Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Southland and the Portuguese Pothead

Late call today, which was great cause I had time to go hiking and fix lunch and what not. I must say...when I left my apartment this morning, there was an angelic glow about me. Not sure if it was the exercise, pride in my cooking skills, or my pink silk top, but I looked rather pretty like an angel. I stress this only cause about an hour later, someone asked me if I ever tried acid. This guy was Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise- I could get any girl I want-cute. And he decided to sit across from me. I thought...hmmm...maybe he is interested? Nope. Within 5 minutes he tells me that he thinks the girl at the other table is really hot and that he wants to move to Brazil and is learning Portuguese in order to seduce Brazlian women. He doesn't like any of the Brazilians here though...they are too smart and independent and full of the "American Dream" so he has to go to Brazil. Then he asked if I ever tried acid. Do I look like a drug addict? I thought I looked so angelic today....but apparently me looking angelic could pass for acid dropper. He went to Burning Man last week and is still high on the experience. He thought there were too many gays there, but he managed to find some straight ones. The woman he went with is apparently a religious lesbian who taxidermied her pet dog. He is 25 too and told me about how he made out with and hooked up with this 49 year old woman he was renting a room from. He made out with her on camera though in the movie Valentine so he got a SAG voucher out of it so look for him! He was crazy weird...but still really hot....but stupid...very stupid. During a break he decided to go smoke pot. When he got on the bus everyone could smell it. We called him out but he acted dumb as to not get in trouble. I'm actually surprised they didn't send him home...other sets would have. In fact, the only comments he got were "did you bring enough to share?" He didn't.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

NCIS and the SAG Voucher

Working NCIS has finally paid off. I remember there was a time when I wanted to request to not work the show ever again, but I'm glad I didn't. Four months after receiving my first voucher, I get my second. Here's hoping I get the third in no time at all. Hacker (the 2nd AD) pulled me aside and asked how many I had and told me he was about to make my day. He did. It was awkward though cause he was trying to be discreet yet he also felt that I wasn't showing my gratitude enough. Make up your mind! I don't know how many thank yous he required but evidently saying it twenty times wasn't enough. I think I'm supposed to be more buddy buddy with him now cause he did me this favor. For some reason I feel like I owe him something now cause he is totally holding it over my head as if he saved my life. We shall see.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

United States of Tara and the Trivia Cards

Pickwick Gardens:  Tomorrow I have an online test to be on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  So I have chosen to use my ample holding time reading trivia cards from the 90s Game, Trivial Pursuit and Pop Culture Trivial Pursuit.  Of course I'm surrounded by nosy ninnies curious as to what I'm doing and eager to play as well and all are mighty impressed with my trivial knowledge.  Of course the test the next day has an error to it and doesn't save, but that's beside the point and I can proudly say 3 years later I can't remember anything on those cards.  The actual filming aspect of the day was simple.  I was bundled up and watching ice skating from the side lines and was of course freezing the whole time.  But I can't help but feel some pride whenever working on United States of Tara since it is supposed to take place in my hometown and I can say that I definitely participated in indoor ice skating rinks in my youth.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bones and the SCRIM

Today was an especially embarrassing day on set where I, in all my classic clumsiness, walked THROUGH a scrim on set.  To be fair, I was wearing sunglasses and looking down at the time, but that does not excuse the giant hole that my right foot left in the bottom of the scrim.  I was humiliated and had to put up with grip and gaffer nasty comments for the rest of the day.  They called me an idiot, and at that moment I never felt worse.  For those who do not know what a scrim is: A scrim is a very light textile made from cotton, or sometimes flax. A scrim will appear nearly transparent if a scene behind it is lit, but there is no light on the scrim.  So I'm telling was transparent!! Not my fault!!! REALLY!! (okay maybe a little)

Cost of a scrim: $150
Cost of a clumsy extra: $64

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Monk and the Reunion

Dear Monk,

Without you I would not work at all. Thank You.



It has been 5 weeks since my last extra gig. Depressed, poor, and willing to do anything for money, I was called in to work on Monk at Paramount with my car. Of course my car is too noisy for those spoiled sound guys (what on earth did they do before hybrids??!!) so I was a pedestrian for the most part. It was perfect timing too because I just returned from San Francisco/Berkeley visiting Kate just yesterday. (God I needed that). What is really funny is that I was reunited with this guy Chip who was the stunt coordinator for this independent movie I worked on called S.E.R.E. I told him how the old gang was doing and he offered to work for free on this horror script I'm writing. I'm shocked how much faith people have in the project. It really motivates me to keep on working. Our identities and how we knew each other was bugging us for hours, until he laughed, then I knew that I knew him from somewhere. His real name is Lee, but his friends call him Chip...that's when it hit me. So glad we figured that out. I told him I'd mail him a copy of the movie..must get a hold of Jonathan. It was so fun reliving the S.E.R.E. days right after graduation when I thought this was only the beginning......haven't done much since though.

The guy who plays Mr. Eko on "Lost" was the guest star...I don't think he is really Nigerian...but damn, he can play it really well. (Okay..I checked on IMDB and his parents are Nigerian, but he was born in London, which explains why he spoke perfect English at Lunch...he also looks like a football player)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Monk and the SAG VOUCHER!

"Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I've got a wonderful feeling, everything's going my way" Today seemed just like any other day on set. I worked for maybe 3 hours yesterday which was brilliant because I needed to go by Universal Studios to pick up a free ticket that I got when I purchased my annual pass. I was so afraid that I was going to miss out on a great deal. I was a jury member so basically I sat down for 3 hours and then was let go. The next day they recalled me however, and I guess they didn't have enough SAG people so what did they do? THEY GAVE ME A SAG VOUCHER!! My very first one..and it only took me a frickin year to get! One down, two to go! Also, I was done by 1 pm...another short day, and decided to go to Universal Studios afterwards with Ashley to celebrate. Such an amazing day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Entourage and the All Nighter

Working 9 to 5, ain't it tough to make a living......yes....especially when those hours are 9 pm to 5 am.  Fact: LA is cold at night.  So when doing extra work in the wee hours of the night outside it is essential to find some form of heat whether it is sitting on the generators or cuddling with a fellow male extra who has an unknowing girlfriend sleeping at home.  In this case we were cuddling on a generator. (keepin it classy).  But since my reasoning for the cuddling was purely survival, I feel no guilt or regret since he has a serious girlfriend.  This was probably the most tiring day of extra work ever, but what makes it more memorable is that I started writing the script for Rainbows and Butterflies (a horror movie obvs) on the back of a voucher.  These long hours provided me with the inspiration to write a script where everyone dies. 

Friday, April 3, 2009

Southland and Dac

I abandoned my dear friend Kate who was visiting to work on Southland for the night. The call was at 5:30 so Kate and I were able to spend the day in Malibu and at the Getty Villa before I had to head out. It was a pretty easy call at the Hollywood and Highland complex. I was a journalist/photographer. Ashley called me while at work because the guy she like Dac was there. Towards the end of the night I heard someone say Mary and he came up to me to introduce himself. He was not the dolphin that I though he was on CSI: NY. He told Ashley that I looked grumpy. You'd be grumpy to if you had Kai's look-a-like talking your ear off. Look-a-like asked me what was wrong and I just told him I was tired and annoyed...he asked me what I was annoyed with...I just looked at him. He never took the hint.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Alvin and the Chipmunks and the Naked Zac Levi

6:30 AM call time in Long Beach. Joy. I just LOVE waking up at 5. (eyes roll). Then when I arrive to set, they are out of eggs. This day was not going well so far (though later I heard that the eggs were almost inedible). Luckily I had friends on set. Becky was her usual self and then she befriended a guy named Brian who liked magic, but refused to tell me his secrets...especially to a certain poker chip trick which has been nagging me. Then there was Paul who went to USC and is a friend of Ashley's I met at a Superbowl party. It's amazing how well you can get to know someone in 16 hours. I feel like we've been friends forever and we created a geek scale to measure geekiness.....somehow I won even though HE watches Battlestar Galactica and loves Sci-fi. I'm not sure how that happened but I do blame most of it on the Chemistry Holiday called Mole Day (Which is on October 23rd for you non-geeks out there because a mole is 6.02 x 10 ^23).

The day turned instantly amazing when I realized that Zac Levi was the star of the movie. Since I totally have a crush on him and all. I even got to see him in his underwear for a dream sequence. I was smiling ear to ear. That boy has some thighs if I do say so myself. He was in tighty whities. Yay! (though I prefer boxers). Oh how I wish he weren't a man whore. It was fun seeing him act all awkward and he would try to be funny in between takes.

Then we had a choreographer teach us some dance moves and about 300 of us had to dance to the Chipmunks singing "Shake Your Groove Thing". My arms got tired of waving back and forth but priceless is it to have 300 people dancing to the Chipmunks. The main song we had to hear over and over was this song called "Family" and we had to shout in synchonization F-A-M-i.l.y. I wrote it that way because we would scream F then A then M and then the i, l, and y were run together very quickly and many of us didn't get the letters correctly because of this. In fact, Becky kept saying l-e-y. It's also very difficult to chant the word chipmunk over and over again. I started realizing after awhile that I was saying shitmunk. It's much easier to say. Crazy times. Family was their song entry into the all high school talent show. Apparently Charice Pempengco, the famous girl from the Philippines who has been featured on Oprah many times, is from a local high school......also from a local high school...the break dance crew Quest which has Hawk and Dominick from "So You Think You Can Dance" in it. That was pretty amazing. They were doing flips and tricks left and right. It was phenomenal. When I wasn't jumping up and down shouting F-A-M-I-L-Y, I was sitting in the bleachers at the top where they had these crazy dummies. They all had man faces except some had makeup to make them look like women. It was amazing. Here is a pic of me and the best dummy there.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Criminal Minds and the Stairmaster

There are a lot of similarities between being really tired and really drunk. For instance - poor motor skills, slurred speech, and loopy vision caused by exceedingly longer blinks. However, it is known that people usually get more attractive if you are drunk, but when you're tired...the world is ugly and you just want to get home. We wrapped at about 2:30 am, which would normally be my bedtime one would say, except in my lovely apartment, I am not walking up and down stairs in a poorly ventilated subway station in North Hollywood. I may have been walking up and down stairs for a good 5 hours and I was exhausted. Every little thing that people would say that was stupid or any complaint would be like nails on a chalkboard. There was one guy who was not an extra but a North Hollywood resident, and he had a mohawk....except you could also tell that he was getting a bald spot on the back of his head cause his mohawk was very uneven and thinning back there. It was funny...but revolting at the same time. Ugh. The next few days, my boogers were black from the subway pollution.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Without a Trace and the Three Coats

