My Year of the Tiger ~ by Jacqueline Nyahay

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Prowling from Dexter to Dwegons, explore with Jacqueline as she takes you on her magical adventures on set in 2010 traveling from one sound stage to the next until she ultimately reaches DexterLand and life will never be the same...
 
LA Atmosphere Part VI ~ My Year of the Tiger
 

I started my 2010 sipping a Bloody Mary and watching the Rose Parade online. Our Disneyland annual passes were expiring so we went down one last time to enjoy my favorite Magic Kingdom. Work started picking up again and I put myself available on Joey's List and started calling the hotlines. I submitted to three different things on Jeff Olan's line and ended up with my first gig of the New Year on "Medium". It was an awesome day. We parked at Manhattan Beach Raleigh Studio, but then were shuttled down near the airport to some empty building that was dressed as a bank for some bank scene. I was a customer at the bank and entered the bank with Patricia Arquette. She looked fabulous with her new short hair cut and seemed in good spirits. When we finished up there, we went back to the studio for lunch, catered of course, and then changed over to be Court Goers. I was placed right next to Patricia again as she was walking toward the elevator, but it got to be too much and my partner and I were taken out of the shot. I then changed over to TV News Reporter and we had fun with a scene of reporters hounding a lawyer and his client exiting the courtroom. I had to make sure to keep the microphone in their faces as they quickly dogged the media. All in all, 4 hours of overtime, and two wardrobe changes equaled a nice payday!
The following week Joey got me on "Burlesque!" the new Cher, Christina Aguilera movie. I was a pedestrian at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. It was chaos on the Boulevard, why they had to shoot the scene there instead of some back lot I have no clue. The street was not locked off and paparazzi were out and cop cars were screaming down the street, it was crazy. At one point Christina had to step off the sidewalk and stride across the street toward camera and she got nervous and wouldn't go. It wasn't like the cars stopped at the light were with our crew, so who knew what they might do. We eventually got the shot, though I never made it in. I was on the opposite corner and by the time the lights changed so I could cross into the shot, the shot was completed. The catering was awesome and I was out in 6 hours before the sun went down. I also ran into some of my friends from the BG of BOT, so we talked about how the show was doing.
I called the hotlines like a lunatic and got an interview for an Irish Mother on "Lie to Me". The funny thing was, they were looking for the typical Hollywood version of Irish, red hair, or strawberry blonde or light brown. I thought I could pass for light brown as I have dark blonde and I am part Irish. So when I showed up to the interview I wasn't surprised that everyone else had red hair, but I was shocked to see Christiane there! She had just got back from her Christmas in Brazil with her family and Joey had booked her on this interview! Blonde Brazilian playing Irish Mother? Obviously neither of us got the role, actually it was all about matching to the little girl already cast, who had amazing red curly hair, so they went with a red head, but we were all invited back to be Irish party people in the Boston set scene. So the following evening I finally got to do BG work with Christiane and a bunch of BOT BG friends were there as well! We were shooting on Fox's back lot and I was given a headband with antennae Shamrocks. It was a St. Patty Day Parade/Party scene so everyone was supposed to act drunk and cheerful, we had a lot of fun with it! They brought us in pizza, but we still ended up with four meal penalties on a straight 8. Getting home after midnight I was glad I didn't have any booking for the following day.
Joey called with a gig for "Brothers and Sisters" to play a Gun Club Member. It was shooting at the Disney Studio, which is 10 minutes from my house so I lucked out! I got to set early before it started raining again. It had been raining all day the previous day and I guess the weather forecast was heavy rain all week. We definitely needed it. In the scene there were suppose to be 3 Aides to Calista Flockhart's character who was running for office. Two male, one female. The girl hadn't shown up and was running very late, so they decided to get me approved to replace her. I was approved and sent to wardrobe to be dressed in a suit. I heard that a call went out to cancel the girl who was late and a rush call was put out at Central to replace me as the Gun Club Member, since we were all in the same scene and I couldn't do both. I lucked out because this was a re-occurring role on the show and I would be coming back for 1 day a week for the next few weeks while Calista's character ran her campaign. Cheryl Hines was also part of Calista's entourage for the campaign so it was fun to see her acting again. Last time I saw her was a year ago when I stood in for her on "Curb Your Enthusiasm". Both veteran actresses did awesome, considering we were shooting in this tiny bungalow during what became an insane thunderstorm outside. The rain was beating down mercilessly and the sky grew dark. The power kept going out and we would have to hold the role. We were out in six hours and I had a booking back on the show for next week hooray!

