The Odd Wife

Friday, November 26, 2004

TOW's Feature Film Debut

Well. I won’t be expecting an Academy Award, but I did make my acting debut today.

And, I have officially retired. Being an actress sucks!

Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting. But my love for film has always rested in the production end. I want to work with props and set design, casting, directing, costume – something … something else!

The movie is currently titled “Boynton Beach Bereavement Club”. It’s a romantic comedy. The leading actress is Dyan Cannon and her leading man is Michael Nouri. Today was shot a brief scene where they meet.

It’s hard to miss me. When they first meet and begin speaking, I am the waitress that walks directly between them on my way to take an order.

Look like a working waitress! Flip your order pad! Wear this apron! Makeup! Put her hair up! Make sure you cross between them just after he replies to her!

This was my direction. Easy, right? Bullshit. After 40 something takes in two different angles, the stars never said the lines at the same tempo or same way. So, inevitably, I had to learn fast to read their pace and cross at the exact moment I was supposed to (starting from about 10 paces away). Occasionally my movement distracted them and they’d flub their lines and I would have to run back. While they spoke, I’d be pantomiming taking an order behind them – which was really silly. You’re talking, but silently, with 3 people and pretending to take an order for about 2 minutes. In the real world, if it takes a waitress 2 full minutes to take an order – someone’s going to be annoyed. It was ridiculously long and I felt stupid. I began improvising. No, we’re out of eggs. Yes, all eggs. or No, the coffee is not fresh. We only serve 2 day old shit.

TEH did not get in the shot. There was some speculation on why and there were two reasons suggested. One, he’s so tall that he would stand out and Two, he’s way hotter than the leading man and would upstage him. I like the second reason best!

Dyan Cannon is a tiny, pixie of a woman. She must weigh 80 lbs. She seemed nice enough, but was a bit grouchy over the heat. They turn the air off in the restaurant to eliminate the hum of the air conditioner in sound.

Michael Nouri…well, he seemed nice too. He is not a tiny, pixie of a man. He removed his shirt a few times (sweat stains) and all I can say is there will be no shots in the film of him without a shirt on. Egads…

The other 3 women sitting with Dyan – her co-stars? They were very nice. The crew was very nice.

And me? I am very tired. (Which I am sure has nothing to do with the 4 hours sleep I got after ending up in an impromptu, but incredibly hot romp with TEH and the couch and living room floor. Hooo-yah, baby. We nearly left scorch marks in the carpeting – but I digress!)

For the record, I did get yelled at once on set. When they began shooting from another angle, I was left out of the shot. I tried to tell two people that I was supposed to cross the actors and they waved me off. After 5 takes, the director of photography spots me and snaps “You were in the shot all morning and now you’re standing over here?” A sound guy told him not to yell at me and he brought me into the shot. A minute later the director apologized to me. He was great, but obviously frazzled.

My final thoughts? It was interesting, but also dull. After 8 hours to shoot a 3 minute scene, I was worn out. But it’s also hard work. I no longer envy movie stars. They work in the heat, doing awkward things in front of strangers and doing the same stupid thing over and over. It’s lame. Maybe not 12 million dollars per picture lame – but certainly in the 6 figure lame range.

And there you have it. A star is born and retired in the same day. TEH and I had a bunch of laughs and I will probably have the most interesting Monday morning story to tell at the office.

But then, I always do…

Posted by Red :: 11:41 PM :: |
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by Free Counter
Web Site Counter Take the MIT Weblog Survey Weblog Commenting and Trackback by