The Assignment: Interview with a Halloween celebrity (submit chit for danger pay)
The Subject: The Master, from the hit television series — Buffy, The Vampire Slayer
The Interviewer: Me (blood type: AB-negative — Just. In. Case.)
I couldn’t line up a monster who walks by day. Sunny sidewalk café, glass of wine, a little Brie. Scads of people…lovely. He had to be a vampire who lives at the ass end of nowhere. And now I’m lost. And late. And talking to myself. I wonder if I’m dressed right? Turtle-neck, thick scarf, necklace of garlic, holy water blessed by the homeless guy with the Praise Jesus sign. He looked like he knew what he was doing with his hands waving across his chest, screaming “Holy Mother of God!” every few minutes. Okay, stop. Take a breath. Here’s the street and there’s his house. Holy shit, nice digs…wonder who did his landscaping? Right. Park and get out. Out. Out of the car. Fuck, you’re not scared, are you? Stop talking to yourself and move it.
Master: Sweetie! You’re running a bit late but not to worry, I’m serving up a little something in the sitting room. Straight through and to your left. May I take your…wrap?
BD: Oh, please! (No. NO! Remember the neck.) Actually, no, I’ll keep the scarf. Sorry I’m late.
Master: We have all night. Are you sure I can’t take your…wrap? I keep it quite warm.
BD: [firmly grasps scarf] I’m good. Fine. Lead the way!
[sound of footsteps]
BD: It’s white. Really white.
Master: The covers are removable. Makes for easy cleaning. Please, sit. Glass of wine? I’m afraid I only drink red…room temperature.
(Christ, I could use a glass of wine. Just to calm my nerves. Wait. Did he say red?)
BD: Not now, but thank you. Let’s get started. I know you moved from somewhere in the Baltic states direct to Los Angeles. Why L.A.?
Master: I spent years on the stage in Europe but attendance at the performances started to drop off. One night they were there; the next night, empty seats. Total mystery. I decided to transition to film and moving to L.A. was the obvious choice. There’s a pulse here that’s truly mesmerizing. So many deliciously talented people with whom to work. I selected an agent and once he got a taste of what I was capable of, the offers started to flow in.
(Hmm. Well educated — nice turn of phrase. Getting a bit warm though…maybe I’ll loosen my scarf just a bit.)
BD: Then your big break with “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.”
Master: Ah, Joss (Whedon.) Such a dear boy. Once bitten; twice shy doesn’t apply to him!
(Christ, it’s hot as hell in here. Did he say bitten?)
BD: And your relationship with the cast?
Master: At first I thought I’d bitten off more than I could chew. Quite a full-blooded group of young actors! I’m an acquired taste and by the end of the series, they’d do anything for me. We were that close.
(Shit, he said bitten. Again. Distract him and for God’s sake stop staring into his eyes. He has rather nice eyes…you just want to fall into them.)
Master: Are you quite alright? I seem to have lost you. Not getting sleepy are we?
BD: No, no. Just a little…warm…umm…hungry. NO! Not hungry. On a diet. Anemic. Been eating a lot of red meat to keep up the blood-y hell! Is that a bat? Get if off…GET IT OFF!
Master: That’s George. He’s a bit of a pet and been with me for ages. Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite. He’s vegetarian. Please, continue.
BD: Yeah. Okay. Urm…*furiously flips pages in notebook* So, you all still get together?
Master: Absolutely! Once a month, usually around the full moon. You could say it’s become a bit of a ritual. We light candles, do a little chanting, splash a bit of blood around. It’s great fun.
(That sounds…not bad, actually. Warm night, full moon. Almost romantic. STOP LOOKING INTO HIS EYES!)
BD: The series ended ten years ago. Are you still acting?
Master: Every chance I get. I love to drink in the energy on set. It keeps me young.
(He just said drink. I hope he’s not getting thirsty. Maybe I’ll finish off that bottle. Fuck, it’s like a furnace in here. Okay, off with the scarf…who put garlic around my neck? I HATE garlic…I’ll slip it off when he’s not looking.)
BD: Does acting pay well?
Master: I invest wisely and, for fun, recently got into healthcare.
BD: Healthcare? What area?
Master: Blood banks. Actually, one’s about to open in your neck of the woods. Here, let me give you my card. Do you give blood?
BD: Give blood? What…you mean donate? Of course! Every six months. *pause* Actually, no. I’m allergic.
Master: Allergic? How can you be allergic?
BD: I’m allergic to the needles…the stuff they’re made from. Makes me break out in hives.
Master: We don’t use needles. We offer a much more personal approach. Would you like a demonstration? It won’t hurt…just look into my eyes.
BD: No, really. Another time. *studiously stares at her watch* Is that the time? Sorry, must dash…thanks for meeting me. Where’s my bag? Where’s my scarf? Where’s the DOOR?
Master: No. Thank YOU! The pleasure will be all mine. Here, don’t forget your scarf.
[she turns and looks up…]
God my neck’s sore…must stop falling asleep at my desk. And look, the keyboard’s all wet. And red. What. A. Mess. What time is it? 5AM! No, no, NO! I’ve got to send in the interview and I’m exhausted. Only, not. I feel quite energized. Alive, actually. Absolutely pulsing with energy. And not just a bit starving. Whatever did I eat last night? Well, never mind. I can eat at the office. Howard Gantz’ll be in early today. Nice man, Howard. Lovely neck…