Meeting Doug Jones
May is turning out to be a very good month for me.
first Saturday of the month, I had my first film auditions, and I
feel very confident about the results, though I will not learn for
sure until the end of the month. These were nothing huge, and certainly
nothing with the potential to shoot me into superstardom overnight-
simply some South Bend, Indiana filmmakers needing actors for their
indie films. I also studied hard, and am looking at a couple Bs and
an A for my college finals. The script for my own future film (hopefully)
is starting to take shape. I’m hanging out with friends I haven’t
seen all year, spending a lot of time at the lake, and slowly molding
my overweight body into something much healthier. My twenty-first
birthday is two months away.
life sounds perfect, but there was a time, less than a year ago, actually,
when I was miserable. Thoughts about the future brought about anguish
so strong that it wasn’t long before it became physical pain.
have wanted to be in movies and on TV since I was able to recognize
that the people on the screen were simply pretending. But in the world
of Julia Roberts and Melissa Joan Hart, you don’t see many tall,
fat girls. That’s me- the girl who has trouble fitting into
one-piece school desks. That dream was quickly squashed, and I quit
caring what I looked like.
graduated from high school, and, with the acting possibility firmly
out of mind, took a job at the local Wal-Mart. However, like many
who came before me, I very quickly realized that the job sucked to
no end, and so I enrolled in some online education classes.
remember the date of my catalyst perfectly: August 11, 2008. I had
the evening off, and was home when my father came home from work.
I love my dad, but sometimes he comes home in a nasty mood, and that’s
about when I high-tail it anywhere else. That evening, it was something
I supposedly did (no proof yet as to if I did it). I grabbed my wallet
and my car keys and fired up my ’87 Cavalier and made a dash
for the Auburn-Garrett drive-in.
first film was the third “Mummy” movie; the second was
Hellboy II. I didn’t pay much attention while Brendan Frasier
hammed it up, but I truly couldn’t take my eyes away from the
blue dude in the Hellboy movie. I hadn’t seen the first one,
so it was new to me. I went home and hit Wikipedia, and about had
a stroke. Geez, that guy is NORMAL-looking!
back to now, nine months later. I’m standing in the middle of
the Horizon Center, wearing my favorite full black skirt and blue
wrap, half an hour before the VIP party. (I’m chronically early;
I overschedule drive times, because I have no sense of direction to
speak of, and hate being lost AND late.) I’m wandering around
by myself, mentally attempting to beat away my wallflower act; I’m
loosing horribly. I’m half sick with nervousness, and chug a
Coke to try to get hydrated. It backfired- caffeine kicked in and
made me even more jittery.
nervousness was two-fold: he’d dislike me, and he’d be
mean. We have all heard the horror stories of people who meet those
celebrities whom they look up to, of how those people turn out to
be monsters in the worst sense. I was praying he wouldn’t be
like that. I had heard so many wonderful things about him and his
wife, and I hoped they were true.
chugged another pop. (For those of you who have never been in Indiana,
“pop” means the fizzy sweet drink that is also commonly
called soda.) I went for Diet this time, though. I gathered what wits
I hadn’t left at home, and went back out into the lobby …
and that is where I saw Doug Jones in person for the first time.
the Wallflower took over. I just stood around like a moron, trying
to catch his eye. Thankfully, a couple people came over to me and
spoke with me. I’m horrible at names, so I couldn’t tell
you who they were, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not
grateful that they did, because they helped me elbow the Wallflower
a couple times, so that I was able to peek out.
Jones finished his conversation, and came over. He said that I looked
familiar. Indeed, I had added him on Facebook and Myspace, and had
messaged him a couple of times. I got a hug, and he held my hands
like we were old friends. He got called away to speak with other people,
and I wandered around a little bit.
found myself back in the stifling VIP room. Being in the muggy chamber
did somehow help my nerves; perhaps that is the key- the Wallflower
doesn’t like stuffy areas. I actually struck up a conversation
with a wonderfully nice woman, who offered to get take pictures for
me, since I had forgotten to take a camera. Her name was Tammy. I
hadn’t expected to make a friend that night, but I guess I did.
That’s definitely not a bad thing!
were close to where Doug and his “entourage” were, so
we wandered around back and waited a few moments. There, I noticed
Mrs. Laurie, Doug’s wife, whom I had recognized from a note
Doug had posted on Facebook, about their being married 25 years. (Congrats!)
She looked nice, and the Wallflower was quietly grumbling somewhere
else, so I introduced myself. She was nice- gave me a hug, too, and
made me feel like I had known her for a long time. Then Doug came
over, and Tammy reappeared from the mass of people with her camera,
and we posed. Doug then took me by the hands again, and asked me why
I had driven so far from my hometown of Angola to be at the screening.
I told him.
wanted a chance to meet my role model, Mr. Jones.”
Maybe it was just my perspective - at five-foot-ten, I still had to
look up to him a bit - but his eyes seemed to bug a little.
“Me? You mean me?”
I croaked out a “yeah” and got another “Dougie huggie.”
I didn’t see another sign of the Wallflower that night.
long after that, it was time to head to the screening auditorium.
I wandered over to the seat I had claimed (by means of a paper with
my name haphazardly scribbled on it), getting lost once, of course.
I found myself seated next to a pretty blond lady in black who couldn’t
have been TOO much older than I am. She was very friendly, and shook
my hand. Her husband came over, and I delightedly realized that I
was sitting next to Morgan Mead, the director, and his wife Mallory.
thank-yous, and acknowledgements started; I clapped enthusiastically
for each person mentioned. I was eager to see the film. Finally, the
lights went out.
have seen many, many films in the past year. Netflix is my cocaine,
and the people who work at the discount movie theater in Fort Wayne
almost know me by name. There was one flaw in the movie: In one scene,
Jerry starts out empty-handed. He then magically acquires a drink,
which disappears the soon afterwards. Other than that, it was perfect.
It was a very good thing I had decided against eye makeup, or I’d
still be scrubbing that crap off my cheeks. I laughed so hard the
tears were running out of both eyes, and my sides hurt. But the ending
about broke my heart.
film ended, the lights came back on, and I took a moment to gather
myself again. I then sought out Mr. Mead, to introduce myself and
ask for advice as an aspiring actor. He told me to just keep at it,
and to deal with the disappointment, and said, “It took three
years to get Ball State to do My Name is Jerry, two and a half years
to convince Roger Smith, and then he had to convince the university.”
is nearing five in the morning as I write this. I have not slept since
I arrived home from the screening. Sometimes, you know when you’re
in need of a change; sometimes, you realize when something has impacted
have been to England, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. I
have been to every Disney park in Florida, and seen our nation’s
capital. I have seen Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and Fleetwood
Mac in concert, in the good seats. I have seen a lot for my young
beats meeting your role model, and finding out that you looked up
to him or her for the right reasons.
week, I go to the Motor City Comic Con, and there I’ll meet
Mr. Jones again.
is turning out to be a very good month for me.
Indiana, U.S.A., 8th May, 2009