Over the next two weeks, I checked in with the guys almost everyday. It was unusual calling them. Here I was, working everyday, and when you called them it was like talking to someone on a vacation. It's not unlike when you are dealing with actors and actresses. When they aren't working they tend to forget that other people do actually have 9 to 5 jobs. It is one of the reasons why they tend to hang out amongst other actors or people who don't have regular jobs. As a 9 to 5 worker it's tough to just be able to walk away from your job at 11am and go shopping or to the ocean for a few hours. Like to, but it just doesn't happen. Therefore, when Eric and his friend would call me at 2am and tell me to meet them somewhere, most of the time I would be asleep or tell them I had to be up at 7am to go to work.
With what I do now, 2am calls generally are because someone has got into trouble. It wasn't always that way. At one point I had a job that required me to interact much more and therefore calls at 2am were the norm rather than the exception. If you have a problem with your phone you expect the phone company to help you with your problem or issue on your time. There really isn't any difference with actors or musicians, except their time to deal with issues is not usually 9 to 5. It's one of the reasons I don't do what I was doing anymore. You had responsibilities to deal with during normal business hours, but you also had responsibilities at 3am. No social life and no sleep leads to burnout and multiple divorces.
Eric and his friend were really good about telling me what was going on and would get incredibly excited when they met anyone who they had always wanted to meet. It wasn't just big stars. They were just as hyped when they met Randy Jackson as they were when they met Jenny McCarthy. It's not as if they were hanging out with A listers or anyone even close. Their encounters were just like anyone else who hangs around LA long enough. Their whole time in LA they probably hung out with only 7 or 8 people any of us would easily recognize. They loved that, but the whole experience was about living like a rock star. Funny enough, even after two or three weeks in LA, they really weren't spending that much money. With the exception of some clothes, they really hadn't spent that much. At clubs, someone was always around who would buy them a drink or two and their food intake was primarily of the fast food variety. After their first blowout party, they rarely bought the good stuff, because no one really noticed or cared.
What blew me away was how many people they had met in such a short time. All they did day and night was meet people. I went out to dinner with them towards the end of their third week in town. Eric was with his B lister although the clock was ticking. As I said earlier, when she found out that Eric didn't have a job or money and this was just one long party, she started looking for her next victim. Eric's friend still had the Playmate although I remember she wasn't there that night. Two of Eric's friends had also flown in from New Jersey and so there were 6 of us that night at dinner. I think we ate at Matsuhisa that night, and even though they had never eaten there, it seemed as if they knew all of the wait staff, and a good number of the other diners. What many people don't realize is that Hollywood is a small town, and the circle of people who are on the same schedule as Eric and his friends with the same agenda is even smaller. It doesn't take many degrees of separation to get back to the beginning.
That night, after dinner we went to a party fairly close to Bel Air where they had been invited. I think it was a Thursday night because I remembered telling myself that I would only need to suck it up through one day of work to make it to Saturday and sleep. Like most houses in that neighborhood, they are built into the hills and have many levels, but each level is usually fairly small. Parties tend to take place on each level because if you get more than about 20 people, there just isn't room for them on one floor. The other thing that sucks is there usually is no parking anywhere close to where your destination is. You usually end up parking about a 1/4 mile away, and if you are smart, you park below your destination, because nothing sucks more than being drunk and dragging your ass up a hill 1/4 mile. Hopefully when you get to your car it hasn't been sideswiped by a driver who couldn't see anything because the streets are so damn dark and you have to park almost in the street.
That night, in addition to the straight couples making out throughout the house, I saw two guys making out. Nothing unusual at all about that except that one of the guys was and is a very A list director. Very A list and at that time in a well publicized relationship with a very strong female celebrity who I'm sure would have been shocked to see him swapping spit with the tiny Asian guy in the corner. I was actually surprised enough to see him at a party without her, because they had been glued at the hip all summer and fall. In case you are curious he is one of the black book directors I mentioned in a previous blind item.
It was actually the kind of party I enjoyed. No loud music blaring from every corner. It was just people enjoying some cocktails and having quiet conversations with 2 or 3 other guests. It was for exactly that reason that Eric and his friends hated it and wanted something more. Here is a tip for those coming to LA to party. Take separate cars. Yes, hard on the environment, but parties move, change locations, and everything else during a night, and at some point, someone will get left behind or will want to go home. There is absolutely nothing worse than having to take someone home all the way across town, and then making your way to the next party. Distances can be huge, and even if not a huge distance, traffic can be a nightmare. Even though it might only be like 5 miles between Bel Air and Sunset and Highland, it can be the longest five miles of your life. Even at 11pm at night you are basically one lane of traffic each way because the right lane is given over to valet parking. You can always take the lesser roads, but cops love to hang out on those tiny streets just waiting for you to go over 30 and to give you a sobriety test.
