Monday, July 10, 2006

THE ART OF THE AFTERPARTY

Ok so the Hollywood festival wasn’t going as planned, which means it was really starting to suck. I mean we screened well but the house wasn’t even half full. We had a ton of no shows on our VIP list. And I have a few choice words for those who call themselves VIP’s and make demands only to no show at the screenings – I hope you all get gonorrhea and your dicks fall off. Now, back to the story…so I was a little bitchy after the Q&A because these people aren’t filmmakers and they have been talkin’ out the sides of their faces every since the house lights came up, I really need a fuckin’ drink. I needed to forget and I needed to forget fast…then I remembered that we are throwing a party. Not just any party, but the SLZ afterparty.

Now I realize that a lot of you are introverted writer types who are paralyzed by unfamiliar situations. Well because I am your friend, I am going to let you know the best reason to go to and to throw an afterparty.

Take my situation for instance. I had a brilliant film and a shitty turn out (ok maybe it’s not brilliant…maybe it’s just really fuckin’ amazing – stop hatin’ and finish the story) and I needed to forget. Yoda hit me up on the Blackcherry

YODA
“Where you at..?”

It appeared that the party had started without me; which is clearly a violation of the prime directive (making the director happy all the time) and I am going to have to shoot someone when I get there just to maintain my “no bullshit” demeanor. So I say a bunch of insincere goodbyes and lie and tell people that I will be at their screening at 10am (shit I’ll be lucky to make bail by 10am) and I hop in the Z and bounce.

We’re hosting this party in Mid-Wilshire. Now, I like Mid-Wilshire; it’s a nice part of LA as long as you don’t have to park or turn around. Plus I am about to drive past SAG headquarters and believe you me, you better take you hat off or sing the SAG anthem or something to show respect…they might not give a fuck about what’s going on on the really big sets, but they will shut your indie ass down for stale Dorito’s…so you betta act like you know.

Ok so I am approaching the venue. We rented the Don Melveny gallery and a red carpet (hell yeah I rented my own red carpet….can’t wait for Hollywood to discover me…these are prime Red carpet struttin’ years). After three trips around the block and a race with a sport tuner (600HP in a Neon….yeah that’s practical) I find a place to park. I can hear the beats from my DJ and the laughter of sexy women, this ought to be good. Not only am I one of the guests of honor, but I am exec. producing this bitch as well. So I am carrying a bunch of posters and DVD’s and other bullshit that you lug to a screening but never hand out (because you think it’s cheapening your film) and wind up carry them around en masse from location to location.

So here I am with my funny hat and my weed T-shirt about to walk into my afterparty; and I am stopped at the door by security. The brother takes on look at me and tells me to hold on. He asks me for my name and seems a bit skeptical that I will be on the list. Are you fucking kidding me? Who do you think is paying for all this shit – Holmes? Much to his chagrin he finds my name but now wants to put the letter “Z” on my wrist to prove that I have been granted access. I tell him that this is not necessary and he says something to the effect of “if you want to come into this party it’s necessary”. And that is when I realized that being an asshole in LA is not an option, it’s a requirement. So I was about to open a really large can of “Me management – You Labor” when Yoda appears.

YODA
Stop fuckin’ around with the staff and get over here, I have people that have been waiting to talk to you.

Now of course everyone’s attitude at the door has changed. The velvet rope is opened and people are all smiles; one guy even mentions that he’s an actor trying to get into the business – LA, you got to fuckin’ love it.

So the party has about 50 heads in it and DJ Matthew is cuttin’ it up. I got the crepe lady makin’ Nutell and banana crepes and the bartender knows who I am and is giving me free drinks only I bought the alcohol so it ain’t really free…but I act like it anyway…it’s a cool party.

Yoda introduces me to some professor/art curator person who is going on and on about the role of the contemporary artist. I desperately want to change the conversation to the role of the contemporary weed smoker…but I can’t buy a segue so I just play along.

We have lots of sexy women and they keep coming over and introducing themselves in this “and if you need something, don’t hesitate to ask” vibe. Yeah I know what that is all about, and I keep on surfing (you can fuck women or you can make your movie; but you cannot fuck women and make your movie)

Here comes Det. Budd, and man is he happy.

DET. BUDD
Dude, where did all these chicks come from

COOPRDOG
Well I am paying half of them, the other half heard a rumor that we are coke dealers

DET. BUDD
Dude, that’s the best PR you have ever done. We gotta do this shit all the time.

Spoken like a man who didn’t front any money for the cause, but I don’t call him on it. I see someone approaching me. There is lots of hugging and kissing, which is kind of strange for me because I am not fuckin’ French! If you ain’t my girl, or my executive producer – there will be no kissing – got it! But I play along anyway and pretend like I can’t see through this chicks blouse. I mean does she have any idea how distracting that is? What is the deal with that shit? Now if you whip you cock out and say “hey..is this your brand?” – you’re an asshole…go figure? And why aren’t there men chasing her around, what is the fuckin’ problem? I brought you women, alcohol, drugs, music and a party space for 4 hours – and still I know men who can’t get a rap going – I make a note to myself that we need more “hired guns” in this clique.

