Writer/Producer Ken Levine has a very funny post on his blog about show jackets — the typical Christmas gift from a production company to the staff of a series. My closet is full of show-wear. I’ve got jackets, hats, fleeces, visors, vests, sweatshirts and t-shirts representing just about every show I’ve ever worked on.
I used to wear my show clothes a lot when I was first starting out — it was pride and it made me feel like a member of a special club. I could dress from head to toe in stuff that had a show logo on it. I don’t wear any of it very often now (except my MISSING, MARTIAL LAW, DIAGNOSIS MURDER and COBRA fleeces, which are all super-warm on chily days).
I never wear the BAYWATCH jacket because I’m afraid someone will ask me to give them mouth-to-mouth. I don’t wear my SEAQUEST jacket because it makes me look like the ultimate sf fanboy geek. If I wear the other stuff, I run the very real risk of my waiter or waitress handing me their headshot or the guy at 7-11 slipping me his spec script along with my Big Gulp.
But you don’t always get show clothing. You also get binders, book-bags, paperweights, belt buckles, pens, flashlights, key-chains, even candles. Ken has received some weird stuff, too:
One year on CHEERS we received lovely dart boards. At the time everyone
had young children. I don’t think anyone even took them out of the box.
(I’m sure there’s still one or two floating around ebay). On MASH one
year the cast gave us all engraved watches. It was a beautiful gift,
one I still have. The next season the new writer on the staff was
counting the days until the big gift. It turned out to be a custom 33
rpm album of all the scenes in which the cast sang on the show. He was
livid. “You guys get watches and I get a fucking album of Loretta Swit
singing?!” (I don’t even think ebay has that one).
A few years ago an actor on a show I was producing gave me a large
heavy rock with the word “remember” carved into it. I put it on the
front porch and am still looking for a companion rock that says “Pearl
Harbor” or “the Alamo” or “to wipe your feet”. I’d tell you who the
actor was but can’t seem to recall…
…Oh well, I still have my memories. And my IT’S ALL RELATIVE fleece, BIG
WAVE DAVE’S cap, ALMOST PERFECT sweatshirt, LATELINE jacket, KIRSTIN
fleece, CONRAD BLOOM bowling shirt, ASK HARRIETT t-shirt, and GEORGE
& LEO beltbuckle…which I would all gladly trade for one FAMILY GUY
When you’re a producer on a series, the studio and network also send you gifts. From wine and wallets to alarm clocks and dishwear. I got a bathrobe from Les Moonves once. I have it hermetically sealed in case he calls me to a meeting in a sauna some day.