Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Killer" Dot

Oh dear,where do I begin ? I worked on the movie all of last week. Effectively abolishing all social life. Since I have to be there at 6 or 7 in the morning, I am dead tired to do anything but go home and crash. By Wed. , one of the assistant directors gave me a cool on-set knick-name "killer Dot" because he thinks I look like the lead singer for the Killers. I'm not familiar with the band, but I will look it up when I get a chance.
I couldn't really plan my week because when I would ask if I would be needed for the next day , they couldn't tell me. On Monday , "Frank" called to check my availability and that someone would call me back with a time for Tuesday morning. When I hadn't heard by 11, I went to bed. At 7 :10 on Tuesday morning, I got a call from some lady named "Gerry" wanting to know where I was . I told her I didn't get my call time, she said "Can you come ?" I said yes. While I was talking to her , Frank called to say bascially all the same things she said. At the end of Tuesday, I was definitely booked for Wed., but I couldn't get my call time when I was wrapped. Wed. I was supposed to go to see Blue Man Group with work and I couldn't go because I worked on the movie until 8:45 and the show started at 8. That's kind of how the week went. They called me yesterday to check my availability for Monday and called with my call time for tomorrow while I was shopping. I probably should get to bed soon.
Thursday, there was a paralyzing winter storm. They let me go early from the movie . A half hour ride took 2 and a quarter hours to get home. Thank goodness I had enough gas in the car. I even called my friend Dee in California, to let her know she made the right choice going to California. I shoveled a couple of feet of snow when I got home and I had to shovel again when I was finished. My brother used the snow blower when he got home and there was still snow on the ground when I got up to go to the movie the next day.
I know that it snows every year. It has snowed every year since I can remember. I just don't understand my weather amnesia. It snowed again last night. I didn't even try to get the car out to go to work at the Common. My brother gave me a ride to the train station. We did a 180 turn at one point because the road was not sufficiently plowed. It was hard pack. I made it to work in plenty of time. My co-workers started calling me while I was on the train to make sure we were open. We were. . .. and then we closed. SO, I slogged all the way home and shoveled the car again . Only this time , I couldn't get it out of the driveway. I took my brother's car because I had some shopping I had to had to do. I got it done. Came home. Shoveled the driveway some more and put some sand down so maybe I can get the car out to go do the movie again tomorrow. I have to be there at 7 am . Wish me luck !
Last night, I did stand up at the Studio. It was a packed house. Myq Kaplan was recording a CD. I thought I did okay. Except that I forgot my material and started laughing while I was onstage. Though it was somewhat charming (I hope ) and it would certainly indicate that I was relaxed.For some reason ,when the 6 minute light came on , I just couldn't remember anything. None of my better , more recent jokes. People whose opinions I trust, said it was really funny . However, I think it was a little unprofessional. However, if my goal is to be funny and provide a good time for the audience , then I achieved my goal. I didn't have my set list in my pocket, I had a Christmas list in my pocket.
I'll be glad to get back to a regular schedule. .. .

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Just A Working Girl

So let's see, where was I ? On Monday, I worked on the movie again. They were shooting in Worcester at the Worcester Art Museum. It's actually a museum I have been wanting to go to , but I digress. . .. .On Monday we were at the tail end of the first snow storm of the winter. It had started on Sunday night and driving was a bitch. It stopped and then it started again after midnight and kept on until morning. The call time was 9 am, my directions said it would take 55 minutes, I added an extra half hour to the commute. It took me almost 2 hours to get there. I was 15 minutes late. It's not good to show up late at a movie set. I know I'm just an extra, but I'm still a profesional.
I got there, got my voucher and got into costume. There was a table of food set up but it wasn't a breakfast . It had muffins and such but there was a canteen truck set up somewhere out of sight. I would have loved a breakfast sandwich, but it would have been strictly recreational. I ate breakfast before I left the house.
There were a lot of extras that I hadn't seen before. Well, it turned out they actually worked at the Museum . I thought it was pretty cool. They were from all different departments. There was a janitor and the lady that runs the cafe and another woman who works in the art school . There were also a lot of other museum employees standing in front of the larger art pieces, making sure no one accidentally brushed up against any of the anitquities. That would be a real disaster if someone broke one of the big Greek floor tiles ! I mean , it's over 2 thousand years old. If it was mine, I'd have someone standing guard over it , too !
We were brought to set after about a half hour. We were shooting in one of the main entrances, so it was a big open setting. I had a variety of actions. On"Action" I would walk behind the actors and then walk up a set of stairs. We did that about 6 times. Then , another take, on "Action" I would walk behind the actors, across the lobby and out of sight. We did that about 1o times. Another setup, I was on the second level, standing in front of a door. The Second AD told me they could only see me from the knees down. The action in that scene was Christopher Walken walking down a set of stairs. Then we broke for lunch. Some of the entrees were lasagna, sausage and lobster ravioli. I had ceasar salad and fruit salad. I also had the zucchini.
After lunch , they set me up on the other side of where the actors were having their scene. On action, I was to mime talking about the piece of art I was standing in front of to a "vistitor" who was one of the people that worked there. When Walken got to the bottom step, I needed to cue the lady and she would turn and walk off camera. Then I paced in front of the ancient mosaic and then another museum worker came and relieved me for break. We did that one about 10 times, too. The they took us back to holding and after about 45 minutes they wrapped the real museum workers and brought me and a couple of guys to set and left us sitting on a bench out of the line of shooting, for a long time. At the end of the day, they used me in a scene where I am moving a piece of art to be crated. We were upstairs in a gallery with very expensive art. So , we had to be careful. I was wrapped around 8:30. I got home a little before 10 PM. Boy , was I tired.
Yesterday, they called to check my availability for today. Unfortunately, I had promised my friend that I would cover for her at MIT. I couldn't get out of it. Essentially, today is the only day I couldn't do it. The rumor on set Monday was that they wouldn't use us until next week. Of course, they were only checking availability. That doesn't mean they actually shot any scenes with the featured extras. I'm still hoping I'll get a call for next week. Though I am bummed. I like working on a movie.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

13 Hours Later. . . . .

I worked as a movie extra again today . Our call time was 8 am and we were wrapped at 9 pm. It was a long cold day. We were filming at the delivery docks under our State House. The delivery docks look very good . The color is a uniform gray( maybe more putty ?) and there is just the right amount of room for 4 vans and a couple of major cameras. Because we were at wardrobe, we missed breakfast. Probably not a big thing in the grand scheme of things, but these things matter when you're on a set. Standing around waiting to take some action forces one's mind to think only of food and desire nothing in particular, "but SOMETHING", with laser-like precision.
For some reason , they kept marching us out into open areas in the ocld and then leaving us there without explanation for thirty minutes at a time. If I had been aware, I would have worn long underwear. Of course, if I had, they would have been shooting all day inside the toasty warm state house.
Our action was a continuation of what we were doing on the set earlier this week. We were rolling the art crates out onto the dock , down the ramp and into awaiting vans. Not rocket science, but really difficult in the freezing cold. My fingers were so numb, I was afraid I would lose my crate and it would go racing down the ramp and crash into the van across the garage.
Of course, the best part of the day was the fact that they didn't feed us on time and we ended up accruing 5 meal penalties. Which will add up to about an extra $60.00 on the paycheck. As my friend Margaret always says- " You ain't makin money as an extra , until you are in pain" . So .. cold and hunger qualify.