Monday, May 31, 2010


I haven't really got time for a whole entry - actually, unless you want to hear for the 89th time that I'm trying to learn lines, I haven't got anything interesting to say, anyway.

However, my eye was caught by the following in the NY Post's classified ads (no, I don't know why I was looking at them, either):

Mt. Bethel Township/Pocono Mts.
Exquisite rural estate. 34 sprawling acres of farmland, 4 acre lake w/ 6 bdrms, 3 bths w/ 3 frplcs & guest qtrs. - etc., etc., etc.

4 acre lake with 6 bedrooms? And how in the hell do they get the fireplaces to work, all under water like that?

Love, Wendy

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The End of An Era

Well, I do believe that I've done my last shoot on the least for the first season. This was what we were all hearing yesterday, at any rate.

But to backtrack for a minute...

First of all, I dutifully went and did my transcription job on Tuesday, mourning the loss of a day on the Boardwalk. However, they called in the afternoon, so I did Boardwalk on Wednesday...i.e., yesterday. AND I heard from everyone who was there on Tuesday that it was a ghastly awful shoot because of the weather - 55 degrees and raining. So except for the money, I'm glad I missed it.

However, yesterday was pretty ghastly too...did you know it hit 92 degrees yesterday? Do you know that we were all out tromping around on that damn Boardwalk in the hottest part of the day? In those heavy costumes? Some of the women were lucky because they have the light summer chiffon dresses on, but it didn't help them a lot...we were filming bits and pieces of fill in stuff, so about every ten minutes, those who had heavy winter coats as part of their costumes had to put them on. Luckily, I'm the same at all times (nobody loves me...I want a chiffon dress!), but I'm still wearing four layers of clothing...suffice it to say that when the SAG rep, Leif, came by, he negotiated heat pay for us...yay, SAG! And we were out there from 10:30 am until after midnight. In case you were wondering, it didn't get a lot cooler. The only bright spot was the fact that people came by and sprayed us with water, since the first shot was supposed to be in the rain. We get paid for wet work, too...isn't that nice?

But, as far as I know, no more Boardwalk until next year...and boy, will I miss those paychecks. Two came in the mail for a quickie shoot that only paid minimum for $122.80, and one for a LONG day's shoot for $305.09. Just to give you an example of what SAG pays you for doing, it broke down like this:

Regular 8 hour day - $134.00
Meal penalty (meaning, we got served lunch later than the rules allow) - 80.00
Smoke (I tried one of those herb cigarettes at the request of a director - ugh) - 14.00
Night premium (meaning anything after 8 pm or maybe it's 9 pm) - 4.81
2 hours of overtime - 55.50
2.30 hours of double time - 85.10

Then deductions...ending me up with a check for 305.09. Dear, lovely SAG...this, you understand, was for ONE DAY OF WORK.

Tonight I rehearsed for the play, which goes up a week from Monday, God help me. I'm slowly getting the lines down, but the fact that my character is nutty as a fruitcake and doesn't have a connected thought in her head is slowing me down's like trying to memorize the path of a hyperactive grasshopper. But I shall persevere...

Now I'm going to finish my beer and go to bed. And tomorrow, oh, frabjous filming, no rehearsal...just one long and glorious day to...learn lines. Um, wow...freedom?

Love, Wendy

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I forgot to mention something really sweet that happened on the set on Friday, which was a bright spot in all the heat, humidity and general starvation. Steve Buscemi's father was on the set. Well, he was having a lovely time watching the scene (we were shooting Election Day for President Harding, the first election in which women were allowed to vote), which had a brass band and waving American flags and all sorts of neat things. Mr. Buscemi Sr. decided he wanted his picture taken with some of us ladies in our 1920's outfits, and I ended up being one of said ladies. The result was that I got MY picture taken by the star of the show for HIS photo album. Now I think that's pretty neat. And Mr. Buscemi Sr. is a darling man.

Love, Wendy

And Another Week Zips By

Welcome to my life...another day on the Boardwalk on Monday, more transcription on Tuesday, another rehearsal on Wednesday, and a true day from hell on the Boardwalk on Friday, the 14th.

