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Night Spies 

We are at Harry's Velvet Room.

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What I really like about this place is that it's a very quiet, plush sort of atmosphere, very dark, and you can have a conversation. It reminds me of my favorite bar, which happens to be in Melbourne, Australia. The Night Cat is in an old movie theater. They took the snack bar and turned it into a real bar and then dropped the ceiling down and tore down all the walls and extended it so it's like one huge lobby. It's a cool sorta jazz club. I made it there my first or second weekend in Melbourne, and I asked the bartender where the bathroom was, and he said, "Oh, you're not from around here, are you?" I said hi to a girl coming out of the bathroom and got the same response. I was there for eight months, and people were always buying me drinks. You really do have to go to the other end of the world for the midwestern accent to be considered sexy and exotic. I was teaching American accents to Australian actors--it's not easy. If you can get them to say "beer" and not "beah," then your job is halfway done. It's practically the third word they learn over there: mama, dada, beah.

--Charles Schoenherr, actor

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