These images are from a CalArts graduation prank. I hid under the stage and cut my way out with a chainsaw (McCulluch 10"). Immediately afterward, myself and 3 fellow students (Judy Kriger, Aida Sanchez & Francis ?) did a Diana Ross and the Supremes spoof of R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Judy's idea - we used A-N-I-M-A-T-E instead).

These are the only images of the event that I have and they were supplied to me by Judy Krieger.

Emerging from the hole that I'd just finished cutting.

Accepting my diploma.

Looking inside the hole that I cut.

Diana Ross (me) and The Supremes (Judy Krieger, Aida Sanchez & ?).


I was under the stage for about 12 hours. I had to hide under the stage before daylight and they didn't call my name until about 5pm. Many interesting things occurred while I was waiting.

It was very dim underneath my section of the stage and there was a small hole in an upper corner which acted like a pinhole camera and projected an image of the crowd onto the inside of my little cave.

We had to knock out all of the internal support to make room for me and as it turned out, at one point they called up about 12 people onto the stage at one time. The plywood was buckling from the weight and I thought that I was going to wake up in a hospital or something worse. Fortunately I mustered some superhuman strength and was able to temporarily prevent the collapse of the stage by wedging my knees against the sagging plywood.

I had built a lighttrap to prevent anybody from peering in through the handhold on the side of the stage. This was fortunate because (I was told later) someone actually did look in.

I had built a duplicate of the stage section that I was going to hide beneath and I tested out some ideas at home. I wanted to make sure that I'd be able to breath and that all of my cutting tools would work OK. The 4' by 8' stage sections are each subdivided into 2' by 4' sections underneath and I was going to need to cut my way into the other sections in order to breath and stretch out.

My brother (Tom) and my girlfriend at the time (Vanessa) were helping me out and it was about 3am when we decided to try to put me under. I asked them to make a ton of noise so that when I went under and started cutting, the guards wouldn't notice me (there were a couple of guards who were making pretty regular rounds). Anyway, I went under the stage and started to try to cut my way into the other sections. Tom and Vanessa were making a big racket to cover for me and the guards came around to inquire about the noise but didn't realize that I was trying to cut away underneath the stage. Unfortuately, the wood underneath the stage had petrified and my tools weren't able to cut through it. I was underneath the stage in one of the little cramped 2' by 4' sections and I tried to reach Tom & Vanessa on the walkie-talkie but they couldn't hear me because of all the racket they were making. It was starting to get very hot and I was running out of air. For some reason, I started pounding my head against the wall out of frustration and delerium and amazingly enough the wood cracked apart from the force of my head. There was a sudden rush of fresh air from one of the other 4' by 2' sections and this lasted me until I was able to get through to Tom and Vanessa. They raised the stage and got me out of there and I was about to abandon the whole scheme when Tom suggested that we just flip over the one 8' by 4' section of stage and sledgehammer out the inner supports. That's what we ended up doing and we did it really quick because if anybody had happened by at that point then we would have been caught red handed.