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Peeking into the looking glass

by Ron Walker

Jordi and I worked together at Resorts International in Atlantic City when Merv Griffin was the “Merlin of Magic.” I was the manager of Entertainment Operations, and Jordi was so full of talent and spontaneity that he became our unofficial ambassador of good will. (What the heck, Merv Griffin owned Resorts, and it was time to have fun.)

One day, Jordi and Merv were alone in a back elevator and Jordi asked Merv how he would like to be introduced at the $200,000 giveaway on the Boardwalk. “Just say we are giving away, cash, cash, cash,” Merv replied.

For seven years, Jordi was his spontaneous, life-loving self at Resorts. We even made business cards for him saying, “for one good laugh,” and other cards that read, “good for one free ice cream cone.” The night Jordi’s contract was renewed for the next year, he was riding on the on Resorts’ Miss America Float. He earned the distinction of being called, “Jordi, the world’s only talking mime.”

The reason Jordi is fresh on my mind, is he called two days ago. He wanted to get back into showbusiness and asked how he should go about developing an act. After some deep thinking, I suggested that he use his life while at Resorts as a format, and related an incident that spoke eloquently of his free spirit. The conversation came so easily that it got to be fun and I started really hamming it up.

Jordi, as I recall, you snuck away from the casino to do an errand and got pulled over by a policeman and were petrified. He wanted you to roll down your window and show him your license. But you didn’t have your license and just sat there. You locked the door and tried to think of what to do next. The grouchier the bulldog at the window got, the more you ignored him. Finally, you told him he should call the Entertainment Department at Resorts and they would explain everything. When the policeman finally called, we explained that you got a little dramatic sometimes (that was your job), but you were an ok person and, thankfully, he accepted our explanation

As my talk with Jordi rolled on and on, I advised him to not give up his present job and jump back into the world of show business until he was ready. Jordi is now married and has a son 11 years old. He enjoys a solid life, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to add a little more pizzazz to your life. I cautioned him to develop an outline of events, while staying true to himself, feeling free to stretch the truth just a little to make it more interesting, if it felt right. He butted heads with convention once and made us laugh, and he can do it again.

The next day I got the most beautiful email from Jordi. He showered me with praise that I didn’t deserve. Truth is, we were two young men and both of us stretched ourselves to the limit.

Ron Walker can be reached here at walkover@gmx.com