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Thursday, August 14, 2014

More on Robin Williams

An article in this morning's NY Post titled Williams fell off wagon with drink on TV set outlined the problems the rest of the cast on his recent ill-fated TV series had with him. The relevant excerpts:

While taping “The Crazy Ones,” Williams frequently engaged in his trademark frenetic shtick, veering off script and forcing co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar to improvise her responses, the source said.

His antics infuriated the cast, even though he had been hired to try recreating the madcap spirit of “Mork & Mindy,” on which he often riffed unscripted, the source said.

He also indulged himself by taking his pet pooch, a rescued Pug named Leonard, to work….

Williams….­often complained that he hated the show’s unedited daily rushes.

He also griped that he “had a bad feeling” about the lack of chemistry on set, while the rest of the cast blasted his constant need for attention, the source said.

Ad libbing and forcing other cast members to improvise is pretty selfish behavior. To then turn around and complain about the daily rushes seems hypocritical. And wanting to constantly be the center of attention is really just another form of selfishness.

It's hard to blame the rest of the cast for feeling as they did. 

If someone is beloved by the public but despised by those who know him personally, that's a pretty sharp dichotomy. 

Usually, it's the people who've had personal contact who have the more accurate picture.


GeneticPsycho said...

"Despised" seems to be a harsh take on it. And, so what if he had his pug with him everywhere. The article reeks of illogical psychopathic hate-mongering.

John Craig said...

Genetic Psycho --
"Despised" seems to me to flow pretty naturally from "infuriated" and "blasted," especially given that the cast seemed united in their reaction.

And bringing your dog to a TV set is like bringing your dog to the office at the bank you work at; it's self-indulgent and inconveniences others.

GeneticPsycho said...

The world would be a much better place if everyone took their pets or teddy bears to work. -Tina

John Craig said...

Genetic Psycho --
Teddy bears, sure.

Pets? A lot less work would get done. (And offices would start to smell like pet shops.)

GeneticPsycho said...

Yes, teddy bears smell better sometimes. I'm of a scientific mind, so am inclined to follow social research; and results are positive not negative. "Benefits of taking your dog to work may not be far-fetched" -

John Craig said...

GP --
I can see how that would work. Pets allow people's inner nice guy to come out, and would probably help to defuse tensions. Still, I do think less work would get done.

I've worked in a number of offices in my life, and nobody ever brought a pet in. And I think people would have been aghast if anybody had ever tried. Then again, most of the offices I worked in were snake pits, so maybe the pets would have helped….

Anonymous said...

remind me of a popular massage parlor in manhattan, was a fun place from 2004-2009

The madam kept her little terror in the place, the girls would treat the dog as their own. they were open 24/7 and about 8 girls lived at the brothel.

As a treat the madam would allow the girls to walk the dog. one day i ran into one of the girls walking the dog down 38th street. She seemed so happy to be outside walking the dog, the madam had rewarded her for a hard night working and allowed her to have a nice break outside.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Ha! I can see why you stayed anonymous on this comment. 38th St., sounds like a Korean place.

I bet those girls enjoyed getting out for a breath of fresh air, or as fresh as it gets in Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

it was a korean place, was a very unique spot, as it was more of a rub and tug place, but the girls dressed in lingerie and would get topless. called Gold's spa. They were closed Sunday mornings, and the madam took them all to church every week.

i suppose one could get more than a hand job, but they did give a decent massage. I actually knew one of the girls before she started working there. met her downtown at a typical massage place. Was surprised when i ran into her at "golds". She was very embarrassed and would not get topless for me. She actually was very good at massage, and I would visit her almost once a week for about 6 months, until the place was shut down in 2009. She told me how the madam recruited her, as they attended the same church in Flushing. She had been working at a nail place, where she also did massages at the time.

the girl i knew was ethnically korean, but born in China. She paid $45,000 to get smuggled into America back in 2004 when she was 31 years old, left her husband and child behind. With the money she earned at the massage parlor she and a friend bought a dry cleaning shop, she had been a seamstress in Saipan and is good at making dresses. She obtained a green card by claiming persecution in China due to her religion.