We had a late bus (8:30 am), so we got out there about 9. Then the usual breakfast, hair, makeup, costumes, and we stepped out onto the Boardwalk. From there on in, we did not leave the Boardwalk until 8:30 at night, when they finally called lunch. We had a few 10 minute breaks (primarily used for mad dashes to the john), but that was IT. We were one exhausted and disgruntled bunch of people, even though when we finally did get to "lunch" - well, it was our official lunch, even if it was at 8:30 at night - we found that Crafty had completely outdone itself...sushi bar, raw bar which included raw clams, lobster, crab legs, and shrimp (I was delighted...did I mention that it was 80 and deeply humid and we were shooting November? In fur coats?), and a taco bar. Also, we got either 4 or 5 meal penalties, which is wonderful. God bless the SAG rulebook, which states that if you aren't fed a full hot meal 6 hours after your call time (9 am, in this case), you get a monetary penalty ($42.50) for each hour or fraction thereof that the meal is delayed. So, because we got a 15 minute breakfast, as usual, we should have been fed lunch at 2:15 pm. The result is that there will be either an extra $170 or an extra $212.50 in my paycheck from this shoot (there was some conversation about exactly when lunch was called)...this, of course, not counting straight time, overtime, double time and all the rest of the neat little things like that.

So that was Friday. Saturday I got up still exhausted and trotted over to the best street fair in the world, the Bedford, Barrow, Commerce Fair (known to us neighborhood types as the BBC, but actually named Ye Olde Village Fair). I'm sure I wrote about it last year...suffice it to say that you see everybody you've ever known in the Village, and it's huge fun. It's also my one planned roaring drunk of the year...I mean, I get those days every now and then, but they're usually accidental. This one I KNOW is going to be drunk city. By the time you know you're too drunk to get up from your table by the bandstand, it's way too late...

Anyway, after the afterparty at my house (of course there's ALWAYS an afterparty at my house), I sort of fell asleep with my head on the kitchen table until 5 am, at which point I crawled upstairs on my hands and knees and went back to sleep (in my actual bed in my actual pajamas...I managed to find both the bed AND the pajamas).

Unfortunately, I had a rehearsal on Sunday at 2 pm. Do not, if you value your sanity, ever do this to yourself. Why on earth I let THAT particular piece of truly horrible scheduling slip under my radar I don't know. I mean, it's not like I didn't know perfectly well that I'd be in no condition to rehearse for Mrs. Jones' 3rd grade Thanksgiving pageant, let alone a serious piece requiring a huge amount of actual acting on my part. I must have somehow deluded myself into thinking that I was still 25, when a little hangover was nothing, a mere bagatelle, to be shooed away with a nice strong Bloody Mary. Sheesh. THOSE days are gone forever.

I got through the rehearsal, but I totally bagged the thing I was supposed to do on Monday or which, rather, that I had planned to do on Monday, which was a transcription job. I knew I didn't have to worry about it because it isn't due until tomorrow, so I figured I'd do it today, and I did. Unfortunately, maybe, Grant Wilfley called late yesterday afternoon to try to get me for Boardwalk today, damn it. But since Tiger (the agency where I transcribe) has always been very good to me, and I was committed to do the job for them, AND I knew they couldn't find anyone else to do it in the time, I had to turn down the Boardwalk. The "unfortunately, maybe" is because if you're in New York, you know that today was a hideous day...cold and raining. So if they wanted me outdoors on the set, I'm kind of glad I couldn't do it. Naturally I'm now totally paranoid about this...I'm convinced that they're never going to call me again, even though I reminded Melissa that I'm on call for tomorrow and Friday. I know that isn't true, but I've sort of come to depend on Boardwalk as a nice little money earner. This is pretty silly, since they're casting for the last episode and using a whole new crew (at least that's what the calls not submit if you've already worked) and then going on hiatus until January while the first season actually appears. So except for the last bits of this episode we're doing now, I won't be on it anyway...until next season. Probably in January. Probably in summer clothes. Yay, movies!

