They say dead men tell no tales, but I’m alive and well, and I have at least one tale to share from this day. We crossed the seven seas (better known as the greater Los Angeles freeway system) to attend the Talk Like a Pirate Day Challenge event celebrating the 5th installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales Digital and Blu-ray release September 19, 2017 and October 3, 2017, respectively.
Ever wanted to learn how to dress, act, and sword fight like a pirate? Well, a group of swashbuckling mateys roped off an island of sorts seaside in order to teach those lucky enough to attend just how to do so! Displayed beside the charming Santa Monica Pier, an impressive pirate ship, The Black Pearl (or at least a 1/3 scale model of it) has washed ashore along with movie props, treasure, games, and its crew of pirates to boot.
During this well organized event, media guests gathered ’round as instructor Christopher Gerhman etc., all in complete pirate garb, taught a Pirates 101 class with all the aforementioned pirate-y essentials. After the hosts rehearsed performances, guests volunteered to join the presenters to see what being a Disney pirate was really all about! Lisa Hoyle, stunt double for Keira Knightly, and Tony Angelloti, stunt double for Johnny Depp, guided wannabe swordsmen (and swordswomen) at some basic hand to hand dueling techniques and showed off their own choreographed sword fighting.
Gerhman stuck around after the demonstrations with Hoyle and Angelotti for media interviews. With all the questions one may have for two people who worked so closely for months at a time over the course of years with two of the most recognizable Hollywood actors, I clumsily managed to blurt out “Oh, there must be a height difference though,” to Angelloti, referring to the random thought lingering in my mind that Johnny Depp is shorter than the average male, while Angelotti seemed to be towering above me in his pirate boots. Of course the answer was, “No, we are the same height,” but Hoyle saved me from embarrassment and mentioned that she had to wear lifts in her shoes to match the height of the actress she was doubling. Hoyle also showed off the beautiful sword pendant necklace Keira gifted her during filming along with she and Angelloti proudly extending their hands to reveal matching skull rings, a souvenir given to all cast and crew working on the film. I may just have to check out the replica ring that is apparently for sale at the Disney Store online!
And what’s a pirate themed shindig without a little treasure and games? We toured the grounds rolling cannon balls into cannons through a game which depended on the ability to calculate just the right timing. I couldn’t get the ball in, so my pirate host told me I must walk the plank, but he revealed that “Plank” is his dog’s name, so I guess I am happy to lose! Though I must admit defeat on the cannon challenge, I succeeded in breaking the record time with 30 seconds on the clock in a game that tested your ability to fill 3 small treasure chests with coins and jewels as fast as possible! I guess we know where my priorities lie on that one. I brought my competitive edge along with me to the next activity where I was able to raise the Jolly Roger flag on the Black Pearl with the wind hearing my beckon and picking up just in time to let the flag majestically flap in the wind. Being the next captain of the Black Pearl may just be my destiny!
Marty Klebba, best known for his role as Marty, one of Captain Jack Sparrow’s Black Pearl Crew was an absolutely charming and kind person. Sporting his motorcycle jacket of Police badges and pins he has collected from precincts around the world to show his support for the crew in blue, Marty explained his motivations in advocacy and the ways his celebrity has given him a platform to bring awareness to a plight not everyone may be aware of, in contrast to the cliché lavish lifestyle you may suspect from a Hollywood name. Marty runs Coalition for Dwarf Advocacy, a nonprofit which gives 100% of its donations to the cause of helping little people. If you would like to learn more about the Coalition, please visit DwarfAdvocates.com.
As great as it would be to continue stomping around in the beach sand, mingling with celebrities, talking like a pirate, taking photos in the actual prop safe from Jack Sparrow’s bank robbery scene in Dead Men Tell No Tales, playing pirate themed games, and drooling at the sight of The Black Pearl (and wishing I could take it home… sail it home?), in reality, I am merely another law abiding civilian returning to my asphalt sea of Priuses hoisting their electric sails and firing road rage fueled honks instead of canon balls. The Talk Like a Pirate Day Challenge was truly a flawlessly presented event, feeling fully secluded from the rest of the Santa Monica Pier. So, since I can’t go back to the event, I guess I will just have to go immerse myself back in the world of the Pirates of the Caribbean universe with my complimentary digital copy of Dead Men Tell No Tales!
The Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales digital copy is available now for purchase wherever digital copies are sold, and don’t forget to purchase (not pirate) your Blu-ray copy October 3, 2017!