Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Co-Star Trek!

My Dressing Room door!!!
Forever prepared to scamper when my name is called, anticipatory of whenever that occasion may occur, and generally priding myself on my stand-in work ethics of arriving early and expecting absolutely anything thrown my way in regards to my job, I sat patently uncomfortably and morbidly aware of my acute inability to remember how to be an “Actress”. (Keeping in mind, my last real dressing room was in 2002!)
A “performer” I’ve always been, but eying my dressing room regally overlooking the soundstage wherein I was told to relax, rest and enjoy, I felt rather ill at ease... 

What the heck was I supposed to do in there for a whole day?  The Writers were incredibly kind to up my two lines of dialogue to three for my small speaking role on camera, but I was relatively certain that I wouldn’t need utter isolation from production to memorize my part…  So dropping my bag of potential wardrobe in the room, I headed down to the audience seating to hang with the rest of my Second Team as usual.
Greeted with hugs and congratulations, I thanked them for their support before quietly bending a veteran friend’s ear.  “I don’t know what to do with myself” I confessed, not accustomed to idle life amidst the hum of a busy Biz set.
“Sit back and relax!” she offered pleasantly.  “Enjoy not having to take down blocking for anyone but yourself for a change!  And you already know what your blocking is, so you don’t even have to do that!”
“Would it be inappropriate to thank people?” I asked, uncomfortable with the idea of seeming pushy or too aggressive knowing that after our next hiatus I would return to my humble stand-in status.
“Not at all!  In fact, since it happened this way – in house, rather than you being called to an audition – I’d recommend giving a gift basket to the Writer’s Room since they made it happen for you.  Gelsons did a nice one for me for about $40 with wine, a freshly cut baguette full of meats and cheese, and a lovely tapenade when I got my last on-camera speaking role here.  Plus you might want to send a small thank you to the Casting Dept., since they really didn’t get a “say” in the matter of hiring you.  And you might want to send a card to our UPM, because I saw her talking with the Writers after you stood-in for the role, and she agreed with all of them that you’d be perfect to do the part of the Scout Leader.  Oh, and perhaps a card for the Director – since you never know how much he may have pushed for you – and maybe one general card of thanks on the Community Bulletin Board to the cast and crew” she added, as I scrambled to take notes of an altogether different mindset from that of my usual stand-in duties.  “Oh, I gotta go watch the blocking for this scene” she smiled genuinely, hugging me happily once again before heading off to the stage.
Good heavens!  No wonder constant Actresses have a fleet of assistants!!!
Perhaps if I actually owned some fancy technological devices aside from my antiquated Captain Kirk flip phone, I could have moreso appreciated my dressing room wherein I could have taken care of a few of these tasks; but status quo being as it is, I had to wait until after the Network Run-Thru to go home, log onto the ‘poot’, and wait patiently as I do every day whilst the laptop freezes up for no apparent reason whatsoever for anywhere between nine and twenty-one minutes…

But I digress (as I’m prone to do)!
“Hey Pen, could you check in with Wardrobe?” my Second AD asked as I happily scampered back up to my dressing room (finally, something to do!) to present them with the items that had been requested.
“Come on in!” the ladies welcomed me graciously.  “If you don’t have any of the clothes we wanted, that’s OK.  We can always get them for you!  Do you have any khaki pants?”
“I actually did the 1-800-GOT-JUNK in July and threw out almost everything, but I dug through the back of my other closet and somehow these atrocious trousers were miraculously overlooked.  They’re circa 1984 from The Gap, and they’re pleated.  With frighteningly tapered legs…”
“PERFECT!” our Dresser clapped joyfully.  “Did you by chance bring any kind of hiking shoes?
“Will these do?” I asked, pulling out my work boots that had quietly suffered with me through 29 days of hoeing the side of freeways in an orange vest and hard hat a mere lifetime ago.
“GREAT!” she beamed.  “Put ‘em on with this blue tank top, and we’ll try both of those red sweaters hanging there with the scarf; and let me take photos for our Costume Supervisor”, she smiled, shutting the door for privacy.
And folding my clothes carefully, I sat transfixed on those boots for at least five solid minutes…
“Let me know if you need any help, Penny!” our Dresser offered through the door as the time continued to pass.
