Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What Have They Done To My Blog, Ma?

Well, THIS is deeply confusing.  I have absolutely no idea how to run this new setup, so I think I'll just happily burble away as usual and hope to God that it appears.

So after my great coup of getting upgraded and kissed by Leo DiCaprio, I've been barely able to get arrested...naturally.  That's the way it is in this silly business.  I did do a shoot last Sunday, but it was on spec.  You can do that with some sort of special contract with SAG/AFTRA (I mean the producers have one), and since it's a web series and they will probably want to continue using me, I thought what the hell.  I don't have anything web-based on my resume, and it seems to be the coming thing. 

It's a show called Subway Stories, and it's filmed guerilla style in the actual subway.  It was actually quite amusing, because we were filming at the 57th street stop of the Q line.  This was because it's the end of the line for the Q train, which means that the train sits there for about ten minutes before starting on its return trip.  This in turn meant that when we heard the little bell ring, signalling that the doors were about to close, we all had to run like hell out of the train if we didn't happen to want to go to the next station and ride back.  It's a small cast, so at least I should get a fair amount of camera face time, and it was a nice short shoot, from about 10 am to 3 pm.  For obvious reasons, I love a long shoot if I'm getting paid, but if I'm not, shorter is WAY better.  Who wants to spend an entire Sunday in a hot subway station?  Paraticularly if they're not getting paid.

Then on Monday I went to an open call at a casting place called Amerifilm, which has just landed a contract to cast a feature film, and I'm hoping something comes of that, since it's a real job with, they say, a LOT of work.  I'm crossing my fingers for this one.

Other than that, my apartment is a disaster area of truly epic proportions.  It finally occurred to me that I am good peasant woman, strong like bull, and that I was getting pretty damn tired of waiting for somebody to come over and help me move the damn bookshelves, so I'm in the process of doing it myself.  And what do you know?  Turns out the bookshelves weren't a quarter as heavy as I thought they were.  So I've got one of the bedroom shelves in its proper configuration, and the two I'm moving in there are completely cleaned out and ready to go. 

Unfortunately, the result is that my bed is completely covered in books in the bedroom, and the living room is one big explosion in a bookstore.  I did have the sense to keep the bed/couch in the living room free, so I've got somewhere to sleep at least.  And the good part about it is that I truly am not going to be able to stand THIS big a mess for very many more minutes, so I actually have the impetus to get it all together.  Tomorrow.  Oh, come on...naturally I found quite a lot to read while taking the books out of the shelves.  And I did a good day's work today, so I'm entitled. 

I will keep everyone updated on my progress.  Tell me you're all completely thrilled with this.

Love, Wendy

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It Just Gets Better


So I caught my 5:12 am bus yesterday morning out to Closter, New Jersey like a good girl, and got my hair teased and sprayed and my eyebrows made deeply surprised, and went off to breakfast and the set.  And we filmed.  (Well, you's what we were there for.)

What a day.  First of all, I got into a scene (a tiny, baby, itsy bitsy scene consisting of about six words) with Leonardo DiCaprio.  Now while actors do speak on camera, very often the actual lines are dubbed in later, when nobody's worrying about staying within their key light and stuff like that, so that while people do say the lines, there's room for improv, as long as the time is correct...and in case you care, DiCaprio is a real potty mouth.  So he does what he's supposed to do, which ends him up coming over to my desk on the set, and at one point, to express his jubilation (he has just made a large stock sale), out of nowhere, he gave me a big kiss on the cheek.  Imagine my surprise...I think my jaw must have been down to the ground. 

After they picked me up off the floor, it was decided that he should introduce himself to me, which he did (nice firm handshake that boy has)...which exchange ended me up having two lines, to wit:  I'm Wendy (what can I tell you...they're not good at names around there), and, You got it!

