The Director's Chair: Adam Shankman's Hairspray Diary #2
BroadwayWorld.com has an exclusive look into the making of the movie musical HAIRSPRAY with this special Director's Diary written by Adam Shankman. Check back daily for new entries!
I GOT THE JOB. TELL THE WORLD
Sept. 29th. Oh my GOD. I got the job. I can't freakin' believe it. I was told yesterday and went into shock. I can't believe that I actually auditioned for this movie for over a year and here I am. This is like winning the director's version of the lottery for me. They're allowing me to choreograph it as well which means that I better get back to dance class because I'm pretty much, WAY out of shape. I was driving to the gym this morning and I heard it on the news. The radios were announcing that I got the job. I was actually watching the news at the gym and on CNN it was also announced. Why is this stuff such a big deal? I guess this stuff is just all beyond me. This is going to be the greatest time of my life and I am going to make a firm commitment right now to enjoy everyday of this and remember every single moment of this experience. I'm living my dream come true. Marc and Scott called me. I can't believe we are all going to be working together like this. My parents are proud beyond words. My sister, who is my producing partner can't believe how excited we are. I literally just can't wait to get started.
One of the first things I did when I found out that I had gotten the job was to reach out and try to get John Waters email address and phone number. I was in Baltimore at the time producing the movie STEP UP and I knew that he lived in Baltimore, so I thought it was appropriate to reach out. I was such a dork. I believe that I texted him "Dear Mr. Waters, My name is Adam Shankman and I don't know if you know me or not, but I was hired to direct HAIRSPRAY, blah, blah blah." Who knows what I said after that. But soon after, I can't believe it; I got an email back from him saying "Let's have lunch tomorrow and rowdy congratulations." My heart sunk. I went into a panic. I was terrified. In the world of HAIRSPRAY, John Waters is GOD. The creator of all things. Yahweh. Numero Uno. Big Cheese. The highest hairdo on the block.
So I ended up going to lunch at a lovely restaurant in Baltimore with Mr. Waters, who was so sweet to me I was actually beside myself. After telling me that he had told the creative team behind the Broadway show to not do what he did in his movie, but to do their own thing, which he said he told them and, "I am now saying to you. You have to do your own thing. The story is only good when it's told that way." After scooping my jaw up off the floor, John threw me in his car and took me on a tour of Highland Town, where he shot most of the original movie. I couldn't believe the amazing formed stone, the painted screens and one after another, hair salons lining the street. Apparently, time had stopped in the area. It was beautifully preserved and I etched it in my mind forever. I knew what the movie had to look like as soon as I was in the area, because I had to be true to what John had started.
More tomorrow with Entry #3...