The Trickster Diaries/Chapter 52
The restaurant scene Candy referred to was set up a few weeks in advance with the proprietress of Crossroads Cafe in Joshua Tree. She agreed to give us a couple hours on Wednesday, when the restaurant is closed, in exchange for a mention in the film’s closing credits.
Greg, whose face was never visible in the scene, played a charming gay waiter who introduced himself to the ladies ordering lunch—Candy and Allison—as Raoul. From that point on it was all about the dialogue between the ladies. Not easy dialogue to pull off, even if we had rehearsed. And even then you’d need a course in comparative religion, another in quantum mechanics to understand.
It was all about expression and transition, and it unfortunately took a lot longer for Candy to catch on than it did Allison.
In between retakes, cuts, wide shots and close-ups, Mike sat in a corner, starring at Candy’s tits and crashing his remote control helicopter into walls and tables.
Finally the proprietress cracked open her office door and summoned me.
Karen: The guy with the helicopter. He doesn’t seem to have any function in your scene. You’re responsible if anything breaks.
Me: Producer. I’ll ask him to leave.
Mike, with Greg’s help, picked up his helicopter. The two left to wait in the parking lot. Soon Mike’s flying machine slammed into the window directly behind Allison’s head. I stopped the camera. Karen stood in her office doorway.
Me: I’ve got this…
Karen: No. I’ve got this.
Whatever she said immediately brought the distracting noise and laughter outside to a dead stop. “You’ve got a half hour,” she said, coming back inside and returning to her office. “Oh,” she added, popping her head out, “Will the flourescents affect your scene? I’d prefer to keep my door open if…”
Me: No. That’s fine, Karen. Thank you for asking.
Hard to determine why, exactly, but the best body language, smoothest dialogue, most meaningful expressions were caught on film after that.
We took the slow, scenic drive back to my place through Joshua Tree National Park in Mike’s sand-colored Lexus.
Me: Karen’s an interesting person.
Mike: I don’t think she likes me. But listen, before you say anything—sorry, I wish I knew how to fly that thing better.
Me: You brought it along, man. You played with it while my actors were trying to concentrate.
Mike: I was only…
Me: It doesn’t matter. Whatever you say will be misdirection.
Mike: No, honestly…
Me: (Laughing) Yeah. That’s the problem. You actually believe you’re being honest. And that if you’re just weewee, weewee honest, mommie will forgive you. But you fucked up, man. I caught you. Your money bought you access. Access is now denied. Period.
Mike: (A long silence) OK. I get your point, but…
Me: See, thing is, I’m not prepared to tell you what Karen and I discussed after everybody else left the restaurant. All I’ll say is that as a result, I’m no longer interested in your financial backing, or your involvement in any way.
Mike: (Spinning his head to look at me and ignoring the narrow, twisting road) What’d she say?! Come on, man, tell me what she said!