Archive for May, 2009

Interchanging names!

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Ha! i just noticed I called Nicole, ‘Mona’ there. We’ve all been doing that when we’re talking too though. Just thought it’s funny to do in writing.

Shooting Day Eve

Monday, May 25th, 2009

All is quiet. That’s a lie. My music is on. And I type loud. But still, we are all in our rooms. Me, I’m actually procrastinating making my notes for scene 12. It’s our first scene. We ran it in the actual dance studio today and we’re in really good shape. I’m not worried about a thing. Which is why I’m not doing my writing. It’s a lighter scene and the only one with dialogue tomorrow, so we are all starting light to get the hang of everything coming together at once. Lights camera and action and all that.

This morning Mona and I had a private rehearsal with Erika- in their apartment… And yeah, you can bet some sexy stuff happened! Don’t you wish you were there?

Then we had lunch. There was a gap of unscheduled time (gasp!) before we shuttled to the sets so we got to see the sparkly dress Shannon and Nicole get to wear at various times in the film. Oooh la la! I also found out that my favorite shirt is going to be during a full dialogue scene and not just a montage bit. Yay!

It was so great seeing the sets again. The room that will be used for Mona’s apartment is painted this gorgeous rich dark red with dark dark brown (black?) mottling. They started filling it with various furniture. It’s going to be just incredible. I’m already jealous of this fake apartment. We all want to live in Mona’s place.

We had a pretty long rehearsal in the studio and we worked out the remainder of the swing dance with Melanie. We are getting pretty good with it. I just have to remember to count at certain times. I keep just going and then halfway I’m like- Crap! When are we spinning? Fail! but yeah, we’re getting it. it’s next week so We’ve been focusing on it more lately. ( I say ‘Lately’ as if we’ve been here for weeks!)

We got to see the photos from the photographer the other day and they are stunning. It’s like she somehow transformed our rehearsal space into a magical dance hall. They’ll be up on facebook soon.

There are a ton of new faces today. All the sound guys and the camera assistants and the PA’s, etc. were in and out of the clubhouse today. Me and Nicole have been trying really hard to learn names. We’re both bad at it so we try to help each other as we go over our contact list. We were getting pretty good with it. But then all these people showed up so my brain kind of overloaded by dinner. I kept calling Gretchen, ‘Genine.’ Not far, but come on, she’s my roommate.

So tomorrow will be a nice way to ease into the shooting schedule. Wednesday we amp it up and Thursday is like, hard core cry-fest day. We shoot most, if not all of the emotionally heavy scenes that day. Whew! We have extra pickup time slotted for Friday though, so we should be fine. Nicole has no scenes tomorrow so she won’t be on set. There is a limit to the number of people upstairs since the space is so old and hasn’t been fully renovated yet. Any non-essentials have to be downstairs so she wouldn’t get to watch. 🙁 but she will be out getting her nails done and such. It’s her birthday so hopefully she gets pampered.

Ok now i have to go and write out my homework, or go to bed, whichever comes first.

Sunday- Weight loss!

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

I had another fitting today and some of the pants I tried on Monday morning had to be pinned in a little already. Guess it makes sense when I’m dancing a few hours a day. But now the nice slacks I got before I left are really loose and don’t stay up. It makes sense, but they are new and I’m just getting to wear them. Well, I’m sure they will be fine with a belt. Can’t really return them at this point.

We had brunch in our suite today. Spoiled! We are totally spoiled. Then I tried to get Nicole a bunch of music from my computer, but I don’t know if she ever got her Ipod to behave.

My fitting went well. We made more decisions on specific scenes, and Markas LOVED my T shirt from theatrox.com, so I wrote to them to make sure they’ll give us permission to show the Bunnim in the movie.

Other than the fitting it’s our day off, so we’re going to go out to Mexican food later and I’ll see my friend Kenneth who is nearby visiting his family. The other leads and I might get together again and do vocal exercises if folks are up to it. I still need to write out my notes for the shoots this week in my binder and make a good ipod play list for Toni-inspiration.

Saturday, still a workday for us.

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

The morning rehearsal was similar to Friday’s, with Melanie, Shannon and I. Lunch, delicious as always. Then after lunch was like the intense crying rehearsal stuff. there is a lot of crying in this comedy. Though it mostly seems like that now because we’re shooting the heavy scenes first. Erika is so funny- she’s like, ‘I don’t want this to ever be like an after school special’ retarded drama. It’s all up and snappy and witty, even when people are crying at each other. It’s such a fucking great script. We spent a while working through emotional exercises and then running the scenes. Working with these people is making my job so easy. I look in their eyes and they rip my guts out. Plus there are lines in the script I can’t even read quietly without tearing up.

