Sunday, 30 May 2004
|1020 - The third big day: in the real world|
The third Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance was different from the first two. Insted of being in the studio, or out on Hollywood Boulevard (which, let's face it, is not the real world), this time I was in the lobby of the Magic Johnson Theater in Baldwin Hills.
I started out in Des Moines this time, instead of Fairmont. I'd planned, long before this started happening, to go to the Des Moines Renaissance Festival, and bought hotel rooms (as I normally do) through Hotwire for Friday night through Monday morning. When they called, I got them to fly me to LA from Des Moines, and extended my stay one day earlier.
I drove to Des Moines Thursday afternoon, after making a stop in Blue Earth (the next town east of Fairmont) to pick up 7000 printed programs for the faire. After checking into the hotel, I put the costume on to show irpooh and her husband, and another friend. (Billie's said, all along, that this costume was, for a beginner, in the class of "nobody told me I couldn't accomplish it, so I did"; after seeing it, she's even more convinced.) I changed back into street clothes, transferred the programs to the other friend's Honda Civic (filling it quite full in the process), and went out for Indian food. Billie went off to read for a part in a play, and James (her husband) and I bummed around a bit. I was really impressed with Clicks. They've got a great setup, and I hope they do well.
I couldn't sleep well that night. I finally got up about 6 AM, doodled around for a while, and then took the hotel shuttle to the airport at 8 AM. I usually like to get to the airport a minimum of two hours before departure, just to avoid problems and that rushed feeling, but no such luck this time: the shuttle wasn't available till 8. The folks at airport security checked the suitcase with the costume for explosive residue, but didn't open it.
The flights (connecting in Denver) were uneventful, although the connection was tight. I flew first class on the way out. I guess that's all Disney Travel could get. I didn't complain. United's idea of a first class lunch, a chicken teriyaki salad or a deli sandwich (I had the latter) didn't impress me all that much. I was met at baggage claim, and the driver took the freeway to get to Hollywood, instead of surface streets as the others did. It took about the same length of time either way.
The producer called as I was arriving at the hotel. They wanted me to change into costume right away, and then go out to the location. I told him I needed a shower first. Eventually, after that, I got to sit around for an hour before leaving, in costume. They had a van carry me, the segment's writer, and a couple of production assistants to the theater.
I got wired up, and then we rehearsed for about 30 minutes. They'd grab people going into the theater and send them over to talk to me. By the end of that 30 minutes, I was pretty comfortable interviewing people, and felt pretty good. The next hour was taken up with sound tests, camera tests, and technical stuff.
The satellite slot ended at 5:30. We ate dinner (Taco Bell, yum) and relaxed. I have to take the costume off most of the way to eat, so I don't get stuff on the gloves; I'd brought a T-shirt along for the purpose. I walked into the theater to use the restroom dressed that way (T-shirt, and unitard pulled down to my waist, with sleeves dangling), and got some really funny looks.
The second satellite slot opened at 6:30. I put the costume back on all the way, and went inside, We did a couple more sound checks, and then waited around for taping to begin at 7:55. I started drinking lots of water to keep the cough down, and took half of a Tylenol #3 about 7:30. (For the cough suppressant action of codeine. My doc prescribed that because it's about all that puts a real dent in the cough.)
The show started, and Jimmy came to me pretty early on. I did a little bit, and then it was time to wait some more. While waiting, I listened to the show in the receiver in my ear; it sounded pretty funny. I didn't hear the sound from any of the video clips, though.
The first segment I did was as Jimmy was talking to DL Hughley, the star of Soul Plane, the movie we were there to talk about. That one went pretty well, aside from me forgetting that I needed to hold the mike up to the guy who was talking as I turned around. Next time I have someone like that, I'll hand them the mike first. Even so, it worked.
The second segment took a turn to the weird. (Those of you thinking "this whole thing's weird!", hush.) The guy took off on his own, and there wasn't much I could do but let him run with it - there wasn't gonna be any way I got a word in edgewise. The camera "snuck" away (although I wasn't left alone; the rest of the crew was still there, and the camera didn't go far).
There was a whole bunch of folks with 8x10 prints of a picture the Kimmel folks took the first time I'd been there. We did a parting shot with everyone holding up the pictures and shouting (which really pissed off the theater management). I like that picture, and didn't get one! They promised to send me the image file, though.
While they were breaking down the equipment, I signed a bunch of the pictures for people. Then the sound guy took off the gear and wiring, and we retreated to the van. (I should note here that, despite the dire comments made by lots of folks (including one guy I interviewed), I wasn't bothered the entire time. I don't know that I'd go back there by myself, but I felt perfectly safe with the other folks there.) I spoke briefly to the producer, and told him that I felt I could do better - but then, I always feel I can do better. He told me the writers thought it worked well, and got lots of laughs back at the studio.
We drove back to my hotel. I walked through the lobby, still in costume. There were a few comments and snickers. I went straight to bed; it was 10 PM (and my body was still on Central time, so it felt like midnight).
I got up at 3:30 to pack and get cleaned up, then was picked up at 4:30 to go to the airport for a 6:00 flight. The United check-in counter was a madhouse, but I did manage to get through security and to the gate in time for boarding. Both flights (to Denver, and to Des Moines) were full, and I was in economy, but it wasnt too uncomfortable a trip until the final approach into Des Moines, where the ride got pretty bumpy.
The hotel shuttle was waiting, and I got back, got cleaned up, changed into garb, and went to the faire. I was really dragging by the end of the day, and took a short nap before going to a friend's house to watch the Kimmel show on his TiVo. It came out really well. I think they'll have me back.
current mood: happy
How did you sign the pictures? Your name or "Tron Guy" or both or neither?
To <name> Jay M TRON
That was a spur of the moment thing. I need to decide how to do it in the future.