Return of the Ex List

Conversations from Set:


Of television and coffee shops

My Monday on set went well. Got there early enough to go through the line quickly, had some yummy breakfast, and got quite a bit of reading done before we even started working. Things got interesting when we were lined up in groups of 16 and assigned a “counselor.” And then the A.D. just had a blast making as many references to summer camp as he could come up with.

My team was the Bravo squad, in case anyone was wondering. And we were the best team.
So the whole scenario yesterday was that a pilot currently filming in L.A. needed footage of a full stadium, hence our meeting at Petco Park. For about four hours we basically ran from section to section, filling the place up slowly but surely. Somehow the cameras will be able to piece it all together to show a full stadum, which absolutely amazes me, because there were a total of only 150 background used.
It may sound boring (and tiring), but it was actually pretty amusing. The A.D.’s and assistant A.D.’s kept reminding us to mingle with different people, don’t sit with the same person from the last shot, etc. They yelled at us to think of it as speed dating, to get out there and make new friends, occasionally shouting, “Hey, this guy’s got no friends! Who’s going to befriend this guy!”
I met some new people, sat with some kids I remember from the Ex List, ran into a guy named Paul who’d apparently been on set a lot with me, but we’d never run into each other. Then I sat next to this one guy who happened to catch me discreetly trying to get a picture of myself with the rest of the stadium and people behind me (to send to Andy with a “Wish you were here!” sentiment). We struck up a conversation about Rent since it was just here, and we eventually ran out of conversation, and I went back to my book.
I could see he wanted to keep the conversation going, but he wasn’t saying anything, so I kept reading.
Then he spoke up.
“Have you ever heard of Spring Awakening?”
Bam! That was my book hitting the concrete and sliding down to the next row. Conversation on! Sadly, we had only a minute and a half to discuss the amazingness that is Spring Awakening, before we were on to our next “speed dates.”
Four hours, 65 pages, and hundreds of steps later, the first A.D. yelled “Wrapped!” Everyone cheered and booked it for the exit. With 150 people working that day, check out could take up to an hour and a half. 
Luckily (and possibly selfishly), I’m okay with speed walking to the front of the group, and New Friend Paul and I made it out of there as number 3 and number 4 to exit. Then we slapped high five and headed to our respective cars. It was a good day.
I didn’t realize how exhausted, hungry, and, apparently, dehydrated I was until halfway to Andy and Ryan’s apartment. Stopped and got a Subway sandwich and some water, crashed on their couch with more water, and contentedly watched Jeapordy and NCIS for three hours with Andy, while intermittently falling in and out of a nap. What a great afternoon.
After that we went to Andy’s going-away-for-a-month party at Chevy’s ($3 margaritas at happy hour!), then back to the guys’ place to meet Chris for How I Met Your Mother. Then a couple episodes of Lost which they want to hook me on, and I’m finally succumbing to since everyone and their mother watches it.
And now it’s Tuesday night and the OSF and I are at the usual Starbucks haunt. I got my 1,000 words done early enough to mess around on facebook and Word Challenge it up. Don’t know what he’s doing, but I’m sure he’s being equally productive. 🙂

Fun day ahead…

I’m working as background tomorrow, for the first time in 2009. We’ll be on location at Petco Park, and I’m excited to see some old faces that I got to know last year on the Ex List. Hopefully the old gang managed to get the call. 

I’m bummed Andy won’t be there, but it’s non-union only tomorrow, and that guy’s been SAG for years. Seriously bummed he won’t be around. Who will get me cokes when I’m desperate for a caffeine fix? Who will let me read the sides and let me know what time the A.D. thinks we’ll get wrapped? 
I’m gonna miss that kid.
For some fun stories from set last year, check out here, here, here, here, and here.

The Haps

(You know, the things that be going on.)

Tim Askew started a blog!

I found a $170 check I’d forgotten about from working on set. It was like when you find $5 in your pocket, only 34 times better. 

Yesterday on set was weird. I don’t think I’ll be going on the days they’re in OB anymore, because the people down there are literally crazy. One old guy walked around screaming about how we shouldn’t vote for Obama (hmmm… maybe he’s not so crazy) and followed up his political views with a few racist jokes (which this one ridiculous girl kept laughing at, which just spurred him on), and a woman shouted at one of our security guards who had done absolutely nothing to her, then yelled that we’d all be dead by midnight when she caught a few people glancing her way. They’re a lovely bunch down there.

