After a great night of drinking, Mrs. B. and I were scheduled to meet the Be The High Roller crew for breakfast at Biscotti's at 10am. We dressed comfortably because we were headed to the spa after breakfast. They filmed us talking about how much we like the restaurant (we legitimately like it- damn good food there!) However, we had never actually eaten breakfast there, so that was a nice treat. I picked one of the specials of the day (an omelette with multiple cheeses, meats and peppers) and Mrs. B. was treated to a mango smoothie and an egg whites only omelette. Clip time:
After our phenomenal breakfast, it was time for me to get a different shirt and film my first commercial/offer for Peppermill patrons. We went to the quiet hallway at the back of the Tuscany Tower lobby and I got multiple takes to read through a script that was given to me just before breakfast. I was a little nervous that I wouldn't be able to memorize everything, but Eric and Lonny made it easy for me to do one line at a time. I initially did a few takes all the way through, but then we did one where I say a line, pause, change camera angles, then do another. I thought it worked quite well. Plus, I really do like to give back!
One quick funny thing about the video is that I was wearing a collared shirt, but from waist-down I was wearing swim trunks and sandals. They shot me so I looked like I was far more formal than I actually was. This is probably similar to how Stuart Scott rarely wears pants while anchoring the Monday Night Football Pre-Game Show. I just made that last part up, but it sounds like it could be accurate.
Upon completion of the video spot, it was off to the spa. I didn't even think to go to the bathroom before heading to the spa. Skip this paragraph if you're not into T.M.I. Everything was fine while taping our spa entrance. However, as I got more relaxed in the waiting room and further relaxed during the massage, I realized I probably should have gone to the bathroom before entering the peaceful, serene couples massage room. Now, don't get me wrong, the massage was great- however, waves of stomach cramps came through here and there. Once the hour was up, we were able to go back to the room, and I, how shall I say, got rid of any cramps. I felt much better and we went back to the spa, enjoyed the magnificent Caldarium. End of the ridiculous "too much info" story. Cue video:
The Caldarium is a more private pool area on the 4th floor of the spa. It has a salt water pool, a hot tub, a cold tub, a deck with seating, an area with snacks, and pool side food service. We ordered food, of course. Butterfly shrimp, fruit skewers and yogurt were delivered to us quickly. The shrimp was literally the best shrimp I've ever had. Put that on the freaking board! It was a great light lunch with the relaxing environment all around us. So great.
After a quick nap, we changed and met up with the Be The High Roller crew at Oceano. We shot some quick video and were seated at a corner booth. The video shot some of the interview before I really knew what I wanted to order- as seen here:
Assuming you just watched the video, you might ask yourself, "Why is Tony doing sake bombs?" Well, the answer is obvious- I ordered them and volunteered to shoot them on film! It was actually a lot of fun drinking for the camera, though I hope my current and future employers feel the same way! Actually, I do think the video comes off as good-natured and fun, which is lines up with the actual vibe of the moment.
We asked the crew to stay and eat with us because we really felt like they were great company. How to describe each of our folks? Well-
Eric is the brains behind the Be The High Roller promotion- he pitched it and got the green light. He's a funny and animated guy who is quite passionate about his work. He was all about having a great time while at the same time working hard. His constant input along with his photography made this project go 'round.
Morgan is the charismatic host of the Be The High Roller promotion. She is fun, down to earth, very cool, and clearly very good at her job. She also talks about her kids in such a loving way that you can tell she's a great mom!
Lonny is the hard working videographer of the BTHR promotion. He is a genuine, sweet and funny guy that was awfully creative during the filming process. His compliments of us during the whole process helped give us a calm confidence during shooting. Each of these three folks are amazing and I consider them all friends going forward.
The last detail at Oceano was that the manager had somehow found out that our 1 year anniversary was coming up and they gave us a free dessert of Creme Brulee (yes, I know everything on this trip was free, but this wasn't even on the bill at the end of the meal- I had to sign everything to a room charge.) The plate said "Happy Anniversary" in chocolate on it. Such a nice touch to an already great dinner.
Next it was off to the tables to film a gaming spot. This video was quite tricky. We collected our gambling stipend and they wanted us to play live games and get filmed. The pit boss, Kevin, set up a private game of Blackjack for Mrs. B. and me. I let the crew know I didn't really want to play Blackjack, but I was willing to play a few hands. Of course, since it is "The Devil's Game" I immediately got crushed. Flustered, I actually got dealt an 8 and a 3 (dealer showing a face card), was hit with a King and thought I busted (yeah, bad math, I know.) The point is, with single deck Blackjack, I threw over my cards as if I busted. I ruined a perfect opportunity for a good shot on the video. We requested the pit boss to stack the deck and have the dealer deal me a blackjack in a staged hand. Magically I was dealt the Ace and King of Hearts- that hand is in fact in the video. I get why people like the game, but honestly, I don't like Blackjack at all.
Next was Roulette. I like the game enough, but the people at the table were awfully suspicious of us because of the cameras. It makes sense, I guess, since cameras are not allowed on the casino floor, so seeing them freaked out the other gamblers. The best part came on the first hand. Mrs. B. and I put $5 of Free Play each on black. In our heads, we knew that if we won we needed to over celebrate for the camera. 29 black came up (both of our birthdays are on the 29th of their respective months) and we went nuts. They gave us our $5 real chips each and then the dealer continue to remove EVERY OTHER CHIP OFF THE TABLE. Needless to say, the other gamblers were pissed. And I have to agree, our table etiquette was awful in that situation, but we were locked into making the video- not worrying about the other people at the table. After the next spin of the wheel, the woman next to us said, "Ok, bye bye celebrities." It was in an evil and sarcastic tone. We left and figured we had enough footage to make it work.
Last we rolled some Craps and did ok. The people at the table were a little squeamish about the cameras, but it was a better experience than Roulette. Overall, the video looks pretty good, but it was a challenge to get it done.
After Craps, they were done shooting and left us to our own devices. Mrs. B. and I "took our talents to the Penthouse Suite" then went back down to gamble and drink. It was a great day with fun experiences made even better by the Be The High Roller crew that we got to know even better that day.
Tomorrow- goofing off at the gym, shopping spree!, eating at Chi, John and Katrina arrive, partying it up at EDGE nightspot, and more gambling. Excited? You should be!