“I’m all good” I replied, eyes still glued to the hiking shoes that brutally reminded me of so many months of painfully disgusting odious hard labor.  (For those of you blessed to be unfamiliar with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD is very, very real…)
But eventually snapping out of it, wiping away a creepy inner cobweb out of one shoe and plucking a few thistles out of the laces, I threw open the door in full wardrobe.
“EXCELLENT!  Leave the pants and hiking boots behind, and we’ll keep them for you in your glamorous dressing room!”
As far as epiphanies go, I gotta say that one was a DOOZY!  What a journey…
Finishing up showing the crew my two scenes (I only speak in the first one); our Second Second AD whisked me off to the Hair/Make-up Room whilst MY STAND-IN did my camera blocking for me.  (!!!)  And returning about twenty minutes later to watch the latter scene, I beamed from ear to ear to hear our Director say “and on ‘action’, Penny crosses downstage; ACTION!” he commanded to my stand-in; aka my newest favorite person in the whole wide world whatever lived!
Told to hop into my wardrobe after the cast and crew meal, I could hear the music playing on stage, the Audience filing in happily, the sounds of fun and laughter already ringing throughout the environment.  The joyful energy was infectious, and pulling on my costume in my dressing room I could hardly wait to get to perform!
That is, until it came to those stupid boots…
Certainly, the issue could have stemmed from the rather thick black thermal socks provided by the Wardrobe Dept., but for the life of me, I couldn’t get the bugger shoes on.  Every time I tried, my calves and fingers would revolt in a bizarre sense-memory pain as if my body was somehow rejecting them like a bad kidney transplant...
But as our Audience Warm-up guy continued his shtick with the DJ, I laughed out loud to hear the Rocky music – “Eye of the Tiger”, wherein I finally managed to pull the suckers on.  (Sometimes we all need a bit of encouragement!)
Eyeing my Q-Lite, I eventually opened the door for my entrance and first bit of dialogue; and embraced by the laughter of 250 people, I immediately felt giddy-stupid-happy as we performed our scene, the audience roaring in their seats!
“Huh…  It’s a shame you didn’t know how to ‘pop’ on your old show, Pen” our Director smiled at me as he strode onto the set to make a few camera adjustments.
“Yes… Yes it is…” was all I could reply in the moment.  (!!!)
When all was (literally) said and done, our Second Second AD tapped me on the shoulder to run on stage first for the Curtain Call as the Warm-up guy asked the audience to stand and give us all a round of applause.
And waving to the crowd, I bowed down with gratitude as my boots once more caught my eye. 

But somehow, they looked significantly different standing on a sound stage…  (!!!!!!)

And continuing to applaud my fellow Cast members as they were announced, I couldn’t help but burst into tears!
“You did a wonderful job, Penny” our bespectacled Actor smiled as he hugged me.  (!!!)
“Yep, nice job there, kiddo” Mr. Furrowed Brow Actor agreed, wrapping me up like a flimsy rag doll in his massive arms.  (!!!)
With sincere apologies to the Exclamation Point for abusing it so abundantly in these last few posts, but thanking The Universe profusely!!!
And cheers to whatever frontier you bravely choose to explore today!
~Scout Leader P  :)
Work boots; very pleased with themselves to be casually lolled in a Hollywood Network Dressing Room (!!!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

By George! (Bye George...) By George, I Think I've Got It!

Eying the sparkly card and all the perks it potentially offered back in April, I read the letter eagerly:
“Congratulations!  You have been randomly selected from the Xxxxxx Xxxxxx Xxxxx membership database to serve on the Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx Xxxxxxxx Nominating Committee for the Xxx Annual Xxxxxx Xxxxxx Xxxxx Awards.”
And agreeing to the terms and conditions associated with such an honor, signing a confidentiality form (hence my redaction above), I actually began looking forward to opening my mail, which is now riddled with invitations to local movie screenings as well as random free DVDs for my voting consideration. (!!!)
“…You will be voting to select nominees for Outstanding Performance in the following categories: 
Male Actor in a Leading Role
Female Actor in a Leading Role
Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Cast of a Motion Picture”
Giddy with the unbridled power never known to me before as a humble stand-in, I made a mad dash for one of my regal-ish tiaras (I only have two) as I continued to read the letter in its entirety (moderately irritated that I had nothing whatsoever resembling a scepter).
