It’s the first post of the New Year! Welcome back, readers!
I’m sorry for the delay, I was struck down by a massive head congestion thingy** (official medical term) which them lovingly moved its way down and became a massive lung congestion thingy** (Again, official), and I am exactly the person you don’t want to be sitting next to on the subway** (substitute church or movie theater or airplane for our non-New Yorkers) because you fear catching the crud.
And because I’ve shared too much already (although not my germs), I will also report that taking Augmentin (an antibiotic) on an empty-ish stomach (Popchips and a Diet Coke) is a very bad idea. If I thought I felt bad with the congestion crud, nothing compares to antibiotic stomach crud.
Anybody want to come over and give me a kiss? I’m making myself sound so appealing in this blog post.
I’ll fill you in on how my parents are doing and how life is back in NYC in the next post, but for now, just because my stamina is limited I’m going to move things along and get to the meat and potatoes of this post and by that I mean back to my Lifetime story. Because, as you know, we’d completed the first day of shooting and had moved on to day #2. Which was–without a doubt–the best day.
Here’s what I was told.
1) Meet the van at 35th and 2nd Avenue to go to an undisclosed location.
2) Bring a photo ID.
Remember because there was no script I had no idea what was coming. Remember that because there were 6 episodes shooting at once we could end up anywhere and no one in the van had a clue either.
So on this day I climbed into the van with a bunch of women who looked like they could take me down in a single punch. The van was loud and mouthy and I soon figured out that I was in a van with mostly extras (this had nothing to do with the loud and mouthy part except that they talked a lot about who they were) and they didn’t know what they were supposed to be doing either. In truth they didn’t care where they were going but they did care a lot about what kind of food was going to be on set.
Are you catching a theme here? People in film and TV talk about catering a lot. Let me tell you what. At most theater jobs you feel like you’re really living if there is a coffee pot with a “contribution jar”. Free cough drops is luxury. A water cooler? Come on now. That’s for the super fancy. But on film and TV? Free food is expected and they were already complaining that it wouldn’t be good because it wasn’t a major network. And apparently (I learned later) extras are often served different food “Honey, at HBO we got a box lunch. A BOX LUNCH. And we had to sit there and watch all those people with 2 speaking lines eat steak.” In addition, extras are often served last. Look it’s a way to make a quick $100 in a day, but you aren’t always treated well. Just ask the ladies in my van who will give you a loud earful all the way from 35th and 2nd Avenue to Long Island.
Correct. We were shooting in Long Island.
What’s so exciting about Long Island you challenge?
Game on. Let’s do this.
We pulled up in what would be the first of two shoot locations. I will show you exactly what I saw when I pulled in.
Correct. Location #1 was a hookah lounge. I want to lie to you and say, oh no big deal it’s just a Hookah Lounge, but I have to tell you that I kind of panicked. Don’t judge me, but when I saw “Hookah Lounge” I thought HOOKER as in a prostitute, and then–I don’t know–my brain started reeling because I was trying to figure out if prostitution was legal in Long Island and was I going into a brothel, but then I figured if it was a brothel I hoped it would be like Miss Mona’s from THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS because that would be kind of fun and then I started humming “It’s just a little bitty pissant country place…” which is the first few words of one of the songs in the show to soothe myself.
Now I know that this point even my Aunt Barbara is probably laughing at me because how could I now know that a hookah lounge is some kind of smoking bar (or something like that) and probably very trendy people do it–but hey–I was in a van full of giant women at a strip mall in Long Island and all I had on me was a picture ID. I was a little freaked out.
After I texted Rob that I was at a hooker bar and then subsequently texted him the very picture I just posted, he (even very straight Rob Meffe) corrected me that it wasn’t HOOKER but was HOOKAH.
By this point everyone was eating sandwiches outside of the Hookah Lounge and I’d been told to “just hang out” because I wasn’t shooting at that location (whew) so naturally I did what I always do and took that time to write a blog and I ate at Subway because it was:
1) The only restroom on set and they’d had so many people use it they finally hung up an “out of order” sign, which you could bypass if you were eating food from their store
2) Easily trackable on my Weight Watchers diet.
3) Away from the very loud extras who were complaining that the Diet Cokes didn’t have ice and there wasn’t a comfortable chair to sit on and there was no bathroom (three problems I solved very quickly, but then again I am not a lured by free food).
So after a 6″ sub and a couple of hours we are loaded back into the van except this time I end up next to a guy who looks like he should be playing either the Emcee from CABARET or Johnny Depp’s gay pirate brother and what I mean by that is that he was very thin and pale and kind of creepy looking and had on a lot of running black eyeliner. I struck up a conversation with him because, honestly, who wouldn’t? Mostly I wanted (needed) to know what had been shot in the Hooker/Hookah lounge and I won’t lie here, the guy looked like he was about to cry.
Turns out he had to simulate beating some girls while they were wearing bunny suits (did anyone see this episode? I didn’t) and he said it was awful and he was worried he was offending the girls the whole time. He’s like this normal father of 2 dressed up to look like a pimp or something and this day of shooting was his own personal hell. After about 5 seconds he totally shut down, looked out the window and I didn’t see him for the rest of the day.
But I’ll tell you what I did see out our window and I snapped a picture of it because I couldn’t believe all my most excellent dreams were about to come true and it was the very second I decided this blog had to be written. Because you can’t get any more Lifetime then this. Just guess where we were. Just guess. I’ll post a picture.
Here’s another hint:
Here you go.
Correct. That says Nassau County Corrections Center and before you think I was somewhere in Long Island that was doing grammatical corrections for this blog (where I should most certainly be sentenced) I will tell you instead that I was about to spend the next 8 hours of my life inside a working prison.
Isn’t this FANTASTIC?
I immediately started humming, “He Had it Coming” from CHICAGO and pulled out my picture ID to get inside.
(To read the next post in this series, go here)