Last month I told you about the wild way I got to be on the Monkees’ television show. But I had no idea that I’d be having an even wilder time once I started to work with them!
I found out on a Tuesday that we would be filming on Thursday and Friday. I really panicked! I said, “I’ve got to memorize my lines—fast!” Then I thought again and said to myself, “Wait a minute… the Monkees never memorize their lines. They do it mostly ad lib.”
I had gone down on Wednesday and had my costumes fitted, so that was all out of the way. The next morning I got up at five a.m. because I had to get to the studio at seven and I didn’t know how long it would take me. When I got up it was still dark outside and I’m thinking, “This isn’t really happening!”
So I took a shower and got dressed and since I didn’t have to put on any make up I went down and had breakfast. Then I got in my car and I had to have my lights on and I’m driving to the studio saying, “This is insane.”
They had told me to bring my fall, since my hair is so short now. So there I am in make-up at seven a.m. and I’m being made up as a boy. I had my moustache and beard on and I’m sitting there in purple tights with a suite [sic] of armor thing over it and people are walking by and really giving me funny looks!
I turned around and there’s Davy! He’s sitting having his wig put on, because he’s being made up as a girl. He has on a mini-dress and yellow stockings over his hairy legs and he’s got his Monkee boots on. It was just hysterical! I took one look at him, completely forgetting how nutty I looked, and said, “If you don’t look stupid.” It was the funniest thing in the world to see us walking side by side! But we did all the scenes and it came off pretty well.
I had met some of the Monkees before I did the show with them. The way I met Peter was I was doing the Pat Boone Show and since I was near the studio I thought I’d drop in to say hello to David.
So I was sitting on the set talking to David and Peter walks by strumming his guitar and he said “hello” so we just began talking. Peter and I have a lot in common music-wise, we like the same things, so we were just sort of talking about music. This is the day I had gotten back from Arizona.
I saw Peter again that night. I had gone down to the Factory with my girlfriend and it turned out that Davy had taken Sally Field down there for her birthday. I was dancing, Davy and Sally were dancing, Peter and Sally’s sister were dancing, and Peter waved, so I said “hello.”
Peter came over and we began talking and we went outside to talk and I wasn’t even with their party, but when we walked outside, they were taking pictures of Davy and Sally.
So Peter starts yelling, “Come on, Deana, get in the picture!” So I was trying to say “no” politely to Peter, but Peter just pulled me in and in the commotion I accidentally hit Sally in the stomach. So I’m saying, “I’m really sorry.”
I went home and I was having nightmares about what the magazines were going to print about that picture. Like they were going to print something about “Davy Takes Out Both Sally and Deana” or “Deana Out with Peter Tork.” Luckily, not too much was made of it. Anyway, I was getting to know Peter better.
I got to know Micky when Davy and I would go over to listen to records at Micky’s house in the canyon. Actually the first time I met Micky was when Davy and I went to meet him at the airport one night.
I got to know Peter and Micky better as I would see them and we would talk. I went to a couple of their recording sessions and I’d see them when I’d visit Davy on the set. I still don’t know Mike. I did a TV show with him, but I still don’t know him. It’s really funny, I mean he’s very nice, but I never got to sit down and really talk to him.
In the sequence I filmed, the Monkees are trying to get money, as usual, and they hear about a contest for the best rock and roll group and the winner gets $500. But they find out that they don’t qualify because it has to be a mixed group—boys and girls. The Monkees tell David he has to be the girl in their group.
The night of the concert the Monkees go back and sign up. When they walk in there’s a group on stage and it’s three girls and a boy (me). They get fantastic applause. Then the Monkees go on and they get fantastic applause. So the emcee comes on and says, “It’s a tie between the Monkees and the Westminster Abbeys!”
Now the emcee has fallen in love with Davy, because he thinks he’s a girl. So the guy come to their house and says, “You could win this thing if you would go out with me.” So Davy says he’ll tell him tomorrow.
The boys are saying they’re hungry and they want to go out to dinner. Peter says, “Come on, Davy, grab your purse and let’s go.” Davy says, “If I have to go out dressed like a girl I’m not going.” So they leave. So Davy takes off his wig and he’s saying “It’ll never work out.”
Then the camera cuts to the Westminster Abbey’s and I’m pulling off my moustache and beard and I’m supposed to say, “It’ll never work, girls, they’re bound to find out I’m not a boy.”
So here I am. I’m supposed to take off my fall, pull off the moustache and beard and say my lines. It’s kind of different and rather awkward; but here I am in my first speaking role and I say, “It’ll never work, girls, they’re bound to find out I’m not a girl.” And the director yells “Cut!”
So back on with the beard and moustache and we start to shoot the scene again. I go to pull off the beard and moustache and the scotch tape sticks! “Cut!”
Now the Monkees usually do everything on about one take. So Davy begins teasing me saying, “Deana, if you don’t get this on the next take it’s all over… you’re never going to be an actress.” So this time everything goes fine and it’s a take.
It’s funny, it was no different working with David than seeing him on one of our dates. We were friends and he was an actor and I was an actress and it just so happened what we were both doing the same show. We never gave it a second thought.
Working with the Monkees, I found out they’re really, really good. The scripts are done in so many parts. Like we filmed the beginning of the show, then the end, then the parts in between. It’s a great thing really the way they remain so relaxed.
Before I did the show I was really worried, because it was the first TV show I’d done like that. I thought maybe it won’t be bad because I’m friends with them, maybe I won’t be nervous. Then I said, wait a minute, I might be more nervous because everything is so relaxed for them and I date Davy—it might be awkard [sic]. But it all turned out beautifully and it was an experience I’ll never forget!
[Scans by This Lovin’ Time]