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Mark LutzMark Lutz’s tribute to Andy Hallett
Sunday 28 March 2010, by Webmaster
Everybody loved Andy. He made friends wherever he went, and I’m not just talking about passing friends, your run of the mill variety, but good ones, the kind that last a lifetime. Between his childhood friends in his hometown of Osterville, MA, and his adoptive home in Los Angeles - not to mention the ridiculous amount of people he met at the Angel conventions he attended in every corner of the world - he literally had friends everywhere. People often throw around the term “winning personality”, but with Andy, it was more than that. Andy’s personality was like a friendship smart-bomb. He could talk to anyone, of any age, any background, find a common thread, and within minutes make them feel as though they had been life-long friends. I know, I saw it happen a million times in person and moreover, it happened to me.
I met Andy my very first day on set. I had just stepped out of a trailer after an hour long make-up test for Groo, and was covered from head-to-toe in metallic, cobalt-blue make-up (the original idea for the character, that was thankfully scrapped) when I ran into him. He was in full Lorne garb, head-to-toe green , and I having never seen the show before, had no idea who he was.
“How long?” Andy asked me with a short-hand usually reserved for old friends and siblings, not complete and utter strangers.
“About an hour” I replied, all the while sizing him up. His make-up was really quite intricate and all together seamless. You could read the expressions on his face in the same manner you could on someone completely devoid of the stuff. “You?”
“THREE hours, ya f—king lucky bastard.” I laughed out loud at both his audacity and his misfortune. We became best friends immediately.
The rapport was instant, easy going, and warm. We spent the next hour talking about everything under the sun EXCEPT for the fact that we were both different colors and in these outrageous outfits on the ....Paramount.... back lot. Executives in suits would occasionally pass by us, everyone of them giving us some manner of ‘look’ that involved a combination of curiosity, mild-amusement and disbelief. Andy seized on every opportunity he could to make them laugh.
“Humans,” he said loudly in feigned disgust, “don’t they know it’s not polite to stare?”, to a gaggle of “suits” across the street.
“Who raised you, anyway Ma’am? Have you no respect for visible minorities?”, he inquired of who I instantly recognized as former head of Paramount Pictures, Sherry Lansing - but he, obviously, did not. She laughed heartedly and nodded in the direction of both the blue and green humanoids that had just verbally accosted her …an absurdity that I’m sure only could take place in ....Hollywood.....
Andy was invincible and absolutely fearless in his Lorne garb, and even though he made no bones about hating being cooped up inside all of that make-up for hours on end, he secretly loved the anonymity and confidence it afforded him – not that he needed it.
Being new to LA, Andy showed me around town, bringing me out with him to some great local watering holes and restaurants, introducing me to some great people who remain my friends to this day, and even helping find me my first place – directly across from his own.
“I’m going to need to build a moat and fill it with all manner of nasty beasties.” he would joke to the fans we met at conventions. “Let’s see Lutz swim across that to mooch my food.”
That was the kind of guy he was, helpful, thoughtful and generous to a fault, all the while accompanied by a wickedly sharp sense of humor.
While visiting Andy’s place you were always assured of two things - a gracious host, and a constantly ringing telephone. Andy’s phone rang more than anyone’s I have ever encountered in my entire life. You couldn’t be at his place for more than 2 minutes when the phone would ring, and it would continue to ring incessantly. At first, I wondered who the hell was calling his house all the time? But slowly, it all started to make sense. People wanted to be around him, people wanted to hang out with him, people wanted to be his friend, and it was no wonder, what with all the energy that Andy radiated – who wouldn’t want to be his friend? I think at some point, almost instinctively Andy had to give up answering his phone with any kind of regularity, as to do so would mean never getting anything done.
The thing I’ll always remember and loved the most about Andy was watching him sing – he was born to do it. Andy was always outgoing and full of vitality, but when you got him on a stage, gave him an audience, and put a microphone in his hand – look out! He absolutely came ALIVE. It was if he had received a shot of adrenaline. He radiated what show biz types commonly refer to as “it”. It was a raw and natural talent that he possessed, and I have little doubt it is exactly what Joss saw when he first dreamed up the character of The Host after seeing Andy sing karaoke at a local dive bar. And while Joss may have plucked Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan from the depths of his imagination – Andy’s personality and charisma made it his own.
After his passing I found myself thinking that I was really glad that some of the really important people in my life had gotten to meet him, my Dad, my brother, my little sister; they all got to meet him and experience the joy that emanated from him on a daily basis. I’m really glad so many fans out there got to meet Andy at the conventions we always seemed to attend together. If you never got the chance to meet him over the years, I wish you could have, you too would have become friends immediately.
I miss my friend desperately, but I take solace in the fact that I KNOW, at this very moment, he’s singing somewhere. RIP my friend.