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Re(1): Question for Benny regarding Miami Vice episode

Undoubtably, one of the greatest experiences of my Jai Alai career. It came at a great time in my life as I had just gotten married the year before and was enjoying my first season in the late games. I’ll never forget the day that the casting Director came out to watch a few Jai Alai games. I was in post 8 and one of the championship doubles games and I ran the game straight out. She called me into a room in the back of the locker room and started to interview me as the game ended. I was sweating and out of breath and she began to ask me several questions. Before I can finish answering the questions, she said stop right there you’re hired. Shortly after that I received a script for the episode to learn my lines. The Director of that episode, was a big Jai Alai fan. We got together several weeks before the filming and he used me as an avenue to get closer to the game and learn about the sport. When the filming started it was almost surreal. They treated me like a real celebrity. I’ll never forget the first day of filming at Miami Jai Alai. 7 AM I show up half asleep and I’m sitting in the players cage waiting for the camera people to set everything up. Don Johnson walks in to the players cage and we had a very intimate 30 minute conversation about the game, my career and speed boat racing. We became fairly close, or as close as anyone can get to a celebrity, throughout the filming. Several things that I’ll never forget about that one week while we were filming at Miami Jai Alai. Every time that Don Johnson saw me he would gravitate towards me and we would sit and talk. I remember one time it was time for him to step in and say his lines and he told the Director, please wait a minute I’m talking with Benny. He held the filming just so we could chat. We sat together at lunch during all the filming‘s and he was a very regular guy. I remember asking him if he ever got to drive the speed boat used in the episodes and his answer was, “pal you don’t wanna drive that piece of crap! “ The most hilarious story that I have about the whole week of filming was in the opening scene where they blow up a boat at the Miami River, and Don Johnson saw me there. We finished the performance around midnight and he was in attendance. He invited me and several other players to go watch the filming of that scene when they were going to blow up the boat. When I arrive there around 2 AM, he invited me into his trailer to have a coconut popsicle. It was extremely funny to me that he asked me if I liked coconut Popsicles and when I said I wasn’t sure he made it a point to invite me to his trailer and show me how great they were. It’s funny how in one week we could become so close to guys like him, Carlos Cestero who was the DEA agent and Fernando Allende which was the Mexican soap opera star that starred as Tico. I became very friendly with all of them and actually continued contact with Fernando and Carlos after the filming. It really was a great time in my life and I’ve made friends that I will never forget how great they treated me. In every scene when I watched the episode, I was standing right behind the camera as it was being filmed. Great times, thank you for asking!

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