Pies are $6.99 at Marie Calendar’s right now. Sounds like Pie Date Night should be reinstated.
Due to the dryness of fall and my hypersensitivity to it, I have been shocking and getting shocked right and left. The down blankets on my bed are constantly filled with static electricity, and I swear at least twice a night I can bring up an actual, visible electric charge by touching them. I’M NOT KIDDING. Scared me to death the first time with the fear that I would set my blankets on fire in my sleep, but now it’s just kind of cool (but still painful). With some practice, I should be able to give anyone who crosses me a controlled zap, just like our favorite blonde villain and former VM star on Heroes. (“Hey, you mess with the bull…” ~ Veronica Mars)

My roommate gave me this awesome shirt. I told her not to be offended that it would be a sleep shirt and not a shirt I would actually wear out in public. (Because let’s be honest; I’m a nerd, but I’m not that kind of nerd.)

I finally finished my college blanket, started summer 2007 when Sara and Tyler were still around. (I miss you guys!) Yes, it took me more than a year to finish it. But the bulk of it’s been done awhile; I just had to get up the courage to sew on the backing, which ended up fantastic, especially for my first time every trying a project like this. 

Right now my poor blanket is taking its first ride in the washer. 😦 Is it sad that I’ve been praying for its safety in there?

Conversations From Set

October 24, 2008
Around 7pm:
Danny (background setter along with Scott) to me: “Feels just like any other Friday night at the bar, huh?”
Me: “Yeah, I was just about to pull out my book. Just like every Friday night at the bar.”
Danny: (laughs)
Set designer, mixing fake drinks behind us: (Deadpans) “I totally went to the bar to read in college.”
Danny: “Well, yeah, depending on the book, it’s a great conversation starter; ‘So what are you reading there?’ It’s gold. (To set designer) What books did you take to the bar?”
Set designer: “Microbiology.”
End scene.
Around 8pm:
Scott, in a moment of exhausted delirium, or perhaps boredom, takes a fake piece of lettuce from a fake plate of food and puts it on his head as a yamaka.
Brad: “Mazal tov.”
Background girl I don’t know: “Oh, my gosh! Are you Jewish?”
Brad: (Bewildered) No… I just watched Wedding Crashers.”
End scene.

At 9:15pm
Background guy: (pulls out a tiny device of some sort which he uses to tune in to the currently airing episode of The Ex List.)
Everyone else: (crowds around to shamelessly scan the background of scenes for themselves.)
End scene.

Around 10pm:
Set designer: “So what are you reading?”
Me: (Holds up new Karen Kingsbury book to his blank stare) “It’s a girly book. I’m sure you haven’t heard of it.”
Set designer’s blank stare: (continues)
Me: “I mean, it’s no microbiology.”
Set designer: (Feigns insult) “Hey, I enjoyed that book.”
End scene.

Around 10:30pm:
While in holding, Brad instructs us in his views on educational reform (with ideas that actually sound good).
Set girl who I know but have never learned her name: “Brad, you should be president!”
Me: “Yeah! Brad for president! We should make posters!”
Another girl: “All this downtime is perfect for that!”
Me: “I’ll bring the markers next time!”
(And in case anyone’s wondering, last night’s episode coincides with this post from September 3.)

October 22, 2008: In which I flashback to the 90’s and get pulled over for the first. time. ever.

Today was flashback day on set. I have never been a part of a flashback. I wasn’t sure what it entailed, but I had visions of flashbacks in Friends, with Monica in her fat suit, Rachel with her old nose, and everyone’s hair and clothes looking waaaay too ridiculous.

I was not looking forward to it.

But you know what? It turned out just peachy.

First, since the flashback was 1998, the clothes weren’t terrible. I got a nice polk a dot dress and the only issue I had with it was that it was really tight around the lung area, so breathing deeply was impossible for about five hours.

Second, since it was a “period” scene, the girls got to hit hair and make up. Which is awesome. We sat our butts in the same seats as the stars and had their hairdressers playing with our tresses, and it was a beautiful thing. When I was on the makeup side, guess who was in the chair just a foot to my right? None other than the star, Elizabeth Reaser herself.