Meanwhile, I seem to have TWO buyers for the house, and if I'm lucky, we could get into a nice little bidding war here, which is always excellent for the seller. I think I mentioned that the nice gay couple have already been back for a third look, this time with a positive army of electricians and architects and for all I know carpenters...there were a LOT of people...and the backup buyer (a pregnant lady who's SUPPOSED to be on total bed rest) is coming again on Thursday. Let us pray. Joshua has sent another email mentioning staying with me...

So, since Grant Wilfley hasn't called yet about tomorrow, I will spend the day alternately cleaning the house and learning those damn lines...and getting some more rest. With the script under my pillow, which is a time-honored superstitious actor's method of making sure the lines stay in the head. I'll try anything.

Love, Wendy

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

It's been a long week. Tuesday I did a mundane reception job. Wednesday it was back to the Boardwalk until late...but it was a latish call. Really, I'm so used to leaving the house in the middle of the night that a 9 am departure seemed like noon. The weather was on our side, was a gorgeous day and I didn't freeze to death for a change, which was nice, and we got out of there at midnight.

Friday night I did a strange call for Boardwalk - a 9 PM bus, and I thought we'd be working all night...but it turned out that we were just doing some scrappety bits that needed to be cut in, so we were out of there by 1 in the morning, after not getting to the set until really was the shortest call I've ever done for them. It was an odd night though. The nine or ten of us who were called for that hour got out to the set and there wasn't anyone there...empty holding, empty costume/makeup. Turns out that the first unit was running late. What was really bothering us was that Crafty wasn't there, so no coffee, no snacks, no water. They all turned up however, but I must say it seemed like a complete waste of time and money to bring ten people out there and go through the whole hair, makeup and costume bit for half an hour of shooting. But what the hell...I'm getting paid, right? Then Saturday I rehearsed the one woman show. I'm finally beginning to get a slight handle on my lines, but it's like pulling teeth. There are so goddamn MANY of them. And since my character tends to speak at random (since she's nuts), it's even harder. Yeeks.

Tomorrow I'm back to the Boardwalk with a nice late bus - 10 am - but since I'm second unit again, I'm not sure how that'll translate in terms of when I get home. Then mundane work on Tuesday, my transcription job, which is fine since I don't have to dress or anything, and rehearsal for the one woman on Wednesday evening, always presuming they don't call me for Boardwalk...they asked me to hold the rest of the week open. I may be the only person on earth who's beginning to feel she needs a vacation from her retirement.

Sarah bought me dinner tonight at the nice cafe where she's working, which was lovely. She also got me a tattoo for Mother's Day - ON HER, I hasten to add. Well, she got a tattoo of a unicycle in memory of her father, who rode one, and I facetiously said something like, "Don't I get equal time? How about a nice rose with Mom on it?" Yup.

Meanwhile, I ran across two things in the Weird But True column in the NY Post which fascinated me. One is just silliness. A 19 Briton named George Garratt has legally changed his name to Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined. Yeah, really. "I wanted to be unique," he said. Uh huh. Notice it didn't occur to him to actually DO anything to be unique, to BECOME anything remotely useful. He didn't set out to discover a cure for cancer, help the homeless, teach children or adults to read, become the best plumber in his town, or anything else that would be of value to anyone. No, he chose to do something that will indeed make him the guy who was stupid enough to do what he did. Honestly.

The other thing is sheer unadulterated idiocy. A Texas third grader was given detention for a week because she was about to eat a Jolly Rancher candy, and a teacher reported her to the principal for eating junk food. This is a week's detention.

Oh, come on. This is on a par with some recent stories about kindergarteners who have been suspended from school for forming their fingers into the shape of a gun and saying bang. (Yeah, that's happened.) If I had been caught with something I shouldn't have had in third grade (chewing gum was a big no-no, as I recall), a nun would have simply taken it away from me and said, "You know that's not allowed." And that would have been the end of it. Frankly, I'm deeply amazed that kids go to school at all any more...between the metal detectors and the bans on almost anything you can think of (also recently, there was a story of an asthmatic kid being forced by his gym teacher to take off his Medic Alert that's dangerous stuff), I can only assume that you get up in the morning feeling like you're going to a high security prison. Or making your way through a mine field.

People, couldn't we all just relax a minute here?

Love, Wendy