Archives for posts with tag: New York

Katrina PerkinsOvernight (noun) work”day” begins near sunset, filming through the darkness of night, usually exteriors, ending the next morning with the changing of the morning sky a half hour before sunrise.

Fraturday (noun)  an overnight on a Friday, ending Saturday morning.

Last week I worked a three “day” overnight booking filming a movie with Dave Franco.  I was a masked character in a group of hundreds, but the location was amazing and should look really great for the onscreen finale. Let it be known: One overnight throws your sleep schedule off for at least a day, or even two.  By the time you get home, the sun is up and most everyone else is rising and shining.  Trying to sleep for more than a few hours is an effort, waking only a couple hours later, then trying to function on half the sleep normally necessary- the day drags as much as you do.  I cannot wait to take a shower and call it an early night and go to bed at a [once dreaded] child’s bedtime of 8 pm.

Back-to-backs can be a challenge, even when they are not overnights, especially when the project booked is different from one day to the next.  Inevitably, the first show will work 14-15 hours, wrapping really late.  By the time you get home, pack the requested wardrobe for the next day’s movie with the Murphy’s Law call-time of 5:30 am, three hours of sleep is usual.  Thus, back-to-back bookings eventually wear you down, requiring time to recoup, in the hopes of preventing a fall to illness, which can take you away from work opportunities even longer.

I owe myself eight hours of sleep; between the three consecutive overnights and one Fraturday just past- this is when being a napping pro would come in useful.  If it is a rainy day, I can nap, or a hot day when nothing is really scheduled… otherwise, the mind will not shut-up long enough to fall asleep in the middle of the day. Today, I napped!  Tomorrow, I go to a softball game to cheer on the SAG-AFTRA team in Central Park!  Hard work deserves some fun in the sun!!

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Ooops “little more red” = Much Darker

W.ARNING A.BSTRACT T.ANGENT:  I love seeing.  I Love laughing.  I love hearing, most especially when it precedes laughter.  I love smiling in appreciation of all this and so very much more. Today, last night, this morning, with my car, I worked shooting as an extra on a pilot (a T.V. program produced as a prototype of a series being considered for adoption, to be ‘picked-up’, by a network) “Blanco”.

The call-time, the time production schedules an actor or crew member to arrive at the location, was 11 P.M. last night.  Somehow, I had never before crossed the Williamsburg Bridge.  Wow.  Simply Wow; I wish anyone else was driving so I might have snapped multiple blurry photos that would never compare to a professional stationary photographers perfect angle.  Wow.  I would love to live there on the Williamsburg Bridge for that view, or at the least be happily stuck in traffic and be blessed with a clear picture.

I tried to find a photo to include here (admittedly putting the perfect words into Blackle.com – an energy saving version of Google by Google– is not my forte), alas they just were not the truly amazingly breathtaking beauty witnessed nigh midnight driving over that Bridge.  Many photographers have the bridge in the photo… this one time I was not in awe of the incredible structure supporting the tires, instead gawking in awe at the depth and curvature of the shoreline with L!ghts abounding… my life’s ambition is to have a place to see that at night.  Wow.  If only I could see the sunrise from the same space… might require the purchase of multiple apartments, but if you dream it —> then you can smile doing it. Sometimes being a ‘background performer’ can be delightful, even in 20˚ exterior shots walking around in the snow; making three new friends; seeing familiar ones like P.A. Lincoln Major from “Boardwalk Empire”.  The car sat on the side of the street alleviating the random owner from moving an actual car parked there in the middle of a scene or a take, which would ruin continuity and the shot, thus upsetting productivity and wasting time, and thus money.

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SundanceOn-set, talking with others tends to be easy- the outgoing side of my nature shines, making people laugh and enjoy the energy brought instantly.  However, another part of my nature enjoys quiet time.  Thankfully, when I was blessed with a commercial (turned out to be with J.Lo for Verizon) the energizing upswing was in full force.  I wonder now, if the “diet” I was utilizing (a book by nutritionist Haylie Pomroy) helped push those hormones in the positive direction.  Please, forgive the tangent.

