readers, I’m not doing this show to earn a SAG card or have any aspirations of becoming a Hollywood movie star or television icon.  But I have to say, working on the Bottle Service TV pilot has been an enjoyable experience, and I had Monday off – so what the hell, let’s go back up to Saratoga for another day of filming.

I arrived at Mare in Saratoga Springs – the site location for Bottle Service – at 2pm, the proper call time, and was greeted with smiles and handshakes and the like.  We chatted, we networked, we had lunch, we filmed.  Well, actually, THEY filmed, my scene wasn’t coming up for a while.

I did, however, meet up with Daniela Malave, the former Patroons Emerald dance team member and coordinator.  She introduced me to her husband Damien – very nice guy, by the way – and she and Damien filmed a scene later in the day.  As I mentioned before, Daniela was kind enough to invite me to participate in the Bottle Service production, and I appreciate that very much.

By about 930pm, the production set up a late night dance party in one of Mare’s dance floors.  Tony Mancuso, who works as a professional DJ in various Capital District clubs, went behind the booth to play the resident DJ at “Club It.”  As the scene was being assembled, a woman named Susan – she’s part of the show, I think she’s involved in casting – came over to talk to me.

“Do you have a suit coat?” she asked.

Not knowing what was going on, I said no.  All I was hired for was to play the skeevy paparazzo, so I dressed like a skeevy paparazzo – jeans, black polo shirt.

“Don’t worry,” she said.  “We need someone to be part of the entourage for Justice.”

Okay, that just sounds like a bad super-hero comic book.  “The Entourage for Justice.”  I wonder if that means Turtle and E are wearing spandex and capes.  Oh God, now there’s an image I’ll never get out of my skull.

“No,” Susan said.  “Justice is one of the characters in Bottle Service, and he needs an entourage.  We need one more person to be in his entourage.  And you look like someone that doesn’t take crap from anyone.  You could be his bodyguard.”

Hmm… doesn’t take any crap from anyone.  They must know about my dealings with Rocky Mountain Film Lab.  Hee.

With no suit coat nearby, the guy playing Justice – actor Jason Taylor – handed me his peacoat.  I put it on.  It fit perfectly.

But I asked Susan, “I’ve been filmed already yesterday.  Won’t it look odd if the viewers see the same person in two different roles?”

“Take off your glasses,” she said.

I did as was told.  Now mind you, I can see without my glasses – not very well, but enough to the point where I can move around without bumping into walls.

“Okay, now go in the bathroom and wet your hair down.”

Not a problem… I exited from the bathroom, my hair slicked back.  Susan took some hairspray and spritzed my wet locks down.

After a couple of dry rehearsal runs for blocking purposes, the scene was filmed.  Justice and his crew, along with Justice’s girlfriend, enters Club It.  Justice and his buddies sit at the power booth.  I remain standing, looking over the area and making sure that nobody bothers my entourage boss.

I'm on the far right. Don't mess with my man Justice (third from left). Photo by Tony Mancuso. "Bottle Service" is a production of MoBetta Films, Inc.

The scene was filmed to the director’s satisfaction, and we left the set.  About 20 minutes later, Tabitha the production assistant calls us all back.  “We need Justice’s entourage back on the set.”

Okay, off with the glasses, Clark Kent.

We entered the set, and Juan the director had the four of us – Justice and his three friends – sit at the power booth.  I was told to sit next to Justice.  Some drinks were placed at the table.

“Okay,” Juan said to us, “you’re at the club, having a good time, Justice your guys need to relax, talk to them, and … action.”

With that, Justice went into an unscripted, adlibbed and totally NSFW speech, calling out any of the girls at Club It to come over and spend some quality time with him and his boys.  And for some reason, I ad-libbed as well, telling Justice that I’d bring him back a few of the girls, whichever ones he wanted.

The director filmed the scene two times, and we were done.  I wasn’t expecting to have a speaking role on the show, and for all I know the dialogue will most likely be overdubbed with music and crowd noises, to give the appearance of a packed house and a party atmosphere.  But who knows?

So now I’ve gone from quick cameo appearance to a tiny speaking role.  Better than I expected, I’ll say that for sure.  I can’t wait to see how this show turns out.