We Didn’t “Get Crazy” But We Did Have Fun
Wednesday Dec 5, 2012 - BY Stacey
On Saturday, I attended a screening and Q&A session for a film I co-starred in many years ago called Get Crazy. The movie is wild and, yes, a little bit crazy. Seeing it again after a few decades was a real trip in time. The movie, which was made in the early 80s, shows its age at times with some funny but politically incorrect jokes and lots of spandex.
When the film was released in 1983, it played for a week in theaters–a huge box office hit it was not–despite all the amazing talent our wonderful director, Allan Arkush (of Rock and Roll High School fame) assembled. Actors and musicians like Daniel Stern, Ed Begley, Jr., and Lou Reed starred in it. Malcolm MacDowell got to sing and strut around as a Mick Jagger type character named Reggie Wanker while wearing an enormous cod piece. It was full of drug jokes, punk rockers, and big hair. It was an 80s period piece.
My friend, Miles Chapin, who was hilarious as one of the leads in the film, is now an extremely successful real estate agent in New York. He is also involved with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), which sponsored the screening of the film and the after party. The film is based on events that took place at the Fillmore East, a rock n’ roll theater, which is part of the history and culture of New York City’s Lower East Side. Because that neighborhood of New York has become not only gentrified, but has now become the hip and groovy area to live, many old buildings are going down and condos are going up in their place.
I’m a native New Yorker. My husband loves to joke that I work for the city’s Chamber of Commerce, because I (like most of us who love our city) know it well and tout its merits constantly. So it was a huge thrill for me to be involved in an event such as this one.
During the screening, Miles and I got to reminisce about the fun we all had during the shoot. Allan Arkush created a set that was a really well-controlled chaos. We were all professionals. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll were saved for the screen, not behind the scenes.
The Q&A was moderated by a very journalist and writer, Jesse Kornbluth. Miles and I answered questions, along with Joshua White, who created psychedelic light shows for the Fillmore East in the 80s.
My thirteen year old daughter was my date for the event, which was quite fitting because in the movie, I played a teenager. She got to see me play a rebellious teen who sneaks out of her house to go to a crazy New Year’s Eve rock concert. Like Courteney Cox in a Bruce Springsteen music video, I get pulled up on stage to dance and flirt with Reggie Wanker and get serenaded alone on stage by Lou Reed. Thankfully, my very sophisticated, yet still innocent, daughter was charmed by the cartoonish madcap film and not embarrassed by her dear old mother.
All I can say is that I’m glad I got to live and work and be wild in the 80’s because things are very different today for my daughter and her siblings and peers. It’s much harder today to “get crazy” without it being blasted all over the Internet. In those days, you could be much more out there without all of the scrutiny. This allowed you to make your mistakes and move on.
Not so today. But does this mean I’d like to go back to the 80s, my youth, the filming of Get Crazy? Only if I get to get keep the wisdom I’ve accumulated since then.