When Stuck in the '80s nation meets ... Michael Pare!
It's not too often we get e-mails, telling of brushes with fame here at Stuck in the '80s. So this story, from Dan Vhay of Portland, Oregon, really stands out. And not to ruin the punchline, but it all involves ... our '80s hero Michael Pare. Take it away, Dan.
Dan Vhay of Portland, Oregon here, and I have a story to tell you. But you’ll like it. It has pictures. I tried to put them in order.
Leverage is a television show that airs on the TNT network, and has just been picked up for a 5th season. I don’t get TNT as part of my cable package, but I have seen a few episodes: It is pretty much The A-Team, but more high-tech. People in need seek out a team of ex-thieves and experts to help them with a wide array of con-artists and bad guys to get their money back, fund their hospital, you name it.
The show is set in Boston, but films in Portland, Oregon. With a show like this, the main cast and featured villain are usually big names, but all the other characters are cast locally; I have had many friends, even my sister, appear on the program. I, like many others, have been trying for years. Well, I got my shot. A couple weeks ago, I was cast as an EMT, or Emergency Medical Technician, who unwittingly helps our heroes (actually just one heroine) escape a sticky situation. I have a few lines. So, I show up to the set, where I am supplied a trailer that is about the size of a decent-sized bathroom.
Once in costume and all in make-up, I am now ready to go. Yes, the smirk is intentional.
Now, I am already happy just to finally be on the show, but when I see the call sheet for the day, my heart literally skips a beat: I apparently will be appearing with none other than Eddie Wilson himself, Michael Pare. When I read the script, it looks like I may get to appear with him, and I start prepping myself to not freak out. Then, on set, waiting to be summoned to act, I see him.
Now, it is a long day. I was on set from 7 am until 8 pm, and wasn’t even really used much. I had this weird feeling that time was getting away from me. Add onto that the fact that the script was being changed from minute to minute: who knows if our scene would be altered, or even scrapped?
I was sitting in a waiting area with other actors and snacks and such, and Mr. Pare just comes over and sits right down one chair away. Commence inner-freaking out. We are there for a long time. I had been trying to take notice of his demeanor throughout the day, seeing if he looked approachable or not. Well, he was.
ME: "Can I tell you something?"
ME: "I have so many friends, and myself included, who are absolutely stoked that I get to act with you today. We’re all just really big fans, honest. My wife almost flew back from visiting her Mom when I told her I might meet you. We have a few of your movies, we just watched Streets of Fire the other night. Sorry if I seem Stuck in the 80’s (that’s right, I said it), but Streets, Philadelphia Experiment, Eddie & The Cruises, just good movies. I even have the complete Greatest American Hero."
PARE: "That was my first acting gig."
ME: "Really? Awesome. Anyway, it’s just really cool to meet you."
PARE: "No problem, that’s great, thanks.” He even let me take a photo or two.
And that would be it. The scene we were supposed to have was altered, so the line I was going to say to him, I said to someone else. If they cut it right, MAYBE we get in the same frame.
But you know what? Doesn’t matter.
If I had to choose between acting in a small scene with him and never talk with him, versus having that moment? I’d choose the moment. Michael Pare was never a big star. His biggest 3 movies of the 80’s were not huge hits; heck, I would argue the soundtracks were more successful. But I think they were really good movies, and to meet someone like that? Well, it was just great. Of course, I should have known the day was going to go well. Because, there was this omen. You see, I found a little good-luck talisman sitting at the craft service table . . .
Forever Stuck in the 80’s,
Dan Vhay, a.k.a. Alyfox,