“When you receive screening invitations that require you to RSVP, please respond promptly as many screenings fill quickly.  If your plans change after you RSVP and you cannot make a screening, please call again to cancel.  As a courtesy to your fellow performers, we also ask that you do not RSVP to a screening with a Q and A unless you plan to stay for the Q and A.”
Scanning my lengthy list of screening invites, nearly ALL of them happened to include a Q and A session after the film, most of the movies scheduled for somewhere around 8pm on a Sunday.

And in just what world would I have the luxury of time to sit in the dark for approximately two hours, stay for at least another, whilst attempting to get up early in the morning to maintain an actual paying job?  (Plus, my tiara was starting to give me a headache.  Stupid plastic tiara!)
Frankly, within five months I admit that I’d become somewhat jaded. 
A few DVD screeners still sit awaiting viewing for my voting consideration, all nicely packaged and eager for my support.  But having read all of the accompanying literature with them individually, each one seemed to be self-described as either “touching” or “heart-wrenching” or “an emotional journey”.
And I, as The Nominating Queen, We were not amused.  (Where the hell is my scepter?!)
With the arrival of yet another “bitter-sweet, life-changing,” DVD, I tossed it onto the pile for whatever day I may eventually choose to sit bawling in front of the TV for eight (ish) hours.  (YAY!  Who wants fun-filled buttery popcorn?!!!)
So mindlessly opening yet another invite with all due less than enthusiasm, I scanned the page immediately for the fine print as to the timing and a Q and A session.
“Blah, blah, blah, screening this Sunday at 7pm (do-able), blah, blah, blah; free parking, blah, blah, blah, SCREENING FOLLOWED BY A CONVERSATION WITH GEORGE CLOONEY and CAST MEMBERS”!!!!!!!
And the angels sang as I immediately typed my RSVP of “YES!”
Scanning my script to prepare for filling in for a couple of guest stars Thursday however, I was horrified to see that the Monday morning (after my momentous evening with Mr. Clooney) was scheduled to be on location, on the top of some canyon, with a crew call time of 6:00am…
And the angels wept as I retyped my RSVP to “no”.
Concentrating mostly on delivering a decent performance for one of our unbelievably funny recurring Actresses, I had no worries about the other role and for the first time in six episodes I actually felt at ease!  Perhaps with so much to do, I didn’t have time to worry?  Perhaps I’d finally found my groove?  Whatever the reason, I left the stage after the Producer Run-Thru feeling like my old self, full of gratitude, and comfortable once again in my own skin.
With a short list of errands to run – hit the bank, get gas, pick up some items at Rite-Aid – I stood in line juggling a twelve pack of diet 7Up, my weekend bottle of voddy and a fourteen pound jug of kitty litter.  (Glamorous, I know.)  Eventually schlepping my stuff to the cashier however, I was startled to hear my cell phone ring and scrambling to answer the unknown ID, I nearly fell over backwards to hear the voice of our Casting  Associate asking me if I’d be willing to play the lesser part for the show.  (!!!)
“We’d like to hire you for Friday, Monday and Tuesday, have you sign a contract, give you co-starring credit and you’ll have your own dressing room on stage.  Oh and the rate is…” she continued pleasantly.
“American dollars? I asked, blown away at the going price for two speaking lines on a Network show, my naiveté making her laugh with amusement.
“Yes, Penny!” she chuckled, “so let me get your info for the contract.  What’s your address?”
(“Beats the hell out of me!” was all I could think in the moment!)
“Hey Pen, we’ve got a problem…” my Second AD called to tell me with his sad voice.
“There’s this rule, that you can’t be both an Actress AND a stand-in” he added as I sighed with acceptance that of course the whole idea was simply too good to be true.  “So, do you know any decent stand-ins I could hire last minute to fill in for you?”  (!!!)
Immediately calling my friend Diddy for a couple of phone numbers, he reveled in joy at my news.  After all, having been the one burdened to “un-invite” me back to his show, he was positively elated to hear that I had scored a small part!  “Mind if I go spread the news here?” he giggled devilishly.
And having found a replacement for myself on Diddy’s recommendation, I alerted my Second AD who snatched her up immediately.  (YAY!  We got someone else three surprise days of pay!)  “So, I was wondering about Monday then…” I picked my AD’s brain while I had him on the line.
