Sunday, March 30, 2014

March gigs

A very busy month...that included a zombie-series!
It doesn't get any better than this... It's the reason I do this work.

Other gigs this month included:
  • The Good Wife- got to see Jule's acting up-close in a courtroom scene, where I was a juror candidate.  Unfortunately, all I got featured was the back of my balding pate. 
  • The Leftovers- What a fiasco!  There was a real fire near the holding area.  Then later on the rain caused some problems.  One of which included me falling on the dark-lit grass in pouring rain and dropping my iPhone.  I returned later and found it by pure ESP-luck-in-the-dark!
  • Babylon Fields - The "dead" come back to life in a small town.  It was a cold day but the activity was great.  I had one of the zombies in the back of my car and was "accosted" by a HAZMAT guard!!
My overacting is trully under-rated...
  • Blue Bloods- provided an opportunity to blab away with the core group of cops... a very funny bunch.  Made the slow day go quickly at the Brooklyn set.
  • The Following- I was a "hostage" in the final episodes of the season. One out of 200 extras doing a crouching submission as "Joe's cultists" were pointing guns at us inside a church.  Exciting!!!
We spent 3 days on this "hostage" scene in The Following.

I also had a trip planned for California.  The birth of my grandson allowed for a 10 day hiatus from showbiz gigs.  Unfortunately, it also reduced my working momentum.  But it was well worth the experience.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

February gigs

One of the most snowy settings on Park Avenue in NYC was during the first week of February.  It was an external shoot for Believe where the child-star of the show stops a posh Bentley in its tracks while we extras do various types of pedestrian moves. Luckily I was selected to wait for an SUV and enter it as the posh Bentley pulls out in front of us.  The poor woman inside the SUV was worried to death that her newly purchased "picturecar" would get into an accident in the slushy street.  I reassured her that the car would be ok because the PA's would guide her during each of the repeated takes.  Of course, she almost ran down one of the overly-helpful PA's trying to dodge both her car and that of the busy Park Avenue traffic.   As the afternoon progressed, large flakes of snow started to fall and we were taken to another address on Park Ave.  As we extras walked past the cross streets, we all started to marvel at the beautiful scenery that nature had provided for us... and whipped out our iPhone-cameras to capture a special NYC-moment.  In the next scene I was placed next to the child-star of the show along with her companion, as we did some more walk-by moves until the day ended.

Finally landed my first appearance on The Good Wife.  Ever since I had the occasion to chat with Julianna Margulies' father a couple of years ago, I wanted to see what she was like on set.  Her father was quite a success in his heyday of showbiz and well as an interesting philosopher.  One of his most popular pieces of advertising work was the "Plop-Plop, Fizz-Fizz...Oh what a relilef it is!" jingle for Alka Seltzer.  At the time of our chat, he was very enthusiastic in recommending us to go and see his daughter's latest work.  Definitely a proud dad.
But my stint as a handshaking-extra in this particular episode on the external set in Brooklyn only allowed me to stand by as she and Chris Noth passed by us. This was one time I would have loved to have a chance to chat with a principal. But those moments remain rare... very rare. The other memorable moment at this gig was my difficulties with finding a parking spot in frozen ice on the streets of suburban Brooklyn.  After a half-hour of searching, I decided to shoehorn my car into a frozen dug-our spot, only to find that my front wheels were stuck and my car was somewhat angled into the street.  I left the car and prayed that the mid-day sun would somehow provide the thaw for my eventual release. When I returned to the frozen tundra, I made a few back and forth angled motions with the front-drive wheels and VOI LA!  I was free... FAITH... it's a powerful thing!  (Of course my driving instincts were pretty good too.)

The handshaking action was not kept in -but I did manage to be a 3/4 profile on the left side.

The third gig of the month was an indie production: Bad Hurt. The set was in Staten Island and it paid $8 per hour!? That's different.  Usually it's $85/10 hrs or $88/10 hrs... but $8 per hours??? So I star-searched my soul (via IMDB) for the reason to do this strange-paying gig and came up with "Karen Allen" -who interestingly enough, has a clothing store near where Julianna Margulies' father lives (my wife and I often buy from there when we visit that area). Karen Allen was cast as the central character in the role of a strong matriarch of an Irish family.  But as badly as I wanted her to be there... it was not to be.  She wasn't in this particular "bus ride" scene.  And a bus ride it was.  Our driver was none other than Theo Rossi, one of the main characters in the successful TV series called Sons Of Anarchy.  He was really friendly with us "older bus passengers" -entertaining us with some insights of his time on SOA and answering questions from the younger crowd (who were a lot more familiar with his SOA role than I was).  Theo had an action-packed fight scene with one of the other characters while driving us around!  Excellent!!! Loved it... want to come back -hopefully for a scene with Karen Allen.

My next gig was a commercial for a major drug company.  It was being shot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at a loft and I was cast in the role of a father with a cancer-stricken wife and a zesty "16-year old daughter".  This was one of the most courteous cast and crew I had ever had the privilege to work with...

And just when I though February was done, a 7:30 AM rush-call got me into yet another episode of The Following -it was the season finale episodes where I play a hostage inside a church.  This turned out to be a three-day ordeal, part of which was filmed in the dark! A number of crazy things happened during the filming: 2 people got hit on the head with a small camera and one of the hostages threw up in front of us!? Throughout all this, my buddy Josef and I were having a grand old time with running commentary and some prayer so as not to be the next ones to get bopped.  I can hardly wait to see the finished product on this one!