Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Thanks to my friends who let me know they caught me on TV last night. The parts where I spoke were edited out of the live airing, but I would be just as excited if I were on the news making faces behind a reporter.
The bumper was shot around the Hammerstein Ballroom, along 8th avenue. There was a lot of down time during this shoot. When we were not on a bus, the actors were inside a dressing room reading magazines, texting, and playing solitaire and Charades.
By early evening, we all took turns boarding a trailer where the Man of the Hour was waiting. I thought we were there to meet him, so when I got on, I stood in front of him while he sat and talked with other members of the crew. After looming over him a while it felt like I shouldn't have climbed aboard. Finally I jokingly told a guy, "I'm just waiting for someone to look at me."
--We all see you. Don't worry," he replied. Then a woman pointed to the lighted mirror behind me and said the actors needed makeup. Oh, makeup! Before I left, Tracy got my attention, "Excuse me miss, how old are you? If we had a kid, could we call him Netty? If we were married, would you make me go to church on Sunday, or could I stay home and watch football?" The people around him repeated his questions and started answering them for me, and I was ushered out of the trailer.
It was misty and raining all evening. They called for a couple of us to get on the bus, which inexplicably smelled like rotten eggs. Tracy shot his first scene by reading a cue card outside of the bus and then boarding. When he got on he looked at us and declared, "Yeah, it smells like sh** in here."
The bus circled the block several times with a crew member packed in every seat and in the aisle. Tracy plopped down next to me, while a girl holding cue cards was crouched into an impossible yoga pose in order to remain off camera. He let everyone know when he was ready to shoot and when the cameras were rolling he would improvise. It was hard to look like what he said wasn't funny. At one point, he said he was nervous to be the host and had butterflies. He lifted his shirt and put his belly in my face. "Feel 'em! Feel the butterflies!" When I looked away, he fell on my lap and laid across the seats going on and on. It was hilarious.
It got hot and sweaty in there, but he didn't complain. When he wrapped up he insisted the actors should get tickets to the awards show and called for us to have more water. He shook our hands and smiled and left.
Then after four more hours of circling the block and interacting with comedian Corwin Moore (former writer for SNL who works the road with Tracy and does a good impression of him), we all left too.