Happy Monday and welcome to the final blogisode of this series, and the final cliff hanging series for quite a while. As I’ve said, I am going to concentrate on SMASH only for while it is on the air, but you know how I like to break rules so expect some ” What I Liked About” posts, some “Dear Sharon (and Rob)” posts and some vlogs on Fridays or in weeks that SMASH has a rerun. I will take one question per week about SMASH or show biz in general for the Fact or Fiction blog, so if you have please write in or write in your Dear Sharon questions.
Oh, and hey! Do me a favor and check out my fantastic advertisers. I’ll tell you more about all of them soon enough, but first up, look up, and you’ll see John Wescott, real estate agent to the stars who is making a season two appearance here. You might remember him from our fun and informative New York City real estate vlogs . Please go up and click on his link to see just how much cheaper your mortgage is than what us crazy people pay….or….if you need a New York City realtor, he’s your guy. In the sidebar we have Stagecoach which is a theater school on the Upper East Side for kids. If you can believe it, they are doing mega-musicals this term (Cats, Les Miserables and Phantom) so I am going to stop by and talk to the kids because I, uh, know a lot about those shows. Beatrix is going to join in the fun, too. We’ll meet the owner Natalie soon, but for now go look at the work they do (so cute). Finally, welcome to Leon Le on the lower sidebar ad. People always ask me who did my headshots, and it was Leon! He’s great. Need head shots? Go check out his gallery. I like him very much.
Speaking of what I liked about something, I went to see Barry Manilow on Broadway on Friday night with my new friend Ann Kelly and let me tell you two things that I liked about it.
1) He sounds great and he’ll be 70 in June. What I mean by “he sounds great” is that he can still sing his songs in the original key as he proved by singing “Mandy” along with a video of himself from 1975. I have to tell you, he still sounds like his young self. It was impressive.
2) He is a music director through and through. Every move he made on stage was a cue to his band. If he wanted them to swell, he raised his arm. He dictated every cut off. Considering that my favorite version of Manilow is not as a performer but instead as Bette Midler’s pianist, arranger and music director, I loved it.
Are you ready? I’m going to finish this series today right now, and in all truth it will not take me that long because (let’s face it) anything after “And then I shot in a prison” is a let down.
The final day of shooting was crazy for two reasons.
1) My van call was 5:30am.
2) My family and I were leaving for the entire summer directly from the shoot location.
Remember how I begged them to move the shoot days so I wouldn’t have to miss our week of family vacation at Quisisana? Quisisana runs from Saturday-Saturday and we were shooting on a Saturday, so Rob (the saint) agreed to make the final preparations for the sub-lettors (i.e. clean and empty out the apartment) as well as load the car and then spend the day somewhere in Jersey because we were shooting in Jersey City. We agreed that I would text him as I saw things winding down and he would come get me with a very full car and two super excited kids. To give you an idea of what it was like to pack, we had to have things ready for a week of vacation, things shipped to Weston, Vermont which is where we were then working all summer, and have Charlotte packed to go to Italy for two weeks with her grandparents.
And I had to go and shoot a TV show in the blistering heat, but that was the least of it. On that day, Rob had the lion’s share of the work.
So my first question was, if you are meeting a van at the crack of dawn and before the sun rises, do you pack breakfast? Do you bring your own coffee? What will be on set? Lunch? Again, I packed a bag of food, grabbed a coffee and headed to set.
Answer: Breakfast is provided. Of course it is. I’m always thinking Broadway (no food) instead of TV (food). There was food everywhere. By the time I was in hair and makeup I was so coffeed up I had no chance of sleeping for days (despite being bone-tired). TV=fancy.
On this day we were shooting in a school. It involved a lot of waiting around (hours and hours, in fact, I did not shoot anything until after lunch) and absolutely no air conditioning. Boiling hot. 110 in the shade, hot.
Highlights of the day include:
1) I was supposed to be teaching a special education class and instead of hiring extras to be my students, they used crew members. Their entire goal was to crack me up at every moment. My entire goal was exactly what it was for every other shoot day: not to sweat.
2) In another scene they needed adults to line up to sign a petition and they did not have enough extras so they used all the hair and makeup people.
3) For the very end of the day they allowed Charlotte to come in and watch and Rob and Beatrix ate crappy food off the catering table. All people were happy.
So after 3 hot days and hours of shooting it was a wrap! I said goodbye to everyone and jumped in the car faster than you could say VACATION and beat it out of town. Overall it was a fantastic experience and while I am not a regular watcher of shows like this, I was glad to learn so much so fast and get a paycheck at the end.
As a quick addendum I will tell you that days after I returned from the summer I booked a principal role in a feature film and had two days of shooting. It was (as you can imagine) a much, much fancier experience and I would like to quickly highlight the differences for you. They were gigantic mostly because there were really fancy people in the movie I was shooting, which was called Gods Behaving Badly. Like….as an example….Christopher Walken (I didn’t meet him) and Alecia Silverstone (I spent two days with her and she’s very nice.) It was directed and produced by the guys who did Little Miss Sunshine and other fancy movies. Fancy people on set means one thing. Lots of people taking care of the fancy people on set. Because I had a few lines (as opposed to no lines) I was considered a principal (fancy person) and not an extra (very un-fancy). This gave me many perks (like hanging around Alecia Silverstone).
1) A guy named Tru whose sole responsibility was to “keep eyes on me”. This (naturally) made me want to play hide and seek, but I will tell you the one time he couldn’t find me (during lunch) he was breathless and said into his walkie talkie, “I’ve got her. I found her” and seemed so upset that I didn’t make a move without him knowing. I really liked him and spent a lot of time hearing about all the shoes he was planning to buy. Which, and I’m not kidding, delighted me.
Tru would also get me anything I wanted to the point of it making me uncomfortable, to which he replied, “yeah, everyone says that they’ll get their own coffee at first, but then you get real used to the idea that it’s my job to go get it so just tell me how you like it.” Honestly? By the time I was done with the two days of shooting I was begging Rob to get me things because I missed Tru so much. Rob would never, ever, ever be as good at Tru’s job (but he wasn’t really trying). I actually realized that Beatrix treats me like I am Tru….so that is a problem.
2) One word: Golf carts (That’s actually two words, but you get the point). I never had to walk anywhere. Ever. Never. Tru drove me everywhere. If I had to go to the bathroom? Tru drove me. If I needed a granola bar? Tru drove me. I’m considering purchasing a Barbie Jeep for Beatrix so she can drive me around. It would work, don’t judge.
3) One word: Trailer. As in, I had my own. Okay, it wasn’t really my own, it was attached to the “honey”**
**The honey is one big trailer which houses many small rooms and bathrooms which are designated “Lucy” and “Desi”. It was a giant improvement from my Lifetime dressing room which was…..none. Oh wait. I did have a prison cell one day.
4) Here was the best thing. In the scene it rains. There were people everywhere with towels and I had one woman whose job it was to “dry me”. I got like, a drop of water on me, but she still dried me. It was both embarrassing and great and made me deeply aware of the fact that movie stars are coddled in a way that make newborn babies look deprived.
I think the movie is set to come out in the summer of 2013, but I’ll keep you posted.
So we’re wrapping up! Again I want to say THANK YOU to all of you who’ve read this along the way and know that I really appreciate it. Tomorrow is the day when all the people start coming to read SMASH and while I am grateful for the exposure, please know that it is you guys that I think of when it comes to writing this blog. We’ll be back together again after the dust settles and the crowd has loaded up and left. Just you and me and a bunch of empty party cups and fallen streamers telling stories.
Until then, we’ll smash it.