I remember the ShowmoBand's tribute to Gil. They would riff instumentally, stopping periodically and saying, in the style of "Pennsylvania 6-5000" and "Tequila":
WHAT? WHO NEEDS IT?!!!
If each of you would provide answers for the following questions, it would help establish the overall framework.
1. When did you become involved with the Showmobile/Soldier Show?
I probably applied in the summer of '65 and started that August or September.
2. How did you become involved?
I was at Fort Gordon doing radio/tv with the Public Information Office. The job was changing, people were leaving and I think we were losing our daily TV show.
Anyway, I was looking for an exit strategy and this traveling show was looking for people...
Aside from my many skills and charming personality, it probably helped that I had worked on the stage crew under Jim Frey in college (Penn State Thespians).
He must have been one of the few people I didn't offend - or the brainwashing process of basic training erased the bad memories... Anyway I think he put
in a good word for me and I got the gig.
3. When were you with the show....how long?
As I said, I started in Aug. of Sept. of '65 and stayed until I got out in Oct. '66. Later I toured - twice I think - with Gil as a civilian judge for some
Army entertainment contests.
4. What functions did you serve?
I came in toward the end of Holiday in Paris and ran the Nagy multi-screen projectors. (Can't believe I remember that!) Then came the toughest job of my life,
stage managing Masquerade (starring Gilbert Gross; trying to make him behave made me decide I never wanted children).
Wasn't Carnival in Venice the scaled-down Officers Club version of that show? I remember coaching Anita Chappelle on the Italian lyrics to "Volare."
I think someone told me recently I ran lights - or was it sound? - for The Wonderful World of Summer. I was a short-timer by then so I probably didn't care.
I also worked on loading, unloading and driving the truck with the Needham Twins, which got me in the best physical shape of my life. (It didn't last.)
5. In what productions did you participate?
6. Have you maintained contact with any other show personnel?
I've stayed in touch with the Twins all these years. They're still using a press release I wrote for them back in the day on their website.
They also did a few songs I wrote, including a signature song, "Born Together." Haven't seen them since - I think it was the early '90s.
I've stayed in touch with Gil Gross too, if only through exchanging holiday cards. Last saw him in 2000 when I went north for a class reunion.
Jeff Winter roomed with me for a little while after he got out. We stayed in touch until I left Atlanta in '79 and reconnected a few years ago.
(I moved back to Atlanta in '97.) I think Dave Surtees tracked me down via e-mail - or was it through Jeff? Or did I track him down?
There go some more brain cells.
7. Do you have a website or other on-line presence?
The last is a Canadian horror movie I starred in in the winter of 2007. It's available on DVD in the U.S., Canada, Germany and God knows where else.
I've also got pages on MySpace (www.myspace.com/thinhead) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/thinhead) and a bunch
of those other annoying "social networking" sites. (thinhead was my d.j. name in college radio.)
8. Do you think your experiences as a member of the show had an effect on your post-military life?
No, I was a psychopath before I joined the show. Oh, you mean seriously? Well duh, how can anything you do for 13 months in your early 20s
not scar you for life - sometimes in a good way?
Any other comments you'd like to make?
Yeah, but I'd probably get political and offend people and jeopardize our 501(c)(3) status if we ever get one.
OK, since you asked, I'll bring you up to date. I've spent most of my working life as a journalist, mostly writing about film and theater.
These days I mostly write movie reviews for a few small papers. I had a full-time job doing a website when the Internet boom busted.
I had done some extra work in movies, having gotten over my youthful camera-shyness. When I went back to it people started encouraging
me to go up for speaking roles.
(That's the difference between Atlanta, to which I had returned, and San Francisco and Miami, where I had done my earlier work.)
Since then I've appeared in probably a couple hundred films, videos, commercials, etc., usually as an extra in major films but with
some good roles in independents. In 2007 I spent a month in Canada playing the lead villain in a horror flick, "Scarce."
It's not something you'll want your grandchildren to see until they're at least 40.
The real "Perfect Getaway" is Canada, masquerading as Pennsylvania in "SCARCE" (http://www.myspace.com/scarcemovie),
available in the U.S. from Netflix, Blockbuster, Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, TLA Video and other fine outlets.
Well, I've gone on too long. I spend so much time e-mailing and "social networking" it's a wonder I ever get anything done.
For those who don't know, Steve Warren was Steve Monheimer in TUSA Soldier Shows days.