“My dear” I heard him smile, “YOU are officially ‘on hold’, which means whatever you choose to do on your day off, I want to you to tell yourself ‘and I’m getting paid’.  ‘Do I want to sit on the couch?’  ‘Why yes, and I’m getting paid!’  ‘Do I want to eat some ice cream?’  ‘Why yes, and I’m getting paid!’  You follow me?”
And the angels sang again!!!
So in the end, yes I actually could have had my momentous evening with the phenomenal Mr. Clooney wherein he would have no choice but to immediately fall in love with me and spend the rest of his life by my side…
But there exists this one pesky little paragraph in my Nominating Committee agreement that I must obey:
“Occasionally there have been problems at screenings – we ask you to remember that you are representing your fellow XXX members and urge you to be professional and courteous at all times.”
Well, there goes the whole chloroform and duct tape idea out the window!  :D
Living in monumental gratitude,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Like Water Off a Ducks Back (Kind of!)

“Hey Pen, sorry to bother you so late, but your Actress is unavailable Friday.  Could you come in tomorrow and watch her, and then do the rehearsal/Network Run-Thru for her on Friday?”
“I, um, yes of course!” I replied after a hurried mental check list that I had indeed done the laundry and had a spare box of root touch-up hair color in the linen closet.
“Thanks Pen!  I’m so glad you’re a part of our family!”
And slathering my silver rooted head with peroxide somewhere around 10pm, refolding still damp freshly washed jeans air drying on hangers and grateful that my call time wasn’t until 10:00am, I tended to every other meticulous preparation and challenge that I could possibly foresee.
“Wow, look at you with your lines all marked, your script all scrunched up for turning the pages and your spiral rings all in place instead of brads” our tiny blonde Actor commented, sliding into the booth across from me as we prepared to rehearse our first scene of the day together.
“I’m just, uh, just trying to be professional and ready!” I smiled awkwardly, hoping that my inner withering wasn’t outwardly apparent.
“Well then you’re already way ahead of half our cast, myself included” he grinned modestly, scanning through his own already scrunched up pages.  (Well played!)
“What scene is this?” our lead Actor wandered onto the set casually, as I immediately leapt up in order to make room for him to sit downstage of me in the booth whilst standing submissively off to the side.  “Stop it doll face, and have a seat.  I can walk around” he smirked in Mr. Furrowed Brow character.  (!!!)
And taking my place next to him as he wrapped a protective arm behind me, five of us in total performed our scene together, once.
“It’s just that easy.  I don’t need it again, do any of you?” our Director asked the veteran actors who all shrugged and shook their heads “no” as they dispersed like children at the ringing of a school bell.
Perhaps I hadn’t foreseen every challenge…
“Let’s do scene H, Penny’s monologue on the phone” our First AD suggested, as podiums were slid to an adjacent set, me taking my Actress’ designated seat on the couch with prop cell in hand.
And finishing cold reading the re-written dialogue for the first time on the new pink pages, I blanched to hear our Director say “again, it’s just that easy my friends!  What’s next?”
Frankly I was (as I often am) baffled.  Was there some tacit understanding that as a stand-in, little to nothing was expected out of me at a Network Run-Thru?  Was this one more situation of “do your job as a meat puppet” and leave the nuances to the REAL Actress?  Or was this some kind of psychological mind-fuckery wherein I was being taught another Cosmic lesson not to take comedy so seriously???
Our lead Actor present on stage to perform a couple of two-person scenes, I waited off-stage for my cue in a bedroom that doesn’t exist, feeling very small and terribly out of sorts next to a forgotten ladder and a very forlorn looking fern.  Some of my Second Team were giving me the cold shoulder for being the new kid and getting not only an extra day’s pay prior to observe, but also the extra hundred bucks for playing my Actress; I was anxious about the Network Run-Thru with only one rehearsal per scene under my belt, and at that point I was relatively certain that my Director – my safety net – had forsaken me as well in lieu of an early-out Friday afternoon.
Oddly, however, these tend to be moments of epiphany for me.  (Why half of them occur awaiting making an entrance on stage may be symbolic, but I’m not quite that enlightened yet…)
Although, if all I really had to rely on was me, then I had to believe in myself!
