You Can't Take Me Anywhere

Yesterday I went to the Tara set and met some wonderful people. I got to see how they shoot and watch the monitors and listen with the headphones. I sat by the writers and chatted and joked around. My first time ever on a set, and I think I nailed it.

For example, Toni Collette (I adore her!) (Super talented!) came to shake my hand right after I wiped my nose with my fingers and then wiped them down the side of my jeans. I turned around to meet John Corbett just as I was hiking my bra strap back up my shoulder. He does seem to be one of the nicest guys ever. When I was introduced to Keir Gilchrist, I was just coming out of one of those surreal moments where you can’t believe you are really where you are, doing what you’re doing. So, I was kind of staring off into space for a sec, jumped when I realized he was right there and then shook his hand very enthusiastically. Which, he loved just like any other 18ish guy would.

I was around Brie Larson (Used to be a pop star! How cute is she with the french fries and shit!) the most. She was joking around with some of the most awesome writers to ever grace the earth, Brett and Dave, and I was in a nearby directors chair, surreptitiously listening and trying to appear like I was busy with something on my phone. Which I was not. Because my battery was almost dead. So, I’m just sitting there, half turned their way and randomly clicking buttons on the phone’s keypad, which is CLOSED. And then I thought to myself – this is pathetic. And it was. I put my phone in my pocket and turned more their way and started interjecting laughter and smiles at what I hoped was appropriate timing. Ha ha ha! You know the scene in 16 Candles where Anthony Michael Hall’s character is sitting on the bleachers at the dance trying to start up a conversation with Molly Ringwald’s character? Ya, kinda like that. The three of them were so witty, I had no hope of keeping up. So, instead I blurted, ‘I love your tattoos!’ to Dave in the middle of their dialog regarding a Craigslist murderer. It went really smooth. You should know that this little incident is not their fault at all. They were very, very nice to me. I just happen to be a dork sometimes.

I also met Rosemarie DeWitt, who was beautiful, very nice and friendly. She was recently in the movie Rachael Getting Married. (LOVED it. Very good flick.) With her was Ron Livingston and I had to actually bite my lip from leaning over and whispering in his ear, ‘I hate my job and I’m not going to do it anymore.’ in my very best Peter Gibbons‘ impression. Or, ‘Uuumm, yaaaa. Peter. I’m going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in this weekend.’ Both, hysterical. To me. I’m sure he’s never had anyone do that before.

At one point, I went next door to do an interview they filmed to use in the season 2 promos and on the Tara website. I was a little nervous at first, but everyone there made me feel so comfortable, it went fine. I said Um a lot and kept checking the ceiling to my left after every question, apparently waiting for the answer to float down softly like snow. Which, could happen on a set. Look for that, friends. I’m adding awesome interviewee to my repertoire.

The director of the interview wanted to shoot some B roll footage to cut to during the times when my talking head gets boring to look at in the editing room. They told me to not look at the camera and just keep doing what I ‘normally’ do. Hm. So, I stared at the screens and looked at some footage. Then, I held the headphones to my ears and stared even harder at the screen, accompanied by a small but distinct furrowed brow, showing real concentration which almost burned a hole on screen one. After about 6 solid minutes of that excitement, the director asked me to talk to the writers and do some pointing, which the writers were very good sports about. The dialog for that conversation went something like this –

Me – Um.
Brett – Now let’s look at this page in the script. See where she says, ‘Can I?’
Me – Now I’m pointing, too. Yes. Pointing right there.
Brett – Let’s turn to this other page and see where I’m pointing?
Me – Yes, I see that. Right here?
Director – More Pointing!
Me – Oh, look. Look at the screen!
*I point furiously, from screen to screen then back to script, sweat forming on my neck and glistening on my forehead.*
Brett – Yes, I really see you pointing now. You’re pointing at the screen and now at the script.
*My arm is stuck in some kind of pointing pattern up and down and up and down.*
Director – -sigh-
Cameraman – I guess there is a reason you guys are writers and not actors.

And, scene.

The thing I noticed when meeting everyone on set, and this goes for meeting anyone anywhere for the first time that knows I’m MPD, is that they say hello a little cautiously, with some curiosity in their eyes. They study me for just a second or two, trying to decide if I’m an ACTUAL crazy person about to do ACTUAL crazy things or if I’m mostly tame. I enjoy that moment immensely. And one of these days, I tell ya, I’m gonna do something completely bizarre after shaking their hand, like start ticking my head to the right repeatedly and saying, ‘Not NOW, Satan. Not NOW!’ I’ll wait til I meet Steven Spielberg to use that one.

12 Responses

  1. After you meet Spielberg, lick the back of your hand like you’re tasting his handshake. But not the palm — the back. Really slowly & thoughtfully. Then give him a big smile to show you approve. That would be a fun crazy thing to do.

  2. YAY!!!! i’m excited for you and can’t wait to see the footage. i wonder if they were nervous to meet you too? not b/c of mpd, but b/c you are leahpeah, badass extraordinaire.

    i probably would have peed in my pants from the excitement and fear. or, hyper focused and judgy in my head but trying to not be judgy and hyper focused and then there’s like five conversations going on all at once in my head.

    i think giving people a bizarre first hand shake is an excellent idea and steven should be your first 🙂

  3. You have just described just about every human interaction I ever have. I swear I’m a total dolt. Sounds like you had fun though – a TV set, how cool!

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