When I graduated college, I had a summer melodrama job waiting for me in the mountains of Colorado. And, as every actor hopes, this summer job turned into an autumn engagement as well. I was happy to stay an extra six weeks in this sleepy little town two miles above sea level, where meth labs and gambling dictated much of the economy.
We were only doing five shows over four days (read: less than 20 hours of work per week) and I was moving to New York City when that gig was up, so I decided to make a little extra money. After training as a cocktail waitress at one of the casinos, I was told there wasn’t a position open for me, but that they could use me elsewhere in Dynamite Dick’s Deli. Free sandwiches were a pretty good incentive for a broke actress so I agreed. So along with a couple of my cast mates, I showed up in khakis and a black polo, ready to train.
The guy who trained us was christened Fred by his parents, but preferred if we called him “Dragon.” In case this name was too difficult to remember, he wore a long silver dragon earring dangling from his ear. He was a sixteen year old and maybe a psychopath. Dragon did not want us giving away free sandwiches (for anyone who doesn’t know what a kiss-ass, goody-goody I am, these instructions were unnecessary). We learned how to make reubens and meatball subs and various other sandwiches that you didn’t know a person needed to be trained to make.
So some combination of us would get up a couple of mornings a week and trek down to the Midnight Rose Casino and up the stairs to Dynamite Dick’s, which had a freshly freezer-burned smell. It was not dissimilar to when the cast of Jersey Shore or The Real World have little fake jobs, except that we were broke and not being recorded. And we couldn’t get drunk or hide in trashcans without getting fired. So you can see why after a few shifts of serving the toothless and sleeveless, I was tired of that business. I decided I’d rather be broke than constantly smelling like rethawed marinara and stale cigarette smoke.
I’ve looked for Dragon many times on the Facebook, but he is an elusive man. I like to think he got out of Dick’s, maybe learned a trade, like tattooing dragons on other enthusiasts, but the world is full of mysteries. Eventually, I may have to go back to DD and see for myself.