Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Being Bizarre on the Boardwalk

What a weird damn day.

You have to understand that everybody who works on Boardwalk Empire loves it to pieces.  It is the best set in the world to work on...runs like clockwork, you're treated like a human being, wonderful food, great people.  Well, today the whole thing fell an extent, anyway.

We were shooting in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a self report location (you don't get a courtesy van/bus from Manhattan).  Well, that was fine, because the shoot was directly under the subway stop (the trains are elevated out there) and holding was a short three blocks away.  I was due at 5:30 pm (yeah, 5:30 in the evening), but I got there very early because I don't know the area very 4:15 or so.  So once they saw there were a few people there, they started rushing us into costume, hair and makeup because evidently the director wanted to rush the first scene through.  This was fine, but for some reason it ended me up getting my hair done 3 times.  First they wanted me immediately, and decided I was going to wear my original shawl over my head, so they just pulled my hair into a bun.  Then they decided they had more time and started with the hot rollers.  Then they found out that Lisa wanted me to wear the hat instead of the shawl, so now we had to go with the full dress hair, with all the hot rollers.  Before that, my Asian girlfriend whose name I never remember did a lightning fast makeup job on me.

Now they decide we're going to set, so since I was only wearing a heavy sweater, I grabbed my coat.  And my purse, since nobody had brought the prop purses yet.  Then we went over to set, and I was put in a scene and taken right back out of it and told to go back to holding.  This, I think, was when the last hair stuff came up.  Then they issued me a coat, which was much appreciated because it was damn chilly outdoors today.

Anyway, me and a few other people hung out in holding and then suddenly they called lunch, and vanned us over to lunch...which was held in the same place where I was in holding last week for that ghastly Iceman shoot.  Luckily, this time it was warm and we had gorgeous fried shrimp and roast beef and tiny pastries and things (the food was not in the least affected by the general weirdness of the day, thank God).

Then back to set and down to the slog of filming until we were wrapped at 1:30 in the morning.  And vanned back to the city...and the nice bus driver even let a few of us off at Allen and Houston, which meant I was practically home.  Yay!

But in the middle of all this, two of the background guys had some sort of altercation, two neighborhood guys tried to bull their way through the set while we were filming and threatened the crew guy who told them they couldn't, and weirdest of all, a large group of the Hasids who live in that area decided to watch us.  That was entirely strange.  They stood there, probably 15 or 20 of them and the occasional wife, in their black and white clothing and those tall crowned hats and their side curls, and I couldn't figure out why.  Frankly, there are few things duller than watching a crowd scene being filmed.  Would you stand around for hours watching people walk back and forth?  What was worrying me about it is that the Williamsburg Hasids are known for not co-existing very well with the hipsters of the neighborhood, to the point of occasional violence, and I was frankly afraid that they would decide that the film was doing some sort of damage to their holy neighborhood and rush us...and it didn't help that they were on all sides of us.  It waas beginning to make me twitch, but that may have been a function of the fact that the third hair style didn't work very well with the damn hat, which kept sliding down to the bridge of my nose, thus rendering me even blinder than I normally am on set (no glasses).

However, the gods eventually smiled on us.  We wrapped, as I said, got on the bus for home, and just as we pulled away, it started to rain.  As we came off the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan, the rain turned into a full-fledged thunderstorm...BUT IT DIDN'T HAPPEN WHEN WE WERE FILMING!

Meanwhile, I occupied my time before going to Brooklyn by being a very good little girl.  I have now paid my rent, cable, telephone, electricity, Actors Equity dues and SAG/AFTRA dues.  Aren't I great?

Here's to a better shoot next time...

Love, Wendy

1 comment:

Jane Kilpatrick Schott said...

YEAH!!! Nothing like paying all the bills is there? Wonder what it is like to live the life of those who never give a second thought to their bank balance.
Ah, well, at least we have our sense of humor.