Friday night, the producers of The Real World—exiled from bars in Brooklyn—were shooting a nightlife scene in the East Village dive bar Plan B. “Who are these people?” a redhead asked me as she watched Caitlin, the lithe, passable young tranny gyrating under the bright lights.
She started grinding up against a tall jock in a plaid shirt. Lindsay Luv, a character on the show who was promoting the “party” tried to get the tranny’s attention but was thrown back by the duo as the dancing turned into frenzied dry humping. Chet the Mormon—his signature Ray-Bans and kaffiyeh in full effect—was pumping his fist and egging the duo on to some New Order.
“I’m not supposed to talk to you,” he said when I approached him. “You always get me in so much trouble.” Someone tried to snap a pic, and he covered his face. As Caitlin and the tall jock continued to go at it, I hit up Sara—the hot, tattooed house rebel. “I’ve got just about everything here. Look, this is a Beatles quote,” she said, as she guided my hand up her intricate sleeves. “I’m going to get another one next week.”
Baya, the show’s little girl lost, cued up an overblown ‘80s ballad; Caitlin and the jock gradually became motionless and then sighed. Questioning glances all around as they awkwardly parted ways. You can just see the close-up: He could be the one! But does he know? Cut to Brooklyn streetscape, and “Is This It.” Caitlin cries alone in her room.
Maybe not so alone. I approach her. “I don’t talk to the fucking press!” Caitlin screamed—pancake makeup melting off her face. She pushed me against the wall as I try to stifle a laugh. “I don’t talk to the fucking press!” Whoa, sister! “Just stay away from me!” Chet jumped in chivalrously. It was a major scene.
Later, Lindsay and I sat on the hood of a Honda, smoking and discussing the melee. We felt sorry for Caitlin. How can she take any of this seriously? The producers picked it up on her body mike. A thirty-something Asian dude, with long hair and black NYFA T-shirt, came up to us. “Are you talking to a member of the press, you’ve signed a waiver. We can sue you,” he intoned like a principal. “Listen this is a bar not your set. It’s not Lindsay’s fucking fault, one of your kids lost her shit.” I cut in testily. “So are you going to write a story about this?” he asked sullenly. I shook my notebook slightly. You bet your fucking ass.