So after our cry-fest, we spent some time working out more of our swing dancing (talk about a change of direction). It’s really fun. We have some great saucy stuff. Lots of really good character stuff in there too. We spent an extra hour there so we had dinner at normal time instead o early like originally planned. We managed to get back home in time to get to Walgreens at least. Then the 5 leads met up and ran some lines. We tried coming up with strategies to help Melanie memorize her giant monologues. She has a few and they ain’t easy. Then she had us do this exercise where we each come up with 3 words to describe each person’s personality as we see them now and then 3 for ourselves. It was really fun. I got a lot of things like- grounded, still, meticulous. I even used words like that for myself. I think my favorite was where Shannon was trying to come up with a way to describe how I can be really chatty sometimes and totally quiet other times, like I’m very inconsistent socially. I think we called it selectively social. and it’s so true. Like when I’m at work I’m very quiet to most people and when they find out I’m an actress they think it’s the craziest thing. I guess it goes back to me being shy and needed a level of comfort to be talkative.
Everyone came up with some really good ones for each other. we’ll do the exercise again at the end to see if we changed how we feel about each other. He he he.

I left after that to go have ‘a’ drink with the interns. Sometimes that means like, 2 and a half pints apparently. Beer is crazy cheap here. Specials last night were $1.75 for a pint, so it’s easy to make ‘a’ drink into a few. It was fun though and I got to sleep in today (but still woke up at 9 for some reason). Little Brett showed up (named ‘Little’ because there is another Brett who is higher up in the food chain and we are bad with nicknames.) He worked the room a bit since he lives here and everybody knew him. We sort abandoned Christie briefly at the bar cashier (They have a queue at the pub here! I approve!) with a fellow we dubbed Doc Autistic. He was likely neither a doctor nor autistic, but it stuck.

Behind the scenes

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Oh, and we did have a photographer yesterday but the camera guy they were going to bring flaked, so the only dance practice footage we have is from the Macbook camera so far. I don’t know what quality that comes out as but at least we have it.

Friday

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

When I woke up, my skin was already getting better. Piece of mind, man, it makes a difference. Chloe gets gold stars.

We did scene stuff with Melanie, Shannon, and I that morning to prep for the first day of shooting. At lunch we found out Benji’s Tux fitting went way over so Rebecca was waiting forever to do round two of hair for him. She is stellar. She even sent us flowers the other day. We adore her. (For Champaign locals, her salon is Ippatsu.)

I checked my email and got a comment on here from a Lacey fan being mad about her not being here and refusing to see the finished movie. Well, it’s not really our fault she is locked into another contract. I wasn’t sure about publishing that comment because it was a little odd being on my blog and not a Lacey site, but hey, let’s have full disclosure on here, right? It did make me realize that folks like Benji might have super fans who follow them closer than I thought. Benji relayed a story about a stalker who found him at some hotel somewhere, and it was really scary, so I went back and changed where I link to where we are staying. I mean, there is a security person in the lobby, but still. I don’t want to be leading Benji stalkers here.

Anyway, after lunch we did more scene stuff then dancing. We worked on the big tango finish and I ended up getting a hard core bruise on my shoulder. It showed up immediately. It’s still like dark purple. I bruise really easy so I’m already looking like a cage fighter. Makeup has their work cut out for them with me!

Then we had amazing lasagna for dinner. We are mega spoiled.

Afterward we went back home and Nicole and I went down to Walgreens, which was freaking closed already! It was barely after 9! boo! So we walked around and then stopped by a pub for a beer. It was fun and we still got home early.

Today – read through #2 and tango

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Now I’ll be caught up.

Today we could sleep in a bit, but I woke up early and alert. This morning we did another table read with Jennifer present and Shannon was there finally too. It was awesome, and so much richer this time because we had Shannon now and we’d worked on many of the big scenes in rehearsals. We made people cry again. It’s a really good script, guys.

After that we had delicious lunch then the camera tests. They are shooting on Red. Our DP is Pete Biagi. He’s like so chill and dry witted. We love him.

We also did initial makeup tests and I apologized for the state of my complexion these days. You can’t tell from this blog, but I had some major break outs the past month or two, compounded by stress, so I picked the hell out of them. Ugh. It’s like a test of will power at this point to leave my skin the fuck alone for the next week to let it heal. I’ve honestly never had my face be like this, so that in itself is stressful. Maybe the only thing stressing me out right now to be honest. I didn’t know what to do about it, and then tonight Chloe gave me some good advice on toner and moisturizer, and I actually feel better about it already. I just have to resist the compulsion to pick at it and I’ll get better. It’ll be ok. It’s just shitty now. So some of my behind the scenes stuff on the dvd will look like ass, but oh well. I look like ass sometimes. Thems the breaks.
In a way it’s good because I can use it for my character. That’s what’s fun about acting- you can use negative emotions in a constructive way.

So yeah, the camera tests went over time and we tried rehearsing some dancing on the carpet in the office. No dice. I started feeling crappy- tired a little light headed and flushed, so I drank a bunch of water. Eventually i think that helped once I got up and moving later.

We went to the rehearsal space and worked more on the tango and they choreographed the fancy stuff with Benji and Shannon. They are amazing. You can’t even tell Shannon hadn’t done ballroom before. Amazing. Aaaand flexible! Those dancers…
On our side of the floor my form is getting waaay better and we adjusted this one move i thought was weird so now it is also smoking hot. They adjusted the arms after we fixed my footwork, and I like it better now. It was the one part that felt wierd for me, but now it’s all awesome. So it was a good rehearsal for everyone. Man, watching Melanie work is just … I don’t know. It’s just such a priveledge for all of us.

