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Tattoo imitator a fantasy?

October 19, 2003|Michael T. Jarvis

Gabriel Lorenzo thought it would be easy to find a little person to revive the diminutive role of Tattoo from "Fantasy Island" and accompany his friend -- portraying Mr. Roarke -- for Halloween. "I figure there has to be a little person in the L.A. area that wants to have fun," Lorenzo says.

But he's come up short despite advertising in an alternative weekly. Lorenzo, a full-time contract negotiator, says his ad was too politically correct. "I didn't want to offend anyone. It said 'Little person wanted to play Tattoo.' I think it was too broad. A lot of people consider themselves 'little.' We want someone similar in size to Herve Villechaize. The reason we said 'little person' is not to offend people -- but you've got to be literal about what you're asking about."

He's not been overrun by would-be Tattoos. "I've already had two responses," he says. "The first one was from a guy. He said he was a little guy, but he's not exactly a midget. He was about 5- foot-6, 130 pounds."

The second, he says, was from a woman who "just kept repeating, 'The plane, the plane.' "

Lorenzo's friend, Miguel Velasquez of Austin, Texas, will imitate the role made famous by Ricardo Montalban in a white tuxedo. But without Tattoo, Lorenzo says, "I don't know what they'll think he is. Maybe James Bond in a white tux?"

It's possible that, issues of political correctness aside (that "person as accessory" thing is always a little problematic), the compensation they have in mind is a factor.

"We aren't paying," Lorenzo says, "but we'll get him a small white tux and pay for drinks and dinner. He'd probably have a good time with us. We're going to get him a little bushy black wig. Hopefully it's a good-spirited guy who wants to have fun. We're going to the Halloween party at the Highlands at the Kodak Theatre."

Lorenzo's group already includes a "Star Wars" storm trooper, the Blues Brothers, a lawn gnome and some mariachis. And if no Tattoo comes along for his friend, he adds, "we'll have to find a different approach."

-- Michael T. Jarvis

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