Friday, October 1, 2010

Weird Jury Duty

Well, that was deeply amazing.

You have to understand that I seem to do a LOT of jury duty. I almost never try to get out of it, because you have to serve anyway, right? So why bother? I've done it a couple of times, but only because I'm leaving for Europe or something. And I'm always put on a case because I seem to be the demographic they're looking for...nice middle aged liberal woman with family.

So, as I said, I called in on Wednesday night and was told to report at 9 am Thursday, which I dutifully did (in that lousy weather). I got there a bit early because the buses were for some reason nonexistent (two of them didn't turn up) and I knew damn well that even if one did come, it would still be lousy service since New York has this weird thing about weather. You see, New York seems to be completely incapable of dealing with anything other than fair and warmer. The powers that be...i.e., the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) and drivers of cars and anybody else who's trying to get around greets everything like a major emergency...something that has never happened in the history of the world. So if it rains, you get all this doom and gloom about "The subways will flood!" No, actually, they won't. In forty years in New York, they never have. "Snow is coming! Everybody panic!" Um, it's winter. Snow tends to arrive. At any rate, I said the hell with it and took a taxi.

I got to the jury room around 20 to 9, had a cup of coffee and a brownie, and then they called us into the jury assembly room and said "Please sign in." After we had done this, the gal (Clerk of the Court, I think) announced, "The case has been settled out of court. You have discharged your jury duty. Thank you for serving."

Eh? Two days...one from 8:30 to 12:00 and one from 9:00 to 9:10? And I don't have to do it again for four years? I can live with this.

So I went to my decent Old Navy on 18th and 6th Avenue, and found my pants...one pair of black, one pair of khaki, and one pair in a nice black and white tweed. I'm not much of a fan of khaki pants, but some of the jobs I do require quasi-uniforms...as in wear black pants and a white shirt, or khaki pants and black t-shirt. So, a pair of khakis is kind of a necessity. This being New York, a black t-shirt...or anything black...is also a necessity.

On a related theme (clothing, children...we were talking about clothing), doing background work has an extremely boring effect on one's wardrobe. You see, my colors are black, red, and white. I decorate my various and sundry living spaces that way, I buy clothes in those colors...I mean, this is me. Now, when you get a call from a casting agency, unless it's a period show like Boardwalk Empire, they tell you what to wear/bring. This can get deeply annoying, because quite often they say something like wear one, bring three. Yeah, seriously. And you're shlepping three sets of clothes all over the damn place. But the FIRST thing they always say is, "No red, black or white." Naturally, it's because those colors are eyecatching, which is the LAST thing they want you to be if you're doing background. In that regard, according to me and every other woman on Boardwalk Empire, that show is a dream. Fall out of bed, throw on your jeans and t-shirt, catch location bus. You don't have to touch your hair, your face, your anything. It's all done for you when you get there. Admittedly, this requires you to catch a bus at 5 am, but think of all the time you saved by not having to think about anything!

This is why I agonized about buying that lipstick red dress for the wedding...because I can't wear it for background work. Not like I have the money or the space for two totally separate wardrobes. So now I find myself eying clothing in medium blue, or dark wine red or deeply boring beige...not colors I would choose if I had my druthers. And I cherish the remark of a gal at an open call a couple of years back at Central Casting who, when confronted with the bit of info about the black, red or white rule, said, "This is New York. Have you ever tried to buy anything that ISN'T black?"

Meanwhile, I have a ferocious hangover (yeah, good night at Sarah's bar celebrating my release from jury duty) which, in a deeply stupid move that I should have gotten over YEARS ago, I am attempting to cure with cold beer. Unfortunately, it seems to be working pretty well, or else I'm blitzed again. Which is fine because I'm going to bed...having successfully fought off the blandishments of my roommate Pete and my old pal Jiggers (who dropped by tonight) to come out to the bar. Luckily, the notion of attempting to find clothing is quite beyond me at the moment. I'm going to eat something or other and go the hell to bed. I just hope the dog and the cat don't take up ALL my space in it.

Love, Wendy

1 comment:

emma discovery said...

I'd say the agonized-over red dress was a good call - you looked great!!!