Friday, May 4, 2007

Leave Me Alone! (Part One)

I’m not a paparazzi. I repeat: NOT a paparazzi! Oh yeah. And I’m not a crazy person, either.

But I’ve been forced to look like both of those things twice this week. I keep getting sent down to the set of Mad Money, the movie being filmed in Shreveport starring Katie Holmes, Queen Latifah and Diane Keaton. And of course Tom Cruise is also rumored to be hanging around.

“She’s about 5’3”, 160, blue jeans, a buzzcut type haircut and dark glasses.”

My boss Mike Silva and fellow photographer Jim Hudelson were sitting back at the office when they heard that description of me come over the scanner. I can only imagine their reaction. Then…

“She walked backwards all the way down the path, she might be 86, but she is paying special attention to the scene. I think she's 86, she doing a little dance now, spinning in circles and stuff.”

That second part of the scanner chatter is an exaggeration, and it took me awhile to figure out what they were talking about. 86 is code for “crazy person.” Then I remembered that two A-10 Warthogs had flown by while I was walking along, and I turned around and walked backwards for a minute while I was watching them.

I knew the police were looking at me, but after a run-in with them on the set earlier in the week, I thought they knew who I was and would leave me alone. After all, I was standing in plain sight, not crawling through somebody’s yard or hiding out in a stranger’s car or doing who knows what else paparazzi do when they’re trying to get their million-dollar shot. I don’t want to be associated with those folks. I was just doing my job.

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