Saturday, March 31, 2007

March 30, 2007 - Prison Break

Today’s crew call was at 11:30, so I didn’t have to come in until 11. Sal kept me off the bells today, for the most part. Save for Scene 35, I got to stand and watch as the show was being filmed today. A light mood lingered on set. Because it was Friday, everybody was pretty slap happy. Vincent was in a pretty talkative mood, today, as well. In-between scenes, he chatted with the crew and even held a debate with one of the PAs, Zach.

Later in the evening, I had Zach take my picture in the holding cell on-set. I did the traditional pose, holding the barred-gate, one as “The Thinker,” and one lying on the hard wooden slab bed. And, no, the cell doesn’t actually lock-up. I asked Gary (an Assistant Director) that question.

After work, some of the crew went out for drinks. I hate drinking, but came along to be social. I had a Long Island Iced Tea and was pretty much out for the night. That’s why I don’t drink. 120 pound people and alcohol don’t mix.

Photo Album

Thursday, March 29, 2007

March 29, 2007 - The Grass is Greener Outside the City

I got up at 6:15, far too early for my tastes. I was a walking zombie for my first few hours. The crew was told to arrive at 8am. Preparations began early, as filming took place in Stanton Island today. A courtesy van drove us in, arriving sometime around 9. I saw lots of interesting sights along the way. We passed Ground Zero (it encompasses a huge square of land), went through the Battery Tunnel, and over a large suspension bridge.

Stanton Island itself is incredibly scenic, at least from what I saw of it. I wish I’d brought my camera, because their first filming location was beautiful – a wooded lake. It was something I certainly didn’t expect to see so close to the city. Watching the cast and crew do their thing was enjoyable. I learned a few new things about setting-up shots, preparation, and lighting. I never knew so much work went into outdoor lighting.

Sometime after 2 o’clock, the crew moved to another location, a nearby house in an older neighborhood. I have to say it was a welcome sight. I haven’t seen freestanding houses with grass and trees (and property!) since leaving Michigan. The locals loved having the show film there. Dozens of people stood along the sidewalks, watching. The crew had a few of them appear as background in a few shots. There was lots of downtime for Vince and Kate, while preparations were underway inside the house. Residents used this opportunity to take snapshots with them and get autographs. Vince and Kate seemed to enjoy it. They must’ve posed for dozens of photos.

The weather today was nice. It started out a little cold and breezy, but warmed up to around 60 degrees. Even though it wasn’t hot, I was surprised to come home and find out that I got a pretty bad sunburn.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

March 27 & 28, 2007 - Last Stop

Tuesday: My last day in the Art Department. Not much to report. Nicole and Sara were nice enough to let me choose where to order lunch. Taco Bandito was my choice. I love their taco salads.

Wednesday: I started work as a Set PA today. They had me come in at 10:30. I didn't leave until 9:30 at night, after they'd finished shooting. Gary (2nd AD) said I'll be working 12-14 hours on set. So, I guess I can kiss my sleep goodbye for a little while.

Most of the day, they had me sit by the bell. When they were filming, I hit the button three times and turned on a light. For rehearsal, it was twice. Once to cut. I did get to sit-in on the filming a little bit. I watched from the "Video Village," the room where the script supervisor and producers sit and watch for consistency (also doubles as a holding cell set). Vince, Katie, and Eric were in and out of the room frequently, so I got to catch glimpses of them in their downtime.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

March 24 & 25, 2007 - Gotta Go Eat at Joe's

Saturday: I had a broccoli and cheese omelet at Moonstruck. At one, I met-up with Heyward from the Production Office to see a movie. He wanted to see 300, but ran a little late on the subway, so we ended-up watching Premonition. It wasn’t bad, but it was rife with plot holes and loose ends. After the movie, we grabbed some Chinese at the Joy Grill.

Sunday: Today was my day to sleep-in. I didn’t get up until one. After taking it easy for a little while, I went to the Laundromat at 3. While my clothes were in the wash, I stopped by the Paradise CafĂ© and bought a coffee and some carrot cake.

