Tuesday, June 30, 2009

All The Bobby Pins In The World

I tell you, if I keep doing these costume days, I'm never going to need to buy another bobby pin as long as I live. I've just picked about 20 of them out of my hair.

From which you will gather that I am home from another bruiser of a day on Boardwalk Empire. The damn fools didn't put the call times or bus info on the hotline until about a quarter past 11 last night, and then I couldn't sleep, so I'm absolutely dead.

So. 96th and Broadway for a 10 am bus to White Plains, into costume, into hair, into makeup...and then sit and sit and sit until finally going to the set at about 4:30. They clocked us out at Grand Central at 10:30 PM.

Honestly, I sometimes think movie people are all nuts. We were all trussed up in our waist cinchers, and pinned up in our 1920's hairdos, and made up to look completely natural by about 12:30 - 1 pm. Then we sat on our asses until lunch was called at 4 pm - then we started all over again with the hair and makeup touchups because of course the heat had wilted the hairdos and we'd eaten off (and sweated off) half the makeup. Somehow this seems madly inefficient to me.

Ah, well. A nice 10 hour day with the new rates, anyway...and, in common with many others, I had a refreshing nap on set. Well, the camera was looking in the other direction for about an hour there while we sat at the swearing in of a bunch of new FBI agents. We were supposedly the friends and family of said new agents. Personally, if a friend or member of my family were to become an FBI agent I'd disown him or her, but needs must if one is going to act. So I sat there (after I woke up and they started filming us instead of whatever the camera had been looking at before that) looking just as pleased as punch about the whole thing, while sweat was soaking my waist cincher and damn near every other stitch I was wearing.

Now I'm going to sleep, since I got about 4 hours last night.

Joshua has a pinched nerve in his back, which of course prevents him from doing anything at all except eating and sleeping. If anyone's counting, I believe this is illness number 17,689.

Love, Wendy

Monday, June 29, 2009

Busy Weekend

Well, let's see. I left off on Friday, after Caesar's ghastly show.

Saturday I hauled myself out to Queens for Margot's beer bash. Wow, that Studio Square is some damn BIG beer hall. It must cover an entire city block. Huge indoor spaces, enormous outdoor space (with glorious ashtrays! Yay!). But of course, the food was awful...it always seems to be in these places. I think they should start importing German beer hall chefs, because I keep hearing/reading about the wonderful wurst and whatnot at Oktoberfest in Berlin and other German locations. Actually, that would be a pretty good name for a beer hall with decent food...Wonderful Wurst and Whatnot. At least the Germans might understand the necessity of WARM BUNS, for God's sake. There is nothing worse than hot food on a bun that just came out of the icebox.

And of course, it rained...I had an umbrella with me (given this past month's weather, I feel I should have had it surgically implanted somehow), but everybody got soaked. Then we all shook off the water and went back to serious drinking. (I just inadvertently wrote that as "serious drunking." That too.)

Sunday was Gay Pride. The parade was really not up to standard this year, although I did get to see The Apple Corps, my all time favorite marching band, and a few lovely ladies, as it were, in feathers and spangles. But there was LOTS and LOTS of the parade, and somehow by the time it got to us at its end on Christopher Street, the timing had been thrown off, so that there was what felt like 20 minutes between one group and the next. And it gets more political every year, which I suppose it really should, but I miss the old days of fabulousness...give me sequins and feathers over signs any old day. Anyway, Sarah and I eventually got bored with the long waits and the politicians and went to the fair and ate. Then I went home and took a nap and then went down to the end of the block to watch the fireworks, which WERE fabulous. And next weekend the 4th of July! And thanks to Sarah, I've got a party to go to so I don't have to do the crowds at the pier...I don't usually bother with the 4th of July (mainly because of the crowds and the difficulties of getting home from the East Side when there are no taxis and every bus is jammed with other fireworks watchers), but they're doing them in the Hudson this year.

Obviously, I took the day off today...I rarely party for three days in a row and I was tired. And lo and behold, who should call but dear Grant Wilfley Casting, to get me out to White Plains tomorrow to put on my (God help me) waist cincher again for another day on Boardwalk Empire! And I got a check from The Bounty - and since we got a raise, I get a take home of $122 and change for a straight 8 hour day. Imagine what this will look like if we do another 15 hours on Boardwalk. Yahoo! Not, you understand, that I'm all that thrilled about a 15 hour day, but if it happens, the compensation is worth it.