Point being, the commercial paired me with an adorably freckled boy, Cameron, who looked like he could have been my kid.  His actual mom and I hit it off, having a poignant conversation-exactly what my little self needed to hear that day.  (Love those moments in life when you realize what is happening is the best medicine for you, and, truth is every moment IS that best cure.)  Thanks to the guidance of BBR Productions: I offered an exchange of information- handing the lovely mom, Whitney, my business card and we ended up connecting through Facebook.  This was months ago, and yet this week she messaged me: “Hey!!! Can u call me right now!!!!! I might have huge audition for u now!!!!”  Well, with that many exclamation points, I did not delay.

Though I had just crossed the threshold, home from filming on “White Collar”, having woke long before sunrise, I eagerly called her. She told me about a new game-show, “The Million Second Quiz” with Ryan Seacrest, auditioning for a questioner. Her agent had gotten her this opportunity, but she could not commit to a 12 day stretch of 12 hour shifts because she has children.  Two o’clock nap-time postponed, I raced, running in three-inch-wedge-heels to catch the train before departure… then sat waiting as it pulled away from the platform a good three minutes late.  Alas, the important part is I made it, happily in the rain!  It is required for the questioner to have good diction, smooth reading, and to remain confident with unfamiliar words- not providing a “tell”, right or wrong, when reading the answer choices: I got the part.

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-One person’s sole job is wetting the sidewalk, over and over Birdmanand over again- all night for five plus hours to keep it wet and give that slick, reflecting light look the camera loves (technical term is a “wet down”).

-Another person’s duty is putting smoke in the air: more smoke, less smoke, walk it through the set or location, fan it because there’s too much, the haziness is overwhelming the scene.

-One man (sadly it is a male dominated business, but what isn’t) is on a crane with a big spot-light to simulate a helicopter flyover in the shot.

I have not even mentioned the director, the stunts co-ordinator, or the caterer.  The point is- that long list of “credits” at the end of every [big budget $300 million dollar budget] movie prove just how many creative collaborators are necessary to manifest the entertainment we all spend our money to escape into for a couple hours of unbelievable safe excitement.

These people are Living what they dream.  They simply do not last otherwise because the stress is so immense one must Love it to stay in this business of SHOW.  With so many cooks in the kitchen, havoc and head-butting are sure to abound.  And yet we choose to show-up and take more work opportunities because the thrill to be a part is so rewarding.

This week I learned a new title- staff assistant- a position responsible to the A.D.s (Assistant Director- no explanation necessary right, the title is pretty self-explanatory), of which there are three: the first A.D., the Second A.D. and the Second 2nd.  Usually, there are a handful of staff assistants to act as extra hands, eyes, mouths for the Assistant Directors.  One such ‘staff assistant’ informed me on a recent day of filming 180 staff assistants were on-hand for a huge location shoot requiring the shut-down of a large well-know New York street!  I live by the motto/sutra “Do unto others…” and there for am genuinely friendly and interested in most everyone on-set; one because I am so thankful and happy to be there and two we are all there to accomplish the same goal so LET US HAVE FUN!

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KindredSpirit has been generous to nominate me for the ‘WordPress Family’ Award!  With humility, I am honored wordpress-family-awardand appreciative to Scott.

The rules follow:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family

4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them

5. That is all folks. Please pick 10 people who have taken you as  a friend, and spread the love.

We are all kindred writing spirits, see what I did there KindredSpirit,  and if I don’t pick you this ten around, your commitment and loyalty remain on my radar for the next nomination!  Please trust we are all still the best of writing comrades!!

May I present, Katrina’s Tantalizing Ten:

1.  Alastair  a photo-fabulous perspective and supremely supportive

2.  BBRProductions  achieve your dreams because your Life IS your business

3.  John W. Howell  a reader who writes

4.  Ralph  honesty and integrity

5.  Rev Dani Lynn  morality and healing

6.  Laurie Buchanan  Tuesday’s are a treat with thoughtfulness

7.  IAmForChange  uplifting and poetic

8.  Miss Ayo Délé  the most colorful photos to make you smile

9.  Seyi Sandra David  a spark of inspiration

10. Make A Right Left Here .com -a motivated entertainer sharing positive motivation

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April has proven to be the Busiest month and, Made_in_NY_logotruly, I wish I had photos from one of the most recent “amazing” adventures!!  Alas, as with most all productions “Everyone who is working on the film will sign a Non Disclosure form; This means you will not share any information about what we are filming on any social media- twitter, facebook, blogs, etc. If you do share any of this confidential information you will be sent home from set.”  How long will casting hold a grudge for making their job more difficult and causing them to look bad?  For ginormous budget movies/television one may not even have phones on-set and we are warned: should phones be seen- they will be confiscated, plus, you agreed to the confidentiality agreement.  The element of surprise is ultra-paramount.