That was kind of cool.

Also cool? The hairdresser picked me to be the “Phoebe” hair-do, the Lisa Kudrow look from Friends. I didn’t even know my hair was capable of staying up that long, but I guess 50 hairpins and a bottle of spray can hold anything.

I made Andy take a picture of the back of my head at lunch:

Then I tried to get a self-portrait of the front, but it doesn’t look so great:
Then I took a picture of Andy:

Fun things on set today:

Awesome snacks: Goldfish and cheese popcorn. Gene, how did you know these are my favoritest snacks ever?!

Chillin’ in hair and makeup like a real star.

Working in Coronado at night, while crowds gathered around the perimeter to ooh and ahh and ask us questions.

Totally ruining the end of a scene when we got sent across later than normal and ended up walking parallel right next to the actors as they vacated the scene. But really, it was not our fault.

The Russians. See, there were these three Russian boys on set who normally work in LA, but came down here for the day. At one point, they started their lap right after me and they guy I was walking with so they were right behind us for quite awhile. So I joked they were stalking us and clutched my purse tightly to me and gave them a suspicious eye. Best line of the night comes from Russian #2: “They make us to be stalker.” Then the Russians went into some weird zombie mode and joked that it would be funny if they followed me down the street like that.

The end.

Or is it?

As I was driving home, rocking out to my Spring Awakening soundtrack, remembering I had a load of laundry to do still, even though it was eleven p.m., suddenly something happened that had never happened before.

A cop got behind me and turned on his sirens.

Busted! But I didn’t know what for! And I was starting to freak out inside my head while retaining a relatively calm, yet nervous exterior. I’d always figured I’d be the type to start crying at her first ticket, and this thought was not helping.

So I kept my hands on the wheel (I remember that from “What to do if you get pulled over 101”) until he came over. He was a friendly guy, probably my age, and didn’t seem to mind one bit that I was completely flustered as I searched for my driver’s license and registration, which weren’t really in their right places thanks to being on set all day and my dad tinkering with my car and in my glove box. Finally I’d handed it all to him, he asks about my address, he looks at my ID, and he says:

“You went to Shadow Mountain, huh?”

And it all changed in an instant. This was no foe! This was friend! A shadow mountain friend! A Christian brother. I was immediately at ease, and quite incredulous that he would remember my name from the days I did go to Shadow, which were the Awana years, which is where he remembered me from. Then he kindly warns me about sliding through stop signs (my apparent crime, though to be honest I couldn’t even remember the stop sign he was referring to, so I probably really did drift through it), and goes on his merry way.

And 30 seconds later, when the shock has worn off, I realize I forgot to ask his name. Because if he remembered me, chances were I would know his name, too. Names from the past are my specialty. Alas, I did not, and now I feel sad that I’ll never know who he was, this awesome cop who made my first pullover quite a pleasant experience.

So if you’re out there, Mr. Patrols the Helix High La Mesa area at 11:00 on Wednesday Nights Police Officer, thanks. (And what’s your name?)


Another appropriate title for this post: Fling the tomato.

I’m in kind of a bad mood right now. But I’m trying not to be, because I’m not usually a bad mood person. It usually requires quite a few prerequisites to put me in such a dark place. 1) Lack of sleep (check), 2) Wasted money or time (check, check), 3) Unreasonable people (CHECK), 4) Gloomy weather to match (ehh, we’ll check it off- it’s definitely not as warm out as it’s been).

The short story:
(If Justin Aubrey were here, he’d laugh at those words. But trust me- I could make stories much longer.)

Brittany and I went to set yesterday. Originally told we’d have an early day, we were a little saddened to learn 10 pm would be a more reasonable expectation. As I had an ultimate frisbee game at 9:40, this was greatly distressing. (I’d already missed the first two games of the season; we only get like 8 games total.) Then the rumor that some would get wrapped early went around. Brittany and I presented our case that, should this be true, we would like to be among the group to leave. (Usually on set there’s a good split of people who want to stay and want to leave when the choice comes; usually I’m on the want to stay side, so I do not feel selfish in this action at all- sometimes you want to leave early, I’m cool when others feel that way.) So Hugh, our faithful wrangler friend, said no promises but took it into consideration.

