Life in Spain
By Matt Price
am saved by a tattooed 18-year-old wardrobe assistant who looks
like a cooler Spanish version of my cousin Julie. When you travel,
everyone you meet looks like a foreign version of someone you know,
and I am certain of this because I've been out of the country one
other time. Cooler Spanish Cousin kisses me twice on the cheeks
and takes me into a trailer to find an outfit that is "muy
loco." After trying on fifteen different options, each one
more muy loco than the next, she settles on her favorite: very tight
blue warm up pants, a beat up red parka, one black shoe, one white
shoe, and a hunter's cap. I want to ask her why someone needs a
"muy loco" outfit to chase a cat around. I want to ask
why I'm here at all. I want to ask if all of those tattoos hurt.
I instead say "gracias," and an American actor from another
cat-chasing spot walks in. I've never been so happy to see an actor
from Los Angeles. We shake hands and exchange agent information
which only doesn't annoy me when in Spain, and he leaves. Cooler
Spanish cousin says, "You lucky
he work with cat."
do you mean? I work with cat, don't I?"
You work with car."
What do I do with car?"
communications had gone as far as they could. A car? What kind of
operation is this? Is Spain full of lunatics? And then I realize
why they spent so many Euros to get me here. This isn't a dog food
commercial shoot. It's a porn shot. It's a porn shoot for people
with balding men fetishes. Scalps Gone Wild. This muy loco
costume is a ruse. I'll be showing my chorizo by sun-up tomorrow.
at my hotel, I order room service and pace around my room. I've
been awake for about 36 hours. I'm losing my mind. There's a discotheque
in the lobby downstairs, and I walk past that to get to the library
so I can go online to see if the Cubs won. All of the AOL commands
are in Spanish. What am I doing here?
my friend. Mo-nay."
For a dog food commercial? You're such a sell out."
out? How? You can't be a sell out if you got nothing to sell."
upstairs and call Tamara. I call my sister. I call my parents.
how's it going?"
good. Aren't you in Spain?"
yup. But enough about me. What's going on in the states?"
much different than yesterday
when you left the states."
hours later, my silent driver takes me to the porn shoot in suburban
Madrid. It's 5 AM. It's dark out. I wonder if the shoot will be
with men or women. I've never kissed a man before, let alone had
sex with one. I wonder if it's different in Spain. America's Greatest
Hits plays on the CD player. Is "Ventura Highway" some
euphemism for a Spanish sexual position that I will soon come to
we arrive, I put on my super tight, pre-sex warm up pants and meet
Victor, the director. He explains the shot: I am supposed to chase
a car down the street, yelling "hey!" at the car, you
know, like a dog would.
but like a dog would."
course, like a dog would say 'hey.' Victor yelled "actionne!,"
and I chased the car. He yelled "coupez!," and I stopped.
I did this about fifteen times, and Victor came over and with his
thick yet gentle Spanish accent said, "fantastic, Matt, fantastic
act more like a dog if possible. If not, it's OK. It's great."
I did it another fifteen times, and Luka, the lone English speaking
P.A., tells me that he can drive me back to the hotel now, and just
like that, we were done. Apparently Victor, the Spanish director,
ended the shoot early because he had to be home by sunset every
Friday. "He is
how you say
Jewish?" So that's
it. No kidnapping. No Scalps Gone Wild. Just a good, old fashioned
dog food commercial which, to me, was the weirdest outcome of all.
the hotel, I take advantage of my delirious state and ask Luka if
he had any idea why I was flown 7,000 miles to wear a muy loco outfit
and chase a car down the street. He laughs and tells me that they
actually had auditions in Spain, and they couldn't find anybody.
Then they had auditions in England and couldn't find anybody. And
so they had auditions in Los Angeles, and now "here you are."
He tells me also that the Spanish commercial industry or "publicite"
wasn't very big, and that's why they're hiring American actors.
actors that are Spanish, they are
how you say
They are not
the ones with character. Like
and he says, "You should be flattered though. You were literally
the best dog imperson-ee-ator in the world."
next morning, I sit in the Delta Crown Room in Madrid waiting for
my plane back to America. The room is full of loud Americans complaining
about the pulp in the orange juice. I overhear a small tour group
from Florida talking about how Curb Your Enthusiasm is the
funniest show on TV, and "Did you see the one where Larry told
the black guy to get his car because he thought he was the valet?"
That's so American," I muttered under my breath, as I left
the Madrid Crown Room for the main terminal to get one more glimpse
of the beautiful Spaniards walking by.
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