Archive for June, 2009

And that's a wrap! Party!

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

When we got home from the park Nicole and I picked up the gift, which was the backs of their director chairs with the movie and their names screen printed on them since they were blank before. We did them at Te Shurt and they had time done that day! Nice! We thought of putting them in long flower boxes with flowers on top, but the flower shop didn’t have boxes. So we had the lady (April’s Flowers I think) wrap them in the celophane around the flowers, which looked awesome. It was perfect. Then we wandered over to Pitaya and bought a new dress for the party. Yay sale rack! I got 2. Then I went back and showered while Nicole went to run more errands. After I was all ready I sat down and signed all the thank you cards Nicle had picked up for the crew. It took a while. We had a lot of people helping us. Then I caught a shuttle to the Krannert Center.

There were a lot of people there. I went to get a drink, but they were already out of my go-to Cap’n Morgan. So I had water and wandered over to get some food, which I subsequently dropped on the floor while trying to hold both my water and plate and eat at the same time. Oops! I cleaned up the messy part and the chips were just some crumbs left. Not too bad. I gave up on the snacks and got a beer instead.

I got all the leads to sign the card for our directors, though benji was late so we signed for him. Then we got up on the little stage and brought E and DB up and gave them the gifts. They were delighted. And they said some nice things and then we went back to mingling. Benji did show up after that, though without his phone. At least he seemed in ok spirits by then.

After a few hours we were shuttled over to Jupiter’s II, a yummy pizza place, where we had the whole upstairs reserved. Nicole drove the car of some of the guests because they had been drinking, so I rode with them. Yay safety!

Lots of people were there as well, including some that missed the early party. I wandered around for a while handing out our thank you notes. Then we got done with those and I got some awesome pizza and drinks. It wasn’t supposed to be open bar but a mystery patron picked up our tab. Woah! Thanks Mystery Benefitiary! There was pool, but I didn’t get around to playing. There was a dance floor that I did hit up. Though as soon as I went over to dance they cut the music and announced there was a sample of the grocery store musical for us to see! Yay! So we got to see footage cut with the song- all very preliminary, the song isn’t even finished, but still rad. Then it was back to dancing and I danced the rest of the time. And once again threw out my neck apparently. I also busted my new necklace. Doh! Oh well, it was well worth it. Lots of dancing! And eventually crying at the end. Wah!

But then we went back to the dorms and decided it was time for IHOP again! Woo! IHOP! So we stumble over there and get food. And others join us. Pete dances at Shaheen and almost turns her straight with the powers of dance. Lots of laughing and eating. Then later Shaheen picks up the check. She is the greatest. Not for that, just in general. I think we left around 4 or 4:30.

Then I had to pack. Yeah. I kind of didn’t have time before. I got finished sometime after 6:30, so I got about 2 or so hours of sleep. Woo. But I sleep on planes, so whatever. There was traffic but Benji and I managed to barely catch our flight. I was amazed since I’d had bad experiences with US Airways screwing me over by leaving early. But they didn’t and I made it on. Yay! They had me check my carry on since I was like the last on board, so I grabbed my laptop and checked the bag. Good thing I did since they lost that piece of luggage. First time I’ve ever had my bag lost. I got it back the next afternoon though, so it wasn’t so bad. And I didn’t need my laptop stuff since I would be home with my desktop computer.

So jeff picks me up. Yay! And I’ve just been trying to get used to my normal schedule. I think I’m starting to now. It’s just wierd being home and not having to work 12 hours a day. It’s kind of nice to veg out a bit now too.

Day 24 – The final shoot day

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Sorry it’s taken so long. I’ve been traveling and sleeping and spending time with Jeff, so blogging wasn’t on the forefront of my mind. But he’s off at an Atrox meeting, and I’m doing laundry so I have some sit down time.

Tuesday was the final day. We got up moderately early and shuttled over to Allerton Park. It’s this big park with a mansion and a lake and big fields, trees, art, etc. It’s really pretty. I didn’t read about it at the visitor center, but I’m sure you can look it up online.

It was a very hot day, but there were a few moderately air conditioned rooms at the visitor center where we could set up. Plus hair and makeup were in the trailer with AC. Once we were all ready we moved over to the long walkway toward the 2 story gazebo. It’s like this picnic montage with the babies and all of us being a happy family. It is super cute. They film us walking toward the camera, then turn around so we walk on toward the gazebo. It was a long walk, so I’m sure they will edit it. Then we did some stuff up in the gazebo and some stuff with the video camera home movie thing. we’re all sweaty messes, but oh well. Luckily we had the fake babies, so we didn’t need to worry about overheating tiny babies. We also didn’t need to worry about Benji pretending to drop the actual baby of the side. Let’s assume they will cut that.

