Archives for the month of: November, 2012

Merrily standing, while the crew (lights, props, camera) sets the airplane, determining camera positioning and movement- the supervising costumer queries where are the stewardesses’ jackets. Researching prior to fitting, every 1990s airline uniform I found had a long boxy (ugly) coat.  “They weren’t fit with one” says one costumer, shortly after which the main man buttons one up my fellow background stewardesses.  Tugging to adjust, it’s off her with an “If the shoe fits” and onto me: Like a glove!  Leading to my subsequent placement, by the 1st AD- Adam- outside the entrance of the plane, however, the added costume piece was vetoed because the two ‘featured’ stewardesses were in jackets.  The scene set, Martin Scorsese walked in, a foot away from me, big toothy smile and a nod looking right into my eyes.

The main characters’ action was behind my back, challenging the timing of my cue.  Stumbling, a commotion stirs inside the plane door, JUST after which I cross, clipboard in hand.  Intention: to hear [when will I get eyeballs in the back-of-my-head like mom] specifically when a pass through space is cleared enough, while not leaving a lag, yet allotting perfect pacing bereft of bunching the entryway with other boarders.  Following take one, Adam instructs “five beats sooner”; ensued by take two’s  “ten beats later”.  The concern became star/producer Leonardo DiCaprio was, and is earnestly respected for, relaxing into the scene, taking more time and space– succumbing to the depth of the character’s drugged state- creating a background awkwardness.  Imagine Marty during filming, watching his screen, wanting, understandably as an artist, the frame to look just so with a good pacing of background actors.

‘Respect’ is a pale word for a director of Mr. Scorsese’s caliber.  Once, he stepped in to speak to DiCaprio, I heard him quietly say “It will work better with the cut if you do it this way”.  He can see the edit in his mind’s eye as the camera is rolling.  In real life, this scene was probably a cumbersome event.  We moved on after maybe nine takes, and I’m still “the redhead” called back for a second exciting day on-set.

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Wednesday was the most invigorating 16-hour-work-day I have ever had. The call time was 6:45 A.M. in Brooklyn, obliging me to a 3:33 alarm to accommodate the hour and 24 minute westward-bound drive. Having been to this particular studio for another movie (“Gods Behaving Badly”) I knew the neighborhood was a safe Hassidic one, tight on parking.  I gave myself extra time to drive around on the hunt for the early bird on his way to work freeing a space for me, but I neglected the weather raining good luck on my adventure that morning.  Compound this with a non-functioning driver’s windshield wiper and oncoming headlights, and I ended up ten minutes late.

Finally, an available (after-the-fact apparently illegal) parking space was found (scratching my head, I had an idea ‘NO STANDING 11-4 Except School Busses’ meant ‘No Parking’, but other cars were and why 11-4?? regardless no ticket was held in by the broken wiper, so I trust I remain safe).  After walking two blocks in the sprinkling, scrumptious sunrise, and down two flights of stairs to the sub-basement holding area, the check-in man Drew said I would probably be getting a call from casting in two seconds, and to tell them he said I’m awesome! Promptly being escorted to hair, Aaron began to French braid, interrupted because approval for the stewardesses’ look had not yet been sent down.  So he put a pin in it and I moved on to make-up.

Donyell Donyale (how he pronounced it = how I’m spelling) was the make-up magician creating resplendent-at-arms-length skin.  Next, back to hair- where Barbara finished me up using 26 hair pins, gel, and hairspray to hold it all in place. Then into costume . . . . . . . . . . . and wait, for, well I don’t really know how long, maybe an hour, maybe longer, but then…. onto set . . . . where there was . . . . more waiting, standing in 2″ heels, and a big fake business and first class passenger area of a plane.  Only here: it was FREEZING!  I came to overhear Jonah Hill talking to/about Martin loving the Winter- later appreciating the cold to the alternative of sweating -> more make-up touch-ups and stinky, cranky people.

To Be Continued . . .

{ In the mean time, to see photos of the even more lovely back of this up-do, please go to

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I am working with Martin Scorsese as “Swiss Air Stewardess #1” in his current film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’. To be a ‘Background Actor’, liberally speaking, is to be working with Marty. However, realistically, this is an opportunity, and must be taken full advantage of…. how is this done? Recently I had the fitting- the lovely Sue, of Brooklyn, measured me every which way: nape to collar, collar to shoulder, shoulder to elbow, waist, waist to knee, you get the idea. Well, what now.

Arriving very early for the fitting, after a train of one hour twenty minutes, a lovely stroll through the wondrous city of New York was embarked upon.  I walked almost the same amount of time during the 2.5 mile stretch, through ‘The Village’ from Penn Station on a misty day, whilst smiling and grinning every step.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LoOvVE walking around New York City.  As a recent transplant, always feeling the magnetism elicited, being in the city is akin to organic fertilizer; sometimes I even imagine living there. However, since high school art class, and especially reinforced following the recent hurricane, I have understood the value and necessity for Freedom in creating Art, therefore I tend to shun any constancy which might cause dullness and a jaded lack of appreciation for what once enthralled and created life force.  A “have to” makes for a frowny-face.

Sue of Brooklyn said by the time the movie was wrapped over 2,500 fittings will have occurred!  Sue, the seamstress, had a lovely vitality and I wonder how many of those people will remember her name, or that she lives in Brooklyn, or knows she has been trying to remember  her daughter’s passport.  I only know these tidbits about the woman who measured me for all of maybe ten minutes because I was genuinely interested in her.  She asked me if I lived close, I responded in the middle of Long Island, and she was interested where exactly that was. A simple question became a moment shared on a journey, and when I return for a pre-fit tomorrow- full costume prior to filming- my memory will serve me well.

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