Monday, April 30, 2012

Boardwalk Empire on Staten Island

Softball invitation (from a hardball player)

The poster was scotch-taped to the side of the coffee maker under the blue crafty tent.  An inside tip to possibly see the crew of BE play softball at a remote baseball field in Brooklyn.  And on this cloudy Thursday in Staten Island I snapped a photo of it in hopes of going with my wife on the weekend. 

The anachronistic cellphone in the 1923's scene

Then suddenly we had to get back to Historic Richmond Town´╗┐, which was being utilized by the HBO crew as the background to season-3's fourth episode... and I gulped down my coffee and crumb-cake to rush to the old Court House for the next scene.

Bobby Cannavale

Bobby Canavale had been recruited to be the new antagonist for Nucky's empire.  I was in a previous TV pilot with him called Mayor Of New York (which the director, Spike Lee couldn't sell). In BE, Bobby's character, "Gyp" Rosetti, had set the sheriff of the small town on fire and was now being "aquitted" by the local court.  Our direction was to exit the court house in "disbelief and fear" of the new gangster who has taken over the small "New Jersey town" and was now standing triumphantly on top of the court steps with his thugs.  (Unfortunately I was not in the following day's exciting scene where everyone gets machine gunned at the gas station down the block). 

Paired up with one of the ladies

We all crowded in the court house and Bobby was at one point behind me then in front of me... then on the front steps -depending on the director's whim.´╗┐  We just scurried around him in abject disgust at his aquittal as the camera boom projected out horizontally at the man on the steps.  I might be seen for a frame or two...tbd.

The weather was pretty moody and by late afternoon it started to rain.  I decided to hang out with the "thugs" on top of the steps and swap extras-stories.  One guy told us about being in SVU as a "guy who raped pregnant women" -Whoa... "mother rapers sitting right there next to me..." (that's a line out of Alice's Restaurant -which is kind of how I felt as the backstage show went on with the rain).

Stephen (aka Istvan) wearing 2 glasses

During our meal break we all sat in the local holding area on the court house's second floor, eating lots of delicious food.  The cheesecake with all the berries on top was my favorite!  I made friends with Stephen and we chatted it up about traveling and having a good time.  But our repast's jovial conviviality was somewhat interrupted by one of the young women at our table, who kept wailing into her cellphone at what we could only imagine was her "slave master".  The way she begged him not to hang up, and asking for repeated assurances not to leave her... and that she would be bringing home some food...  Although she tried to turn away from the rest of us around the table, there was no way she could think that we didn't hear her.  Nonetheless, she remained on the verge of tears; crying at times; leaving at times -but always within our earshot.  It was certainly more real than our acting today!

When daylight ended, we were released and I whipped out my trusty GPS to get me through Staten Island's foggy rain.  It worked!  Before I knew it, I was on some highway -right in the thick of traffic.  My GPS repeatedly echoing the dreaded word: RECALCULATING.