I held a fake saxophone and bopped along to the beat. I wore an itchy toupée, tacky white sunglasses and was sweating profusely, encased in a polyester blend bellhop's uniform. A posh-pit of tween goth-girls danced and squealed as Casey Rose lip-synced his latest viral mega-hit "Skele-Girl (I Heart UR Bonez)." Then Casey pointed at me, and it was time for my fake-sax solo. This was no dream. It was no nightmare. It was simply the reality of the moment.
Or rather, the conspired reality of Goldking Studios' hit series Ghost Rose.
There was no Sam Hain over the weekend. George informed me that our late night chats have left Sam in need of additional meditation to prepare for his ascension. I'm flattered. My instructions were to occupy Casey's time and prepare the tween-pop superstar for the traditional harvest rituals required to help Sam Hain from his pumpkin.
I asked George if Casey would be meeting Sam in his pumpkin as I have. The driver emphatically replied, "Nooooooooooo. The Crone would skin us alive if that happened."
The Crone in question is a very old and very powerful witch named Hagnatha who has facilitated the Harvest and Wedding rites of Sam Hain for close to a hundred years; although I suspect it's been far longer, Crones are so very demure regarding their ages. We must discuss witch hierarchy soon, as I have a somber engagement with the Green Witch Coven this Saturday. But first there's more of Casey Rose and the "Ghost Rose" production crew to contend with.
I was summoned to the Night Hotel in Times Square.
I assumed I was there to pick out only the licorice jelly beans from the starlette's bag of candy, or arrange his myriad skinny jeans in color ascension from white to very white. As it turned out, the penthouse suite where Casey is staying was haunted!
And they needed me to play a bellhop.
V-Dawg, Ghost Rose senior producer, met me in the lobby of the "gothic", "decadent" boutique hotel holding yet another stack of release forms, "This one here is to release the hotel from any negligence. here's another for Goldking Studios. This one is for me personally. Can't have you suing the V-Dawg, now can I?"
V-Dawg laughed. I sensed he was thoroughly well-intentioned, but his Bostonian bluster destroyed any chance of liking the guy. My age, early-to-mid-thirties. V-Dawg had a sleazy producer's vibe that stunk of desperation and cigarette smoke. Like he could see the end of his free-ride approaching and was now scrambling for as much cash as possible.
"So stupid. New York and it's rules about contracted performers on reality genre programming. Have to pay union wages and all sorts of other shit for speaking parts. Blah, blah, blah. Listen. Here's what you gotta do. Put this on. You're a bellhop. You go up with Casey in the penthouse, check things out. Find the ghost and come down in the elevator at the end of the hall. Got it?"
I needed more info. "Have you been able to determine the ghost's intentions? Is it aggressive? Curious? Has Casey seen it do anything? Perhaps a suicide out the wind--"
"Listen to me! There's no time. It's a friggin ghost, got it? We are under a wicked tight schedule. Get dressed. Get in character, and wait for Casey in the lobby. He'll be coming through the front door." V-Dawg stomped away muttering to himself.
A towering, ginger-viking named David (so handsome, obviously New Norwegian) fitted my shaved head with a bellhop's cap wired to an earpiece. As he brushed a toupée to conceal the wires, I asked, "Is he always so cranky?"
David the sexy stylist replied, "No. He's usually crankier!"
Hurricane V-Dog stormed through the dimly lit lobby of the Night Hotel followed by four fashion models in diaphanous gowns of black silk. He posed them on sleek sofas and ushered a half dozen hotel staff to mill about with cocktails on silver trays.
He spoke loudly to the waitstaff, "Nobody say a word except this guy right here! Comprenday English?"
He turned his attention on me, "Alright. Let's do this. You got your part down? Just go with the flow. Pretend it's improv or something."
V-Dawg then walked to the corner of the room, "Cue sound. Video. We're ready here. Cue Casey. Action!"