“I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.”

April 11, 2008 at 11:27 am 4 comments

A few days ago when I was on my way to get blood drawn to see if I have a thyroid problem (ain’t nothin’ sexier than a goiter, friends), I passed a huge line of trailers, trucks filled with lighting equipment, and craft services vans. Apparently, another movie is being filmed in our fair city, which has seen its fair share of Hollywood action lately.


Pittsburgh! Not just for filming “Hambone & Hillie” anymore!

And while the theatre geek in me got totally giddy about stumbling upon a movie set, the functioning-adult-with-an-ounce-of-good-taste in me was very disappointed to learn that this was the movie being filmed.

Hambone left you with some mighty big shoes to fill, sir.

But it’s not the fact that they were making what looks to be a mediocre-at-best movie (and if you question my assessment, just know that there is a character in this film named “Stainer”), it’s the fact that OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT you would not BELIEVE the amount of money and effort that was going into this shoot. The actors’ trailers (and yes, Stainer had his own), the trucks, the vans, the crew, the security detail, the blocked off streets – there was less hullabaloo whenever the presidential candidates came to town.

Not Stainer.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the people involved in this movie know it’s probably going to stink. Do they have a hard time waking up every morning to face another 14-hour day on the set, putting forth their best efforts for a final product that might go straight to video? Do the actors feel a bit of their souls dying when they spend 5 hours shooting and re-shooting the (inevitable) fart/erection/pie-fucking scene? Do the producers wonder why in the world they saw fit to fund this movie with a budget large enough to GIVE STAINER HIS OWN TRAILER?

Sorry, Actor Who Plays Stainer, I’m just not going to let this one go.

Anyway, after I stumbled upon the Stainer-laden set, I tried to figure out why the whole thing bothered me so much. I thought maybe it was just a product of me getting older, thriftier and more curmudgeonly, in the “Lands sakes, don’t throw those plastic utensils out; we can wash and re-use them” manner of things. Or that I was such a humanitarian that it broke my heart to see money thrown away on inconsequential things like movies [containing Stainer], when the elderly in our country have to choose between paying for food or paying for their medication. But then – ah yes! – the real reason dawned on me. And it was not such a selfless one.

Lest we forget.

Yes, my friends, I have participated in some horrendous plays in my time, and granted, none of them had a budget that even remotely approached that of a nationally-released motion picture, but still. Money and effort was spent, and therefore wasted.

It is a wonderful testament to the self-preservation of the human psyche that I generally did not realize how terrible a show was until it was over. Only when I was a few months (or years) removed from a production could I recognize (and eventually admit) that I had probably helped turn many an audience member off of live theatre forever.

“Interesting. I’ve never seen Taming of the Shrew set in a men’s prison before.”

Unfortunately, there have been other times (many, many other times) when I knew very early on in the rehearsal process that I was part of an absolute shit-heap of a production, and there was nothing I could do but continue to sacrifice every evening to grueling rehearsals, knowing the end would come only after I had totally humiliated myself in front of the poor assholes who paid to see the entire hot mess unfold live on stage.

“I had a dream, a dream where you had to perform a role you were in no way suited for in a terrible production run by a bi-polar director who refused to pay you, baby!”

So, when I take into account all of the times I’ve willingly humiliated myself for the masses for little or no pay, putting my efforts into a project that should never have been conceived…I come to the conclusion that I am no better – nay, worse! – than the people responsible for putting Stainer on the silver screen. Christ, at least he’s getting paid.

“Who’s the asshole now, Jive Turkey?! HAHAHAHAHA!!!”

[Mad props to the first person who can identify the (awesome, not-a-waste-of-money-at-all) movie that gifted the world with the phrase in this post’s title. HoST, you are disqualified because you already know.]

[And please, for the love of all things holy, never, ever, EVER Google image search “goiter.”]

[Also: STAINER. That is all.]


Entry filed under: Gobble-gobble.

Madame Ovary Cheers and Jeers: Jeers-Heavy Edition

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. shelli  |  April 11, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    you know, I wasn’t going to DO a google search. Until you told me not to.

    I have know two goiter people – neither have opted for surgery, although one I know is growing a bit, well, out of control. But both seem to be doing great!

    The thyroid thing could also interfere with fertility shit, so it’s a good thing in general to have checked…

    And back in my Union Stage Managing days, I “often did it for the health insurance.” 😉

  • 2. Husband of Said Turkey  |  April 11, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Re: The ‘Hambone & Hillie’ poster…

    1. Was Hillie pissed because of that tiny second billing she got?

    2. “In the tradition of HOMEWARD BOUND and BEETHOVEN”??? Really? It’s a TRADITION?! I can just hear Topol singing about it:

    “If I were a St. Bernard, a dee-uh, dee-uh, Charles Grodin gets his slippers all chewed up.”

  • 3. Kristin  |  April 11, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I think my favorite part of that page with the movie info. on it is the “Plot Synopsis” line, which reads, “The plot synopsis is empty.” I think the plot on this one is going to be pretty empty, too. And I totally cheated and looked up what that movie quote was, but I’m glad I did, because then I got to read the “Wikiquote” (did not know such a thing existed) compendium of quotes from that movie. Awesome. You should really go look at it. This is the quote I remember from the movie, “Merry Christmas! Shitter’s full!”

  • 4. Leah  |  April 11, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Whenever Simon makes me watch the Blues Brothers movie, my panties get all twisted during the car chase through the mall because, my god, imagine how expensive that was to film! That money could have been spent on something much more worthwhile. WILL SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!


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