And performing the first of two scenes with the lead Actor to the best of my abilities, our Director strode up to us purposefully.  (EEK!) 
“I love the dynamics, but you guys are gonna kill me camera-wise on Monday” he announced loudly.  “If you could maybe meet more downstage here like thus, I can get better eyes on both of you, OK?  Let’s give that a shot” he smiled, returning to his podium and shouting (for the second time!), “Ready, steady, and action!”
(Sure, I was still nothing more than an adjustable meat puppet, but at least I got one more crack at a rehearsal of BOTH of my lines this time!!!)
“Let’s continue out of order and do scene P before we break for lunch” our First AD recommended, my lead Actor and myself already present on set.  And taking my designated seat on the couch once again (I LOVE my Actress and her preferred choices of blocking), I attempted to fester with all due proper irritation as the script had called for.  (Grrr!)
We were to have a heated marital argument, but personally amused by the writing I couldn’t help but deliver my Actress’ punch line comedically.  (What can I say, it cracked me up!)  But one second later, our Director strode AGAIN purposefully onto the set, bent down, and whispered quietly in my ear.
“Thank you” I nodded aloud as he walked away, whipping off the mechanical pencil dangling on my studio ID hanging around my neck and making a note in my script for the Run-Thru.
Just as I don’t understand why doing the job I’ve done in Hollywood for twenty-plus years brings me ridiculous joy, nor can I explain the unease I continue to feel before every performance on this particularly long-running show.  I’m well aware that the Producer/Writing staff want me to succeed in selling their jokes; yet as the fledgling in the nest of my new home, I can’t quite seem to knock the feeling that I haven’t been “accepted”.
But wrapping a protective arm around me again, I nestled into the nook of our lead Actor’s gargantuan bicep,(*sigh!*) as our First AD reminded the Network Suits that I was once again standing-in for one of our Actresses.  And hearing a smattering chorus of “thank you!/welcome back Penny!” from friendly people that, by all accounts SHOULD NOT EVEN DEIGN TO KNOW MY NAME, I smiled weakly; eyes on the script, eyes on the script, eyes on the script!!!
“Nicely done!” one of my non-icy Second Teamers commented, gathering his belongings and escorting me politely to the parking structure, the rest of our group already gone.  “And I noticed you even got a bit of direction on the P scene!” he cheered, pleased that despite our lowly status in the biz, our Director had taken the time to suggest an alternate delivery.  “So, what did he say to you?” he wondered.
“He told me to keep the argument hot, and despite my natural sit-com instincts, make the absolutely absurd dialogue completely sincere.”
“Wow…” he mused; mentally replaying the scene for himself should he need to do the dialogue for Mr. Furrowed Brow on camera-blocking day.  “That makes perfect sense.”
(Oh, the irony of that statement!)
Still nesting for now and waiting for my wings to grow,
~Fledgling P
Author’s Addendum:  Turns out I’ll be standing-in for a guest star at our next table read once again, plus rehearsing for her the following day.  C’mon downy feathers, molt already!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"I Can't Give You Anything But Love"

“I’m not playing ‘Babette’, there’s a leopard on the roof…” ~Katherine Hepburn to Cary Grant, mid-song in the 1938 classic film “Bringing up Baby” whilst serenading her jungle cat.
Oddly, I found myself indeed standing-in for the role of a “Babette”, one day before the actress arrived (‘cha-ching’ for the additional day of pay and dialogue!); and observing that her first scripted line was “Bonjour!” I proceeded to portray the character with a French accent.  (This seemed to be an obvious choice to me as a cold reader.) 
Rehearsing the scene only twice with perhaps the world’s speediest Director (God love him, he actually has a life outside of showbiz), he gave a few notes to the cast as well as one to me that whilst I apparently “excel at delivering a French accent”, he’d rather I “do it straight”.
“Copy that” I replied professionally making a mental adjustment for the Producer Run-Thru.
There was no ill will in the moment (he had affectionately addressed me as “Pen-Pen my dear!”), and as always, I’m delighted to receive any direction whatsoever that helps me to hone my craft, but I couldn’t help but wonder (as a humble blogger) why the writers had seemingly made such an obvious distinction regarding the role?
