For something being thrown together on the fly, this video shoot was coming together quite well, thank you. Sheridan’s office was issuing a press release announcing the forthcoming album UTC. During the recording, the photographer had taken a ton of publicity photos. And, of course, there’d be stills from the shoot.
By the time they were done in Canada, three singles, including the band’s, Helen’s and Sam’s, would begin charting — after all, those already had websites that were generating a healthy number of hits, especially Helen’s. Once they caught up to Keith in New York, they’d hit the requisite television show circuit and the entire enterprise would be sitting pretty. That was the game plan.
They spent a solid three days, the majority of time stone-cold sober, getting in some serious work on a job important enough to make Helen a bonafide A-list superstar and change Keith’s and Sam’s whole lives. Fully aware this was far from just another days work, Helen wasn’t quite her freewheeling self.
She spent a great deal of time sitting off to herself, staring solemnly into space. Except for occasionally conferring with Alena Sheridan, she didn’t say much to anyone. Keith did his best to simply contemplate and sensibly weigh the change that was about to come.
The most visible difference was in Samantha, who was in the very process of being catapulted into a glorious career. Was going, in short order, from an extremely promising up-and-comer to a genuine, 24-karat star on the horizon. And was gleefully eating it up with a knife and fork, no napkin, please, just let it dribble all down my chin.
Which was a pleasant contrast to the two veterans. Everyone enjoyed her spiritedness and, indeed, kind of vicariously relived their own times of transition when they’d once been wide-eyed kids knocked out by everything around them, scarcely daring to believe they were actually involved in something so exciting.
And it all went fantastically well. Mainly because Alena Sheridan had the kind of weight that made every single person on the support staff bust their behinds to see to it the machinery ground smooth as silk — if they wanted to keep their jobs, not to mention ever work in the business again. From expert, well-established video pros down to assistants and go-fers, nobody goofed off, even moved at anything less than briskly animated pace. While the tiny tyrant glided to and fro casting an inscrutable eye on details large and small.
Then, once it was wrapped up and declared a profound success, Sheridan foot the bill for a wing-ding to end all wing-dings. Everyone, including the “little” people, converged in at Rosa, which had been rented out for the affair, and partied so hard it was difficult to tell by the end what had exhausted them more, the work or the celebration.
Keith staggered up to his suite. It finally was time to get out of Dodge. Forget getting any sleep. Enough was enough and he was grabbing the thing with wings and leaving town. He checked out of the hotel and split. On the plane, he slept like a baby.
He called from the airport, didn’t get Lesli in. Checked his watch, found a bar, stepped in to cool his heels and enjoy the non-stop rhythm that is New York City. He polished off an ice cold bottle of St. Paulie Girl, left a decent tip, and was on his way to go get with the love of his life.
He was getting hitched. Enough casing every jewelry shop in God’s creation. If he had to tie a rubber band around Lesli’s finger, they were going to jump this broom, buddy.
Next week: Keith gets a rude awakening.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.