Yesterday and today I worked on Without a Trace as an FBI agent. It has been quite the little gap in time since my last stint in blue. Early this morning I was a NY pedestrian and my god was it freezing outside. I was wearing a blouse, a sweatshirt, an overcoat, and a wool heavy coat and was still cold. It might have been about 45 degrees. Yes....I am a wimp. The day only got worse when I was being harassed on the phone by my landlord who said my rent was late...when it really wasn't. My stress though was finally relieved when I heard some of the regular agents bad-talking another extra named Helen. She is the most antagonizing creature alive. She picks fights it seems with everyone. And I never realized before that nobody really liked her. I always thought she hated me (especially after I told her maybe something was wrong with her hypothalamus because she is cold all the time). Yesterday she practically screamed at me cause the lamp was on next to her and it was too bright against her computer screen. Even though I was reading and found the light helpful, I did not turn it on, yet I received her wrath. She is very selfish. Anywhoo, the extras were commenting about how she got in a tiff with a new guy on set and Helen was making a big deal about how rude he was when in reality, she is extremely rude and very off-putting. It was such a relief that no one really got along with her and it wasn't just me. I finally felt like I bonded with everyone on set.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Prison Break and the Prison

Today I was to be playing a visitor on Prison Break at an abandoned Correctional Facility in Whittier. I think this was some interesting casting since I feel like I look too wholesome to play the wife or sister of a convict. I just have never seen myself as the type to be paired with a tattooed ruffian. Sure enough, I was never used today. It was raining today and I made the mistake of wearing these red tennis shoes that absorb water so that I had cold feet all day, but at least I didn't have to wait outside in the rain. I'm also pretty sure that some of these background guys playing convicts were really convicts. They were talking about how they had lawyers and when one of us visitors was taken away, there were little snide remarks about how they were taking away their conjugal visit. Another couple were planning a big counterfeit scheme. I kind of stayed away from them and tuned into my Ipod instead.

Also, the Magician who asked me out last week at the Magic Castle called. I felt like he was slightly judgmental of what I was doing even though he did background for a while as well. Unfortunately I don't think the call went very well cause when I texted him later to see if we were going out he said he was seeing someone else....Magicians work fast. The concept was entertaining though...who on earth dates a magician? They are tricky tricksters.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bones and Stephen Fry

Today I worked on Bones again, except for the first time I actually saw the main characters....or at least been in the same room as the main characters. Stephen Fry was there (I think he is leaving the show in this episode). For those of you who do not know who he is, the important thing to know is that he is Hugh Laurie's Best Friend Forever. This makes him more appealing. For some reason though, he kept looking at me. We had insane amounts of eye contact. I wonder what he was thinking as he looked at me? Did I look familiar? I kept thinking that we kind of looked similar and I could easily play his daughter...I have a feeling he wasn't thinking quite that. Then I started thinking that if I befriend him....I could meet Hugh Laurie. Again...I don't think that he was thinking that either. Alas, the world may never know what thoughts ran through his mind, but it is much more fun speculating than knowing. Afterall, his thoughts would probably have dissappointed me and I am far too young for him.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ghost Whisperer and the Sickness

Well, surely enough, I am sick today. I have practically no voice and my throat is in pain. I hate you My Boys!! Becky was also under the weather today, so that just goes to show you that mothers are right...if you go out in the rain, you will catch a cold. What made matters worse is that I did like 300 situps on Saturday, so whenever I coughed to clear my throat, my abs recoiled in pain. I can hardly sit up in bed let alone cough without pain. Ugh. Luckily, today wasn't too strenuous. I just had to wake up at 5:20 AM and sit down in a theatre all day till 6 PM. The moments I didn't feel like dying, I spent talking to the equally miserable Becky about how miserable we felt. Not sure if last Thursday was worth all the pain. I was so hoarse that the parking attendant just had to mock me as he pointed in the direction of where we were supposed to park. How pleasant of him to do so at 6 AM. This is why he gets paid the big bucks. Also, on a bit of a side note, there is a Grip that has blue hair and has implanted horns on his those babies are permanent. Who would want to look like a blue-haired demon? Can you imagine if he headbutted you? Could that be considered assault with a deadly weapon? or attempted murder?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Boys and the Leaky Sky

I am cold and I am wet and three days later, I will surely get sick. It rained all day today, and of course I was a street pedestrian without an umbrella because you can't tell it is raining through the lens so umbrellas look quite silly....whatever. I have never been so drenched for so long in my entire life, but do not fear, I got a Wet Bump, which means like 5 extra bucks for enduring the rain. The day started off rather strange when I pulled into Paramount Parking and handed him a 20 and awaited my change. Parking is $5 but I would get it back at the end of the day. He handed me two five dollar bills, four ones, a quarter, two dimes, a nickel, and a roll of pennies. Who on earth has a roll of pennies?! I made sure to give the pennies back to him at the end of the day. I do not have much use for a practically extinct coin.

I walked briskly to the holding area in NY street. There were many leaks in the ceiling which made bag placement quite the task for fear of getting us or our belongings soaked. Becky was on set and was back to her old sarcastic self again after a brief dip into the pleasant and eternally happy. The rain definitely made things interesting and I have no idea how the sound guys heard any of the actors' dialogue. It was pretty much an off day for everyone full of many retakes which required me to be out in the rain without an umbrella for even longer. At the beginning of the day, I had borrowed Becky's clear plastic umbrella that had pink trim. It was the type of umbrella that you had to "own" and "wear with confidence" or else suffer humiliation. I tried my best, but eventually returned the umbrella to its rightful owner not realizing the storm I was in store for. The rain also caused delays in our lunch which was over an hour late. It was macaroni and cheese, but came in six different varieties, each one nastier than the next. Such a shame since I had the best macaroni in my life just a week before to now have the worst macaroni in my life. Lactates and all, I still felt ill after consuming this meal.

