With my economical haircut finally finished, I was determined to find employment. Problem was, I also had to find a way to finish the video I started with Kristham before he had to go home. A lot of my job-hunting involved logging onto Craigslist at 7:30 am and finding out about an open house from 10am until noon that very day on the other side of town. Get there by 9:50am and you have the upper hand on everyone else as they’re not rushing people just yet.
So trying to schedule stuff with Kristham was a bit of a pain. But nonetheless, I had started the project, and I was going to keep my word. If not for honor’s sake, at least because then if I was ever in Madrid I would have a place to stay.
“Joo come to Madrid, we go dancing. Yes.”
I couldn’t pass up this offer.
We scheduled a shoot for 11pm one night, after I’d be getting home from a hockey game. Now usually I like to get hammered after watching a game (finishing off the job I start while I’m in the stands). But with my hectic schedule, this was something I felt was necessary to do in order to get this thing done. My good buddy Brian Walker came into town for work and went with me to the Staples Center. I passed on drinks afterwards and hopped the subway home. I was pretty exhausted and not particularly in the mood to shoot. We were going to get some dancing in a nearby parking lot. I finally got home and started to get ready when I passed Kristham in the hallway.
“Hey, you all set to shoot?”
“Joo are tired?” noticed Kristham.
“Yeah, but I’m fine to shoot.”
“Is OK. We can shoot another time.”
I uncharacteristically took him up on the offer, opting instead to just hit the sack. But as I was brushing my teeth I noticed that Kristham was already leaving the house with Florian (the Frenchman). They were heading down to Hollywood to hang out.
I didn’t think too much of it, but it struck me as odd that he had made plans so quickly. The next night we shot the parking lot, and scheduled something for the following day at his dance school. We were going to meet at the house at noon. As far as I knew he had talked to the school and it was cool to shoot at that time. In all likelihood he had booked the studio ahead of time so we’d be good to go.
That morning, I tried to squeeze a morning interview in and got my first lesson in LA traffic: it sucks.
Apparently, it can suck even if your car isn’t breaking down. I was cursing and cursing and feeling really rotten about being late, finally getting home at 12:30. I didn’t have any way to get in touch with him, so I wasn’t able to give a head’s up. Where I come from, showing up a half hour late with no notice is grounds for an ass-whooping. Or at the very least being fired or bitched out. Especially in anything with the Entertainment Industry, as people are working for very little and on tight schedules. I was hoping he’d understand, but was fearing the worst.
“Joo say noon! Joo say noon? Yes. And I wait. No dancing now…no dancing!”
The scenario was playing out in my head; a fuming Kristham trying to express how pissed he was but not knowing enough English to express himself. Maybe he’d express himself in interpretive dance, and then I’d be in the awkward position of feeling bad about what I had done while at the same time trying not to laugh because he was communicating with a Harlem Shake.
I finally got home and apprehensively tip-toed into the front door. No sign of him at all.
I guess the worst case scenario was that the Spanish Justin Timberlake would tell people that I’m not reliable. I took it as a lesson – expect the worse for traffic, and prioritize. As much as prioritizing paid employment is wise in most circles, it really isn’t in mine, since all it does is keep you in that employment you’re only in because you want to get into the other kind.
Realizing that he had probably given up on me, I stayed at the house just in case he came back and scoured the internet for more interviews. I found a place that was doing a 2:30 – 4pm Open Call for Waiters. I got myself ready, and was about to head out the door at 2pm when I heard a door creak open.
Through the door stumbles a groggy Kristham. Not from outside, but from his bedroom. I didn’t even bother checking his room! The guy was asleep this whole time. If you do the math, you’ll notice that he was waking up two hours after the time we agreed to start shooting (and you know that he’s going to need some time to shower and gel his hair).
I was kind of frozen in shock. Now I’ve had my share of “holy shit I overslept by three hour” experiences, so I wasn’t about to get all pissy about what happened. But that wasn’t quite it.
