“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” — Zig Ziglar
Like many bohemians, I’ve had my share of odd jobs, many of which took place during my acting and modeling days. One of my oddest gigs, playing a semi-voluptuous graduate student in a fully functioning morgue (yep! full o’ corpses), introduced me to a man with a job far odder.
This Labor Day, I thought I’d share a story I posted last fall and revamped for today. While not Girl Boner specific, it’s definitely related! (In fact, I should track the guy down for in interview.) You’ll soon see what I mean…
One of my first acting jobs in L.A. was a role in a European energy drink commercial. I played a grad student in a physiology course, studying a cadaver with a group of classmates. We shot it in a stocked, operational morgue. *nose-quivers from the stenchy memory*
The premise: Before “Joe” became a cadaver, he’d consumed GoFast energy drink. As I bent over the body in my purposely low-cut scrubs, Joe’s manhood gave my chest a firm salute. That’s right, friends! GoFast energy drinks keep one excitable! Even postmortem.
The star of the set, in my opinion, wasn’t me, the other actors or even Joe’s elevating manhood. It was the manhood operator.
I don’t remember the man’s name, but I recall his attitude. He not only operated but created the remote control penis precisely for such purposes. Throughout the shoot, he sat off camera like a professional fisherman awaiting the next nibble. Then he’d spring into action, pushing buttons to stimulate the punchline fodder - SCHWING! Up went the manhood! Penisus erectus!
He didn’t laugh, make crude jokes, blush or show off. He stayed focused, taking pride in his work yet staying humble, and between shots was more than happy to answer a certain curious actress’s multitude of questions… (You’d be amazed at just how handy an erectile contraption can be in Tinseltown—and I’m not just talking all things X-rated.) In a word, he was gracious.
There were numerous complainers on set, for understandable reasons. The place stunk of embalming fluid and who knows what else. There were actual corpses throughout the premise. Another actress nearly fainted about 17 times, and a few crew members were too nauseous to eat. But Mr. Manhood Operator never faltered. Sporting a genuine semi-smile, he stayed braced almost zen-like throughout the day for, er—action.
I know what some of you are thinking: How could a manhood operator not feel happy? Ecstatic, even? He was in charge of the starring penis, after all—and Hollywood’s premier erection conductor! Well imagine sitting still in a stinky, weirdly lit corpse-cooler for hours on end, waiting to push a button then being scolded for being a half-millisecond off. It’s not as sexy as it sounds.
When the director called wrap, the Happy Manhood Operator smiled, thanked us all and left, probably eager to spend time with his wife and grandkids I’d learned so much about. Arguably the most crucial piece of the commercial gained the least amount of glory and praise. I can only hope he was paid well. I also hope he discusses his job at his grandkids’ school on Career Day. (Can you imagine???) Regardless, the experience and his strength of character have stuck with me.
As they say in theatrics, there are no small parts. I think the same holds true in our careers. Not all of our work will be glamourous, or even pleasant. But if we do what we love and love what we do, and keep our chins up and hearts open, we’ll very likely go far. More importantly, we’ll be better able to savor the journey.
Before writing this post, I hadn’t seen this video—yet another perk of blogging. Thanks to YouTube and you all, I can invite you to to sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Have a giggle and let it be a lesson to all: Do not walk or drive mindlessly. As for stimulant use, I’ll save that for another post.
Who’s YOUR manhood operator? Let me rephrase. Have you encountered someone with an odd or unpleasant job whose attitude rocks? Do you find it easy to stay positive through the grunt work? How are you spending this Labor Day?