Later in the afternoon, I went downtown and bought a couple slices of pizza from Joe’s Famous Pizza (around 6th Ave. and 3rd Street). Nicole said I couldn’t come to the office on Monday unless I go there and try their pizza. Several weeks ago, I asked her where a good pizza place was and she recommended Joe’s. I never ended-up stopping there, so she gave me an ultimatum. I have to say that, while they were decent (I just had two slices of cheese pizza), they were nowhere as good as the pizza I get back home in Michigan.

Photo Album 1
Photo Album 2

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

March 20, 2007 - Pre-Spring Equinox

I woke up feeling off-kilter today. I should have known that meant something was up. The whole city was a little off. People, in general, were cranky. I think it had to do with the Spring Equinox. Maybe it has the same effect as the full moon.

At any rate, the Art Department kept me pretty busy today. I went on several runs. They sent me on three trips to Photomax to have some pictures and a slide developed. I also went to B&H and a scrapbooking store. For the most part, I walked (or Stan drove me), but I took the subway downtown to pick up a CD from a photo agency. They had pretty tight security. I had to wait downstairs until the doorman was able to get in contact with them (which took about 10 minutes).

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March 18, 2007 - Tenement Museum

Earlier in the week Tsahai invited me to go to a museum with her today. We were scheduled to meet-up at 11:30 in the Lower East Side. I took the F Train to Delancey Street, but not before going in the wrong entrance (went to the Uptown Side and had to use my Metro Card again to go to the correct place). After Tsahai arrived Downtown, we went to the Tenement Museum at 97 Orchard Street – my first museum experience in NYC.

It was a guided tour showing three generations of tenement apartments and the conditions in which immigrants lived. The most interesting part was an audio clip they played, a speech a former resident gave. She lived there 50 years prior, as a child. Shortly after, the tenements were abandoned (landlord couldn’t bring the building up to code) and remained empty until 1988, when it was turned into a museum. She happened to be walking by as they were renovating, and offered to help with the conversation.

After the tour, I did some gift shopping before Tsahai and I stopped for lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant. Although it was cold outside, I decided to walk back to my apartment, instead of taking the subway, so I could catch some of the sights.

Photo Album

2007 March 13, 15 & 16 - New Duds

Time for a recap (yes, I prefer daily posts, too):

Tuesday: After work, Nicole took me to The Gap and had me try on different shirts and pants for my headshot. She said I’ll need them for any interview I do in the future. I bought a blue button-up short (which actually looks really good on me), a white one, and a pair of jeans with buttons, instead of a zipper. What a weird concept.

Thursday: This was to be my last day in the Art Department. I left begrudgingly, because I enjoyed it there, oddly enough. It’s not what I want to go into career-wise (I want to be an actor/scriptwriter), but everybody there is a lot of fun. Nicole snapped some pictures around the office for me. Also, before I left, Nicole gave me a hat she’d been having me wear to flatten my hair.

Friday: Ingrid from the Costume Department had me come in at 10. After grabbing a spot of breakfast, she sent me on my way right away. The department’s driver George took Katie, Cameron, Evelyn, and me to our destinations. She needed me to pick-up some receipts from Lord & Taylor, a suit from 21st floor shop, and then return it the studio. I took a cab back, which was good, because it was particularly nasty outside, a mix of snow, sleet, and hail, creating white out conditions. Cars were slipping and sliding all over the place.

After dropping off the outfit, I had to go to a costume shop called Abracadabra on 21st St. @ 4th Ave. Even though it was yucky out, I walked there. The store’d actually been robbed the night before, so it was a bit messy, but interesting to look at. The rest of the day, Ingrid had me take costumes that’d been used on the show and restock them back into inventory. The show literally has thousands of outfits. Around 4:15, she sent me on one last trip before going home. She needed me to return a maternity outfit to a store in SoHo. I took a cab there, but walked bad. It was still as awful out as ever, but I still prefer to walk.

