On the one and three

Shot on the sound stage of Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota, the entire cast and crew worked 16-hour days for nearly a month in July 1987. During the first days of shooting it was clear; being an actor was a very boring job. Cameras rolling only an hour or two each day, the rest of the time spent waiting.

Taking it all in, I started to realize working behind the camera is where the real action is. Approaching the 2nd Assistant Director, I shared my limited behind the scenes experienced and offered to help in any role possible. After the third day of shooting, I was assigned the Production Runner Assistant position as an unpaid crew member.

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While my primary role continued as an audience extra, earning me a few seconds of actual screen time in the film during the song “Housequake.” The rest of my time was spent processing daily check-in of the actors, picking up lunch and dinner for a cast and crew of 300, and daily wrap clean-up.

After that amazing experience, my entire career focus changed. I gave up on acting, making film production my new career path.

The best part of the experience was enjoying a few precious moments hanging out with Prince between takes. While joking around, making up new funny lyrics to Sign ‘o’ The Times, he taught me a lesson I’ll never forget. “The difference between pop and funk is the one and three. Always hit the beat on the one and three. Always be real to who you wish to be.”