So Yoda comes over and says that the party is going well and that I am getting a lot of credit. Really? For being a sucker and throwing another free party for people who can’t even spell cinema let alone get me money to shoot. She gets that “listen to me I am a Brit” look in her eye.

“Listen, you got to give a little to get a little. Besides when I met you your were screening in your apartment and using Ritz crackers and Easy Cheese for refreshment. You are going places, relax.” I am ok with her answer but take offense to the Easy Cheese comment; it’s a fine snack food and people need to stop hating.

So I am mingling and getting interviewed, and then I see a sad face. It’s a friend of Yoda’s, let’s call her Songstress. Songstress has a little drama because her wanna be tired ass used-to-be her man has showed up; and she’s none to happy about it. Why do I give a fuck? Because I ain’t havin’ mopey motherfuckers at my party. So I decide to do a little matchmaking. Now I don’t know shit about match making and her whole “no guys who smoke weed rule” is really not going to be followed, but I agree to it anyway. So I get her on her feet and we start to dance, only I can’t dance with her, I can’t be seen dancing with another woman. People see to think that it’s all sex & drugs in the film industry and I am here to tell that that it is absolutely true. I have just chosen not to participate in this shit, but I know how some of these women in the cut are, and will just love to make this sound worse than it is and cause a nasty argument for me. So what’s a sexy & committed director to do?

Well this is what you do, you get her up on her feet and get her to dance…you tell a couple of jokes so guys know that she likes to laugh and then you look around at all the panty weights that were to afraid to say hi, but are now plotting a way to take her from me…and then I pretend to be careless and slowly disappear of the dance floor at the exact moment one of the has the courage to dance near her and try to get her attention.

Yeah well that plan did not work at all. For starters almost all the men at this party won’t pull the trigger; and what the fuck is that about? I have drunk women in revealing clothing (expect the songstress of course) you would think someone would take a swing, but noooo they don’t. So now songstress is up in my face calling me an asshole for leaving her on the dance floor. Now I really wanted to say “what about the brother in the corner that kept staring at your tits? He didn’t approach you?...but I can’t be that crass so I apologize (yes I have to apologize for trying to get someone laid) and I promise to be better. So now I need to think quickly. I mean I know some dudes that will take care of business, but the ones I know are “in the game” and I though I’d find her a nice man (well nice for LA) but I doubt that this is going to be possible.

Now Yoda is approaching, she says I need to say hi to some people. I am thinkin’ great, a bank manager, an agent…who is it now. Well she brings me over to the service staff. I am watching four very excited Gen X’s who are wearing our patented “Sex-Love” T-Shirts. They are telling me that they loved my ad on Craigslist and that the party is fuckin’ awesome. They want to work every party I throw. We at least I got the hospitality part of this shit right. Then my man asks me about the “smoke weed” part… and I tell him “no worries”.

From that moment on I am on a mission. I round up the whole ‘doah coalition which is Johnny Sabado, Iceman, Det. Budd, Déjà vu the True one and yours truly. We grab all three service staffers and take them out to the back deck. The crew has grown to nearly ten now, people know it’s time to blaze.

As I make my way to the back of the gallery with an entourage following me, I feel like I am the best thing since three holed paper. I bump into Portal and we rap about the upcoming set as they agree to join in on the smoke out.

So now I am in the back of the Xterra (official vehicle of the ‘doah crew)we have 6 people crammed into it and another 5-8 crowding around it. And now we are blazin’, listenin’ to beats, yellin’ at women in the alley (lemme…holla, holla, holla, holla, holla!) it’s a fuckin’ party. The beats are flowin’ and kids are rhymin’ seemingly unaware that we take this MC shit for real.

And here comes Yoda, she looks pissed.

YODA
Can I speak to you?

Now I am only 36, but few times in my life have I had a good conversation after that was said, but I am optimistic.

YODA
I know you are having your little smoke out – yeah. But we are paying these people to keep the place clean and if you keep getting them fuckin’ high they ain’t gonna want to clean toilets – right?

Great so either I have to be the coolest mother fucker in the western hemisphere or the cheapskate that yells “back to work!” – life was much simpler when all I did was beat my cock.

So I ended my “smoke out” and thanked the service staff for coming through, I told them I couldn’t have done it without them…and that was the truth. Yoda thanked me and I made my way to the bar. She told me not to go to far because she had a surprise.


