Carl Castagna, the Fifth Avenue, $300-an-hour “addiction specialist” who, we recently reported, was shopping around a reality series about interventions (The A&E hit Intervention “does not accurately depict the process,” he told the Transom in March) has resorted to extreme measures to pitch his own version.
Yesterday morning, when several unnamed producers arrived at his Upper East Side office for what they expected to be a traditional pitch, they were greeted with ambulances and police tape. “I used a theatre company to stage the whole thing and my wife was playing a plain-clothes cop,” said Mr. Castagna.
The producers were led up to Mr. Castagna’s office where they were told that he had died of a drug overdose and were asked to identify his body that they were told was in a body bag in the middle of the room. Mr. Castagna’s friend who was present during the performance told the Daily Transom that “drugs, syringes, and bottles of alcohol were on a table in the waiting room” and Mr. Castagna said that he had written The Bottom on the mirror above this display, as in hitting rock bottom and a potential title for his show. (Clever!)
And the level of crazy just escalated from there.
The producers didn’t realize that the whole thing was staged until they walked into Mr. Castagna’s office, which was set up as a funeral parlor with a casket, chairs, and Mr. Castagna himself wearing a priest outfit and reading his own eulogy.
“My wife then sounded an alarm clock to make the whole thing seem like a dream sequence and said, ‘wake up!'” said Mr. Castagna.
He then proceeded to conduct an intervention on himself, playing the parts of his brother, wife and son as well as his own.
“They didn’t laugh,” Mr. Castagna said. “I think they were amazed.”
“Those guys probably see like 10 pitches a week, but they’ll remember this one,” he said.