When Golds was shutdown we actually dated her for a year, it was always a fun time. Her friends really liked to party.

Pavonine99 said...

Maybe I'm too leniant/ a pushover, but I don't find the kind of attention-seeking behavior described here to be that big of a deal. I didn't know Williams personally, of course, but like everyone else, I've known people who acted similarly. As selfish and annoying as they could be, they weren't malicious or mean-spirited (so far as I knew), so they never really bothered me on a deep level. It seems a little harsh to brand someone "despicable" for flaws that stem from immaturity rather than from bad intentions, especially when they act that way largely because they were failed as children.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Interesting story. Sounds like you've been enjoying yourself. I"m tantalized by that last line: "Her friends really liked to party." Did you get some action from them too?

Those Chinese (and Koreans) are ambitious, no question. Your ex's journey sounds uniquely but also prototypically Chinese (or Korean).

I've always thought the Koreans are the toughest people on earth. There's a story about some Koreans embedded in this fairly long post about a tunnel rat I once knew:

BTW, you're anonymous and I'm not, so my official reaction to your comment is: Wow! You mean places like that actually exist?!

John Craig said...

Pavonine --
Everything you say is true. Williams certainly wasn't a sociopath, and he wasn't nearly as despicable as one of them, so maybe I'm using too strong a word. (I certainly write about sociopaths often enough, so should know.)

But all of the behavior described was quite selfish, and when you think about it, probably helped derail some of the other actors' careers. (They were probably hoping for a hit TV show with "The Crazy Ones," and Williams' behavior undoubtedly had something to do with the program's failure.)

And yes, he did act that way because he was neglected as a child, but you could say the same of sociopaths (many of them were actually abused). I wouldn't excuse the sociopaths on that basis; should be excuse Williams? Who knows.

Pavonine99 said...

True, there's no denying that his actions caused problems for a number of people, even though it seems likely that this was unintentional on William's part.

I wouldn't excuse a sociopath for the same reasons I excuse most attention-seekers,though. As you know, sociopaths (and other vicious types) know that they're hurting others (though it's anyone's guess what significance that knowledge has for them), it's not something they do by accident, and they do so much more damage than an ordinary obnoxious person.

John Craig said...

Pavonine --
All true, I can't argue.

Anonymous said...

True, the Koreans are tough hard working people.
She still works 16 hour days, but will still party all night occasionally...and she must be about 44 years old now.

I never had any action with any of her friends, she would not have tolerated it. But we had fun going to clubs, drinking, trips to Atlantic city.

none of her close friends worked at Gold's spa, some worked at other more traditional massage parlors. She kept it a secret from them, as Gold's was known as a place where the girls went topless. and offered more services.

she was ashamed of the work she had done, and told me that was one reason she could not return to her husband and child. Felt they must have figured out she was working in a massage parlor, as she was sending them money each month. She had told them she was working in a restaurant, but suspected her husband knew the truth. and she was upset when she realized her husband had a girlfriend. but she still sends a lot of money to her family each month, and lived frugally in Flushing sharing an apartment with 2 other girls.

John Craig said...

Anon --
She sounds like an Impressive, as well as good, person. A lot of people would have stopped sending money upon finding out the husband had a girlfriend. Not that it's realistic to expect otherwise after all that time away.

I was surprised she was able to scrape together 45k to come over here in the first place. That's a lot o money in China if you're not connected to the ruling elite somehow. It's all about crony capitalism over there.

Anyway, thanks for the story, it was interesting.

Anonymous said...

My understanding was that she earned ok money working in the sweatshops of Saipan, which is US territory so they earned min wage...She payed the smugglers $25,000 and "owed" them $20,000 , which she payed back while working in the US. I assume her family helped raise the initial $25,000. She seemed to regret the decision, she thought it would be easier to make money in America, but told me it was much harder working in Saipan than in the massage parlor. Gold's kept them busy, only gave them off 4 days/month...Friday night she usually serviced 9-10 guys..they were busy until 5:00Am.. I would never go Thursday or Friday evening, as there was often a wait time, very strange scene waiting with other guys and seeing so many coming and going with the mamason screaming for the girls to hurry up. This place had a dozen rooms, a sauna , steam room and even a couples room , 2 shower rooms. It was $70 for 50 minutes, or $80 for the full hour the girls got just $10 from the house fee but kept all their tips. But the girls earned about 2 grand a week with the tips.