Unfortunately, dear GWC doesn't seem to know quite what time the bus leaves yet - or something. I keep calling the hotline and it keeps telling me to call back in half an hour. I wish they'd get it sorted out, because it's now a quarter to ten, and if I have to get up at 3:30 am again, I should damn well like to get to bed. The hotline, by the by, is what you call after you've been called for a movie...it tells you when to be at the set or, if it's an inconvenient location, where the background bus will pick you up. So I wish they'd sort this out.

But I got another day!

Love, Wendy

Friday, June 26, 2009

Report to Saint Tiger Lily

I knew there was something else I had to say about this evening, and the thought of another comment from the Tiger Lily on the subject brought me to my senses.

I started out for 122nd and Riverside Drive quite early, since I was going by HopStop directions for the bus (remember, I HATE subways and only take them when I have no alternative). So I duly got myself to the #5 Limited and settled in for the long ride up to my destination.

I got there, found Riverside Church, but found absolutely no method of getting into the place. And by this time, the sky and the wind were getting really serious about this whole thunderstorm notion and a few drops had started to fall...big, fat, thunderstorm coming sort of drops. So, since Riverside Church seems to be under some sort of renovation, I took refuge on the church steps under the scaffolding, under which I (naively, as it turned out) thought I would stay dry.

Then it rained.

Good Lord. The rain was sheeting horizontally across Riverside Drive, and the sky was totally lit up, and the thunder was shaking the scaffolding...which leaked humongously. It was one HELL of a thunderstorm. And of course I got rather wet, because everything around that church seems to leak (perhaps the reason for all that construction).

But boy, what a wonderful storm!

Love, Wendy

Oh, Dear

Good God. What a perfectly awful something I saw this evening. Unfortunately, it involved two friends...Caesar and D.L.

I call it a something because it wasn't actually an anything. It was an evening that felt like at least two to three hours, although (I learned from checking my watch afterwards) it was in fact only about an hour and ten minutes long. And it was deeply terrible.

Take a bunch of poems written by students and teachers from the Bronx about their lives. Think of the worst possible way you can assemble them into something stageworthy. Cast it (with a couple of exceptions) with complete amateurs. Then do it...and force other people (primarily friends and family) to see it. Call it theatre.

It was excruciatingly bad. It was on the edge of nausea bad. Caesar did his level best, as did a gal named Mary (whom I also know), but they were voices crying in a completely ghastly wilderness. The bright spots in this evening are as follows:

1. Caesar will never, ever, ever again be able to taunt me about that awful play about Iraq I did.

2. I got to see my Irish actor pal Joe, whom I adore. Like me, he came to support Caesar in this tangled wilderness of awfulness.

3. After meandering through miles and miles of Harlem, we ended up at a place that absolutely suited my appetite. This was because we were on 122nd and Riverside. According to D.L. (who directed this fiasco), we were all going to Dinosaur Barbecue, which was "about a five minute walk." Dinosaur Barbecue turned out to be on 131st and 12th Avenue. And too crowded and noisy. So we ended up at 122nd and Amsterdam at a mercifully quiet little cafe. And the small plates were lovely. Prosciutto, salami, cheese, caponata, smoked salmon...oh, yeah.

All of this almost made up for the show, but not quite.

And this was the perfect evening to put into play the backstage greetings I learned from my pal Marty and the gang nearly 50 years ago...actually, I think we formulated them. These are the weasel lines you use when you go backstage to see friends (or wait at the stage door for them) when the show is an unmitigated disaster.

To An Actor (clasping both his hands in yours): DAARLING! I've never seen anything like it! (And never want to again.)

To the Director: Your VISION! Amazing! (What were you taking, because I should deeply love to avoid it.)

The the Costumer: You are truly, truly gifted. (And should probably try to return the gift. Do you have the receipt?)

To the Composer: Such a wonderful blending of old and new! (And aren't you glad all those GOOD composers are dead and can't sue you for horrendously awful plagiarism?)