After lunch, during the rainiest of the evening, I met a magician under the overhang we were both hiding under in order to stay dry. He was a consultant on Arrested Development and had to teach Will Arnett some magic. I thought this was pretty amazing. He is also friends with Max and Mr. Belding from Saved By the Bell. I asked him if he ever performed at the very exclusive Magic Castle, and he 2 weeks...and he invited ME! This is the most exciting thing ever because you can't just go to the Magic have to be invited, and now I was. Sometimes it's good to get stuck in the never know what kind of interesting people you'll meet...even if it is on the set of a tv show. It was raining so hard while we were waiting there that water was pouring out of a drainpipe suspiciously close to the electrical box. We were just waiting for some explosion, but alas. I took a picture just to show how dangerously close all these outlets appeared to gushing rain water. Later the wardrobe guy came up to us and told us that he couldn't see us in frame the whole time we were out there. He was trying to be empathetic. All those crosses in the rain for nothing. Boy, did that news do wonders for my morale.

On my drive home I'm driving down Gower and approaching Hollywood when I noticed there is a man standing in the middle of the busy intersection in the rain. As I swerve to avoid him, he screams at me "Hit Me! Hit Me!" I think he was on something...acid maybe? I was terrified and decided I would not be his executioner thank you very much even though he may have deserved it. My mom thinks I should have called the cops. Oh well.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Life and The Freezing Hot Weather

I was running late as usual, except later than usual. Getting a little turned around didn't help my time either. I blame it on the fact that my Ipod went crazy this morning and I had to restore it and re-add some tunes....there was no way I was going to work without my Ipod in tow. It was a life saver. It was a nippy 60 degrees or so that morning, so what am I wearing? A sundress. Other girls were wearing bikinis...but had sweatshirts and sweatpants with them during the colder periods of the day. I did not. I was miserable. And then it got hot...and I was miserable. The fact that I got there at 6:30 AM and we didn't break for lunch till 5:37 PM didn't help the matter. I need breaks gosh darn it! I didn't mope and complain however because seriously..what would that do? Everyone else did, and that's where my Ipod comes in. Tune out the world. There were some interesting people on set. There was a bikini girl on skates who liked to flaunt her figure. If I had her belly, I probably wouldn't. Then there was another bikini girl who you knew had to have been pregnant because she had stretch marks all over her abdomen. She had a nice body and all....but again....These girls clearly are not as self-conscious as I am. Then there was my favorite girl who had pierced nipples that you could see through her shirt. MY GOD! It was disgusting. Ugh. Let's just say the scenery wasn't too great today, even though I was at a pier by the ocean. The one interesting part of the day was when the lead actor told me "sorry". He bumped into my record purse. And there you go. Add another apologetic sorry to my list of run-ins with lead actors on set. Also, Adam Arkin was directing this episode. It was cool because he is a spitting image of his dad Alan Arkin.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Life and My Phone Number

I was working Life over at Universal Studios. I was to be a classy restaurant patron. Instead of wearing my blue silk dress, they put me in a navy suit that was too large and made out of a stretchy sweater material, and of course pearl earrings, bracelet, and necklace. I was 23 going on 70. I must have looked HOT though because the most attractive man I have ever seen on set who looked a bit like Colin Farrell just happened to be my dining partner and we struck up quite the conversation. I found out he graduated in Finance and came to LA to be an actor and was a bartender which is quite the corrupt occupation. I told him that I went to USC film school, which I never divulge on set for fear of crazy extras grasping on to my tiny coattails and wanting to stay in contact with me...I didn't mind with him though..he could grasp on to whatever he wanted. I also happened to mention, when he brought up True Blood, that I was friends with one of the actors. He seemed very impressed. We talked more of acting and what I had learned at school and what movies were out now, etc. Hours flew by and he was about to be wrapped. He changed out of his business attire into a polo with popped collar (I like to think he popped it especially for me) and was heading out. But then he stopped by my table and asked for my number saying, "So we can talk about SAG and acting and ......" He was mumbling really....quite nervous. Totally adorable ( I don't care if another extra saw him spit 3 times on set...I didn't see it so my mind has only admirable thoughts. ) So anyway...I gave him my phone number. AND the next day he texted me. Is he doing it to use me? I care? NOPE.

We transitioned to the interior of the LAPD and a new set of background rolled in. Only 5 girls remained from early in the afternoon. They must not get too many new faces because I was pretty exciting to many of them. That's where Arson a black man in his 40s from Manchester, England comes in. He and another man noticed my really cool blue Nooka watch (which he later said matched my eyes). Arson had seen them before and wanted one and even knew how much they cost. This obviously sparked conversation before he told me, "You know who you remind me know from Oz?" I laughed, "Oh gosh...I'm from Kansas." He couldn't believe it. "You know, you're very pretty." I blushed and headed inside. (I'm so hard to get aren't I?) Later we were in a scene together and waiting to be placed and Arson asked me if I wanted to go get ice cream because he is divorced and all. I shouldn't let the fact that he has a daughter with an Italian woman get in the way. He then blatantly pointed out, in case the three men witnessing the conversation were deaf, that he was hitting on me and proceeded to hand me his phone. I acted all cutesy in order to turn him down lightly. Replying in a falsetto voice, "Naaaaoooohh". Two guys asked for my number in the same day. This may not seem like a feat for the likes of Cindy Crawford, but today included my 2nd and 3rd time ever (1st occurring on the set of CSI).

During our lunch, I took the time to walk around the Universal back-lot. If only it weren't 7 pm and pitch black. I entertained this girl Camilla by telling her what all the production companies we spotted produced. It was so dark though that it was a pretty shitty I know why the Universal Theme Park is never open past dark. It closed at like 4 pm on a Friday! Walk-a-way lunches suck though because I'm not being fed a proper meal on set...instead I had to resort to eating a bag of skittles, cheesecake, and a grilled cheese sandwich at midnight. Ugh!

Monday, January 26, 2009

American Teenager and the Poisonous Bathrooms

I worked the Secret Life of the American Teenager last Friday and today. It is an AFTRA show, which means I get paid 105 bucks for 8 hours, but it also means that AFTRA gets to keep my check and I don't get to see any of that money until my dues are paid. Shit. I was to be a nurse, which is a great gig because I get to lounge around in comfy scrubs all day. I worked for 10 minutes on Friday and was there for 11 hours. I didn't work at all today and was there for 4 hours. Oh the sweet life. Though it can get mighty boring when not working. To distract my boredom, I had the bathroom to fret about. For some reason, the folks at the Warner Bros Ranch decided to pump poisonous perfume into the restrooms. I never understand why Vegas hotels and now studio bathrooms do such a thing. It never gets rid of the smell, it only masks it with something more pungent. Anyway, I am slightly allergic to perfume, so urinating had to be out the question. A bladder infection seemed to be more welcoming than going to the bathroom in the intoxicating loo. Seemed to be....but alas, I really had to go. I pulled up my sweatshirt to form quite the gas mask over my nose and mouth and proceeded to relieve myself. I held my breath as long as possible, but I am not a whale, and had to take a deep breath through my protective sweatshirt. The results were not quite as effective as I would have liked. Minutes later I was still having breathing problems and felt drugged and loopy for about an hour afterwards. Was it worth not wetting myself? I suppose....but still....who has stools so bad that they have to deodorize the bathrooms that much?! I did, however, have the yummiest macaroni and cheese I have ever had in my life, and for the first time ever, I got a To-Go box and brought some home with me....sure...I was out of lactates...but it was so worth it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dollhouse and the Unlucky Streak

I worked Dollhouse again on Wednesday and Thursday, but instead of playing a high schooler or college student, I played a genius assistant. Clearly I am working my way up in the Dollhouse world. I actually learned what the show is about and who and what the characters are...finally. I had a fellow assistant the first day named Mark. He was from Boston and went to Ithaca. I love having them talk about how cool their film school is before I tell them that I went to USC film school. The looks of inferiority on their faces are priceless especially since they probably assume I am a theatre student from some Midwestern state university like most other extras who were smart enough to even go to college (not very many). He wasn't that bad looking and has been doing this for a few months...would be more attractive if he opened his mouth more when he talked, but that's getting nitpicky. Nicole, the 2nd 2nd who was placing us in the scene, had to pick one of us for this featured scene with Topher...Mark got picked. Ironically we spent a good portion of our walk away lunch discussing how unlucky I am. It never fails. The next day we were joined by another assistant, Nick. He was dark, tall, handsome, and from Vegas...if only he were more confident when he spoke, it would make him seem smarter. I suppose I feel the need to talk about men here because usually, there aren't any suitable bachelor's on set that I get to talk to, and now I had 2 reasonably attractive guys. So naturally, I over-analyze them until I can dissect their behaviorism and form a non-judgemental assessment of who they are and their potential in this world.....just as I do with everyone...including you. Nicole had to pick someone to be featured again...she chose Mark...again. I think it might be the glasses. Nick and I were unused and went home after 7 hours of waiting. Go figure.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Criminal Minds and the Funeral

I was leaving later than I should have for my 11:30 AM call time. Why? Because Barack Obama was now officially the President of the United States and I had to watch the inauguration. I was punished, however, for my slight tardiness. I arrived to the parking area right after the People Mover left. You would think they'd come back for me soon since my call time was at 11:30 and it was currently 11:31. Wrong...I was finally picked up at Noon. I have never waited so long ever! Thank God for my new i-pod. The PA who was checking us in is the same USC cinema grad who gave me such good advice on Without a Trace back in August. I asked him how his scripts were going. He didn't remember me of course and confusingly replied, "I'm still here." We were doing a memorial service for people who got killed in a fire. There is a serial arsonist on the loose! I hate doing funeral scenes...because I kind of start crying during them. I'm the only one of course, which is not very'd think there would be more criers at a REAL funeral. So I guess maybe I am just that good...and not that pathetic. I sat next to Arthur from Race to Witch Mountain and also my friend Becky was on set. She has now taken up knitting, but she uses cheap yarn so she feels sorry for those she gives her scarves to because they are very itchy. It's the thought that counts anyway. We wrapped fairly quickly, and then proceeded to wait an hour for transportation to take us back to our cars.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Name is Khan and the Crazy Indian Fans

Today, I got to work on my first Indian film starring Shahrukh Khan...who according to the crazy Indians raiding the set is "bigger than Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Tom Cruise combined!" The day started off poorly because I was one of 400 extras with no craft service and no meals. Cheapskates! Then we filed into single file lines about 70 people deep. To my left were 3 black guys who decided that it would be genius to sell some drugs while there. (They were not with Central Casting and I have no idea how they got on set.) Then they decided it would be better if they smoked it themselves. I watched this guy in a baseball jersey with CLOWNS written on it roll a joint. A select few around me were looking appalled. I wanted to tell them to stop being such a stereotype. I was too afraid of being stabbed, however. Here is a picture of them, joint in hand, about to go over to the library to light up.

Needless to say, black people were not invited back to set the next day. Which is understandable because there was a George Bush look-a-like on set, which means we were at a George Bush rally. Do you know any black people who like George Bush? What's also really funny is that this was a Republican rally type thing that Khan attends and says, "Mr. President, I'm not a terrorist"...but everyone mistakes him for being a terrorist of course. Now, I don't know too many republicans, but I'm pretty sure they are not holding up signs that say "Peace" and "No blood for oil" and "No War". Somehow...this republican rally was full of Liberals...and black people...and Indians. The Props people who made the signs probably knew nothing about American politics.

After lunch, the Indian population of the background scene doubled. They just walked onto set to take part in the scene. Only a few small children were told to leave because of labor laws. Most knew about the movie because they were UCLA students or they read it on the director's blog. The new brown faces surrounded Khan in the front of the crowd, hoping to get close to their hero...the white faces were in the back...they could care less. Finally a PA started going up to some of them and told them they needed to get in the back. "We need white American faces up front". The poor girls looked so hurt and went towards the middle (there was no way they were going to the back), before they returned to their original spots up front. One girl actually got the courage to talk to Khan as he walked by, "By the way, I'm such a fan". He touched her hand. She just about died. At the end of both days, when we were wrapped, there was a line of about 75 Indians waiting for pictures and autographs, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite star.

I was so thankful that I knew someone on set today, Tammy, who I had a class at USC with. So reassuring to see other USC students in the same boat that I'm in. Also, it makes the mundane pain of the day more tolerable. While we were talking this ghetto white guy who HAD to be on SOMETHING came up to compliment me on my record purse and watch. This was right after the person in front of him used my purse as a mirror before I told her how awkward that was. He asked me if I like his plastic white rimmed sun glasses which he probably got for three bucks at a gas station. I didn't reply. "Don't you think they are Ka-Blam?". Poor Tammy fell into the trap and replied "yeah". He then proceeded to call himself a retard...I couldn't have agreed more. It's always nice to know that people are not in denial of their brain capabilities. We had to try and ignore him the rest of the day. Also on set on Sunday, there was a blind man. Very interesting career choice. On Monday, Jermaine Jackson, older brother of Michael, came to set because apparently he is a big fan of Sharukh Khan.

Crowd scenes as big as this can always get a little crazy. We are all shouting and hollering, and for some reason, the 1st AD decided it would be a good idea to use a megaphone. As if we couldn't understand his thick Indian accent enough, we now had to try and understand it as it was being shouted through a megaphone while we were all screaming and cheering hoorays! Not the smartest guy in the India, if he were, he'd be a doctor like his parents wanted him to be. The one plus of crowd scenes is that the lead actor will often times brush or push against you trying to get through..which he did. Yes, that is right, the biggest star in the world touched me. Please try to contain your jealousy. One obnoxious black girl behind me did not understand the hooplah surrounding him. "He's so old" and "I know he is like your idol and everything, but will you please get out of my space". All the Indians around her were probably planning on killing her behind the bleachers later on in the day....too bad Hindu is a peaceful religion.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Prison Break and the Bubble Gum

For some reason, I believe that I can get ready in exactly 15 minutes in the morning. This, obviously, is not accurate if I wish to do my hair and put makeup on. However, I continue to wake up 15 minutes before I need to leave to make it to set on time. It takes me 22 minutes to get ready, like always, and like always, I am running 7 minutes behind which I have to make up in my commute by going slightly (15 mph) over the speed limit.

For some political reason concerning his age I assume, Charlie was not there this morning. The day just got a little longer. I would have to find other ways to entertain myself which turned out to be no problem with my new accomplice, Amber. Amber was there on Wednesday and also I worked with her Thursday on Bones. She was young like me and normal and just as highly entertained and annoyed by the crazy people...perfect set friend. I spent the early part of the morning writing a poem for Charlie, longing for his presence in my life.

I once met a man, a retiree turned actor.

His name was Charlie and he filled me with laughter

He told me about his days in the navy

And how he slept with more than 150 a lady

Now a married man, to his wife he'll be true

So now his caring friendship will have to do

Charlie and I, we were quite the pair

Over 40 years older, but I didn't care

He was funny and charming and never boring

He kept me on set from sleeping and snoring

Yes Charlie and I were two peas in a pod

For I was his Harold and he was my Maude.

Cheesy, I know, but that's how I roll. At 11 o'clock sharp, Amber tapped me on the shoulder so that we could go to craft service for some Coke. She is already getting to know me so well. Those 6:30 AM call times really kill me. Down at crafty, they also had mac & cheese. It became my quest to retrieve some without getting noticed, since that scrumptious delicacy was for the crew only. I'm a girl, so I probably didn't have to tread so sneakily, but still, where's the fun in that, and in the end I won my cheesy prize. Amber was not as courageous, but lunch was in an hour so the stakes weren't too high. During lunch, we eavesdropped on an interesting pair next to us and talked about our distaste for this one woman who was quite obnoxious and since she was sick, was afraid to call her guy friends because she feared that they were going to find her voice too sexy. Trust me, I can't ever imagine that being an issue....EVER. She'd be lucky to bed any guy, if they're her friends first?..More power to her. That means they can stand her. After lunch, I went to the bathroom. There was a bulimic in the stall next to me. So awkward. I never saw her face.