After that we moved on to an area that used to be a pond, but was now a grassy area inside these big walls. We all hung out on the blanket and ran around up the stairs. At one point Benji took out his phone, but they didn’t want to use that so he put it back in the baby carriage, which had lots of pouches and such. Then Nicole and I had a fun moment riding one of the fishy statues, where at one point I sat down wrong- ow! Fishy had back fins. Then we moved up to another long walk way, first playing back and forth between these little monk statues then walking up the path toward the naked guy statue. Some of us hid inside the buses that lined the walkway and jumped out to scare the crew as they came up behind us. I lagged, so I scared no one. It was still nice and shady in there though.

Then from the naked guy statue, we turned and crossed the big meadow to get to the final spot by the lake, looking over at the mansion. We were reminded how crazy hot out it was. Luckily we all slathered on the sunblock. I didn’t get burned at all that day. Yay! We made it to the trees and there was a trail through the brush toward the spot.

While we waited for the scene to be set we were across the spot in the shade and I found not 1, but 2 four leaf clovers! Like immediately and within like 15 minutes of each other, just looking down. Double luck! Except maybe not.

In the journey from the fishes to the spot, we lost Benji’s phone out of the baby carriage. And then Nicole’s birdcage necklace, which had come off at some point, was accidentally stepped on and crushed. Doh! Sadness. They sent some PAs to retrace our steps to find the phone. The phone was not found, so they brought them back.

We shot the final shot where we are sitting by the lake as a family, eating our picnic and swatting the bugs. Jerk bugs! Then the camera turns away into the meadow and the crew members are called out and frolic into the field. Then we get up and join them and we all dance around and hug and cry, etc. Some folks dump the cooler on Markas– which was actually quite refreshing I would think. Then some of us charged at the camera and picked up Pete because he was still hiding back there. Luke and Brett busted out some champagne. A lot of it exploded out or was doused on people, but there was enough for folks to toast with. Yay! We made a movie! Yay!

I think at some point Frankel may have also lost his phone, but I never heard if he found his.

We finished frolicking and people packed up. I realized that it was already 4 pm and we needed to pick up our gift for the directors by 5 pm. I asked Luke and Brett and they were like- sure no problem, but didn’t immediately rush away. And then I got all panicky. Ok, not panicky, but concerned because I didn’t know how long it took to drive back. Apparently not that long because they got it just fine. I was just paranoid. Anyway, everyone pakced up and most left. And yet, we were still sitting there. After about 20 minutes I realized it was because Benji was still wandering around looking for his missing phone. Finally I just asked little Brett if we could get a driver since by the time the car got to Champaign and back, he might still be looking for it and there was no reason the rest of the Leads should be waiting. Afterall, we all needed to get pretty for our wrap party!

So he drives us back. Yay!

Things I learned today

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Apparently it’s a federal offense to smoke on school grounds. I wonder if it’s also a federal offense to strip naked and walk around only wearing balloons in a school.

Day 23 – Return to the Sauna

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Today (I’m finally catching up!) we went back to the sweat box that is Franklin Middle School and picked up our remaining scenes. We got the bathroom scene. I managed to eek out my 2 remaining lines. We tried it like I was doing it sort of jokey and gravelly. I think it worked. maybe? I think so. If not I can ADR it later. I know folks with recording booths in LA!

It was pretty hot, but not like it was in the gym that day. I also managed to eat something before hand and wasn’t lightheaded at all. After that scene I changed into normal clothes and hung out in the air conditioned rooms most of the day. Nice! I got in a 20 minute nap even.

After lunch we shot Benji and Shannon’s competition dance on both the camcorder and the Red. We needed the Camcorder for teh opening sequence then the Red just to have it all nice for the DVD. They were freaking awesome. They looked amazing. Markas had them in green and black and when the light hit them they sparkled everywhere- literally and figuratively. They even had sparkly custom shoes! I was out there for most of them because the camcorder eventually sees my feet- which was a thing of confusion for a few takes as we had Cut yelled after the dance, but then the camcorder was still on and people were talking and walking all over. One even has Benji talking about his pants being torn. Doh! Only an issue because I say a line. So we got it all sorted out and we did it once more for the camcorder and that one worked. Then Benji and Shannon wanted another go so they could totally nail it for the Red. I went into the AC to change but it sounds like they rocked it.

