Location: LA

The shoot was fairly unremarkable, which is a good thing. Parts of it were cool. I finally saw the Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame, plus we shot inside the Discovery Science Center, some very high tech classrooms at the University of California, and spent the last day, my birthday, filming at an amateur missile testing range in the middle of the Mojave desert. It was hot. I mean HOT, like sucking on a blow dryer hot, step out of the shade and gag hot. By the end of the day we were exhausted and had salt stains on our t-shirts. During the long van ride back to the hotel, Nelson and I played Monopoly on his iPad while using heavy Russian accents. We both laughed until we cried. Sometimes that’s the only way to cope.

It is always interesting for me to be doing my job in English speaking countries. The little boy in the video was very good and he would have been very enjoyable except for his babysitter. California law requires a social worker type person to accompany minors when they work and the woman they sent was easily one of the most annoying people I’ve ever met. (Famous people go to this restaurant. I go to this restaurant. Ergo, I am famous. You know the type.) Every time she sat by me, I jumped up saying I’d better go see what’s what. I also got to coach a rocket scientist on how to overact, which took some time but eventually he got into it. At one point, he asked me how he got chosen for the part. Having no idea, I said, “They wanted someone who would look very stiff and uncomfortable.” Fortunately, he had a good sense of humor.

As I was leaving the hotel one early morning, I passed a very leggy woman in the hallway. She gave me an odd look then looked away. When I got back that night, she was being escorted out of the hotel by a large man and I noticed she had her arms behind her in a rather awkward position. After they passed me, I glanced back and saw the handcuffs. We were filming a kid video. Honest. Not CSI.

Overall, it was a good trip, but it’s nice to be home. Things are weird here, too, but at least they’re familiar.

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