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Madonna Plays Hardball in Evansville
On the set of "A League of Their Own"

by Kathy Petreré
Story and photograph © 1992 Kathy Petreré


I know, it is kind of hard to believe that I was just a yard away from the Mother of Our Lourdes.

It happened like this back in 1992...

A friend of mine was working for Penny Marshall during the filming of ALOTO in late summer of 1992. She (my friend) invited me to come down and hang out on the set for a day.

So, of course, I did.

The day went by...I met Penny Marshall and Tom Hanks, stood a few yards from Geena Davis and Lori Petty, ate the set food, and chit-chatted with people.

Then I saw Her.

With a bright blue umbrella shielding her precious now-brunette head from the sunshine, She wandering around the set whining, "I'm going to my trailer now. I have a terrible headache. Someone come get me when I'm needed."

Gads! Was nearly compelled to ask her if she wanted some cheese...And throughout the day Her behavior remained the same.

Whiny and bitchy and always looking around to see who was watching.

(Let me make mention of Rosie O'Donnell who, in the terrible heat of the day, willingly entertained the crowd of extras seated in the stands. By all accounts, she lives up to her "real person" reputation.)

Back to Madonna...her whining didn't matter. She was being paid $3 million dollars to whine (certainly not to act!). After all, she was Madonna.

The day wore on.

It was nearing dusk when my friend and I sat down in the grass in the outfield to watch the final filming of the day. Her Highness was quite a ways from us sitting in a chair and being tended to by Gary, the Masseur.

In the blink of an eye, Gary moved The Throne right next to us. I'm talking "see-every-pore" distance. We were nonchalant (actually we were tired), and he started to rub Her poor, tense shoulders (zzzzzz...).

A moment later he spoke to my friend and asked her to take a picture of him with Madonna. My friend was standing now, while I remained seated, so she handed me her camera with the big zoom.

I expressed concern over Her Royalness not having granted permission. "Oh, it's okay," Gary said, "Just take a picture, she won't care."

At that fateful moment, I raised the lens, focused and...just as I prepared to squeeze the button, The Great One sensed the camera, turned and mugged just as the shot was taken.

Quickly, I lowered it from my face, stuttering that "He told me it was alright, he said you wouldn't care."

She whined again, "Gary, you know how I feel about having pictures taken...." Gary reassured Her that nothing would happen. (He was right -- not even he got a picture!)

My friend had picked her jaw up off the ground by now and we got the hell outta there. Fast. Before my film got confiscated.

This is the one picture I managed to get.


A Sidebar

Ironically, while listening to a Tony Robbins "goal-setting" tape twelve months before my Evansville trip, I had half-jokingly written "to photograph Madonna within a year." I mean, come on, there was NO CHANCE someone like me would ever get close enough to raise a camera to Madonna. After leaving the field, I realized that my goal had been met, although a little differently than I had originally intended. To quote Tony, "Be specific" when setting goals. I wasn't and this was is what I got. (-D

Story and photograph © 1992 Kathy Petreré