Even when phones are permitted, they cause unnecessary distraction- preventing the smoothest production value.  The reason texting while driving is against the law: a cell phone seize your sole focus.  Thus, making you unaccountable when, say, the Assistant Director needs you to perform the action captured in every other camera angle of this scene, but because you are on your phone …. around the corner, five-ten production minutes (which might as well be five-ten hours) are wasted yelling your name.  I leave my phone tucked away and only check it when “turning around” is announced-the term for placing all the equipment and camera on the opposite side of a shot to catch the corresponding coverage.  This usually takes a good ten minutes, between cables, lights, props, “the village” (chairs, monitors, etc.), people, and all the rest-thankfully allowing ample time to take a quick peek at the e-mail for any upcoming casting opportunities requiring rapid response.

Twice this month, I again worked on “Boardwalk Empire”, putting me, so far, in all but one episode for the new season.  In #403, one scene takes place in a charming real location, and while I sit at the counter indulging, take after take, in the after-glow of consuming the best cherry pie a-la-mode I never ate, my day actually started with a different action.  My shadow can be seen walking up to the ‘Ladies’ room opaque glass door and knocking as the beautiful main character, leg raised ….

Come on now, we covered consequence and curiosity at the the beginning here- Thank you for tuning in!

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A few days ago, the funk got me.  Though it only lasted the span of a day or so,IMG_0685 I felt it creeping in for several days leading up. Consciously suspecting some of the triggers collaboratively pushing me closer to the precipice, the ultimate tipping point came, naturally, from one I feel safest and most vulnerable toward.  However, I forget myself, back to the beginning… I believe it began with a reflection on my past arising from an opportunity working on a pilot called “The Tomorrow People” (an already successful UK production trying it’s faire in the US) involving an acting teacher I mentioned, coincidentally, in only my last post- Mark Pellegrino.

At first I was incredibly excited to see him, in New York, having taken classes with him in Los Angeles for over two years, because his working in the Business was always inspiring.  The Networking opportunities seemed lucid and a Casting Director, new to me, was now on my radar with which to create a connection.  Only hours later did the thought occur to me, perhaps he doesn’t remember me, it was over ten years ago.  Alas, it did not make a difference- of the scenes being shot he was included in only one- the first one, taking place outside on a cold, windy day by the water, where I was placed walking across the street.  Whether Mr. Pellegrino would have remembered me is a moot point, because the truth is I never got close enough to say “Hello, again”.

And yet, for not less than a handful of other men on-set that night Katrina Perkins was a definite stand-out.  Please understand, as a teenager this duck was less comely, and these days I conduct myself with utmost professionalism- though this is not what makes me memorable.  In this business, assets are what you work with, and managing liabilities, namely sex-appeal in a male dominated field is (albeit absurd?) a current challenge I strive to circumvent. Supposing this was the catalyst to commence demoralization, I appreciate and am interested in a good conversation, even more-so when it lacks the obvious ulterior motive.  Am I too naive?

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For a third time, I will be playing a "Smash"‘costumer’ on the NBC show “Smash”.   This time I received a call from casting without even submitting for the role!  One can join casting websites, whether you belong to the Union or not, where casting directors post roles with type descriptions for current/upcoming projects. The first time I was contacted by this casting agency, I had been submitting for over a month on numerous parts.  Thankfully, the background casting company (Grant Wilfley) finally called to confirm my availability for the shoot date and tell me the necessary wardrobe to bring to set.  The soundstage was in Brooklyn, they were filming a baseball dance routine rehearsal; there was great catering, and it made me giggle to hear Anjelica Huston’s laugh at lunch.  

About five weeks ago, after submitting to another post for a ‘costumer’, casting called me again!  I was told wardrobe was “wear one/bring one”.  Simply put, they were getting more bang for their buck by using me twice (they do pay a little extra for a wardrobe change).  First up, I sat as an audience member in one outfit- had I truly been out for a night at the theater in late Fall (season specific, though it filmed in Winter).  This time filming was on-location at a gorgeous theater in Manhattan.  What a glorious day at work, being entertained by guest star Bernadette Peters singing and dancing in the episode’s on-stage routine at a historic vaudeville theater.