Dinner was after that and then we went our to the store to get some supplies for our rooms. Then Shannon came up to our room and we did some charater work. i went through all the stuff Craig taught me and how i use it and she found a lot of it helpful. It was really fun. I love character work. We didn’t really do lines, because the lines will follow the character homework. Plus our rehearsals for our bigger scenes are on Saturday.

Then I caught up on my blog. yay!

Wednesday – Locations and swing!

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Wednesday was more rehearsal in the morning then we went to see where we are shooting the swing club scene, the dance studio stuff and Mona’s apartment stuff, all amazingly in the same building complex!

You know those stories about a person who writes or paints something and then it comes to life? I think that’s what was going on here because there was even the perfect wall next to a men’s room sign, just like they had in the script. Like it’s uncanny how directly lifted from the script all these places are. an original location for the club fell through and then they found this incredible old vaudeville theater a local couple is restoring. It also happens to have an old dance studio space and rooms full of antiques and curiosities for Mona’s place. It is completely unbelievable. This film will seriously look like a $5 million film. It’s nuts.

So after that we went to the Pizza parlor I’ll be dancing and working in. Also, literally as they imagined. And then we ate lunch there.

After that we returned to rehearsal and worked on swing dancing. Then a bunch of swing dancers arrived for Melanie to choreograph with us. Then Jennifer, the cowriter, arrived and we met her and showed her our moves so far. She was seriously moved. I don’t think she really believed it was happening until she got to set and saw everyone really making their movie.

Perhaps you are aware Benji’s a repeat championship winner in Swing and comes from a family of champion Swing dancers. He came up with some amazing fancy swing stuff for him to do with his friend when he gets here. they’ve been friends and rivals since they were little, so it’s sort of hilarious that they will be dating in the movie. He he. Gay dance movie! Yay!

So we did that for several hours until dinner I think. We didn’t dance the entire time. Sometimes we watched them. Well, Benji danced, but he’s like a ball of energy.

That night our caterer arrived.
Guys. The food they are feeding us is so good. Like Soooo good. Extra bonus is that she is Nicole and my roommate so we get to bend her ear if we would like specific foods. So far i am elated by what they are providing. White bean chili that night with fresh corn bread! Mmmmm. Gretchen wins all the prizes.

After dinner we were whisked back to the hair salon for adjustments to Nicole’s and to make Shannon’s hair match mine. She came in blonde. I was there to be a palette, but I didn’t have anything I needed to do, so I sort of dozed a bit in the chair. Then at some point Rebecca, the ass-kicking stylist, switched the music and it was swing. So, Nicole and I practiced our moves. I seem to get a lot of dance rehearsal in when I’m at that place. The first time Melanie was dancing tango with me. Their floor is just so smooth!

Then we came home and went to bed.

Crisis in the nick of time

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Yesterday at rehearsal we found out Lacey's bbc contract didn't allow her to dance on screen, like ever, except where they say so.  That meant she couldn't be in our movie.  Luckily we found out the day before she was supposed to arrive and not after we started shooting, since that would have meant we couldn't use any of her footage and the movie would likely never be released.  So yeah, close call. 

So then erika had to find a replacement, that day.

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sent from a phone. TECHNOLOGY!

Not sent from a phone from this point on!

(I'm back in my room.  blogging on the go doesn't always time out.)
Anyway,  Erika calls this other girl, Shannon, in New York, who she knows from grad school and is a dancer and had auditioned back when there was auditions.  Shannon canceled her vacation plans (isn't that always the way?) and was on a plane in the morning.  Woah!  I could not even fathom that.  Like, a call asking to come out for 6 weeks, the night before?!  But here she is and she's great!  Hooray!  Sorry no Lacey for you folks, but thems the breaks.  Sometimes contracts are inconvenient.

Ok, back again

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Maybe I have time now.  We've been kept busy this week.  Tuesday was a dance day.  3 hours in the morning for tango then some more later after scene rehearsal.  Our tango is soooo hot.  We have the choreography planned out and just need to get really good at it and practice doing it in a confined aisle.  We have it marked in the floor, so we can get practice with that before getting on set.  I gotta say, I am just in love with Melanie and benji already.  They are doing such a great job and helping us so much on our technique.  And benji is like our own private stage show 24-7.  He's a natural born showman.  He is cracking us constantly.

We also had a great rehearsal that day where melanie made as all cry.  That's all we do is make each other cry back and forth.  Ha ha.  But yeah.  Rehearsals are going great and we're getting great help from Lisa, the on set coach. 

My friend aimee came to town that evening since she's on a road trip.  She had dinner with us and got to experience the hospitality of Champaign when we went to another donor's home and ate delicious food.  After dinner we went back to the suites and chatted then watched some online TV and went to bed.  She headed out affter I got up in the morning.  Yay friend visits!

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sent from a phone. TECHNOLOGY!