The phone rings about nine-thirty am on a weekday morning. It’s one of my “agents”, calling if I could do a five character telegram in Hollywood at twelve noon that day. They wanted a beaver, which I didn’t have, but my squirrel was substituted for that. A raccoon, elephant, toucan and moose were also added to make the five character total that was wanted. I was told to go to what’s known as the “old” lot movie studio lot in Hollywood, the old Warner studios lot, and I would be pre-cleared at the gate to come in and do my thing. I was being hired through my agent’s company by Angelina Jolie to do the telegrams for her current boyfriend, Billy Bob Thornton. They had yet to have gotten married at that time. I guess you could say they were still “dating”. This was actually for his birthday.
In my being at home and getting the call, that is what I mean about dumb luck. Had I not been home, someone else would have been called and almost certainly would have gotten the gigs, even if they didn’t have the variety of characters that I do. This was to be in a few hours, so there was no wait-around, gimme a call-back time. I do know that.
Well, kind of rushing a bit, I got the fursuits all together and loaded them into my car and drove off to Hollywood. I got there and was expected as had been promised. I was directed to go to a particular building where, I think it was the production manager’s office, was to check in as use as my staging area. Billy Bob was on set filming. This was that Las Vegas movie he was making at the time. He was breaking for lunch and had about an hour free before going back to filming. It was decided that I would probably not have time to do all five after all. So it was decided to do squirrel first then toucan and finish up with moose. I got dressed and walked over to the nearby stage where he was.
When he came out I was there to greet him. We played around a bit and then I left to go back and make a quick-change. Donning the toucan I went back out but he was in process of going over to another building to apparently catch a quick nap or something. That’s what I was told by staff. I followed him all the way to the other building, kind of hounding him but in a nice way. Hey, this is my job, you know. After he went inside I was given a quick ride on a golf cart back to the office that I was using as my changing room. I got into my moose and went back over to the set where the filming was.
Apparently other little plans hand been made for a mini-celebration of his birthday as well. While I was waiting there just outside of the set for him to come back, some food was brought up and accordion player arrived. When Billy Bob arrived back he was warmly greeted with happy birthdays and they all started to have and enjoy the food. A cake was brought in and the happy birthday song was sung. I did my thing of interacting with him and the others there but I was respectful of letting them eat as well. I was able to actually have a dance with Billy Bob with the accordion player providing our music! That was fun! Silly, of course, but fun! All in all, I must say that it was as much fun, or more, for me as I hope it was for him!
The dance ended up concluding things. The little party broke up and he went inside the set once again. I walked back to the office. Got out of my moose and then proceeded to reload my suits back in to my car. As I was doing this I was given a large tip! Needles to say that made me even happier! I have done many “telegrams” over all the years I’ve been doing this but that is my only “star” one. But if it remains the only one I can still tell you it was so much fun! I can proudly state I danced with Billy Bob Thornton…well…”Murphy Moose” did…
Semper Furry! --Me Furry