He’s Lucky Barney Fife Wasn’t There

, , , , , | Working | June 9, 2020

I’m working on set as an assistant director on a TV series. Part of my job is to keep the cast happy, and that sometimes includes getting coffee for them. One episode has us spending days across from a coffee shop that I frequent many times during our time there. A few days in, one of the actors — who is playing a guest-star bad guy — asks to come with me and I shrug sure.

As we enter the tiny, independent establishment, two patrons sitting lazily at tables, I approach the woman behind the counter who’s served me often before and her face suddenly changes to shock and horror as she looks over my shoulder.

I turn to see that my actor has pulled his massive prop gun from under his coat.

Actor: “This is a holdup!”

I leap at him, pressing the gun to his rather large chest — I’m a woman and not even close to his size — and yell:

Me: “No, no, no! He’s with me! This is not a holdup!”

I push him to the door, the gun still to his chest, kind of pointing at one of the patrons. Everyone is standing now and I can’t get him out the door myself, but he gives up his “joke” and heads outside.

Me: “What is wrong with you? Get back to the prop department and give them your gun!”

The actor slinks off and I turn back to everyone still in the small shop.

Me: “I am so sorry. I had no idea he brought his gun.”

The barista knew that what happened wasn’t my fault and took my order. The two patrons calmed down pretty quickly as it was really obvious that we were filming shoot-outs across the road, and they went back to their drinks.

The actor and I never talked about the incident, but who in their right mind thinks that waving a huge gun around in public is a good idea?

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