Friday, October 23, 2009

Do You Sing?

What part of "please don't give me a prop" do production personnel not understand? I was hired to do background work onTHE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU starring Matt Damon as a guy running for NY Senate. I was positioned to play a press photographer and the props department gave me a big still camera and a press pass that actually had a photo of
a guy on it, and it was signed, "Jimi Hendrix." I guess I do look a little bit like a drug-addicted guitar player. Remind me to put that on my resume. Anyway, we were working out on the Brooklyn waterfront for hours on end, so of course my back started aching from carrying the camera (how is it that photographers don't all look like Quasimodo - does that name ring a bell? hahaha). During the scene, I had to push my way up to the front of the podium and take photos of Matt (aka David Norris) as he was making an important speech. My job was to turn the camera on, look through the viewfinder (which was mostly just black because it was an old broken film camera) and then click the shutter button. Then I got fancy and turned the camera sideways and took a couple more photos. After the first take, the production assistant told me that I shouldn't take so many pictures, that I looked fake. FAKE! I looked like a fake photographer? Me -- who takes a gazillion photos every day???. Anyway, do THESE pictures look fake? Just please don't give me a prop, ever ever ever. No matter what I do, it's always just wrong.

During the short breaks between some shots, some of the other actors asked Matt if he'd take their picture with them. He was very sweet and said ok. I thought, that is SO unprofessional of them to ask, but of course I totally wanted to do the same. Instead, I asked Matt Damon if he sang. He said "not well". After a moment of dead, awkward silence, people started laughing and I said, "well, that put an end to THAT conversation. I produce musicals." Another actor pointed out that "not singing well has not stopped many people from doing Broadway musicals anyway." Later, I learned that Matt actually does sing quite well and he was just being humble, so now I'm mad that I didn't pursue it further. I mean, crap, if Hugh Jackman can do a Broadway show, why not Matt Damon. What a coup that would have been. But could I really have worked closely with a Red Sox fan? I don't know. Sour grapes.

During the shoot, there were lots of helicopters flying overhead, including Marine One (it was one of the two green helicopters we saw or one of the decoys carrying President Obama). Obama was in town to raise money for the Democrats and to hit the campaign trail in support of Jon Corzine. Matt and everybody started waving up at the helicopters and someone with an American flag in our crowd started waving it, too. It was very patriotic, and I hope it was all caught on film. I'm back on the Obama bandwagon, as long as he starts implementing his Sudan policies and doesn't just speak empty rhetoric.

During a short break, photos were taken of two friends (George & Larry) and me on the set, sans Matt Damon. One of them was wearing a bandana. I said, "what are you, a pirate?" It was a smart actor-y move, though, because at least he'll be able to find himself in those aerial shots, not just another sun-burnt head in the crowd.

The next night, I attended a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Foundation "Conversations" with Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer and Jennifer McNamara-Shroff (casting director) from 30 ROCK. Yes - I wore my Tina Fey glasses. Anyway, afterwards, I asked Jack McBrayer if he could sing. He said that he did musicals in high school but was not really a singer and that I should talk to Jane, because, of course she does Broadway.

Clearly, my two attempts this week to obtain stars for my projects failed miserably.

The NEXT day, I was hired to be a second-unit extra for the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg movie, THE OTHER GUYS. I was deep, deep background, a dot in the distance, as they filmed stunt guys literally jumping off of high buildings in NYC and landing at a getaway truck. It was thrilling but 9 hours of standing on cement and eating Goldenberg's Peanut Chews (oh wait - they don't call them that any more! They're now Chew-ets. Whaddup with that?) at my age is probably not so healthy. I was just grateful that they didn't make me use a prop.

Many photos are attached so enjoy living vicariously. xoxo, Ei

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

and brilliant
I love your crazy blog