After their dance we still had enough time to film our tango in our outfits. We did ours up on the stage, which was all done up with balloons and paper stars like it was High school musical. So funny. We danced to a song we hadn’t practiced on before so my start timing was off. After that we had Melanie cue me when to move. That worked much better. the first go of it I felt really good about but nicole wasn’t happy with. Plus she was lipsyncing out of habit. He he. So we tried again and got off rhythm pretty quick. I think that’s when we had Melanie cue me. We were both also really sweaty and she was literally slipping away from me. We started over and did alright, but I didn’t feel great that time. I think that’s when the spotlight blew a circuit so we went in the AC to cool off while they reset it. When we came back for the last time we nailed it. I had to mutter to Nicole to stop singing and she did and we got all the way through it, and through it well. It was fun and sexy and fierce. Plus we worked out the angles really well so the good moves are toward the camera. Nice!

Another awesome thing is thatI got to wear my tux sans jacket because they put a false back on the vest. It was pinned becasue it was Markas’ granfather’s vest and they didn’t want to make alterations on it. Sophie hand stitched a black cotton back to it so I wouldn’t have to try and dance in the heavy coat. Thank goodness! Plus it’s a cute look on it’s own.

Today was supposed to be a day in the park, but since it was a pickup day we will go to the park tomorrow. Since we go to the park tomorrow, we lose our promo photo shoot we wanted to do. Like for posters and such. We were going to try rigging a fake pony tail so my hair doesn’t look cut, but it’s moot since we won’t have time now. I also won’t have time to get my tattoo here before I leave. Sadness! Oh well. I can get it in LA, I just wanted to go to where we found our little girl that plays little me in the movie. (No Regrets tatoo)

Tomorrow we will have time to party. Mike Ross is hosting the first 2 hours of the party at Krannert Center with an open bar! Woo! Then we move the party, but I forget where. hopefuly I won’t throw out my neck dancing again.

Then I guess I pack because I leave Wednesday.

Drag Show drag.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Since we started and ended late on Sunday, we all missed Kenneth’s big send off party/show at C Street. Sadness! Ultra sad for Benji because he was going to preform that night. C’est la vie. Maybe he can find a fun show in LA, though it’s so much fun doing it in a small venue.

Day 22 – The Return to the Hospital

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Though I set my alarm, I apparently didn’t acknowledge it because I got a call from Melanie at noon wondering where I was. Asleep is where I was instead of in the shuttle. Awesome. I feel woozy and stumble around like I’m drugged. I quickly regain my bearings and throw myself together. By the time I get to set it’s pretty clear I have little to no voice left. Also Awesome. Overall, the day isn’t going great for me.

But then there are adorable babies on set and then I get to take a nap because I’m not in the birthing scene. I wanted to watch, but not as much as I wanted to sleep. Yay nap time! Then lunch! Neither of these things does anything to help my voice. I kept drinking hot water beverages, but to no avail. Fortunately, they compressed the one scene where I have a line so I didn’t need to talk. When we tried it in rehearsals my voice was so squeaky it just made everyone crack up. It was a sort of hectic scene to shoot, but funny. Also, Pi is in the background as a patient with full on IV and a neck brace and oxygen mask. She was cracking up before hand- we think Dave may have secretly given her laughing gas instead of oxygen.

When that is all done we don’t have a ton of time to film the waiting room. We rehearse a few then it took forever to work out the lighting. I suspect the location was difficult to light because we started late too. Low ceilings and lots of windows.

By the time we start the 2 scenes out there we have maybe an hour and half so we crank out the shots one after another. Frankel played the weird patient in the chair next to Melanie and it was so hard not to crack up during the scene. He doesn’t need to do anything and he’s just funny. Lisa had her snarky cameo. Benji mooned us from off camera, but it was during rehearsal. Melanie was adorable. Benji was all weepy. Even though we were rushed to get the scene done I think it was still done well. Though I am very quiet for supposedly being super excited about babies. I could barely even squeak.