Meanwhile, breaking for a half hour lunch on our short day, I wandered into Craft Services for our catered food – still a bit uncomfortable with the new Health Code Laws that insist that a latex gloved assistant actually SERVE us, as well as all other single items be wrapped individually.
Personally, I find the whole process awkward, guiltily limiting my breakfast to only two or three strips of bacon (whereas I used to LOVE to dig in there up to my elbows, tap-tap-tap on the whole greasy tray with tongs, and select about six perfectly crispy pieces!) 
Oh and how I miss the towering cascades of muffins, croissants and donuts heaped together; their fat-filled gloriousness sliced away throughout the day by the crew, one eco-friendly knife for all to share, the assimilation of high-caloric pastries equally distributed bite by bite to everyone who merely wanted a sample, a simple reinforcement that you were living amongst a “family”!
But times have changed, and eyeballing the rice, steamed vegetables and bright pink salmon, I politely asked for the first and the latter.  (Yes, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower are good for you, but I REALLY wanted to avoid any, um, accidental “puttering” during my performance…)
“Oh, that’s actually chicken” the Gloved One informed me reaching for the last tray as I screeched him to a hasty halt before any foul fowl had made it’s way any nearer.  (I think.)
Having eaten precisely three forkfuls of rice before losing my appetite and remorsefully dumping my plate (the excessive waste of food and plastic always upsets me), we finished up rehearsal and prepared for the Run-Thru. 
My stomach was in knots from knowing that I was going against all my natural instincts to NOT let the writers hear their words as apparently expected, but in the end I knew I had to deliver as my Director had instructed me.  After all, who’s to say there wasn’t some Executive Network note given at the table-read that “Babette” should simply be less ‘continental’?
Still, as the VIPs filed on stage my gut gurgled aggressively.
Arriving home after the show (with no criticisms as to my performance!), I curled up with my kitty, delighted to see that she had made it through a whole week without any little messes.  (Small blessings!)  And still looking to settle my tummy, I grabbed the two items that have always been my go-to “funky belly” relievers; i.e. a voddy cocktail and a bag of nacho cheese Doritos. 
Having already set the alarm clock to 7am for work the next day, we splayed happily together under the air conditioning box in the wall, and embracing a prerecorded four hour catch-up of the final episodes of “Leverage” we eventually headed off to sleep. 
Truly, there’s nothing quite like the joy of laying your head down on a fluffy pillow after a slightly stressful day at work.
Nor is there anything quite like the feeling of knowing that you’re only going to make it to the sink when your Doritos-covered stomach acids are about to erupt…
(One word:  Orange.)
Dragging my hollow belly on stage after a particularly brutal night, I grabbed a plain bagel (pre-wrapped) and wandered off to find my Second AD, just to give him a heads up if/why I might occasionally go AWOL and perhaps not be up to the standards of my usual “A-Game”.
“Oh, you poor thing!  Well at least all the Cast is here today so you can probably just sit back and take notes” he added gently as I nibbled on the comforting bread.
But naturally, I was approximately half way through said bagel when I heard my name being called to stand-in for some of our Background Performers in not one, but TWO scenes, including a lengthy EIGHT-PART MONTAGE.
(Oh dear!)
Suffice it to say that by lunchtime, I opted for only a few bites of some bland-looking beef before flopping down across four seats in the Audience area, embracing the opportunity for a twenty minute respite.  My scenes would be over quickly enough at the two o’clock Run-Thru, and within a couple of hours I could be home and properly recover over the weekend.  And listening to the family-esque bickering of my Second Team whilst they played Scrabble together on their smart phones, I actually fell asleep!
“Shh!!!” I heard my First AD whisper loudly. 
“Aww, how sweet of him…” I thought in my contented drowsy state of mind, wrapping a protective arm around my still crampy thorax.
“We’re working down here!” he added as I bolted upright.
With my work eventually completed and having been wrapped for the day at 3pm, I sat hunched over a cup of “Activia” yogurt (praying that Jaime Lee Curtiss hadn’t led me astray in her commercials) as my fellow Second Teamers romped away to whatever fabulous weekend adventures awaited them, leaving me feeling more like “Salmonella” than “Cinderella” as they headed off to the Prince’s Ball.
But hey, you know me, always trying to make sense of The Universe!