To the Set Designer: Your work just MADE the show! (Into this month's DON'T column in Better Homes and Gardens. And how DO you do those chairs that the actors can't sit on properly?)

To the Producer: Your theatrical acumen is astounding! (You know, the way you have an unerring eye for what will open on Tuesday and close on Saturday.)

Ah, well. Ice cream and bed. Well, some people take sleeping pills. I think ice cream is better...and there's a good half of that pint of White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle downstairs.

Love, Wendy

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson

I got so involved with my own doings that I somehow forgot about Michael Jackson.

What a shocker. Frankly, I was under the impression that he had become one of the undead, going by his recent looks...I found him quite frightening. Such a pity, because he was an adorable little boy, back in the Jackson Five days.

I just hope that some kind person will unveil those poor children of his.

Love, W.

Every Little Step

Every Little Step is my new favorite movie in the whole world. It's a documentary about the casting of the revival of A Chorus Line, and I saw it today and fell madly in love with it. Fair warning...this probably won't be for you unless you are A. a mad fan of Chorus Line (which I am), or B. somebody who does theatre. It really is sort of for professionals, in that you see the whole audition process, from the first call to the final callbacks and casting...and of course you get the closing number (One) with all the sequins and top hats. I found it wonderful and fascinating and terrific...but it really is rather an in-crowd thing. As I say, I loved it to pieces, but then, this is my life.

Speaking of said life, I actually went to an audition this week (as opposed to getting up at 3:30 am and going to a movie set). It seems to be a play about an Iranian girl trying to marry somebody's American son - I think. (You don't get a script...just sides, which are merely the speech they want you to read...so it's hard to tell what the hell the thing is about.) Anyway, I auditioned for the mother, who is a rather ghastly character, or at least the monologue of hers I read was. She was speaking to the Iranian girl and yammering on and on about how America's way was absolutely the best in the world, and all other nations should adopt our way of life. Talk about an acting job.

It's not, you understand, that I am not a nice patriotic American...I'm just somewhat more clear-headed (or so I fondly believe) about us. Certainly we don't do everything right, which was the burden of the lady's speech...and I hate, hate, hate this sort of jingoism. Oh, well. If I only went out for parts that reflected me I would A. never act again, and B. be a damned dull actress if I did. Being someone you're not is part of the game.

Anyway, after the audition I went and met an old, old pal for a drink (I mean an OLD pal...like damn near fifty years duration), which was enormous fun.

Other than that, I've done nothing all week except go to the movies today. I must say there's nothing like going to the movies in the middle of a weekday afternoon to make one feel deliciously illicit. I somehow feel like I'm cutting school. Given that my taste in movies is somewhat offbeat (I run a mile from anything that says big box office and/or all your favorite stars), I usually wait for them to come out on cable because I can never get anybody to see them with me (I know, I know, Netflix). There's something (to me, at least, but I may be oversensitive) weirdly creepy about going to the movies alone at night. There you are, and there's everyone around you with their dates. Actually, it's not only creepy, it's deeply depressing.

The weekend, however, is going to be one long party. Tomorrow night I shlep up to Riverside Church...which is, God help me, at 122nd Street and Riverside Drive, because my friend Caesar is doing a show...the things I do for my friends. Last summer I ended up in the Cloisters, for heaven's sake. Then Saturday I go to Astoria for my friend Margot's birthday...see "things I do for my friends," above. Luckily Margot is a girl after my own heart and always has this gathering in a beer hall.

And Sunday the whole Village will be roistering - it's Gay Pride Day! That's revving up right now...people are partying out on the pier and the neighborhood is filling up with people. So I'll go and watch the parade end over by Frankie's bar (well equipped with beer, God bless it) and dish on the drag queens and check out the wigs. Although I must say that I hope the parade is more fabulous this year...it's been getting so damn political in recent years that some of the fun went out of it. However, with the new strides in gay marriage (of which I am entirely in favor), the mood should be more celebratory this year. More six foot drag queens in six inch heels, I say!

To bed, to bed...I have to go out and search for a belt tomorrow. I have a neat black sundress and some new gold flats, and I've been hunting all over the place for a gold belt, but so far no luck. Tomorrow I shall go to the East Village and look, and have those nice fried shrimp over on 4th Street...why not.