Oh! on the first take we tried, I suddenly had a giant tickle in my throat and had a massive coughing fit for like 5 minutes. I was relatively fine all day, coughing wise, other than when I was trying to clear my voice for the line that was cut. So it just jumped out at me and I couldn’t prevent it. I had tears in my eyes it was so bad. I got a bunch of hot water drinks and a terrible cough drop and my throat stopped freaking out. It was annoying, but brief.

When I got home I showered finally. I hadn’t at all that day because I was late, so I was super gross. I also washed my hair for the first time (Rebecca had done it the day before) which is so wierd! It’s like someone else’s head! Short hair! Woah!

Day 21 – Filming in the Sauna

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Oh man. Saturday.

Didn’t sleep well – woke up from 4:30-7:30 am. Arg! Switching from nights to days is hard.

Call was 11:30 so I got picked up early by Rebecca to get my hair done for the big reveal. We finished early so we drove around the area of the school for a bit and checked out all the fallen tree branches from the night before.

The set was at Franklin Middle School. there is a stage in the gym so it was perfect, layout wise. Temperature wise it was a sauna. The day was hot and muggy and the gym was even hotter and muggier after a few hours with those lights on. Yikes! Luckily my big reveal was first so I wasn’t drenched in sweat yet.

I gotta give mad props to the extras who stuck around through all the heat and sat in the gym for hours. It was brutal. I hadn’t eaten much and the pants were fairly tight on me so I got lightheaded pretty early. Bleh. I had to sit and try to take deep breaths between takes. they brought an ice pack for my neck, which helped. Things were somewhat slow going all day because of the size of the venue and the sweltering heat. People were really spread out so when something was needed it took longer to get and people were still exhausted from trying to swap their sleep schedule, etc. It was a rough day for all.

First up was my bad ass reveal. Yay. Then we went into the gym and did all the scenes with the check in stuff first. The ladies playing Mimi and Missy were delightful. They kept in it and their energy was great take after take. Amy (Mimi), known for her role as Hot Mom from Bill & Ted’s, is getting her PhD at U of I. She was rad.

Lunch made me feel tons better. Not only because I got to sit in AC for a while, but getting food helped me not feel so light headed.

After lunch was the second half of the competition scene so all the judges had to sit up on stage in their heavy suits. Sorry guys! At least the ladies didn’t have to wear suits too. The extras hung in there and we finished out the scene. By then it was end of day and we missed the dancing, the hallway and the bathroom scene. Doh! This ended up adding a day to the schedule. Luckily the school let us come back! And we managed to get all the big stuff with lots of extras done, which was important that day.

Cute stories of the day- When Benji arrived there was this cute kid named Matthew (I think) that was a big fan and told him how much he liked his choreography work. Soo cute! So Benji signed his sides for him later that day and then Matthew signed Benji’s call sheet with something adorably grown up and charming. There was also another little girl who was my hair cut buddy, called Genevive I think. She had long long hair and then cut it off the day before for Locks of Love, same day I did! She was the daughter of a friend of Markas and they were super sweet.

Oddly enough that wasn’t the most stressful day for me, even though I was wearing a heavy jacket in a gym that was probably over 100°, and rapidly losing my voice. It was like a 7 on the stressfull scale, toothbrush tango night being the 10. It was certainly 10 on the discomfort scale. The poor extras and crew were in there most of the day. Brutal! And we left knowing we’d have to come back and dance next time! Yikes!

Haircut day and almost a Tornado!

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Friday was the big point of no return. I had my hair appointment at 6:45 to chop off my long locks and trade it in for a chic little short cut.

First I had a massage scheduled at 5 pm, and I ended up taking a nap until right before Matt picked me up. We went to Body Works in Champaign and I got a nice relaxing hour long massage. By then my neck had been loosening up so this wasn’t as painful.

Shannon was dropped off by her folks at the massage place and I forgot to call for a ride back. I got a hold of Raquel and Keeley for a ride to Ippatsu for my hair apt. By then it was raining pretty hard with lightening. They sort of found the place, as best as you could since it’s tucked away. So I go around the building and get picked up. I’m starving at this point since I overslept on my nap. We spot a Steak & Shake and order at the drive through. Then as Raquel is rolling up the windows the Tornado Sirens start going off! We aren’t sure what to do so we parked and ran inside. A few people seemed concerned, but most did not. I asked to pay for my drive through meal there at the counter, since I was there anyway. By then the sirens had turned off. I asked and a lady said that probably means all clear. We took that as our cue to skedaddle.

