Being a cocktail waitress while waiting for another acting gig can be demeaning. You are there to look hot and serve alcohol to the melting pot of wacky strangers who make up New York. Sometimes there are perks, though.
I worked at Southpaw, a cool live music venue in Brooklyn. There I got to see some of the hottest new musicians: TV on the Radio, Sharon Jones, Devendra Banhart, M. Ward, The Slip, Sufjan Stevens, just to name a few. Another perk was the chance to meet some fun celebrities. There were lots of famous actors and musicians who walked through those red curtains, but one I’ll never forget is one I’ll call ________.
From the moment I strutted by him with a tray full of drinks, _______ was smitten with me. He flagged me down to talk, but when I showed no interest, he’d order another round of drinks for his friends. While serving them round after round of gin and juice, _______ would makes comments like “I ain’t never seen a woman like you, girl, come sit with me” or “Be sure to thank your mother for me.” Eventually he settled on “Let me buy you a drink.” I said no, thank you. He upped the ante: “Let me buy you a steak dinner.” I said I don’t eat steak. “Well, how about I just buy you a house? I can buy you a house, girl.” I said I’m sure you can, but I’m just not interested, thank you. He stopped for a while to consider his next move.
I continued working and soon_________”s bodyguard approached me: “_________ really wants to buy you a house or a steak dinner,” he said. I laughed and said to thank him, but I didn’t need a house or a steak dinner.
“Well he doesn’t want to do it because you NEED it, he wants to buy you a house and a steak dinner as his treat.” I laughed again, not knowing what to do at this point, but just said to tell him no, thank you. I could feel __________’s eyes boring into my back as he watched the encounter.
At the end of the night, _________ seemed to throw in the towel. He kissed my hand and wished me goodnight, leaving a massive tip on the table.
A few days later, my boss received a phone call at the club. It was ________”s bodyguard. He asked how _____ could get in touch with me. My boss said he could not give out my information. The bodyguard told him ________ REALLY wanted to take me out for a steak dinner. I guess he didn’t grasp that I didn’t eat steak (or need a house) My boss said to stay away from me and hung up.
I was taken aback when I heard about the phone call. I felt sure _________ would stroll into the venue the following weekend and try offering me a lobster dinner. The following week, however, he was in the news, dead of a drug overdose. It was creepy and sad, but not surprising given his lifestyle. We played some of his music at the bar that night to remind us of a another wasted talent.
Who was it, you ask? I’ll give you a hint: If he had ordered a steak, he would have liked it raaaaaw.