Love, Wendy

Monday, June 22, 2009

You Win Some...

It's been an up and down sort of day.

I called the people at New York State taxes because I sent them my tax payment on April 14 when I mailed my Federal taxes. According to the website of my bank, the check never cleared...and God knows I didn't want to leave that particular loose end hanging around. As I know to my everlasting regret, the tax people have a ghastly habit of ignoring these little lapses (i.e., never receiving your check) for years on end, at which point they come at you with years worth of interest. This is how, at one rather ghastly point in my life, I ended up owing the IRS $35,000. However, I spoke to NY State, and they went into my records and assured me that not only did they receive my check, but it cleared just fine. HUGE sigh of relief.

Until, of course, I got home from a short hop around the neighborhood (oh, you know...cigarettes, a large chocolate bar, cat food, some chili sauce...well, suddenly I had $226 more dollars than I thought I had) and found a notice from NYS announcing that I owed them $67 because I had underestimated my taxes.

On the other hand, my check from Boardwalk Empire (hereinafter referred to as The Endless Day of the Waistcincher) turned up...$321.50. Not at all shabby (and God knows I deserved it after that instrument of torture). Unfortunately, we were just shy of going into Golden Time. When you took out our lunch hour, it was only fifteen hours, which is deeply annoying. Golden Time, you see, is any portion of an hour after fifteen hours, at which point you get a day's pay for every hour. They came in one hour and five minutes under the limit. Rats!

Meanwhile, I'm deeply annoyed...Date Night is shooting damn near under my window, and although I submitted myself, nobody called me on it. This is no fair. I live in the damn West Village, which has a shoot going constantly. For instance, when I was coming home on Thursday from the Bounty shoot, I went right by a shoot in the Meatpacking District. You can imagine how infuriating it is to be out trying to get to East Flatbush at 5:30 am and finding a shoot setting up a block from your front door. Do I get called for these? Oh, no...begs to be excused (a quote from Peter Pan...Mr. Darling, complaining about trying to tie his evening bowtie..."Round the bedpost, ten times! Round my neck? Oh, no, begs to be excused." Aren't you glad you know that?).

Caesar came over tonight and we ordered lovely Indian food. Shrimp curry and lamb korma and garlic nan...

Tomorrow I will be up at the ghastly hour of 5 am so I can go and stand out in front of the
Actors Equity building to audition for (small drum roll here) an actual SHOW! I can't wait. Well, you know...God bless the Screen Actors Guild and background work and all like that...but my home is the stage, damn it. And this particular show will A. pay me $450 a week, and B. take place on 42nd Street...not Carle Place, NY, not East Flatbush, not Greenpoint. And rehearsals will begin at their usual civilized hour of 10 AM. And while I am at rehearsal, I will actually be doing something other than sitting around in (variously) a catering hall, furniture store, elementary school cafeteria, warehouse...I will be actually working. Presuming, of course, that I can convince these lovely people that I am the only person in the entire sidereal universe who could possibly play the role. Let us pray.

Oh, more or less parenthetical note. I was doing a crossword puzzle the other day, and I have discovered that the creeping rot of the English language has invaded all that I hold most sacred. Four letter word starting with S going down...clue, Withered. So I filled in Sere (which is correct), only to find that (this was very clear from the down words) they had made it Sear...which means to burn or char. Good GOD.

Love, Wendy

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wet...wet, wet, wet, wet

I am WET. My everything is wet. My feet are wet. My bottom, for God's sake, is wet. Wet. Wet. Wet.

This is because there was a slight miscommunication between the actual movie people and my casting agency regarding how to get to Greenpoint, Brooklyn at 7:30 am today. My agency said, Take the G train to Greenpoint Avenue and there will be courtesy shuttle buses. There weren't. So it was eight blocks in the rain to holding. Then it was three blocks (still in the rain) to Crafty (craft services, the nice people with the food - smoked salmon today!). then back to holding. Then, before we got a chance to even eat the breakfast, we had to lug it to the set...five blocks...in the rain. My everything is wet, umbrella notwithstanding.

