THE PUBLICIST: A trip to the ballpark is a grand slam for this production crew

Man, I love my job! Sometimes.

Man, I love my job! Sometimes.

I didn't love it last week, when our weary production moved to an "undisclosed Midwestern city," leaving behind the drenched wreck of New Orleans - which was experiencing severe flooding from a "mild" hurricane. Following a nearly five-hour flight, we had Sunday off, then a 5:30am crew call the next day. Throughout the night the fire alarm kept going off in our hideously carpeted hotel - a labyrinth lodge requiring a map just to find the lobby. And as soon as we'd begun to drift back to sleep, the well-meaning but poorly advised desk clerk would turn on the intercom and apologize for the inconvenience by inconveniently apologizing. But that was last week. This week? It's all great. We're shooting at a big league baseball park. How can you beat that? Our MLB host team has been wonderfully gracious. The production has been given total run of the park, though I don't see that I will ever really need access to the women's restroom, thanks anyway. As a professional courtesy, the team's terrific media relations staff allows me to hang out in the press box during games, and even treated me to the July 4th pre-game media dinner. I may have pushed my luck by sneaking beer into the box, but honestly, how can one watch a ball game without beer? It's unthinkable. Plus, it was Independence Day, and nothing is more patriotic than guzzling domestic beer and yelling, "Kill the ump." (And that was before the game started). Okay, it was actually imported beer, but I think I've made my point. I'm working with a bunch of very cool young actors on this movie, and they're all extremely enthusiastic about publicity. Indeed, I had them running all over the stadium giving radio, TV, and "in-park" interviews while I enjoyed those cold carbonated malt beverages inside the cool comfortable confines of a private box. Feeling somewhat parental, I checked in with them by phone, usually while munching a hot dog. "Everything go okay?" I asked between bites. "Come up here to the box in the next inning. Oh, and bring some snacks." Going to work each day at a baseball field makes up for all the awful places I've been in the past: abandoned factories, crowded hallways, freezing exterior sets, spooky woods, and sun-baked deserts. Unless the team blames us for their current losing streak, we're supposed to shoot at this beautiful ballpark for five wonderful weeks. Let's play two! Cracker Jack, anyone? Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is an LA-based freelance publicist and writer

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