Well that surprise was a burlesque dancer on stilts. Her name is Eva and me and Yoda met her at Harvelle’s about 2 months ago. Let’s just say it was really a late night and I was totally hammered (but sober enough to drive - man I know the cops read this blog). Anyway, we are in this bar and women are taking their clothes off and dancing around and I could careless because I can’t get a Guinness. Next thing I know this woman comes out of the back and she’s like 12 feet tall. Now a career of drug use has taught me that in the event that you are in a public place and you see some really bizarre shit, don’t react. If there really is a pink Kangaroo doing the Macarena other people will begin to freak out, so you can follow their lead.

So Yoda had booked Eva to work out party and she is freaking motherfuckers out. I mean seriously, you have to see her do the whole stilt, ass-shakin’ thing. It is truly amazing (and at $150 for 10min’s it ought to be).

So Eva kills it. We have wowed everyone at this party, they want to be our best friends and get high with us. Who say burlesque is a dead art – that shit is the bomb.

I stagger (and I do mean stagger) outside to get a little fresh air and the security staff tells me that we throw killer parties I thank them and then say “back to work!”…do they really think I have forgotten?

I pull out my Blackcherry and I have 17 new messages. 17 new messages; who the fuck is calling me during the party; what the fuck is wrong with people. All you have to do is show up, get high and see if you can take somebody home and fuck them till they forget their PIN number – how tough is that?

I don’t listen to single message, which of course makes people think that I am more important and the keep calling back (see if you are fucked up, you are already Hollywood)

Oh an now it’s time to get interviewed. I mean nothing says I am important like a person with a mic draggin you in front of a camera and asking you questions. Me & Det. Budd do the whole “we just want to make a movie thing” and it sounds good (though we took like 5 takes – hey they call it show business for a reason). So I crack a few more jokes and I bounce over to the bar.

It is at the bar that I have the most real conversation of the night. I wind up talkin’ to someone who just wondered in (hell of job security) and has no idea that we have screened the film, or that we have even shot the film.

She said she’s heard the music and come over, and doesn’t know why anyone would waste their time and money on promoting a short

WOMAN IN GALLERY
So who’s the sap throwing this party?

COOPRDOG
Uh, that would be me.

WOMAN IN GALLERY
Really, and were you in the film

COOPRDOG
Uh.. I had a small acting role.

WOMAN IN GALLERY
Oh really? And who’s wrote this thing.

COOPRDOG
I did.

WOMAN IN GALLERY
I though you were an actor?

COOPRDOG
Well I have done some acting but I am primarily a writer.

WOMAN IN GALLERY
See that’s the problem out here, no one wants to focus their abilities. So who did you get to direct it?

COOPRDOG
I directed it.

WOMAN IN GALLERY
(lots of smoke as she thinks)….So you’re a writer/director?

Her eyes light up with anticipation.

COOPRDOG
That’s what it says on the DVD.

WOMAN IN GALLERY
Uh, wow…um I had no idea. (beat) And how did you get Sex, Love & Z-Parts to go in on this party with you.

COOPRDOG
Well SLZ is my film.

She has since picked up one of the 8 million postcards that we have scattered around the gallery.

WOMAN IN GALLERY
This is your film, no way! I been to your site.

And just like that I go from sucker to “man who’s ass I’d like to kiss.”…..And that’s the cool thing about throwing your own party, everybody wants to be your friend. Now I wonder if she’s ever considered investing in a film.

Two rounds later I realize that she is more broke than me (note to self: try to invite people with more money than you.) Ok so I am losing my high and my crowd is starting to thin. I need to think fast…not to save the crowd but to make a good exit. I know this sounds really petty to all you non-LA types, but you have to have a good exit. Do you remember that character in MASH, the CIA cat who would never let anyone see him enter or leave a building…well it’s like that…only you are high…and you want everyone to know that you are leaving or entering….which, now that I think of it…is not really secret agentish….see what happens when you smoke too much weed…

Ok, where was I…oh yeah, my exit. So it was late, like 1:30AM…which isn’t like really late, but if you are drinking wine in an art gallery…it’s considered late. So I glance around… and my waitstaff is on the dance floor kickin’ it…tellin’ me that my DJ is the shit. My security staff is bobbing its collective head while doin’ the whole “I’m in a suit and I am serious” bit – while also telling stories about either doing stunts or breaking out of prison.

I see someone trying to approach me to ask me a question. I counter this person’s moves as I float through the crowd. Yeah, I know I am being an asshole…but fuck it…If I am going to have to listen to some crazy, unrealistic shit…you’re gonna have to leg one out. So four or five moves into this little dance and the dude fucks up and knocks over a tray of glasses or crepes or glasses and crepes…I don’t know…all I do know is that shit went flying and when people turned to look… I slipped into the back alley..

Which would have been a great exit…only I smoked another fattie with Portál (just the dude, not the band) and everyone saw me…so much for being a secret agent.

All in all it was a good night, if you don’t count the thirty no-shows, the arguments when we went to a cash bar after 2 hrs, The PA system problem, Snarky security guards and no fucking parking anywhere.

Can’t fuckin’ wait to do that again.


COOPRDOG

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