“Hey” smiled Kristham. “Oh man, I sleep late”.
This wasn’t an acknowledgement, more of a fun fact. He started talking to Florian and they began laughing about something funny that had happened the night before. I found this kind of irritating, especially because Europeans tend to laugh in a more effeminate way than Americans. After a few minutes I thought it time to bring up the shoot.
“Hey Kristham, weren’t we supposed to shoot at noon?”.
“Oh.” Looking at his watch, he laughed a bit. “Ok, I get ready now.”
Now perhaps Jesse Gavin is being a bit of a jerk here, but this comes down to a fundamental opinion I have. I’ve opted to try to pursue a career in Entertainment. I could get some sort of random job and live in Upstate New York, and do “the Arts” in my free time and talk about how I do it for the love. But I live in Los Angeles, and I lived in New York, because I want to actually do it for a living. It’s pretty common knowledge that the only way to get to that point is to do a lot of work-for-free, which can suck balls. I think the only thing you expect in return for working for free is to have your time respected. So showing up late to something becomes a huge No-No, because you have wasted other people’s time, time that they have generally squeezed out of their ever-shrinking sleep schedule.
Now I’m not a professional director of music videos, so it’s hard for me to have as much of a chip on my shoulder about it when I’ve never been paid to do this. But I know for sure that I have lots I could do with my time other than wait around for Kristham to wake up because he and the Frenchman had a fun night. Not to mention having to remind him that we had scheduled a shoot.
I told him I couldn’t shoot because I was going to another job interview. As I talked to him about rescheduling, the image of him sitting outside with his Boombox popped into my head. Who is this guy?! Why am I making his music video? What the heck was I thinking?
The Life of Jesse Gavin.
I did my best to get some more stuff shot, but he was a no-show the one time we actually got something figured out. He told me he could try to do half the video in Madrid and mix it with what we got in LA, but after his second no-show, I kind of gave up on him.
So here’s just what we got from the first day, back when I wasn’t a douchebag and just did it for “the love”:
So this was clearly never going to make MTV (not that they play videos anymore). I didn’t really edit it as well as I would’ve if I kept my drive. I’m pretty sure the rhythm is off in one of those shots, if not several. And ultimately my camera only costs 275 dollars for a reason. I still have yet to edit the footage of the Parking Lot Dance Sequence we did at night. Perhaps I’ll be tempted too if Kristham has enough fans…?
Well, back to looking for a job.
I had told everywhere I applied that if I was hired I was available to work Thanksgiving. After having a Restaurant renege on their offer of employment pending I worked that day, I hopped on a plane to Seattle to spend the holiday with my brother, Jeff. We went straight from the airport to a gathering hosted by his good buddy Andy’s parents. I got an email on my phone right before we walked in.
You’re Hired! Like, for real this time. An aspiring Los Angeles Chain Restaurant called “The Farm of Beverly Hills” had hired me as a waiter at their new location in Downtown Los Angeles next to the Staples Center. I was to report for training the following Monday.
I was feeling relaxed. Even Zen, dare I say. All that was left was to enjoy my weekend with my brother Jeff who was wonderful enough to fly me up there so we could have the first ever West-Coast-Gavin Holiday. There was a weight lifted off my shoulders.
As I started to think about all the things I was thankful for, a large man that had been watching football this entire time finally came over to the dinner table and sat down across from me. Noticing what was on my plate, he began a forty five second rant that could only be successfully re-enacted in a movie by the late Chris Farley.
“Tofu? To. Fu? Is that Tofu? In my house? Oh my goodness! Oh God! Oh no, there’s tofu in my house. We got turkey! Turkey, not tofu. Tofu? ToFU?”
Amidst all the chaos of whether or not I’d be working Thanksgiving or just staying in LA or coming up to Seattle I forgot about how this was going to be my first vegan Thanksgiving…
Did Jesse just say “vegan”?
Ah jeez, I’m going to have to explain this…in the meantime, here is my roommate Danny doing a re-enactment of my Thanksgiving: