Sunday, July 23, 2006

Barring Technical Difficulties. . .

Okay, here's the story . . .
When I got up on Friday morning , there were two things I had to do #1) Go to work in Andover #2) Do stand-up at the Comedy Studio. I made the coffee, took a shower, started to write some bills and my cell phone rang. It was 9:45 (yeah, I was running late. Surprise !) It was Peter from CP Casting, would I be available to do photo double on "Gone Baby Gone" a movie filming here in Boston. Some of you may remember, I had the opportunity to audition for one of the major characters, and didn't get it. I told him I had put on some weight since I had originally auditioned, did they really know what I looked like ? He said they knew and that I was right for the job. I said "Yes!" and meant it. They hate it when you try to decide while they're waiting on the phone. A firm "no" is better than a wobbly "yes". They want to finish this job , so they can move on to the next thing. I really hadn't considered that it would go past 8 PM. I said yes without thinking. I knew Andover would understand, I was worried about the Studio. Stage time there is important to me, especially a Friday night, it's usually packed. My first call was to Andover and then Rick at the Studio. No one answered at either phone -Psyched !
Peter asked me to go to the website and read the instructions. I needed to bring a copy of my drivers license and passport. I usually have extra copies on hand , just for this very reason.I had a copy of the license , not the passport. I asked my brother if he could scan it . He said yes. I gave him the passport and then put my "subtle" make-up on. Basically foundation, some eye shadow and a little eye liner. No lipstick. At least , not the bright red I favor. I need to look as neutral as possible. If they want make-up on me, they've got 15 people on set that can do a better job than me. I went back down stairs to check on the passport situation -long story short, it took a long time, software had to be down loaded .. .Peter called me back wanting to know where I was . It was 10:30-45 minutes since they called me. He said not to worry about the passport , just get over there. Andover called me back, wanting to know what was going on, curious, not mad. I mapquested the directions. I headed out.
I got to the parking lot at 11:00 and was in costume , without a voucher, heading to set at 11:15. The Production Assistant brought me to a spot and then told me to stand here, and left me . I started to look around. It was in the old Laconte Skating rink in Medford. They had built a sound stage. I was looking at the platforms and the ceiling, I looked behind me and Ed Harris was sitting there in a chair going over his lines. I don't think I gasped but I whipped my head around and hoped that PA got back lickety split. I wanted to give him his privacy to concentrate. It's hard to focus on what you have to do because there are literally 50 people standing around. Yup , it's hard to concentrate. It was hard for me to concentrate because that was fucking Ed Harris !!!!! Pollack, A Beautiful Mind-Ed Harris. Okay, the PA retrieved me and I was told to wait over there with the second team. "Second Team" refers to the stand-Ins, "Second Unit" refers to a scene being filmed elsewhere, by a diffierent Director of Photography, or some one trustworthy like that there. I was second team.
When I got to where the rest of the second team was, Fran Richardson wanted to know where I was. Fran ended up doing the actual photo double work. Fran is a guy. I explained the situation and he figured they had forgot to schedule a body double/stand-in. A photo Double is $20.oo more than a stand-in and Stand-In is $20.00 more than an extra. I lost out on the photo double bump. I was standing in for the character of Roberta. In the book , she is described as a hulking giantess of a woman. The woman they cast was actually shorter than me . Maybe we were matched in weight because of my height. Sometime during the day, I asked Fran, because I wasn't actually sure "Do I look like her ? " No , of course I don't and she had very unflattering make-up on. I saw Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck and Ed Harris. It was Ed's last day , so when they shot his last scene, the crew applauded, as soon as he came through the set door he came right over to me and shook my hand and said "Thank You ". .. I said "I'm Dorothy" not thinking . . . . . not putting it together, they're applauding , something's going on. .. I figured it out too late . Ah well, I shook Ed Harris 's hand, that's pretty cool !
