Give the people what they want, right?
What, me pander?
Hey, I'm no saint.
So, when I write these blogs about mean show business people, my "ratings" seem to spike. I mean, people love to hear about people who aren't so nice and the things that they do. I'm the same. I love to grab the Enquirer's issue on "The Meanest People in Hollywood!" or "Hollywood's Most Hated Stars!" or "The Hate List of Hollywood's Most Hated Haters!"
Also, is Tucker Carson really a "Hollywood Star"? Doesn't he live in New York? Or do they mean that he's a "star" who Hollywood hates?
Do I hate Tucker? Hate is a very strong word; but then, it isn't. I mean, "I hate onions on my burger" and "I hate your motherlovin' guts" contain that same word; but have very different meanings. I severely dislike him and everyone else he works with, for reasons anyone with a brain can see. But hate him and his Fox and Friends? No. They're not worthy of my most extreme emotions. They'll get their mysterious ways-payback-bitch-slaps; and oh, won't that be nice to watch.
But, let's shake that off, because I wanna keep this fun. The following events actually happened to me but the names have been changed to protect enjoyment. Knowing specifically who the perp in this story is would kill the fun. It's more interesting to try to figure out a "blind item." If you've been reading my blogs, it's probably pretty obvious who it was; but I'll never tell...
I was the page. A page is an underling who wears a monkey suit and directs the audience where to sit. An usher, basically. There are lots of other duties; but mostly it comes down to ushering.
The host might've been a high profile one at Paramount or maybe not. Maybe it was John Tesh, who had a show in the 90's. Maybe it was Jay Leno (Paramount Pages were sometimes loaned out to other studios). Maybe it was Chevy Chase (so much for this blind item...I'm giving you all the names!). Perhaps it was Dr. Phil. Maybe it was Keenan Ivory Wayans. Or Dennis Miller... or fill in the blank. Like, who didn't have a talk-show at some point? Okay, it was actually Leeza Gibbons. No, it wasn't. She was wicked nice.
Let's make up a name. A real corny sounding, old-school Hollywood sounding TV show host name. How about "Jackie P. Freeling"? I like that. Heeeeeeeerrrrrrreeeeee'ssssss, Jackie P.!
At the Jackie P. Freeling Show there was a live audience. We've all seen the basic talk show set and how it seats an audience. Stadium seating, two aisles, around two hundred seats, maybe more.
But Jackie was not happy. Oh, no. He wasn't at all. That's when the velvet ropes got put up.
I'm the meece in this scenario.
Now, I'm an amicable person. Amiable too. I am not, however, particularly obsequious. And if I find myself in the presence of someone I feel thinks I should be obsequious, I become even less so. I'm egaltarian. I don't believe in all this "you have to pay your dues" bullshit. If you're a good worker and talented and kind, I think you should be fast-tracked as quickly as the next person. Many people do not agree with me. Many people try to hold other people back. Many people want to keep other people down. Why? Insecurity probably. I think Jackie P. might've been insecure. Also, jealous. Why would a big deal talk show host be jealous of a humble page? I don't know. But it's a vibe I got, as I crouched by that rope, waiting for Jackie P. to approach. And he did. So, I lowered the rope. Then he backed up a little, so I put the rope back up. Then he frowned at me: this quick-silver, only perceptible to me, frown. Why was he frowning at me? This was my very first interaction with him. I was clearly trying to do my job and facilitate his needs; needs I was trying to assess on the fly.
This word is thrown around a lot and I can understand why some people would call "bullshit." But I'm rather empathic. I do not refer to myself as such; but it's a fact. I naturally intuit people's emotions rather instantaneously. I feel what someone is feeling when they're feeling it.
So anyways, back to the ropes.
I'm picking up this intense negative vibe from Jackie P.; almost like he hates me for some reason. So now I know he is purposely moving back and forth in front of the rope to see what I do. Not to test me; but to (and let's just be blunt here), fuck with me. Why is he doing that? What have I ever done to him to deserve this kind of treatment. So, I go into laser focus mode, which requires me to more or less ignore him and concentrate on his feet and the rope, which seems to enrage him even more. All this while he's delivering what is supposed to be a lighthearted and fun interaction with the audience. Talk about compartmentalizing.
Have you ever had a bully? If you did, did you wonder why they picked you out of the crowd? Like, why you? Or, why me? When you did nothing to deserve the bully's wrath? Well, let's be logical about it. You caught their attention for some reason. They noticed you. You registered on their field of interest. Ergo, they are interested in you. So, why are they so interested in you? Because you have something they want. Or that they lack. Or perhaps, they're positively attracted to you but they can't admit it due to some psychological and/or sociological circumstance. So, the interest/attraction can only be expressed in negative terms. Like a wedgie. It's like when little boys run up to little girls they're attracted to and hit them; because for whatever reason they can't express the positive attraction. Maybe, on some level, Jackie P. was attracted to me. Like physically and/or romantically. THE HOTS. Call it what you want. Yes, I got that vibe too. I mean, there were some intense vibes coming off that man directed at me. Why? I can't answer that. But they were there.
The game went on. Up with the rope, down with the rope: up, down-down-up-down-down-down-up. Then one last up and I sat back on my haunches. He steps over the raised rope, giving me the stink eye to end all stink eyes. He'd won, I'd supposed. And then he goes and talks to someone in the audience like he's Mister Nice Guy. Mr. Laffs. Mr. Funn! Boy, did he have them fooled. I lowered the rope and then he pointedly went down the other aisle.
Here was another set of rules at The Jackie P. Freeling Show: NO ONE FROM THE GENERAL STUDIO AUDIENCE WHO IS A V.I.P GUEST OF MR. FREELING'S WILL BE ALLOWED ON TO THE STAGE FROM THE SEATING AREA. ALL GUESTS OF MR. FREELING MUST REPORT TO THE SOUNDSTAGE DOOR TO BE ALLOWED ADMITTANCE.
Guess whose job it was to enforce this inviolable rule?...you got it...the Rope Page.
Anyways, I was at the bottom of the stairs on the aisle, house left. I had a list of everyone who was a guest and was able to go backstage to visit Jackie P. Oftentimes, these people would've watched the show from the general audience area and then come to the lip of the stage, where, as per policy, they would be instructed to exit with everyone else and then report to the soundstage main entrance where they then would be escorted backstage. This rule was iron-clad and immovable, supposedly, since the "take a look at my script" event. So, on this given day, a group of people approached me. They were VIP friends of Jackie. They were on the list. I checked. But they were not allowed to go backstage via the route they were attempting. I informed them of this. I politely explained what they needed to do. Someone in the group shouted to Jackie and waved.
"Hey MOTHERFUCKER (meaning yours truly) let them through, stupid!" He was on a hot mic. The audience was mostly still there. What he said went over the loudspeakers. I sighed and let them through. I could feel his stink-eye on the back of my head. Everyone was staring at me like I was some kind of monster.
This book is going to rip the lid off the the habits of Hollywood habitues! Those habits being primarily shopping and golf-cart etiquette.
Which brings us to the real question: why do we love people who do hateful things? Why do we love to hate them? Or hate to love them. Why do the activities and attitudes of awful people seem so much more compelling than those of people who are kind, constructive and gentle? Like, we can binge watch entire blocks of shows featuring people doing the most horrible things, like murder, and watch it all day. But if a FRONTLINE episode about Mother Teresa airs, we start getting fidgety and reaching for the remote about fifteen minutes in.
Maybe Alexis Carrington does. Remember how obsessed the country was with her? "TV's Favorite Woman You Love to Hate!"