Then we got into this furniture store which featured the worst furniture I've ever seen in my life, all done in nice brown Naugahyde with brown patterned fabric...horrendous. Then we went upstairs where there was an apartment and we shot a 4th of July party (popcorn and Cheese Doodles and soda, in case you care.) Then we sat in the back room of the horrible furniture store (which had more horrible furniture in it) for hours. Then we hiked back to holding (in the rain...the very WET rain) for lunch. Then we sat in holding for an hour and a half. Then we hiked back (that eight blocks, remember?) to the subway...in the rain. Luckily, there were nice people to talk to, two of whom I actually knew - Paul, with whom I sat around all day for Morning Glory out on Long Island, and Marissa, who did Boardwalk Empire with me last week.

And how was your day?

Love, Wendy

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In The News

Something strange is going on here. According to 1010Wins, Seattle is in the midst of a record-breaking drought.

Frankly, I think they must have a new guy in the area of the celestial mailroom responsible for sending out weather - it's obvious. We got Seattle's weather and they got ours. Could somebody send this kid back to training? I'm beginning to mildew...

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Love Grant Wilfley

In case you care, if I haven't mentioned it before, that would be Grant Wilfley Casting, from whom I got a call today about filming The Bounty Thursday and Friday. This is extremely cool. It seems to be a movie about a bounty hunter - which would make sense. I, of course, immediately thought of Mutiny on the Bounty and wondered why on earth anyone would choose to remake it again. But no. Actually, it sounds like a pretty terrible movie. It's got Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, and while I think she seems like a perfectly nice girl, the fact is that she hasn't had a hit movie since I don't remember when.

But there you are, that's the glory of background work. You come in for your day or two, you prance about or sit still or whatever it is you're supposed to be doing, they feed you, they pay you, and that's all you have to worry about. Unlike the theatre, where reviews make or break the show, movies exist totally separately...I mean, no matter how awful they are, they're still THERE. You get paid. Unless you're one of those stars who goes for a percentage of the gross...THEN you're in trouble if the thing's a flop. But on my level (background people, sad to say, are basically cattle and get herded around...well, at least they don't brand us) it doesn't much matter. One day's work, one day's pay. Lovely.

However, I do have a couple of auditions coming up for REAL work - i.e., the stage. One of them, if I get it, is going to make a small mess of Sarah's birthday party in France, since the performances are August 6th and 7th, Thursday and Friday. This means I'll have to fly to Geneva on a Saturday - but at least I'll get there in time. (You fly to Geneva to get to France - or we do - because our little village is on the edge of Lake Geneva on the French side.) This sounds like an interesting company for me, though - they specialize in using actors over 50. I LIKE this idea. It's an evening of one acts, and they all have roles suitable for me. Yay!

The other one is something called Mahida's Extra Key to Heaven, which seems to have something to do with Iran, but there's the role of Edna, 50's-60's, who is "very sure of herself and of America's place in the world." Or something like that. Whatever. And IT doesn't even start to rehearse until August 18th, which is perfect. AND it pays $450 a week, which is even more perfect. We shall see.

My, I would like to do a proper show. Background is lovely, and it's lucrative, but nothing beats a real show (pardon my snobbery). And background tends to be pretty damn dull. I do try to make it interesting for myself by reacting to things happening around me and inventing a character to play (I don't think anyone gives a shit whether I do or not, but one should try not to fall asleep while filming). I practice reactions, and staying in the scene shot after shot after shot, camera angle after camera angle after camera angle...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh, sorry; I dozed off.

Well, we shall see. Tomorrow I'm going to get up, take a shower, and put on my yoga clothes before I even go downstairs...thinking I'm just going to go downstairs and read the papers and THEN come back up, shower and dress is invariably fatal.

Love, Wendy

Monday, June 15, 2009

Food and Theatre

Two of my favorite things, right there in the title...isn't that nice?

Saturday night my kid called (at 5:30 pm) and announced that she had an extra ticket for Twelfth Night at the Delacorte in Central Park. So I leaped up from where I was doing all this deeply important stuff at the computer (like playing solitaire) and into a shower and ran off.