Picking me out in an audience wide-shot, or the back of my head as the camera flies toward the stage would be a challenge.  However, changing into my own all black wardrobe of a ‘costumer’, and an apron with some fabric swatches provided by the Props department, I stand on-stage with both Anjelica Huston and Bernadette Peters!  Despite not having any lines, it remains an immense thrill to be a part of a live set.  A phone call from casting today, to portray a costumer tomorrow, pleased me beyond words.  No post was there for which I submitted- I have made it to a short list- in a very good way.

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To proclaim I live in New York City is a bit of a stretch.  An exaggeration (a loatheful, peevish admission) though it could be quantified as an ambition and goal.  I do live in New York, on an Island, which is Long, and near, relatively, to New York, the city. Recalling how recently it was, I looked up at the board in Penn Station struggling to comprehend and rocked to grasp some bearings, it all felt… overwhelming daunting… perhaps, certainly confusing, and blessedly remains ever amazingly new.

Today I worked shooting on-location at Grand Central Station.  Having never been before, but reading the description in the book “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Halprin, I was wonderfully excited to see. Living up to the name: it is indeed GRAND.  Standing there, looking up upon first entrance, mouth agape, to the seeming 20-story (realistically 11.5 stories at best, with the true height at 125 feet) azure sky, recently restored, celestial ceiling, I felt very small and in deep reverence of the extreme vaulting height.

This was an overnight shoot starting at 7 P.M., partially because

Snowing the Street on 'Winter's Tale'

Snowing the Street on ‘Winter’s Tale’

Grand Central Terminal (officially called since 1913) closes at 2 A.M. to the public, permitting a chase scene to be “put in the can”, as they say. There were abundant conversations and fun, freezing cold hands and feet for exterior scenes filmed, and countless exuberant/curious passersby and onlookers (natrally a few irritated ones too: one short police officer, with her finger in a man’s face, firmly repeated “Sir, you cannot pass.  You cannot pass, Sir.” whilst he was in a rush to catch a train down a tunnel he was not allowed to enter because it was our set for a few short hours)- all exciting bits of a big budget movie- and a peek of Colin Farrell, walking the white horse down the ‘snow’ covered road.  In reality, the ‘snow’ was copiously sprayed soapy suds; the horses were real this day. Walking alone at 4:45 A.M. to Penn Station (another first) the Peace and calm and alluring stillness of the always busy, bustling city filled me with joyous splendor- fore I was coming home from acting in it’s Great Grand Central Station.

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Many local librarians know me on a first name basis. Katrina Perkins Admittedly, I currently have as many books checked out as I have years to this Life’s experience.  Times past I would visit the “discount chain” store and impulsively purchase items.  These days, an impulse strikes me to learn about a subject (finance, speak French, meditate) or a specific book comes on my radar (a book club, movie soon-to-be/in production based on a book, or referenced in yet another book) and immediately I logon, sign-in, search the on-line directory and submit a request for pick-up at my nearby repository.  The New York library system is unrivaled, and gratitude saturates my existence to reside in a world wealthy in easy accessing of books, movies, and music.

Last year was particularly strengthening, in parts because within six months I divorced from a relationship spanning half my life and my Dad died.  Listening to CDs of chanting monks, Ayurvedic Sutras, and spiritual teachings checked out from the library became my salvation.  Calmed, perked, and inspired- I was reminded Life gives no more than can be consumed and to surrender to this blessing.  There was a moment, I believed I may very well be on the brink of  insanity- feeling so much ripped from my gut- in a state of not knowing anything, including how to sleep alone in a strange space alone.  I felt completely crumbled, and yet, still, undeniably uplifted.  When, acquiescing to the truth that only sane people have the where-with-all to contemplate such an inquiry as lucidity, a hope and appreciation for what I was previously blind to created a bravery I had not known to be possessed.

Many beautiful, fulfilling, inspired relationships and opportunities have come into Life.  Allowing myself to become open to them, thankful for each “wrong turn” fore the scenic route takes me on a drive past the lake I never saw.  Before, I felt myself to be alone- my mother is not one to speak frankly with, and as an only child mostly growing-up friendships are few, but flourishing.  Now, I respect “No man is an island” though occasionally forgotten in ego-ick-feelings.

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