Zadar Cow from Hell crew. If you watched MTV back in 1988, you might recognize Randy of the Redwoods way to the right of this pic.
I like movies that tell you what happens to the characters at the end. You know, like so-and-so caught a flesh-eating bacteria and died in extreme pain ten years later or, that one guy married a scary hag and sang "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" to himself every night just to get to sleep for the rest of his life. Well, at the end of one of the movies I watched, they said one of the guys got out of prison around 20 years later. I wondered if he would go try to see his wife, then I thought, she'd be pretty old. Then I figured, she'd probably be younger than I am and I don't feel like I'm "pretty old". (whatever that means) So, then I started thinking about what I was doing 20 years ago and if someone came up to me then and showed me a movie of what I'd be like at 43, would I be happy or sad at the outcome?
I think that I'd be okay with most of it. At 23, I'd be surprised that I actually had kids now, (as would many of my friends) and I think I'd be disappointed that I was still single in my advanced age. I'm sure I'd be totally shocked that I actually had health, dental and life insurance, almost like a real grown-up. Now, when I look back as a 43 year old, how do I judge my 23 year old self?
Here is a photo of me and an actress who was in Zadar Cow from Hell with my ex-husband. If you recognize her, that means you probably saw Howard the Duck. She was in that. It's okay, I won't tell anyone. We were in the bathroom at the old College Street Club. It's now The Union bar. Oh, and check out my scrawny little arms.
In 1988, I broke-up with my first real boyfriend and started dating my future ex-husband. I lived in a house full of MFA actors. That Summer, they were shooting two films in the area. One was called Field of Dreams. One of my roommates was Kevin Costner's stand-in and another did a lot of work on the set for the film. I still like to watch the movie and see what items I can find that ended up in our house after the shoot. I know it's super annoying, because I'm basically playing I Spy. "Hey, there's our old VCR and that scale in the Dr's office? That's the one my old roommate used to weigh all his weed on."
The other movie was called Zadar Cow from Hell. Never heard of it? Yeah, well no one else really has either. It was supposed to be a vehicle for a comedy troop called Duck's Breath Mystery Theater - which spawned such characters as Dr. Science and Randy of the Redwoods. My future ex-husband actually had a speaking role in it. It totally bombed and my future ex-husband blew me off a lot during the filming and all the partying surrounding it. Of course, I put up with all of that and moved to L.A. with him at the end of the Summer when he was going to try to get discovered...Again.
L.A. was horrible. We couch surfed the whole time we were there and I worked at the junior's department of a department store called The Broadway at The Glendale Galleria. I sold clothes to Punky Brewster and to the cast of a brilliant film (cough, cough) by the name of Pink Cadillac with Clint Eastwood and Bernadette Peters. They also pumped in Debbie Gibson and Bobby Brown on about a thirty minute loop of the popular songs of that Fall. Can you imagine a more ridiculous, and uncomfortable environment for me to subject myself to? No? Me either.
Of course, all my future ex-husband's acting leads fell through and we ended up hitching a ride back to Iowa with my sister who was moving back from Arizona about that same time.
So, as a 43 year old, I would tell the 23 year old me to run and not look back. I guess I had to make those mistakes to learn everything the hard way - apparently, the only way I learned back then. On the other hand, if I had run away from my future ex-husband, I wouldn't have my two Stinky girls right now, and as far as I'm concerned, they're worth any ridiculous situation and however many years of bullshit I subjected myself to. Have I dated an actor since then? Um, hell no.