It was a delight. Raul Esparza was doing Orsino and Anne Hathaway (who did extremely well, thus shattering some of my very snobbish prejudices about movie actors playing Shakespeare - which is pretty ungrateful of me, considering that movies are currently paying me) did Viola...and there were a whole bunch of absolutely wonderful people besides that. They played it very broadly, which is correct, and I was rolling in the aisles...where it was extremely wet, since it rained. We had a brief rain break in the first act when it started to REALLY pour, but other than that, we all happily laughed our way through the drizzle. I must say, it's fun to look out over an audience clad almost entirely in plastic garbage bags, although I don't think it'll ever catch on as chic wear for theatre going. One never knows, however - given that I have sat in hundred dollar seats next to entire families full of tourists wearing grubby t-shirts and flip flops. (Ugh.)

Last night I got around to cooking dinner for my pals Caesar and Joe - I was supposed to do this Thursday, but that casting director thing got in the way. I love my friends dearly, but they're not casting directors - business before pleasure.

Boy, I love feeding men. It reminds me of Benjamin Franklin's advice to his nephew (I think it was his nephew) on women. Ben told the boy to concentrate on widows, because "they are so grateful." The same holds true of cooking for men.

I made the boys huge bowls of good old fashioned steamed mussels (you know, white wine, garlic, parsley, onions) and a big salad, and lots of bread to sop up the sauce, and sliced sugared strawberries on lemon poundcake with whipped cream - which is a pretty dull dessert, but then I'm not a dessert cook of any kind - and it looks nice and tastes good. What more do you want?

Naturally, I drank too much wine, but I'm such a good little girl - I got up this morning and cleaned the kitchen and ran the dishwasher and am now feeling terribly virtuous about it. Not virtuous enough to get my ass to yoga, unfortunately, but I can do that tomorrow. Really. I mean it. Honest.

Love, Wendy

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Love It

This morning on FARK.com, I ran across a story about hospital personnel getting in trouble for photographing a patient's "ambiguous genitalia."

Well, of course they SHOULD get in trouble - but really, isn't Ambiguous Genitalia the best name EVER for a rock band?

Love, Wendy

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Meeting A Casting Director...Sort Of

Well, that was interesting.

SAG has this program where if you're really good and sign in on time and get your picture and resume in and all like that, you get to go to these sessions where you do cold readings for actual casting directors. Which is what I did tonight.

It was a fairly instructive session, since I've never auditioned for an actual movie casting director. But, to be perfectly frank, doing a cold reading for the movies is exactly like doing a cold reading for stage, except you have less time to make an impression, from what I could gather. Luckily, making an impression has NEVER been something with which I have a problem, and in fact, the gal (Kim Moarefee - sp?) seemed quite pleased with me. She said I was really putting it out there.

Naturally, having the same ego as every other actor in the world, I can pick this apart forever. What did she mean by that? I mean, she had words of advice for every other actor in the room - was she just blowing me off because I'm older? No, that's silly...there was at least one broad there who was older than me, and SHE got advice. Was she being sarcastic? Hell, I got the laughs inherent in the scene (all seven lines of it). Welcome to the paranoid world of acting.

You know, now that I think of it...actually, I did do a good job. From my mouth to God's ears, as we say in the shtetl.

Other than that, I didn't get to yoga on Wednesday...yeah, yeah, I know. Nobody thought I was going to. I did, however, get down on my mat at home and do some stretches, because my body was shrieking at me. Today I got up and went to the library. I have discovered that library books are great for people like me who would really prefer to stay home. Think about it. If you don't get your bottom out of bed and get those books back you're going to be paying all those library fines. Since my reason for going to the library in the first place is to save money buying books, it seems rather pointless to incur fines. And I even got a nice gift for being a good girl and returning my books (and taking out more, of course)...when I poked my nose in Gourmet Garage on the way home, they had really big shrimp on sale for 7.99 a pound. Guess what I had for dinner? (Wait, wait...I'm supposed to be SAVING money by going to the library. Hey, it's not my fault. Some damn fool stuck Gourmet Garage right in my path as I'm walking home, and if I try to avoid that pitfall by taking the bus home, it doesn't help, on account of the bus stop is right beside Citarella. See? NOT MY FAULT.)

Tomorrow is DEFINITELY yoga.

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

When We Left Off...

It was last Tuesday after the networking session, when last we spoke. Ah, yes.

Well, for some reason that I can't offhand remember, I didn't get to yoga on Wednesday...and did nothing else at all. Ah, well...these things happen.

