I was on the show for four days. I had been very helpful to Mel Shavelson and he told me he'd write me in. I said, "If it's at all possible, I'd like to be able to say, 'I played Houdini's brother or I played Houdini's assistant--somebody with a relationship to Houdini."
He was a very nice man and he made me Franz.
He had brought me in 3 times to read for Arthur Ford. He wanted Bill Bixby, who was in and out and in again, and in the meantime, he loved this methody medium I did for them.
Anyway, I started the day before the three day shoot at the Wilshire Ebell. I asked Mel if I could bring a camera and he told me, "Take all the photos you want."
I called Dave Stevens. He loved magic, Houdini, Steranko, beautiful women, and he was a great pal of mine. I can't remember how much time he was able to be there during the three days, but, he was there to get the Metamorphosis, the Milk Can, and the Torture Cell. He had, of course, a steady hand and a great eye and I had neither. We were both shooting with my Canon reflex which had a fast lens, but, we were shooting available light without flash.
Dave got some good pictures. I screwed up, give or take, every photo I took--and do to this day.
Dave didn't work on the picture, he was just a volunteer, but, the guys on the picture treated him like one of the boys, and he had a great time.
Dave was one of the very best guys that it has ever been my privilege to know. Really good guy. Great talent.
Dave did posters for two plays I wrote: "Hamlet's Last Act" and Orsino and the Love Goddess." And he made me a character in "the Rocketeer" comic.