Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Back In The Corset Again

Another long day in Greenpoint. But I must say, I had an easy job of it. Aside from one walk down the Boardwalk, I spent most of the 13 hours being trundled around in a push chair...a sort of rickshaw thing very much in vogue, evidently, when the Boardwalk was built. Back and forth, back and forth, nodding regally to gentlemen who tipped their straw hats to me, and gawking attractively at the delights on view (which got less delightful as the day wore on, since how many times can one convey delight at the same damn window display?). But the great part was that I was sitting down all day and there was a nice blanket in the push chair to wrap myself up in between shots. Yes, I know it was a gorgeous warm day yesterday, but the set is right on the water, and we had a lot of trouble with flying hats when the breeze kicked up. The COLD breeze.

The great thing about Boardwalk Empire is that the days are long, but they move fast. Their shooting schedule seems to be involved in using all the background people all day, instead of making us wait around while they shoot the stars (which makes total economic sense when you consider that yesterday there were 150 background people...on the overnight shoot I did there last summer, there were over 200). This means that you're actually working for the better part of the day, which of course makes it go faster. Also, now that Mr. Scorsese isn't on set all day long, there's a much looser feel about it. With him there, of course, everybody was on their best behavior...now there's a fair amount of goofing going on, which is fun. Friday's L&O SVU, where I was used once at 9:30 in the morning and once at 8:45 PM...THAT felt like a long damn day.

And seeing everybody in costume is so much fun! There were seersucker suits and straw boater hats on the guys, and a full range of socio-economic clothes on the women...from my lower class khaki suit and kind of washerwoman dresses on a couple of my fellow plebians having a holiday from their washerwoman work, to glorious white lawn and lace with flowered hats for the upper class gals. And as always on this show, everything vintage. A real treat.

And at the end of the day back in the costume shop, I love the simultaneous sighs of relief as all the ladies get their corsets off.

Boy, they've really made a little city out there. When I was there in June, the holding pen and costume shop were tents. Now they're actual structures, you know, with walls and all. They're still basically made out of shipping containers (I think), but they've got real windows and stuff. Unfortunately, what they don't have is heat. Ah, well...I suppose you can't have everything.

Also, getting breakfast was slightly fraught. We got there at about 6:15, after a somewhat bizarre late takeoff. We were all meeting at 33rd and 3rd to get the location bus, and we waited and waited and waited...until finally someone came down the street and walked us all over to 36th and 3rd, where the bus actually was. Why this happened I never found out. However, it did give me the opportunity to get the NYTimes for my crossword puzzle, so I can't really complain. But it did mean we were a few minutes off schedule. The result of this was that we got in, I dumped my stuff, went and got my smoked salmon and bagel (another lovely holding pen with food right in it), and as soon as I put it down on the table, I got called to costume and makeup. This, of course, is a fairly long process, what with all those layers of costume (for me, knee high boots that laced all the way up, petticoat, the dreaded waist cincher/corset, camisole, blouse, skirt, jacket, hat), then hot rollers in the hair, then makeup, then back to my hair lady for the final do (another nice handful of bobby pins for my collection). And of course you have to stand in line for hair and makeup (you could hardly expect them to have 150 hair and makeup people for 150 actors). Finally, 45 minutes later, we got a 15 minute NBD (this means breakfast off the clock, and it's too early in the morning for me to go look up the actual meaning of the initials...trust me on the translation). By this time my bagel had gone a little crunchy around the edges, but it was still fine...and coffee tasted WONDERFUL. And they even gave me a purse to carry, thank heavens. Last time I did the show I had no purse and no pockets in the costume, so I had to do something creative with a baggie pinned inside my skirts for the necessary cigarettes, inhaler and watch.

It is 7:30 in the morning. Since I got up at 3 AM yesterday, I woke up at 4:30 AM today, which I could have done without. I kept trying to go back to sleep, but that didn't work (one reason being that I'm hungry, and who can sleep when they're hungry?), so now I'm going to get the papers, eat something, and THEN go back to sleep for a couple of hours. After which I'll do something sensible...like work on my house.

Tune in next time, when our heroine will have more tales of movies and moving! (I'd get myself tied to the train tracks by a villain, just to keep you interested, but I think that's a tad bit excessive.)

Love, Wendy

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