I saw a grip who I know from around town. His name is Robert. His girlfriend had a baby and the last time I saw them, there were a month away from birth. He told me that was the last time they had a chance to go out and do something. He went and got me a lawn chair to sit on because there were no apple boxes available. There is always a lot of sitting around on a set. It's hard to maintain concentration and energy. SO, from where I was sitting, I was fairly close to the action. It's really awesome to be around every body who is operating at the top of their game. Fran told me that the cinematographer on this film is Jon Tolin (Tolan? ,Sorry , can't remember the name , should have checked the imdb before I started writing) Anyway, he's the only guy in Oscar history to have won two Oscars for cinematography.
There's a lot of waiting and I don't have the papers. I don't have a book to read. I probably couldn't see to read, if I did have something , it was so dark. One of the hazards of being around other actors while you're waiting is. . .. . talking with other actors. Usually, it's okay, but every once in a while you end up talking , or should I say " listening" to someone who has a lot ot say about where they are in their career , and how they're doing really great stuff at "Nanny Fuck" theater and how this is a disorganized set and they don't know what the fuck they're doing and all sorts of stuff like that there. They're talking out of their hat. Usually, these blowhards are really just insecure and are trying to justify their presence on set. Mostly, they just keep talking and that starts to bore me. They don't want to know anything about me, not that I care, but if I am asked a direct question , I need to respond. I have to respond .I don't know how long I'm going to be here,I don't want to get anyone pissed at me . I don't know when I'm going to have to depend on them. I find spending my time in this manner exhausting. Fortunately, the guy got called to set and seemed to lose interest in revealing every last detail about his life to me.
I had never done stand-in work before. Most of what I know, I learned from listening to my friend Cyndi, who has done a lot of stand-in work. Fran kept the rest of us informed and on our toes . No one had to go find "Second Team" . We were always there.
When we broke for lunch and we got out to the holding area, Jennifer Garner was there. She's Ben's wife. The lunch was Lobster Tails. After lunch, there was a video presentation of what they have filmed so far. It was really unexpected and I've never been allowed on a set to participate in this sort of thing before. If the compilation is any indication, this is going ot be beautiful film. I saw the scene I had auditioned for and the girl they cast was perfect for the role. Casey looked fantastic and right for the part. Some things have changed from the original book. I don't want to reveal anything. I think it's going to look really good...
Later on, I did something completely without thinking, I touched something on set. It caught my eye and I wanted to look at it. No one, but Fran , saw that I had touched it. It's not touching the thing that is wrong, but it could possibly affect continuity. Messing up continuity is a very bad thing. It could have me dismissed from the set. It was a ceramic jar with the flag of Ireland on it. Didn't really need to touch it. Don't know why I did.
I did some standing in position . I watched them rehearse a scene. It was hard to jockey for position without affecting the action. I couldn't get it all in. They were setting up the lights and someone yelled. "Okay! Thank you people! That's a wrap for today!" It was 11:30. We were done for the day and I had finally had a chance to hold a rubber gun. I gave one of the other second team guys a ride to his hotel. I was home by 12:30 AM.
Throughout the day , I had been calling Rick at the Studio giving him updates on my status. I called him when I got home, so he would know how long it had taken. I hated giving up stage time, but I had made my choice. I love being on a movie set. I just love it. Also, every time I am on a set, it's another opprotunity to possibly get an upgrade. You never know.
I had started the day one way and in a matter of seconds the whole day had changed in a completely unexpected way. I was ready to take adavantage of the opportunity.
Today, at the booth, the cinematographer's assistant came in. Him and his girlfriend were going to walk the Freedom Trail. I asked him when he thought they might be finishing up that scene. He said Wed. Tomorrow they are scheduled to be somewhere else. So, maybe I'll get another call.
I hope so . . . . .
If I can remember more things, I'll write them . This is basically how it went.


Blogger Mike the Liberal said...

Hey Dot, that sounds exciting!

Saw you this past Saturday (8/5) at the Comedy Studio; you were great!

Monday, August 07, 2006 11:49:00 AM  

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