Today, we shot in the hotel where Audrey and I are staying. The production rented three rooms near each other — one for filming, one for craft service and holding and one for equipment and prop storage. The crew went in and out of the three rooms, carrying heavy equipments and talking to each other. A petit young blond lady came out of the room next to craft service and asked if we could be quieter. The producer apologized to her and promised to be more considerate.
My scene was finished by 5pm and I waited in the craft service room in case Audrey needed me for anything. That was when I first heard the eruption of the fight — extremely vicious, machine gun style shouting from the petit lady next door. Her passionate high voice went on with so much intensity and velocity that it sounded like a wonderfully delivered stage monologue. Once in a while, I heard a low male voice protesting or placating, but he was inevitably drowned out by her shouting. A few of the crew and I began to wonder what they were fighting about. The fact that it was in a foreign language only intensified our curiosity. We couldn’t believe that such a voice could have come from that petit woman (by now we no longer referred to her as a “lady.”)
Our DP Julian, who is from Peru, came in to get water and said, “Oh, they are from Argentina.” Then our make-up artist JQ, who is Mexican, began to translate what she could understand for us. It sounded like that the man lost a lot of money — thousands and thousands of dollars. By now there was the sound of body shoveling and falling mixed in with the shouting. We were all holding our breath for the gun shot sound that might come next.
Then, as suddenly as it began, the fight stopped. I wondered if one of them was dead. After an interval of about 30 minutes, I heard the man and the woman talking again and felt somehow relieved that they were alive. The talking quickly escalated into a second round of ferocious yelling from the petit woman. Long paragraphs, long sentences. How did she find so many words when she was this mad?
After two intervals and three rounds of screaming, there came noises of struggle. Just when I was imagining slow strangulation, someone from the crew came into the craft service room and whispered in excitement, “He is outside!” A few of us went out to the corridor pretending to go to the set and saw a docile man in a dress shirt and vest trying to pry the door open while the petit woman gave the door one last shove. And he was locked out. The man waited there for about half a minute with all of us feigning nonchalance around him. Then he gave up and walked away.
I am guilty of being heartless, but that was our Friday evening entertainment in the craft service room. As the song goes – that’s what you get for waking up in Vegas.