Thursday I met up with John and Jeanne again for our farewell get-together, and Sarah turned up. Then I stayed up like an idiot when I got home playing with YouTube until 4 am...I get these fits every now and then. Sometimes a girl just needs her Fred Astaire/Gene Kelly/Danny Kaye etc. fix.

Friday was another day of recovery (I've gotta slow down)...Saturday was going to my pal
Robert's screening. His piece was wonderful, as always. He's a very talented and funny guy, and he's very good at high camp, which I happen to love with a passion. Then it was a quick stop at the Housing Works street fair (not worth it), and an art show (our friend Seth was showing). Then Caesar and I had a couple of drinks and I went home.

Sunday, R&R. Monday, yoga, after a week off, which damn near killed me.

And then there was today. Boardwalk Empire finally filmed, with me in my 1920's temperance lady outfit with that goddamn waist cincher.

I got up at 3:30 am (movies are glamorous, remember?) and got myself to the corner of Church and Chambers for the 5:30 am bus to East Flatbush. Then wardrobe, hair, makeup...then to the set. And there we stayed, with about half an hour for lunch. And stayed. And stayed. And...

Several things have become very clear to me out of this experience. At the top of the list is this (and write it down because it's very important):


Thing 2: If you are going to sit around on a stage reacting to Steve Buscemi being slimily charming, be aware that you are going to have to continue doing this for FOURTEEN HOURS. Don't overreact in the first six hours or so, because by the end of the day, you're going to doze off...during the speech.

Thing 3: Martin Scorcese is an absolute charmer.

Thing 4: Try to get on an HBO show if you're going to be there for FOURTEEN HOURS. because,

Thing 5: HBO has lots and lots and lots of really good food and it's around all the time. And THEIR asparagus is properly cooked and comes with really nice hollandaise. And their roast beef has not only gravy, but horseradish sauce. And their afternoon break food is lovely...tons of cheeses and fruits and candy bars and absolutely necessary Diet Coke and potato chips and lots and lots of nice stuff to keep actors awake. Unless, of course, the actor in question is wearing a WAIST CINCHER which by this time has cut off all circulation to the stomach area.

Eventually we got to go home...and when we got on the bus, there was a whole kerfluffle because it was suddenly announced that "in accordance with SAG rules," the bus would drop us off in a safe area," which in this case they had deemed to be Grand Central Station. Those of us who are downtown West Siders had seven fits at this point, because that may be safe, but it's inconvenient as hell, and we had made travel plans home based on the Church and Chambers location. We therefore (once we were over the Manhattan Bridge) simply announced, whenever the driver hit a red light at a logical corner, "Oh, you're stopped...I'll just hop off here." I have no idea how many people the poor man had left when he got to Grand Central.

It is midnight at the oasis here. I have been up since 3:30 this morning. The cat is confused...breakfast at 4 am and dinner at 10 pm? What? Um, meow? I don't care. I'm no longer running on empty...actually, I'm no longer running.

I'm supposed to go to yoga tomorrow. I may actually do it, because I feel there's a possibility that stretching out all these permanent scars from that WAIST CINCHER may help. But I think I'll sleep first. THEN I'll worry about it.

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Catchng Up and Going On

Taking up exactly where I left off, my pal John and his lady Jeanne and I (and John 's brother Charley and his wife Heather) all met up and had a lovely evening last Friday. We are all (or at least John and Jeanne and I) are getting together again on this coming Thursday with the rest of the Richard III leftovers...or at least those who have looked at my email.

Saturday, as promised, I went to the Morton Street street fair (damn near nonexistent...two tables of children selling old toys) and the Jane Street fair...much better, but oh, dear...it always makes me sad to see how much people are getting for the dresses I jettisoned from my wardrobe 40 years back.

Unfortunately (sort of...I had a terrific time), after Jane Street, I wandered into the Corner Bistro because I had to take a leak, and what with one thing and another (i.e., people to talk to), I somehow managed to get absolutely plastered, and frightened poor Joshua to death when he came upstairs and found me happily curled up under the kitchen table with a kitchen towel as a pillow. He informed me that he thought I'd had a heart attack. I fail utterly to understand how I would have ended up under there, neatly curled with my dishtowel pillow, with a heart attack. Anyway, the SOB woke me up, and by that time I'd had just enough of a nap so that I could think of navigating the spiral stairs...so I went to bed. (For some reason, when really plastered, I go under the kitchen table. No, I don't know. It just seems so nice and neat and enclosed, somehow.)