1.  Giving the blocking to our extraordinarily beautiful five foot ten Parisian guest star model, she smiled graciously and thanked me sweetly before gliding magnificently onto the stage.  And whilst disappointed that a few of her lines had been cut, she “executed” her performance with EXACTLY the comedic timing that one might expect from a glamorous model!
(1a. Catching my Director’s eye; his askance look to me said it all:  ‘We didn’t want you to sell the dialogue since we knew she might not deliver…’  (Bless his heart and her high cheek bones!))
2.  Pay attention to expiration dates on food products.  I don’t keep many such edible items at home since they feed us at work, but if a bag of Doritos says the product is “best by” a certain date (like two or three months ago), you might consider heeding those instructions.
(2a. Jaime Lee Curtiss doesn’t lie, except for her (in my opinion) brilliant performance in the film “True Lies”.)
3.  Just because a guy is wearing latex gloves, it doesn’t mean he’s keeping his utensils sanitary from tray to tray. 
(3a. Yes, I’m aware of the potential euphemism here, but hey people!  This is a PG-Rated blog!)
Back to my “A-Game”, off to feeding my “leopard” a saucer of milk and bidding you a fond “Adieu”,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

Embracing my first hiatus week from my new Network (!!!) sit-com, and strolling happily into my bat cave, my friendly feline sidekick Pretty greeted me enthusiastically as always.  And meowing at me relentlessly until I took off my shoes, hung up my hoodie and followed her into the bedroom, I stood in utter shock and awe at her magnificent Jackson Pollack canvas.
Granted, she’s always been creative for a kitty, randomly impersonating celebrities with ingenious flexibility, throwing lolled looks over her “shoulder” during The Oscars etc., but I’d never known her to have such an abstract expressionist eye when it came to her artistic abilities.
Yet there it was!
In essence, my kitty had exploded…
Prancing  happily distantly away at the foot of the bed whilst admiring her creation, Pretty regaled at her exploitations;  one politely placed viscous hair ball on a plastic baggie, one vomitous eruption of undigested dry food splat in a mucous pile on the duvet; one silent but deadly poo displayed for my viewing *gag* pleasure…
Frankly, as a pet “owner” (if there exists such a title when you cohabitate with a cat), I’m well equipped for spot cleaning, but HELLO?  This is my bedding!!!  And I had a whole week planned to do nothing more than lie on the happy slab, nap with my kitty, catch up on some crossword puzzles and TiVo!
But eyeing Pretty’s masterpiece, I knew there weren’t enough cleaning products in the WORLD to make me crawl underneath that duvet ever, EVER again…
Time to take action!
I couldn’t be sure of the coloring, but with the little bit of extra cash in my checking account from last week, I clicked on the seven piece “purple” ensemble with black accentuated embroidery, a comforter, two sham covers, a bed skirt and three pillows for only $62.99 plus free immediate shipping. 
Oh sure, the buyer reviews were mixed:
“This comforter is brown.  I hate brown.” 
“This item is pink.  I bought purple candles to match beforehand and they don’t match at all.” 
“I bought the King size for my Queen bed and it didn’t fit!”  *shocking*.
But refusing to live in fear (I’ve always loved purple) I made the purchase, and splaying the box openly in my home, I definitively declared it “Taupe”.  (Hey, there’s nothing wrong with taupe.  Taupe means you no harm.)
Yet waking up after a particularly busy dream night wherein I was forever scurrying around someone else’s studio set looking for George Clooney’s script (???), I awoke to the disheveled rumple of what appeared in the “morning” light to be a dusty rose comforter…
And making up the bed twenty minutes later after lint-rolling one upper corner of my fitted sheet (Pretty’s favorite sleep spot), I stared stupidly at the large shammed pillows in the midday light as they glistened regally atop the bed in what appeared to be the color of lavender…
Yet typing this evening next to the gentle energy-conserving lamp on the dresser, I still have absolutely no idea how to properly review my amazing Technicolor (taupe?) dream coat for future online purchasers at
(Well… other than I sort of got to work on a show with George Clooney my very first night!)
Wishing you sweet dreams as always,
Author's addendum:  To date, Pretty has not yet artistically enhanced the lovely canvas upon which we have been napping; but if you look closely, I think she already has her eye on it!