Hollywood Bowls Us
By Bert Stratton
My wife, Alice, was one of the many star-struck fans who drove to Rockside Road and I-77 to audition for “The Avengers” movie. I asked Alice, “Did you get the part? Did you read anything?”
Not only did she not read, she did not even audition. The traffic was so horrendous around Rockside Road, she turned right around. Thousands of people showed up for the audition.
There was another Hollywood movie, “Fun Size,” filmed a few weeks earlier, several blocks from us in Cleveland Heights. That’s when Alice got star struck. Catering and make-up trucks were around our neighborhood.
I heard about it. I didn’t want to go see the trucks. I have a bias against Hollywood.
Hollywood guys have too much fun. They should be making radiator valves, or PVC pipe fittings, like the rest of the world. Not blowing things up and eating from catering trucks.
My wife’s school gym (where she teaches elementary-school physical education) was turned into a vast make-up room for Fun Size. She said the school board got $500,000 for the rental.
I didn’t believe that. Alice’s source — the school janitor — had told her the five-hundred grand figure.
Make that $50,000. I’d accept that. Better yet, $5,000. Who would pay half a million to rent a school building for a couple days? Hollywood is a funny ballpark, but not that funny.
Hollywood’s latest tax-abatement haven/heaven is Ohio. Used to be Michigan.
I would like to be in a movie too. But I would demand some lines and star food. No way am I going to do a man-in-crowd scene, not at this point in my career. I was an extra in a crowd scene in “Those Lips, Those Eyes,” United Artists, Cleveland, 1980.
I want to blow up something. Grab a lighter, Alice. You’re in.
Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy. He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz too. So maybe he’s really Klez Landlord. You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. His blog Klezmer Guy (http://www.yiddishecup.com/blog) has a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets. Klezmer Guy was a reporter for Sun Newspapers. He has written for Rolling Stone, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the New York Times. He won two Hopwood Awards.
Illustration by Ralph Solonitz http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=812350928