I got to the hair apt. a little late, but Rebecca was already cutting Erika’s hair so it was fine timing wise. She finished up with Erika’s hair and put me in the seat. We were about to get started when we saw Gretchen and Nicole running over in the rain. We waited for them so they could see the whole thing. She divided it into 2 sections and chopped them off. I felt like I was was going down a roller coaster- Weeeeee! There they went. Off to Locks of Love! then she washed it and cut it. She asked if I wanted to start with it up to my mouth and see from there, and I’m like- ‘Nah, just go for it, up to my nose.’ If I’m gonna do it I should go all out, right? So she does the initial cut, then the drying then more shaping then flipping the part and more shaping, etc. She’s really good at hair cuts, guys.

The finished product was a work of art. I seriously look very different with this new hair. I LOVE it. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to long hair. It’s awesome.

Once we were finished I staged my Top Model breakdown so I could post it for my boyfriend, and anyone else who might get a kick out of it. Near the end I was smiley and then I just laugh, but I got a good bit in at the front that looked like I really hated it. He he he. Delightful.

After that we met up with DB and some more of the Beahms for tapas and drinks at Radio Maria (where the music was ridiculously loud, but oh well the food is great.) Then the girls went back to Ippatsu to hang out a bit more and finish the wine from earlier. By the end of the night the rain had stopped.

'Day' 20 – Cars and Ghosts

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

We got started on Thursday evening at around 6 pm. Benji and I had a scene in a car that supposed to be outside the pizza place. Since we were hit by the storm earlier in the week, we picked it up in a nondescript alley before the sun went down that night. It was really fun. Props dept. made a little Ken doll into a mini Cedric to sit on the dashboard. it was super cute. I change my clothes in the back seat during the scene, but you never really see more than a sports bra, if that. Then after the cut I’d change my shirts back next to the car. I was pretty whatever about privacy. Hell, it’s a sports bra- it’s almost an undershirt. The scene went smoothly and was fun do to.

Then we moseyed back on over to the house to do more car stuff and the rest of the kitchen scenes.

They considered making it rain for the car scene out in front of the house, but it obscured the view through the windshield too much, so they went with just a wet look. The scene went pretty well. It was a little difficult because my head was still not turning all the way left yet and I was in the passenger seat. Doh! But I could angle my shoulder back and that worked.
It was so hot and humid that night it felt like walking into a sauna when you walked outside. We were happy to be done with the car scene asap.

We go back in at the end and there was talk of Shannon having seen someone in the window while we were out there. I didn’t see anything, but she saw some shadows in the window. then Nicole said she saw something weird the night before. Then later Keeley was positive that a ghost had scratched her on the back at some point, and I think she worked out in the sweltering heat that night for a while. I found it sort of amusing. Not that I don’t believe ghosts can exist, but I can think of a million other things that she may have scratched herself on than a ghost. But who knows. The house used to be a hospice or something so all the doors and fixtures are designed to accommodate a person in a wheel chair. The master shower was really confusing until I found that out because the tiles slope up into it, so it looks like the water would run out onto the floor.

Anyway, aside from the ghosty paranoia, things went pretty well. We had the outer glass ball on the ktichen lamp shatter, but Dan ‘the man’ Leasure produced a replacement in like less than a half hour. And this is in the middle of the night! So we were able to shoot the scene after the car and before the fight in the bathroom scene. I was starting to get a scratchy voice, but I only had like one line left to say by then.

After that we did the big off screen fight with Shannon and Melanie and I am the only one on screen in the kitchen. It’s pretty cute. Then we make a mad dash out the door. Melanie yells after us, so every few minutes she’s opening the door yelling- ‘No secrets from your mother!’ at like 5 AM. I wonder what the neighbors think.

We wrapped about 6 AM.

Neck cracker

Friday, June 19th, 2009

I got woken up a little before 2:00 to be picked up for my physical therapy, which in my head was at 2:30. so i got there late, but I saw him right away and he massaged my neck and throat and shoulders. It was incredibly painful, especially my upper throat area where my glands (nodes?) were still a bit enlarged. Then at the end he cracked my neck back into place. Presumably. It did seem like a satisfying crack and when I left i felt like my muscles were started to release. Yay!

It’s not all better yet, but at least it was better enough that it wasn’t preoccupying my thoughts constantly. I think with my massage scheduled for this afternoon my muscles will release that section of my neck. I still can’t fully turn my head left. But overall I do feel better and less stressed about it. Yay!