Archives for posts with tag: television

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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I have not known where to begin.  Multiple events have transpired and yet I remain with simply no clue how to cover them all: a blog for each? is that enough for a whole post by itself? has it been too long? am I suppose to keep-up with “behind the scenes” 411?  Therefore, as I often do (or do-not, to the point) when a perfect, easy solution evades me… I refrain from forward momentum and make mac n’cheese or chicken noodle soup, pondering the options.

"in the booth"

“in the booth”

Let us now begin with “The Million Second Quiz”: exhilarating and balanced by being challenging. A twelve hour LIVE shift made the combo deliciously exhausting.  As a voice over artist, I am experienced recording in a sound studio with only my auditory craftsmanship to carry me.  As a theater performer, LIVE is the name of the game; stepping onto a stage butterflies of possibility propel at the same instant catch your breath.  I could literally trip and fall, forget a line, the other guy could forget his- and there we might be in silence… where do we go from here… and that ‘anything could happen’ truth and connectedness is what feels like a roller coaster we stand on line for hours to share.

Standing-In for Seacrest

Standing-In for Seacrest

The Quiz was unique as a disembodied interactive voice, sans true rehearsals, asking questions LIVE to contestants battling to make it to/stay in “The Money Chair”.  I would speak clearly, and slowly- that was key because the pre-determined random questions handed to me every other hour (I was on for an hour, then an hour to prepare, whilst the other questioner queried contenders) were limited: RUNNING out was simply not an option.  Hence, I repeatedly heard “Slow down” directed in my headset.  Watching online, one could witness the impatience on the faces of would be millionaires as we took time to enunciate every multiple choice answer.  There was a script, and Ryan Seacrest is the one paid to ad-lib.  Eventually the twelve hours overnight shift required jumping jacks around 4 A.M., but the camaraderie of having a seat on such a Great Adventure was an overall blast!

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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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"Royal Pains" Hero Nurse Season 5 Premiere

“Royal Pains” Hero Nurse Season 5 Premiere

The momentum is building! On the Season 5 premiere of USA Network’s fictional Hamptons based concierge doctor series “Royal Pains” (watch here on Hulu), I also had my popular debut. At one minute 45 seconds in, there I am as the “Hero Nurse” (how the production crew referred to me) unwrapping the good Dr. Hank Lawson’s bandaged head wound: see photo above. Even I was ecstatically surprised when the big moment was revealed: a two-shot with only another main character’s full frontal kisser (the lovable brother) and my face on screen! BAM! I am front and center; no looking in the background trying to spot me! Even if you happen to blink, there she is- the nurse in blue scrubs with red hair– that’s me!

At showtime, I was gymming it up to improve cardiac endurance, whilst none of the TVs were airing the channel. A blessing, truly. My mom was the first to text me: “U weren’t kidding! Serious screen time, bravo!!!” (compared to last year this time, or ever, she’s right*). Probing to clarify she was not joshin’ with me, she responded “great face time”. My mother is not the type to express a surplus of enthusiasm, knowing this, I should have trusted her three exclamation points as genuine.

Four-teen whopping moments on-screen and my fancy tickled to the extreme by having been seen on any television tuned in (AND future internet or DVD watchers!), eSpeciaLly my brother. His reaction “You did great!!!! … It was like wooooaah that’s my sister! Haha” = the biggest smile ever. I whole-heartedly adore independent projects, because, gratefully, these have been the platforms permitting me to sink my teeth into juicy, delicious, and beautifully ripened characters. In the past, this is the only way my family could witness me on their television : pop in DVD, press play. Thrilling enough for me I promise you; understandably lacking the same hoopla to my kinfolk as telling the dentist/co-worker to watch tonight at 9 P.M. This wish crossed my mind too…”Dad would b very proud, u’d be the talk of dunkin donuts & publix today lol” – thank you mom.

*excluding film premieres, including but not limited to, the Cannes Short Film Festival.

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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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Facebook  please ‘Like’ the page

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