RECAP LIKE WHOA
In the "Costner" department, I'm too tired and hellbent on getting drunk to give a real thorough run-down, but here are the day's pertinent shits for me:
4:00 PM - I show up to teach my class at the Atkins Branch Library, where I'm teaching probably the greatest group of students I have ever met to make their own film - they're dealing with teen suicide. The script is on another level - they "want it to have different timelines, and intersecting storylines like 'Pulp Fiction.'" Okay. About 4:30 PM, my cell phone rings and it's Costner's assistant, but I don't answer it. One of my kids says "Who is that?" and I'm like "It's Costner."
The kid just looks at me like I said it was T.I. on the phone. The librarian guffaws incredulously. But you know, the funny thing is I was telling the truth. I let it go to voicemail.
5:00 PM - It is hotter than Hades in Shreveport, but all of the media are already camping out on the steps of the venue. I have to give them props. I got them all some bottled water.
6:45 PM - I have taken a gaggle of media folks up to the entrance to the VIP room, so they can get shots of Costner entering the party. It's hot here too, so we hang out and catch him as he goes in the party then we dip pre-Demi Moore. He shows up dressed like Chris Brown, white tee, overshirt hanging open, punk-rock fitting black Levi's, black shades like the Fonz. Hollywood must think "Fonzyish" is a pretty good look.
My favorite vampire of all time will show up in the same outfit later.
7:15 PM - Passing through the VIP area, I bump into this cute dude Chris from Centenary, who is a hip-hop fan and I know through Sara and Allison Cormier. I'm like "Wow man, you live large." He laughs it off and I keep moving. Tickets to this thing were $500. GANGSTA.
7:30 PM - I meet Frank Page, the announcer from the Louisiana Hayride. He's autographing books in the lobby. I take the media folks up to the room we're gonna do a little press junket in, and I'm designated the leader of the discussion. So I'm standing beside Costner, who is seated, picking media folks to ask him questions. I make a motion for John to get a picture of this - he says he has some that he'll send me. The little junket lasts about 20 minutes, and I have to say it was one of the coolest moments of my life. Every question folks asked, Costner really thought about it and answered from his heart. Someone asked if he was nervous, and he went into this incredibly personal diatribe about the danger of going out on a limb when you're famous.
I'm being completely serious: the guy is awesome. I think maybe he's the last of a dying breed of movie stars. There is an air of class tempered with humility and self-awareness.
8:00 PM - With the junket over, I take a break and cause a little mischief that shall remain my secret with one of the media guys. They love their jobs, I'll say that much. I walk out of the concert area and Costner is standing incognito with a couple of security guards in the lobby
, so I just lamp out on the wall beside him. There is this awesome moment when, during a retrospective of his career in film, he peeks through a little window and watches the crowd watch him on the big screen. People are just walking by and I'm like, fuck, three 16-hour work days this week and I have zero complaints. I don't give a damn what anyone says: I grew up on movies, I watched Dances with Wolves with my momdukes. There is no shame in my game. I'm a Costner fan.
8:01 PM - I flip whig when Hal Sutton thanks me from the stage. Super bananas.
8:02 PM - The theme from "The Untouchables" starts playing and Costner heads towards the stage through the audience, kissing babies and shit on the way. It takes 15 minutes to get there, he's interacting with the crowd so much. I figure, maybe the hardest part of my night (wrangling the media, keeping video cameras out of the show) is over, so I post my ass up on the back wall. I figure the excitement is mostly over, so I'll take in the music.
8:20 PM - Keiffer Sutherland and his wife or girlfriend walk past me and post up on the wall like two feet to my right. I geek out, but he's giving her a backrub and whispering in her ear and whatnot so I just let them be. I had a digital camera in my hand, but I just don't feel like disturbing this dude. He's very small, and is dressed like a punk rocker: blue jean jacket with collar up like the Fonz, tight-rolled black Levi's, black combat boots, hair all fucked up. The dude is really in full effect, and I'm standing there thinking "Lost Boys," "Stand by Me," "Flatliners..."
8:21 PM - My boss rolls up and goes "I just met Demi Moore" and I go "Have you met Keifer?" He flips whigs, proceeds to lose shit.
8:25 PM - My homegirl Werner walks up as Keifer sits down. I point him out and she joins us in the geek-fest. We agree that, while it would be wrong to take a photo of him, there is no harm in trying to pretend to take Werner's picture and actually take a picture of him. It didn't work out, but here's the attempt we made (up top). He's the dude at the end of the row that you can see. Not that you can tell - he may as well be a sasquatch from this crappy-ass photo. Oh well.
9:30 PM - After lamping for a while, I leave. I worked 16 hours yesterday. I gotta right to put my feet up. I pick up a Freschetta and a sixer and that pretty much catches us up to date.