Final Party –
For their last party, the boys had something special in mind. For almost the entire time they had been in town, they had been inviting people to this final party, although they hadn't told many people this was their final act. If it was up to them, Eric and his friend would have invited all of LA. The party was to start Friday night and would be over sometimes around dawn on Monday. They were flying back to New Jersey on Tuesday afternoon. From my phone conversations and discussions with the guys it seems as if they already had a permanent camp of about ten or fifteen people who pretty much never left the house. Their timing could not have been any better. Musicians take a break right before Thanksgiving, television people take the week off, and so this was almost a perfect storm of partying. They spent much of their remaining money on booze and even had valet service, although they said they got it for free from some guy they had met.
I showed up about 11pm Friday night. At that point, there were only about 50-60 people at the house, but you could sense that it was going to be big. It wasn't crazy yet. It was kind of like an appetizer before dinner or warming up before a game. No one was wild, no one was naked. There was no screaming, but at the same time you could sense this wasn't going to be a Sunday brunch either.
It was one of those parties where you lose track of time and expect it to be 6 hours later when you check the time, but in fact has only been an hour or so. More people began arriving, and the buzz grew louder. At that time it didn't seem like the party was all that noisy but that was because the noise had built up gradually. It was kind of like driving through the rain. When you have your wipers on so you turn the radio a little louder. The sound of the rain makes you turn it up another notch, but it all seems normal to you until you leave your car and come back and wonder who in the hell f**ked with your stereo and turned it up to maximum while you were in the 7-11.
Unusual for LA also was the fact that people were been bringing their own liquor and beer. Because of that, it seemed there was never any shortage of anything you wanted. Except food. I remember there was absolutely no food at all. No chips and dip. Nothing. It seems cliche, but the people who were doing coke were doing it in the bathroom, and there was a very large contingent down by the pool who were enjoying a spliff or 6 or 25. I remember this huge half circle around the deep end of the pool. About twenty people, maybe 25 and there was just this back and forth, back and forth with about five or six groups of people sharing within this greater circle. At the shallow end, people were playing water volleyball. In the game room, people were playing pool and betting. It was as if there were ten or more parties all going on simultaneously, and were just all enjoying themselves. There were just so many people that there was literally something for everyone.
When I left around 4am, there were no signs of anyone slowing down or anyone leaving. I came back on Saturday around 3pm and expected to find five or six people asleep or with glorious hangovers. Instead, there were even more people than the night before. From what Eric told me, there was a mass exodus around 630 or so when it began to get light, with only about 30 people remaining. Then, around noon, everyone came back, having slept, changed clothes and someone had even brought food. I didn't stay that long Saturday and actually didn't see the guys again until Tuesday morning when I brought the real estate guy by to do a walkthrough.
Eric told me the party didn't make it until Monday at dawn, but did make it until about midnight or 1am, and then it was if someone just turned on the lights after a concert, and everyone got up and left. They guys made $300 in recycling cans and bottles. At $.05 a bottle or can means that about 6000 beverages were consumed over the three days. They had filled 100 big black trash bags, and at one point had counted about 250 people on Saturday night.
On Tuesday, it was like no one had ever been there. Surprisingly there was no damage to the house except for that stain on the red love seat. Even though the guys had wanted to live like rock stars, at least they were wise enough not to trash the house like a rock star or Britney Spears' family. Instead of renting a house on the Jersey shore for a summer, they had instead done something which most of their friends could only dream about. They had taken LA by storm and had a blast. There are no life lessons to be learned. It was just a couple of guys who found a new way to have fun, and one of them even got to fall in love. They did learn that perception is not the same as reality when it comes to the people they see on the screen. They also did get hooked on the dream. I know Eric has been trying to sell a script based loosely on his month in town. Both Eric and his friend though are working at a very large law firm and are no doubt being forced to bill 2300 hours a year to keep their jobs and get one of those lovely year end bonuses. One of those bonuses would be plenty for a part two to their adventure, but so far, they haven't returned. If they do, I'll let you know because it will be one hell of a party.