I expected to be with Wardrobe for a full episode, but Leslie Gyson called me in the evening and said Art needs me back. That’s fine by me, because I’m not sure what more I could get from Costumes. I felt I got a pretty good idea of what they do in the day I was there. Besides, I’ve enjoyed my experience in the Art Department thus far, so I don’t mind returning.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March 12, 2007 - Jude Law

I went back to casting, today. The original intent was for me to sit in on another Producer's Session, but they ended-up having me tend to the front office, answer phones, and fetch auditioners. Ann asked me to come in at 2pm. I planned to stop by the Art Department around 10:30 and chill for a little while but, since I couldn't sleep past 7:30, I went there earlier.

Following work, Nicole offered to give me a haircut. She said I looked like Jude Law and tried to capitalize on that. It turned out really well (although I'm bad at styling it). I'll post a picture soon.

Monday, March 12, 2007

March 9-11, 2007 - Sushi & Dirty Laundry

Friday: My first sushi experience. As you might recall, I ordered sushi awhile back, but couldn’t eat it, because it’d sat out for several hours. I can’t remember the names of everything I ordered. One was called a California roll, with avocado and crab. The other two had shrimp and raw salmon. They came with soy sauce and wasabi, which were supposed to be mixed together. I preferred them without the sauce, because it was too salty.

Saturday: My cold had cleared somewhat and one of my friends from my Who’s the Boss? website ( was in town to see Tony Danza in The Producers, so I gave her a call. We met up at Times Square and had lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant. It was nice to see her again. I’ve known her for several years online. We met in person once before, when Tony Danza had a Who’s the Boss? cast reunion on his talk show. His audience coordinator set aside 20 seats for people on my site. Several of my friends from there pooled together some money and paid for me to come see it, as well.

Sunday: I got up at one and went to breakfast at Moonstruck, but the highlight of my day was my trip to the Laundromat (but not really). It was really a nondescript day. I bought a couple light bulbs, went to the grocery store. Woot.

Photo Album

Friday, March 9, 2007

March 6-8, 2007 - Baby, It's Cold Outside

So, it's been a few days since I've updated. There's a perfectly decent explaination for it... There really is. I've had a cold. At any rate, here's a recap:

Tuesday: I actually have very little recollection of Tuesday. It was miserably bitter, I'm sure. The entire week has been, though, so that's no surprise. Oh, wait. Stan took Sara and I on a run. Harry needed a book from B&N to use as a prop. While browsing around, I found another NYC guide for myself. I think I've purchased more (new) books here than I have in my entire life.

Wednesday: Josh from Accounting had me stuff envelopes. It was about as exciting as it sounds. The highlight of my day was my trip to B&H. Nicole had ordered some supplies and needed me to retrieve them. Everybody in the office says B&H is something I need to experience while in NYC. Stan was my chauffeur and he had another stop to make, so I didn't have much time to look around. It was an odd place, though. They have tons of electronics equipment, but it's laid out in nonsensical fashion. Plus, the entire store has a retro mid-90's feel to it, moderately out of date. The check out line is a confusing labyrinth, with a customer call-out similar to Whole Foods Market (sans the TV screen).

Thursday: I was in Casting for the day (got to sit-in on another Producer's Session), so I didn't have to come in until noon. Given that I was under the weather, it was nice to have the opportunity to sleep in. Unfortunately, the extra rest didn't come easily. Notice my pessimistic side kicking in. For one, the heat radiator made a God-awful racket, clunking this way and that. I have no idea why it was so noisy. It's been quiet the past few weeks. On top of that, there's a new tenant in the building who seems to be quite taken with the beauty of the hallways. He wanders them aimlessly, day and night, belting out off-key tunes of some unknown nature.

Monday, March 5, 2007

March 5, 2007 - Whole Foods

A production meeting was held today, in preparation for the next episode. Following the meeting (it starts at 1 and ends around 2:30), things get busier around the office, as Les and Harry relay the concepts that were discussed throughout. This episode calls for some pretty elaborate sets and costume, so it should be interesting.

Sara and I went to the Whole Foods Market to restock the office food supply. There’s always a large assortment of goodies, there. They tend not to carry a lot of national brands, as they’re more about organic, healthy food. The store is always crazy busy, but they were chaotic today, with little to no room to move. One of the more interesting things about the market is their checkout queue. They have people form three separate lines, then wait for an overhanging television to assign them a cashier number. It’s actually pretty efficient.

