On Saturday night I was supposed to go to this Young Hollywood party
. However, I wasn't feeling really young, and so decided to not be the guy who goes to try and make himself feel young or to pick up women who are less than half your age. Hello Bill Maher. Yes, he was there. The oldest in the crowd by about a decade.
At one point I had wanted to go because I had planned on playing a game that I really enjoy but had not played in awhile. I was going to go to the party as Hans. A portly banker from Germany complete with German accent and some German vocabulary thrown in for good measure. I was going to get drunk off my ass and introduce everyone to my exchange student companion. Lots of people play similar games when they go to bars or such, but in this game, you know in advance what you are going to do and stick with it no matter what.
I used to play the game all the time. Back in the day, I was friends with an A lister. Not like best man at a wedding friends, but before he hit it big with one really huge movie, he would go out often and about a third of the time he would drag me along. To be dragged along you had to be committed to the game. Although our Academy Award nominated actor had not had the huge hit at the time, he was known and was recognized not so much by name, but as, “hey aren't you the guy who was in… you were so good.” This actor is an incredible actor, and he felt that to enjoy going out, you needed to be able to truly let go which was not possible if you were trying to protect your brand such as it is, and so came up with these elaborate characters. This was truly method acting.
When he decided to portray a stockbroker with a serious coke habit, he spent the entire party shoving what looked like coke up his nose like it was the last coke on earth. This party just happened to be right after he had just got some of the best reviews in his career, and I don't know if he consciously or unconsciously chose a character that would really allow him to forget for a night, or what. The thing is that even though he sucked up a ton of coke that night, it was the only time I ever saw him doing it. He just really got into these characters.
There was one party where he looked someone who just walked off a 70's porn set down to the polyester pants, open shirt, gold medallion, and Tom Selleck mustache. It was like a Halloween costume, but he bet everyone he knew that he would find at least one woman who would actually go home with him. He did better than that and actually had two women almost coming to blows over this guy because they both wanted to go home with him.
As he became more well known it was harder to get away with doing them because no matter what he did, or what role he took on, invariably someone would recognize him and ask him what he was doing and at that point he would just go home. I know when he had his huge blockbuster, he was professionally happy, but it effectively put an end to his theater within a party that he loved so much and didn't give him an outlet to really just let go and be whoever he wanted to be for just a night. Now, he just hangs out at home with a friend or two and his current girlfriend of the day, but whenever I am at a party and see someone who clearly does not belong or is way over the top, I always look really closely to see if maybe he has decided to give it one more shot.