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Almost a Star

"My first and only shot at TV fame"
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During my time in Florida, I lived with a good lady friend of mine. It was not a sexual relationship, we were more like brother and sister. This arrangement caused a few tense moments with her current boyfriend, especially when they were having a verbal disagreement.

She would say something to him like, "Drac never yells at me". He would then give me a dirty look. After one of these incidents, I took him to a local bar for some alcohol and discussion. I was able to convince him that I have never had any interest in her as anything other than a friend. But I have strayed off the path. 

To continue: My friend was always trying to get me discovered and employed on my talent. The problem was that men whose major talent was dressing and sounding like Count Dracula were not in real high demand except during Halloween.

Now she was really connected in the broadcast industry and after a few phone calls she had set up an interview with a local TV station. It seems they were looking for a horror movie host. Now horror movie hosts were really big for a while and almost every major city had one or more.

The interview went very well and the station manager stated she was indeed looking for a host and was so impressed that she arranged for me to have a demo tape made the following day. I raced back to my friend's house with the good news and we commenced packing my makeup case and tux.

We arrived at the station and were escorted back to the make-up room. If you have never been to a local TV station you would be shocked at how small they are. Well, with the help of my friend I stripped down to my shorts and began the long process of making myself into the Count. Finally made up and dressed, I walked out into the set.

However when they fired up the studio lights one of the cameramen said, "You look pink", and he turned one of the monitors around for me to see. Six months in the Florida sun had turned my natural dark Italian features ever darker and with the normal amount of make up I used it gave me a pink hue.

I returned to the dressing room and stripped down again and with the help of my friend, we begin to apply multiple and heavier layers of clown white make-up. Finally smoothed out and powered down I returned to the studio. This time I was properly dead white under all the lights.

I was given a script to read as though I would have been on the air. It was a low budget horror movie filmed in Italy and the director and actors all had Italian names, not much of a challenge for me. After about an hour it was over and I think it took me longer to remove all the make-up than it did to apply it.

The cameraman and producer both said it looked and sounded great. Years on the road and dealing with those in the broadcast industry had taught me to spot someone telling a lie, and they were not. I was really happy and went back to my friend's house to wait for the call to come in and set up a shooting schedule.

Well, the Station Manager did call, but only to inform me that they were not going to use me despite my looks and voice. It seems that Elvira, Mistress of The Dark had just been released for syndication and they were going to go with her. Such is life...


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