I was surprised when the NYPD shut the place down after 5 years. They did not charge anyone with prostitution, was closed for health code violations, not having the proper spa certifications, I assume some neighboring businesses complained, it was too obvious what was going on.

within a month the Mamason had a new location, but the place was not as nice. after having a month off, the girl I knew said she could not go back to working there..and she had saved enough money to leave the business...I lent her 10K to help her buy the dry cleaners, which she paid back in 6 months. They bought the dry cleaner business for 240K and had to put down 150K and financed the balance.

John Craig said...

Anon --
So she was hard-working AND honorable, paying hr debts so quickly. Somehow I wouldn't necessarily have expected that of a woman working in a massage parlor. Nine to ten guys a night? I'm surprised she didn't get tendinitis in her elbows or carpal tunnel syndrome or something like that. That's hard work.

Your guess as to why the NYPD shut the place down sounds reasonable, but really, who knows how those things work.

I'm sure she'll do well with that dry cleaning business.

Anonymous said...

it was only Friday nights when she had 9-10 clients, most days she only had to service 5 guys /day. surprisingly, about once a week she would have a female client. and some guys did bring in their girlfriends and use the couples room occasionally ...

she has some interesting stories, some customers would leave $100 tip, some would leave just $20 while the average was $50. One of their frequent clients had all the girls over his house for a big thanksgiving dinner at his huge manhattan apartment. For the 4th of July they would close and the Mamason took all the girls to Atlantic City, and would give them each $1500 to gamble with. i actually ran into them once at Bally's, almost walked right into the madam as they were walking in from the beach, later I saw them all gambling intently playing Blackjack and Baccarat.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Even if I only had to give 5 massages a day, I think I would develop tendinitis or something similar shortly.

Did most of the female clients want a happy ending too?

That Mama-san/madame sounds decent enough, certainly a lot better than your average pimp.

Steven said...

" His antics infuriated the cast, even though he had been hired to try recreating the madcap spirit of “Mork & Mindy,” on which he often riffed unscripted, the source said. "

It says he was hired to act like that, to be fair to him.

Perhaps some of the people he worked with disliked him. You may think this is a bad enough indictment but I don't think its true that his friends and family did. Many friends have spoken warmly of him.

Anonymous said...

I think it was rare for women to go to the spa. Often they went thinking it was a legit spa, but occasionally a lesbian did go to get serviced. The girl I knew told me that she refused to sexually service the women clients.

even when she worked at the legit spa, she preferred the men because the men were bigger tippers.

you are correct, 5 massages a day is a lot, but at Gold's most of the clients paid for the 50 minute session, which was just a 30 minute massage with happy ending. She did like the Mamason, but I felt she did manipulate the girls to work long hours and would reward her favorite girls by giving them the better clients (the regulars, who were big tippers , they were usually older and not demanding) so those on her good side were treated much better. this resulted in some jealousy among the girls, but also made the girls very attentive to the clients.

interesting to note that the mamason put her 2 kids thru college, one attended Harvard. She had come to America from Korea penniless and worked in a brothel before starting her own. So the girls did look up to her and admired her success. Some of the older clients remembered when she was a working girl.

the spa she runs now is co-owned with one of her former massage girls, coco. Coco married one of her clients and I suppose he helped her become an owner. The girl I knew told me this guy used to visit Coco for a massage every single day before they started dating. He was a successful lawyer in the area and was 5 years younger than Coco.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Thanks for answering my question on the women clients, I was curious about that.

Those are actually some inspirational success stories. Toughness and IQ will tell. I wonder what that kid at Harvard told his classmates his mother/parents did for a living. One thing I'm quite sure of is that that kid didn't go to college to major in art history or Renaissance literature.

Interesting that these women whose job was essentially to give happy endings all, or at least mostly, ended up having happy endings to their own stories.