This, my children, is what is known in the business as a "five and under," meaning a scripted exchange that is five words or less.  BUT, according to the rules of my glorious union, it takes you out of the background designation and into the contracted principal desgnation.  Which takes you into...big drum roll here, please...the designation of people who make $842 dollars a day.  Yeah.  $842.00.  A friggin' day.

So, let's add up the numbers:  $300 for Friday's shoot, $145.00 for the Monday holiday, and because the upgrade wasn't given until the afternoon, another $145.00 for Tuesday morning, and $842.00 for the rest of the day.  This makes it roughly $1400 for two days work (turned out they didn't need me for today).

Now, this is only an upgrade for one shoot, so let's not get carried away here.  Next time I shoot something I'm sure I'll go right back to plain old background status...and indeed, I'll be occupying my usual desk at the law firm tomorrow.  And the kiss was an unscripted improv which won't end up on camera.

But sheesh...I had Martin Scorsese grinning at me and giving me a thumbs up, and I was goofing around with Spike Jonez (we kept yawning and accusing each other of causing know how contagious yawns are)...oh, and did I mention that LEONARDO DICAPRIO KISSED ME?

Love, Wendy (you know, the one who got kissed by Leonardo DiCaprio)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Women Who Run With The Wolf of Wall Street

Damn, that was fun!  Admittedly, if I have to take a 5:42 am van, I'd prefer it to be somewhere more reasonable than 96th and Broadway, but really, that's my only quibble with Friday's shoot.

Wait until you see this movie, guys.  I am highly featured, and I'm wearing the hair that ate Chicago.  You think I'm kidding?  I swear it tried to take a bite out of Leonardo DiCaprio.  I'm playing a secretary in a penny stock investment firm located in a dying strip mall in 1987.  The set is in...are you ready?...a dying strip mall in Closter, New Jersey, and weirdly, it's a place I've actually been before many years back...Closter, not the strip mall.  We had a friend who had a house out there and went to a party when Sarah was a baby. 

Back to the hair.  Remember that for purposes of Boardwalk, my hair is currently down to the middle of my Joe the hairdresser scooped one side of it up, stuck in a comb to keep it there, and then used a curling iron on the rest and teased the bejesus out of it.  The result has to be seen to be believed.  I'm also wearing very surprised eyebrows and a LOT of eyeshadow.  And bright red lipstick.  A definite picture...oy. 

A good shoot, though.  I consider any shoot a good shoot wherein: I am wearing reasonably appropriate clothing for the season we're actually in; I can sit down; it's indoors; and there is air conditioning.  And this shoot had an extra added attraction, which was being able to smoke real cigarettes on set.  I've smoked on Boardwalk, but they give us these truly ghastly herbal things which are unfiltered and tend to disintegrate.  Friday I was smoking lovely Marlboro Lights...heaven.

And today I actually completely cleaned the bathroom!  I mean I blitzed that sucker.  Tub, sink, toilet, floors.  The only problem is that now I'm afraid to use because I might get it dirty again.

And tomorrow I get to do more of it.  This is turning out to be a nice little money maker.  We put in 13 hours on Friday, because this is a Martin Scorsese film, and Mr Scorsese, as all Boardwalk people know, is actually the Energizer Bunny in disguise.  He never stops.  This is tiring, but lucrative.  The BEST thing, I found out on Friday when JeJe from the union came by (our union sends people to all the working sets just to make sure there are no problems...isn't that great?) is that because we shot Friday and we're shooting tomorrow, WE GET PAID FOR TODAY!  All bow before my wonderful union.  In case you're counting, that means: Friday we got our straight 8 hours, then two hours of time and a half, then 3 hours of overtime.  Then we get paid a straight 8 hours today, and I'll bet that the next two days will be long ones, first of all because of Mr. Scorsese's shooting habits and secondly because we're supposed to have thunderstorms, which slow things down for outdoor shots.  It doesn't affect me...I'm going to be sitting at my desk, indoors, smoking a cigarette and trying to keep my hair from attacking people.

Love, Wendy