KT’s One Tree Hill Memories #3: Puerto Rico
A funny story from our second scout down in Puerto Rico, Greg, David and I had auditions scheduled for possible cast members and had to stay downtown instead of the lovely Conquistador Resort (which we also ended up shooting as our location.) The downtown hotel didn’t have a room ready for Greg or me when we checked in – but David’s room was.
So David went and dropped off his bags in his room and met us downstairs with a glowing report of his “room”- a giant condo right on the beach. Auditions were held in the bowels of the hotel and several gruesome hours later, Greg and I finally got our room keys…
(Mind you – over the years whenever we would go scouting, we’ld kid each other about who had the grandest room – hot tubs, giant TV’s, gift baskets filled with wonderful wines… all in jest – but you get the drift. This time was not all that! )
Greg and I both dropped our bags off and immediately must have had the same idea – to go get a drink. We ran into each other at the elevator… In comparing notes, we decided we probably had the two smallest rooms in the hotel. Our windows faced the hotel next to us… our beautiful view: the air conditioning units on the roof of the building next door.
When David joined us and heard the situation he, of course, offered to swap with Greg. But Greg refused – he would rather give David shit – and boy did he!
While down in Old San Juan, we did manage to get in some sightseeing with Carlos Vasquez (our Puerto Rico UPM), the historic Castillo San Felipe del Morro and just below it the Cementerio de San Juan Del Morro. Both are must see’s if you ever go to PR to visit.
Our guides then took us down Tiburcio Reyes through a rather dangerous part of Old San Juan. This area is totally under the control of a few individuals (it reminded me of the movie, Escape from New York). Sensing our discomfort, Carlos laughed and tried to allay our growing fears… they love tourists and filmmakers, all else beware. The road was barely wide enough for the car, filled with numerous turns and dead ends. The people we saw in the oldest part of San Juan seemed friendly enough but I can tell you I won’t be going back to that area.
The other really crazy sight was of the hundreds of roosters and chickens that wandered around freely crossing the road when ever they pleased without a worry in the world as if they owned the place (they kind of do since they belong to the folks that rule that area). We found out that rooster fighting is legal and a big spectator sport on the island. Our Production Accountant ,Gary Weddington actually went to a fight… needless to say I won’t tell you the gory details.
It’s hard to take in the natural beauty and lushness of Puerto Rico from a scout car but we saw enough and Mark was happy with the pictures we sent and pulled the trigger for us to get the staff working on getting the crew down there to shoot the episode.
I ended up flying to Puerto Rico 3 times and staying down there for almost 3 lovely weeks. That was truly a highlight of season 8 for me!
It’s not all fun and drinking rum drinks on the beach…