This evening, after I’d returned to my apartment and was relaxing, I heard a strange bell keep ringing. It sounded like the one that goes off at the neighboring post office all the time, so I ignored it. In fact, it’d actually been coming from the hallway. Somebody got stuck in the elevator and was sounding the alarm. Oh well. Next time I’ll know to call for help.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

March 4, 2007 - Empire State

I got up fairly early today, shortly before eleven. After showering, I took the subway up to 34th Street, then walked from there to 38th Street and over to 5th Avenue. I walked around CompUSA for a little while. I was going to have brunch at a nice diner I saw at 35th Street and 7th Avenue, but ended-up stopping at a Chinese restaurant on 35th (Hyo Dong Gak) and ordering Sweet & Sour Chicken.

Next stop – the Empire State Building! It’s a place every New York tourist has to see, so I decided to go today, as I was in an exploratory mood. I walked in, snapped a photo of the famous entryway, then took the escalator to the second story. There was a large queue line set-up, but there weren’t any people waiting. Next, I had to go through airport-like security, where I was required to take off my belt and put my electronics in a bucket.

At the ticket window, I purchased the standard option for $18, which was a pass to go to the 86th floor observatory deck. There’s another deck above the 100th floor, but that would have cost an additional $15. Besides, the 1st deck is the one most people see anyway. It’s the one shown in Sleepless in Seattle. Before going to the elevators, tourists are required to pass through a gift shop, with a vast assortment of overpriced key chains and T-shirts. They’re got a real racket going on there.

There was almost no wait to get on the elevator, even though several dozen people were going up. The ride was smoother than I’d imagined (aside from my ears popping). It took just under a minute to go up 80 stories. People are then required to transfer to another elevator that goes to the 86th floor – but not before going through a photo area, where tourists have to have their mug shot taken in front of a green screen.

The 86th floor presented me with yet another gift store. This time, I actually bought something – a book with photographs taken atop the Empire State Building. It’s nice, because every other page is in black-and-white with labels on all the major buildings and neighborhoods.

The deck really does offer spectacular views. I took dozens of pictures. It was a little difficult, though, because it was bitterly cold outside and the winds were howling at 40 or 50 miles per hour. I managed to capture more than 20 shots, though. One of the more interesting things – pigeons love it up there. More so, people love to spoil the pigeons. There was even a lady letting them eat breadcrumbs right out of her hand! People also like to leave their mark on the concrete barriers. Somebody even etched their MySpace address into the fencing.

When I left the building, it felt like it was five o’clock when it was actually three; not because I wasn’t enjoying myself. I just lost all sense of time.

Photo Album

Saturday, March 3, 2007

March 3, 2007 - Central Park

I enjoyed getting to see a new part of the city the other day, so I decided to go back there again, walk around, and snap some pictures. But first, I went for brunch (breakfast, really, but it was one o’clock) at the Malibu Diner. It was warm and sunny out, so Manhattan was bustling with activity. The restaurant was packed. I ordered a French Toast Sundae, which included two thick slices of cinnamon French toast, with a scoop of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream, and topped with whipped cream. I also ordered a side of ham. It was delicious, more desert than breakfast, but very filling.

Following breakfast, I took the 1 train to 59th street and walked around Lincoln Circle. I stopped by the mall inside the Time Warner building, which I’ve heard is the most expensive structure in the world. I spent a few minutes at Borders books, before moving on to the CompUSA at 57th. I walked up to 67th Street, past the New York Opera House and went to Barnes and Noble, where I bought another book on sitcom writing/acting.

I ended the day by taking a stroll through part of Central Park. Just like everybody says, it’s huge. I’m sure I didn’t make a very big dent in it. It offers beautiful panoramic views of the city, but was secluded enough to make me forget I was in the middle of a concrete jungle. There were trees abound, several trails that led off the walkway, large hills, and scenic lakes.

Photo Album