After lunch, Amber and I were told to be deep background outside along with about 15 others. We went over to crafty to get some blow pops. I got a cherry and she got a sour apple. When was the last time you had a blow pop? Years, right? They are nasty yet sugary delight. We spent the next few moments trying to blow the biggest bubble. Onlookers seemed disinterested, like walking zombies, but still amused enough to watch. The gum continued to get sticker, making each burst bubble more difficult to scrape off my lips and skin. Just then a guy walked by eating a Peanut Butter Cup. I had an epiphany. When I was a little kid, I once blew a bubble sooooo big that it blew up and got in my hair. My mom used peanut butter to disintegrate the gum. Amber's mom used lighter fluid...eeks. I decided to make my sticky lips a little worse in order for optimum results. Then I went to get a slightly melted Peanut Butter Cup and started dabbing the peanut butter all over and around my lips. It worked like a charm, and also softened my skin. I think they should start making peanut butter lotions in naturel.

Jack, the hilarious extra's coordinator who reminisced all day about his craziest days on set, decided to wrap most of the background. I was one of 15 chosen to stay. An hour later, they cut those 15 down to 7. I was still one of the lucky ones. Yes...lucky. We were in overtime so I was getting paid $16/hr to read a book and the longer I stayed, the less traffic I would have to fight on my way home. I was never used those extra 2 hours. Sweet victory.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Prison Break and the Truth About My Charlie

I was running late again this morning, but you cannot judge me because unlike running late at 12 in the afternoon, I was running late at 5:30 AM and about to travel 35 miles to Long Beach (aka Miami, Fl). I got there in time because of my tactful driving just so I could wait in line for half an hour to check in and watch the sunrise. I grabbed some scrambled eggs for breakfast that I drowned in ketchup in order to make them edible (a trick of the trade) and sat down ready for action. After hours of waiting and doing the infamous nod nod...JERK, I decided that today's shoot qualified me for a Coke. You see, I gave up caffeine many years ago, but sometimes the early calls require a little boost of energy. I made rules: I can only have caffeine if I wake before 6 AM, and if I do, I can only drink said caffeinated beverage between the hours of 11 AM and 3 PM. Needless to say, that can of Coke was opened at 11 AM on the dot. I was pretty wired until 6 it did its job.

I was playing a convention goer at an Energy conference, and the head speaker gets assassinated. Pretty exciting stuff. You wouldn't believe how difficult it is to try and act like someone is shooting at you. I'm rather well practiced since it happens all the time in TV, but can't say that I can draw from experience. My friend Charlie can, however. Charlie, if you recall, is my 70 year old protector from Race to Witch Mountain. The second he saw me today he said, "You looked better in the wig." Thanks Charlie. Always one to compliment. Now, Charlie is one of the most entertaining people that one could be blessed to know in one's life. His mother was in burlesque and worked with Danny Thomas, he ran off with his wife because her dad was in the KKK and did not care for Charlie's Judaism, and according to him, he slept with over 150 women between 1955 and 1959. He was in the Navy, apparently women couldn't resist a man in uniform back then. But sleeping with all those women got him into trouble because one night his ladyfriend's husband decided to check up on her. Charlie hid under the bed before running off down Bourbon Street in his underwear while rounds went whizzing by. Silly Charlie, such a ladies man. "Man, if only I were 30 years younger," he said. "But Charlie, last time you said that it was 40 years younger!" "I'm going to go drain my dragon, though my doctor told me not to do any heavy lifting." That in a million. (Don't even get me started on the orgy he told me about...eeeek!) Here is a picture of Charlie on the set of Angels and a Cardinal...ironic, isn't it? He is and ever shall be my protector and friend, and Damn...set is never boring with him there.

Like two peas in a pod, I'm his Harold and he's my Maude.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NCIS and the Fart

It takes a special kind of person that can run late at 12 in the afternoon. I woke late and jumped in the shower, dreading the day ahead of me. I was terrified of George the evil Wardrobe guy. I thought I would never work the show again, which is silly since I made no effort to prevent this inevitable rendez-vous. I pulled my wet hair up in a bun and ran out the door, suit in hand. I became very thankful for the cars going 95 mph on the freeway because it made my 87 mph look slow and legal by comparison, even though the speed limit was of course only 65 mph. Only two things were running through my mind: Please God, I hope nobody gets mad at me, and did I put any deodorant on this morning?

I arrived about 10 minutes late, but nobody noticed and I proceeded to sit on the couch waiting for George to look at my wardrobe. He came eventually and sat down beside me. He complimented me on my British socks and the color of my shoes. He was in a good mood. YES! Happy Happy Joy Joy. AND he was okay with my suit. Listen...I'm not even going to pretend to rationalize his mood swings, but am thankful that he didn't give me a hard time today. Maybe he remembered making me cry last time...or maybe he really is just incredibly moody. Who knows.

During lunch, an hour after I arrived, we had carne asadas and watched the episode that premiered tonight. I love watching the episodes with the cast and crew and spent most of my time watching the lead actor, Mark Harmon, watch himself on screen. He seemed to be enjoying it. Later in the day they had a guy making crepes, but I managed to show some restraint...barely.