All of the above being the case, I spent Sunday in rest and rehab. Monday I went to 36th and 3rd at 10 am to pick up the location van to Long Island.

This was the damnedest holding I've ever been in. (I'm sorry...it just occurred to me that some of my readers may not know the term. Holding is where background people are stashed until needed, where the wardrobe people' if necessary, and makeup and hair people, if necessary, are.) It was this big Long Island catering joint, very, very upscale...sort of. Much Art Deco, varnished wood, waterfalls, staircases for brides to make an entrance...and this deeply amazing backyard (I'm sorry...outdoor function space) which had weirdly oversized white furniture and gas fireplaces and sofas and...it was quite odd. It sort of looked like a 1950's science fiction movie about the town of a deeply enlightened race.

Anyhow, we got there around 11 am, and were signed in, and did all the legal stuff (vouchers, I-9's...the ones where you swear you're a US citizen, or not, as the case may be) and we got checked out by wardrobe, and then we sat. And we sat. And we sat. And we had a lovely lunch. Really. Like seven different salads, and chicken, and pasta with shrimp sauce (question: if you have shrimp in your pasta sauce, why can't you take the tails off the shrimp?). And ribs, and asparagus (badly undercooked)...but you know, a ton and a half of food for every possible desire. And five cakes for dessert. Most of which, I am utterly delighted to say, involved quite a lot of whipped cream. (There was no coffee. What the hell goes on with the no damn coffee?)

At any rate, we spent the day in this weirdly appointed moonscape of a garden, and finally, at 5 pm, we were called to the set. This required another van and 10 minutes of driving, at which point we were decanted near the laundromat ( this was where we were supposed to be filming). We were then told to wait around the corner, which we did ( with a brief break for craft services fruit and cheese and dips and candy bars)...for about half an hour...at which point we were told we were wrapped and could go back to holding, sign off, and hop a van home. This occupied my day from 10 am until 7 pm...and welcome to the lovely world of background work. Frankly, who cares? I got a lovely day in a garden (albeit a rather odd one and I'm slightly sunburned), a nice meal and a snack, and transport both ways...and I'm getting paid for it. I assure you, there are worse ways to make a living. Like the Intrepid and Niketown, to name two.

I went to the networking event tonight, fully togged out as a lady (oh, you know...dress and heels and all like that there shit). Frankly, I don't think anything can come of an event which is so damn loud you can't hear each other speak. I met some very nice people, but I don't think anything is going to come of this.

And as I was exiting the event, my kid called and invited me to dinner on her...and then our friend Michael turned up...so I am now somewhat blitzed but full of food and happy.

And tomorrow I shall have to shower at the top of my lungs to prevent beer sweat in yoga class.

And it just came to me that the oddest thing happened tonight. I grabbed a cab back to the Village (the networking thing was by Penn Station),and Sarah had called and we'd made plans to meet at the restaurant at the corner of Charles and Hudson. So my cab pulled up where I asked it to, i.e., on the side of the restaurant, and all of a sudden there is this shortish, but large man in shorts and and a plaid shirt over a more than ample belly, and he's yelling at the taxi that it shouldn't be in the crosswalk. This guy is getting nuts over this, and my nice young driver is saying, Sir, the lady needed to be dropped here, and this fat toad is yelling about the crosswalk and about calling the Taxi and Limousine Commission (the taxi is protruding about eight inches into the crosswalk and not in anybody's way)..so I pay the taxi and get out while muttering, admittedly not QUITE under my breath, "You fuckin' nuisance" and all of a sudden the guy starts screaming at me: "You want to start something bitch? You wanna face me and say that?" And all the time, the guy's got his 9 or 10 year daughter with him, pulling at him, and going, Dad, let's go home.

I ran for the restaurant...but oh, my God, that poor child. Can you imagine growing up with a father like that? And I'll bet you anything, that when his daughter leaves home as soon as it's legal, he'll say, "Why would she do a thing like that?"

Love. Wendy