Wednesday, August 23, 2006

MT and R

The IT guy just complimented my "X Files" t shirt (geeks need to stick together). It was a freebie from when I worked at the Museum of Television and Radio.

I started at the museum in 1999 when work slowed down at Art Asylum. I had to wear a tie. I had to lead tour groups. I had to dim the lights in the screening rooms. I had to memorize little speeches. That was about it.

It was the easiest job in the world. At least it was supposed to be. For some reason the managers took it WAY too seriously. Men had to take out their earrings. Microwave popcorn was banned from the kitchen. And I went from leading tour groups to making change at the register. Suddenly, I was right back where I didn't want to be; working retail. When I expressed my dismay at the transfer I was told to go into therapy. The moment an advertising job turned up (one year later) I jumped on it.

I met the most interesting people there. Sid Caesar. Matthew Modine. Tony Randall. Jon Stewart. Lauren Bacall. Michael J. Fox. Walter Cronkite. Joyce Randolph. I had a pleasant conversation with Trixie one night. I packed Howdy Doody into storage. I held a Michael Westmore Star Trek head. I touched Ralph Kramden's table. All for 8 bucks an hour.

Even though I was mourning the loss of my comic book career, those were creative months. Mark Goldman would come in from Opie and Anthony punchy and hilarious. Marshall would create bizarre impressions of Orson Welles and the Supercar theme song. Dave would leave every four minutes for a smoke and pitch a show called "Choc Ice". He wrote it while high. Gina would encourage us to do the open mike at Hamburger Harry's. Pilar would bounce in with an animation idea and talk so fast we couldn't get it. Bobby and Raul would come down from maintenance to talk about Black Sabbath. Andrew would try to manage us but mostly ended up our sounding board.

It kept my days productive. I started writing real sketches and a "Spongebob" spec script. I created a website. I started a screenplay that would take six years to complete. I dressed up as Gromit for a day. I did the open mike at Hamburger Harry's. I would bring dates in after hours and pull up old "Sgt. Bilko" episodes. I started an intense relationship that imploded in six weeks. And a month later, I met my wife. That's even better than the shirt.


The wife said...

Thank you, I love you too.

You have to admit, the Orson Wells shirt you got from there is pretty cool too.....oh, and you forgot to mention advising Ian McKellen's and Hugh Jackman's PR people who Magneto and Wolverine were; a job which did not get you to the Premerie on Ellis Island, but got you the T-shirt from it! :)

Mark Feigenson said...

Jon, that is soooooo sweet. Your writing has gotten really good. Now use those mad skills to make some FREAKIN' comments on MY blog for a change... :) Renee- great salmon salad by the way. You guys going again this wknd? Did Xavier call you today about Sept.? And why the hell am I using a public forum as your inbox?

Dave said...

"Best post ever!"

Ed Murray said...

That is indeed an awesome post ...

did Warner give you that copy of TONY?