Then Billy (name changed to protect the not-innocent) came in. And Billy chose who would leave. And Billy, knowing about our request, looked right over us and picked 8 other people. And then we protested. AND HE LAUGHED AT US, and said he’s not taking requests tonight.

So basically he was an arrogant jerk, didn’t ask if anybody had a preference of staying or going, wrapped several people who wanted to stay, purposely ignored the people who wanted to go, and in the process ended up picking one girl who had to wait for her ride (another extra) anyway and ended up sitting there with us not getting paid the whole time because Billy had wrapped her. While some of us sat there wanting to go.

This is where arrogance leads, my friends. Down the road of idiocy where people start putting you on their lists. Billy is now on our lists.

Here’s the thing about Billy. He’s usually really laid back. He’s ALWAYS complaining about people in power who treat others like dirt and use their power for evil, blah blah blah. And the thing was, by not letting us go, he wasn’t trying to be a jerk. I’m pretty sure he thought he was just being funny.

Ha, ha, Billy. Great joke. We all dislike you now because you let power go to your head, instead of, you know, doing things rationally.

We didn’t get wrapped until two in the morning. Which was fine with me past 10:40 anyway. My game was already over. I could have stayed all night, racking up more overtime and not cared in the slightest. In fact, if that were the end of the story, I probably wouldn’t be blogging it at all. Billy would have been forgotten as soon as my head hit the pillow.

However, the story picks up when my head raised from said pillow. And Brittany, from her pillow, asked if I was still parked on the street from Wednesday night. Yes, I was. It’s street sweeping day. Crap.

So now I have my first parking ticket and a $35 fine to go with it. And yeah, I know technically it’s my fault for not remembering it was the second Friday, but really you’re not thinking about Friday when you park on the street on Wednesday. I was supposed to have gone to my frisbee game, where I would have returned late Thursday night and parked in our space in the back. But I didn’t go to my game, therefore I didn’t drive my car last night, therefore it was still there this morning when the street sweeping ticket enforcers were out. So, yeah, it was my responsibility and I goofed.

But Billy is still totally getting the blame.

So. Now that I feel a little bit of a catharsis after my rant, I’ll list eight things related to these incidents that shall remind me how blessed I am and how a $35 donation to the city (that makes it sound better, yeah?) really isn’t that big of a deal, if you think about it.

1) The fact that I have a car with the ability to get ticketed. Most people in the world don’t have a car.
2) The fact that I usually have a parking space in back.
3) Clean(ish) streets.
4) The fact that parking tickets don’t go on your record, so I’m still clean.
5) Getting the special treatment on set last night (we were allowed to partake of the ‘snack table’ which had pizza for a snack in the afternoon, and In’n’out burgers for snack at midnight.)
6) Andy, my loyal compadre, who brought me, not one coke over the course of the day, but three, to keep me properly caffeinated. And an apple to keep me nutrition-ized.
7) Getting to be on set with Alan Matthews for real this time. Up close and personal.
8) Getting to be in my first scene with under 5 background. It was nice and mellow for that forty-five minutes.

Now. About that tomato flinging. After we finally got wrapped I went and got me one of those in’n’out burgers for the road. So we’re cruising down Ruffin Road on a Trent-search (don’t ask), and I realize with the first bite there are tomatos on this burger. So I roll down the window and politely ask Britt if she minds if I fling the tomato onto the side of the road (because I would like to be asked before someone flung something from my truck, just in case). She says nope, and I tell her to get as close to the sidewalk as possible so I can aim for some bushes. But the bushes stop, and we’re coming up on a bus stop, so I have to wait, and the lane is ending, and Brittany’s yelling, “Fling the tomato!” So I do (past the bus stop), and we’re good to go, until I take my second bite and discover a second tomator that must have been hidden under the first. And we repeat. Thus, the phrase, “Fling the tomato!” became extremely funny to us at 2am on Ruffin Road after a full day on set.

Sigh. I feel better now. I think I’ll spend the rest of the evening catching of the last four episodes of Heroes and scrapbooking up to wazoo. I love Friday nights of three day weekends. 🙂