Friday, February 8, 2013

I first fell in love with ____ when I saw _____

 As many of Stacy's fellow readers have noticed she is someone who becomes obsessed with an actor. That's how our friendship started. We were waiting forever at TGIF's for a table when I mentioned that I loved Crispin Glover. Boom. Obsessive friends for life. I had this idea for her blog to get her and I and whatever other friends to write about the moment we fell in love with an actor. Exactly how and why we became so obsessed.

I first fell in love with Vincent Gallo when I saw Buffalo '66.

While in high school I would have my brother take me to the video store and as we would pass this cover we would comment "Look at him, he looks like the devil!" Mr. Gallo's stare is unsettling and those blue eyes! After passing it for the hundredth time, I decided it was time to see what it was about. That day I became obsessed.

Buffalo '66 is the story of Billy Brown. Billy was just released from prison and has to use the bathroom. Upon entering a dance studio, he comes in contact with Layla. After asking for a quarter she goes to the bathroom and Billy makes a call to his Mom, where he lies about traveling and a wife. Upon Layla's exit Billy kidnaps her and begins their adventure. It's a story of 2 people on a insane journey and falling in love. I don't want to give away all the tense, sad and funny moments, but that night this movie became my all time favourite film.

It just wasn't the story of Billy, but the feeling that this was pieces of Vincent's life that got me hooked. I started my research of him and discovered he directed, wrote, acted, and did other numerous jobs on this movie. It was a movie made out of love and a insane work ethic. I appreciated the fact that he wanted this movie made and made his way. He's tried all different types of art, painting, acting, director, writer, musician, modeling, and any other odd job. Although some were to just make money as others were to create something. He's created beautiful images, stories, and sounds that just captivated me. It's hard to explain all the reasons why I became obsessed, but I think some of the lonely feelings, and the need to just create that I see from him was exactly how I felt.

I saw this movie when I was 14. It became my favourite and he became my muse. In college I did art pieces using Vincent's image and quotes. I mean many pieces. 

"St. Lonely Boy"-mixed media screenprint 2012

But the obsession gets deeper. In 2010 while living in PA, I saw that he was touring with his band RRIICCEE. The closest place I could see him was in Cleveland, Oh. I asked Stacy to go but she was going to Horrorhound that weekend, so I bought myself a ticket and made the 3 hour drive. He was playing a small bar with about 60+ people there. It was amazing. I was seeing him this close and I couldn't believe it. The guy I had been obsessed with for 10 years was there in front of me, so what do I do. I waited till they started taking out there gear and I went out back to meet him. I politely went up and told him how great the show was. I said it numerous times because I was starting to freak out a little inside. I asked for a autograph and he said they would be doing that after showing some short films. I told him I had to drive 3 hours back (it was already after midnight) and he said "Sure that's what they all say." Me "No, I really do. I drove from Pittsburgh." He believe me and signed something for me, then I did something crazy and went in for a hug. Not only did he hug me, but kissed me on the cheek. I thanked him again. I wish I could have formed some better words and tell him that his work meant a lot to me, but I walked away and yelled out "That was AWESOME". The ride back included calling my Mom and Stacy to tell them what had happened.

Wait. It goes deeper. The next year, I moved back to IL. Finally got a job and decided I want to get a Buffalo 66 tattoo. If you've seen the movie you will understand the tattoo. This past December I got a quote added to it. It may be my favourite tattoo.

Vincent Gallo might get the rap of being a jerk (read about Roger Ebert and him, Christina Ricci about him) but I don't think so. He was very nice to me, and I think he could tell I was really grateful for him, his music and art. I wasn't just there because he was an actor. I was there because I love his music. I still obsessively follow his work and watch any movie he is in (still waiting to see when his last directed movie "Promises Written in Water will come out). It's been awhile since I popped in Buffalo '66 (I stil have my first copy of it, on vhs), but when I do it makes me feel at home. I can quote any line and know every action. And every time I see him cry in a scene it makes me want to hug him and show him that he's not so alone. He's not a lonely boy.

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