After lunch, Hacker the 2nd 2nd was setting people for the scene. He then came right in front of me and Tim the guy I was going to be crossing with. Then the unexpected happened...he let out a loud and long fart. Embarrassed, he turned around quickly and said, "Holy shit I'm sorry." Tim broke up laughing, but Hacker's real concern was me. "I lived with a girl for 4 years and can count on one hand how many times I farted in front of her. I can't believe I did that. Don't tell anybody, okay?" I told him I'd write it on my blog. He thought I was joking.

When I got home at 7:30 pm, my hair was still wet. C'est la vie.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Heroes and the Joey Pal

Well, it is a new year and before I begin my post about the joys of Heroes, I would like to take the time and re-evaluate all that I have learned this past year of doing extra work.

-It takes a real actress to dance to absolutely no music, in painful heels, with a smile on her face, after someone spills a syrupy mixture of sorts on her dress and to not react in terror after realizing it will take half her paycheck for the night to dry clean it.

-It takes a real actress to behave like it is cold outside and to shiver, even though she is wearing a wool coat and it is one hundred degrees outside in sunny LA and the shiver might be caused by a fever due to dehydration. AND she can always pass the sweat off as melting snow on her forehead.

-It takes a real actress to wake up at 4 am and get her hair and makeup done, only to wait around for 8 hours doing nothing, while her hair frizzes and her make up melts and smears across her face.

-It takes a real actress to seem upset after being wrapped after working only 10 minutes on set. That's like $350/hour. And to think...I could have been a doctor.

As you know, I love working Heroes. Why? They have good food. That's the only difference really between a good show and a bad show... the grub. Today was sub par for them, but I'm not going to complain really cause I did eat steak and birthday cake which I sure hell would not have eaten at my apartment. I also got to work with Sylar (Zachary Quinto) today and also Zelijko Ivanek who has been really big of late appearing on True Blood and House and he won the Emmy last August for Best Actor in TV Drama. I would say he's huge even...except for that he is not. When I first saw him on set, I did not recognize him. In fact I found him to be terrifying...kind of looked like someone who would go postal on you at any moment. Also, he is tiny. Like 5'3" and the width of my thigh. IMDB has him listed at 5'7" but that is a lie...sure I was wearing heels...but he was shorter than every guy there and had to sit on two pillows to make out with this one Asian girl. Key word in that sentence was Asian...and god knows they are a tiny people...unless you are Yao Ming. It was really cool to see him though.

Okay..I'm not going to freak out...but Zachary Quinto touched me. Yikes! Moving on up in the world...first he throws trash at me and says sorry, and now he bumps into me while moving through a crowd of people. Oh the little joys of extra work.

Now, I used to have a theory that any guy who likes Frank Sinatra music has to be a decent guy. I would like to modify my theory however. Any guy who likes Frank Sinatra music has to be a decent guy unless they are an Italian from New York. I had my Sinatra purse on set today which has been my usual for the past few months. I assume this guy had seen it when he decided to blast "New York, New York" from his MP3 player, but who knows. I try to be friendly to this guy who looks like the offspring of Elvis and Zachary Quinto and say that I too like Frank Sinatra music and he says, "Frank Sinatra is the best. Ain't no one better. Other people can sing his songs, but no one will sing em like Frank one" Now...he said this as if he were going to kill if I threatened him in someway, which was quite jarring and I decided to not speak to him again, but then he said, "Have you seen Joey Pal?" "Ummmm....You mean Pal Joey" I replied. "Yeah. That's it, Pal Joey, I alway get it reversed. Boy, Rita Hayworth is something in that, isn't she?"

I will never understand why guys on set are so crazy. The girls don't seem half as demented at times. And I always feel so awkward for the poor helpless ones who catch a guy's fancy. I can usually take care of myself with these crazed wolves since my knowledge can be quite intimidating, but most are not as fortunate as I. Towards the end of the night there was this shorter version of Kevin Smith preaching to this attractive female about how important watching movies is to an actor and how surprised he was at how few movies some of the theatre students at his college had seen. (Clearly he did not go to USC.) He was saying how his favorite movie was Raging Bull and how Meryl Streep was the most nominated actress, and this poor girl had to listen to his rant and was clearly not interested since she knew a lot of this stuff anyway (just because you haven't seen the movie, doesn't mean you're clueless as to what it is about Kevin Smith look-a-like!) I usually behave myself on set and act very professionally but I almost lost it with what look-a-like said next. He said he was going to have a Sam Mendes marathon. You American Beauty and Road to Perdition and LITTLE CHILDREN!! That was my chance, my chance to put the girl out of her misery and to put this little show off in his place. TODD FIELD! I wanted to scream. TODD FIELD directed Little Children you douche. But alas...I refrained. However, my facial expressions must have given away my thoughts??? Fore at that instant the guy next to me turned to me and said, "You need to read this book called the Power of Now. I can tell you are either thinking about the Past or the Future, and you need to be in the Now" I am quite confused. "Actually, I was thinking of the present. In fact I was eavesdropping and analyzing the person next to me". "Oh", he replied, "You must be a Cancer or a Libra". "No... I'm not". And that was the end of it.

A few moments later, they started cutting people to go home. I noticed that they were keeping all the "hot" people for another scene. I made it past 3 cuts until they realized that they had all women and no men. Still...not bad to be considered hot enough to be part of the 2nd to last cut. Ego Boost!

Keep an eye out for this episode 3.21!