The rest of the week I had myself as available on Joey's List and received no bookings. I was a bit disappointed, but working more than what XM had done for me, so couldn't complain. And considering we in Los Angeles were in what the news was calling our El Nino part 2, maybe it was a blessing I wasn't out driving to sets when there were tornado warnings! The following week I went back to "Brothers and Sisters" for the matching shot, which was a continuation or prequel to what we had shot the previous week. We went on location to a local shooting range in Burbank that was indoors since the weather forecast was more rain. Calista and Cheryl were back for the scene. Calista had to fire a weapon and as her Aid, I was in the background talking to reporters about the appearance of the candidate. It was another quick day, we were back to the Disney lot and wrapped out before lunch. I got another stand-in gig on "Flash Forward" at the end of the week off Joey's List. When I showed up to set back at the Disney lot again, I was told this show is top secret and no sides are given out. I went to wardrobe to figure out color cover and thankfully I had brought the right colors so I didn't need to borrow anything from them. I was utility standing in for four different girls. First I stood in for the second lead of the show Sonya Walger. I was wondering where her regular stand-in was and if this could possibly turn into a full time thing. Without sides meant no second team rehearsals with dialog, so basically we just had to stand on the marks, then move to the next marks for camera, very basic and easy. We were shooting this first scene outside in the cute little courtyard of the Disney lot, which has the Seven Dwarfs up on top of the building looking like they are holding it up. In the courtyard are tons of iron plaques with the hand prints and signatures of many who have had a creative hand in the magic of Disney. It was cool to walk around and see them all. There was even a life size statue of Walt. My Disney passes may have expired but I still felt the Magic all around me! The crew on the set all seemed very cool and I got along great with the other utility stand-ins that were brought in. I stood in for Marquessa Moreland next in a quick little flash back/flash forward scene. Before lunch, I stood in for Catherine McGoohan in a quick little office scene and then it was 1 hour walk-away. Since I was just down the street from my house I decided to drive home for lunch and made it back to set in plenty of time. I could definitely get use to working this lot all the time! The remainder of the afternoon I was standing in for Sonya again and then ended the evening standing in for Rachel Roberts. Four hours overtime and I was on my way home.

February 2nd was my lucky day! I got called for three jobs and they were all on different days so I accepted them all! First was for "Bachelor" stand-in, which I had submitted to on the Jeff Olan hotline over the weekend. Next "Brothers and Sisters" needed me back for more campaign manager/staffer fun. And Jason, the second AD from BOT was working a new movie "The Good Doctor" and wanted me for stand-in. I went back to the Disney lot for "Brothers and Sisters" and was happy to hear it was going to be another quick morning. We were only in one scene. Calista was giving a campaign speech out in the courtyard where I had just shot the "Flash Forward" thing. Not all three of the Aids were brought back, only two. At first I was told I would be in the back of the audience watching and reacting to the protesters who interrupt Kitty during her speech. The cameras were faced to film the audience first, but I was taken out of the shot and told to stand up next to the stage where she was giving her speech. When they turned the cameras around to film Kitty, I was told that they did not want the Aids off to the side of the stage and we were pulled from the shot. Then I was told to take off my Kitty badge and ear phone and that I was going to be part of the Burbank Booster Club who was hosting and had invited Kitty to give the speech. So I ended up sitting up on the stage on the Booster Club side, and Kitty had no Aids around her. At one point one of the AD's was saying I had already been established as Kitty's Aid in the last episode so it would be weird that now I'm on stage with her on the opposite side as part of the Booster Club, but I guess it wasn't too important. We got the shot off and were wrapped in under 5 hours. Zack from BOT texted me and said he was already working as stand-in on "The Good Doctor" for Orlando Bloom. I was looking forward to joining the crew tomorrow down on Venice Beach. I had no idea who I would be standing in for or if it would turn into a regular thing.

My call time was 2pm at the beach, but I ended up getting there early. I was pleasantly surprised to keep running into PA's and AD's I knew from BOT. The whole gang was here! Brian, the original stand-in for Jay on BOT, showed up and with voucher and color cover in hand, we headed out to the water and met up with Zack. It was like mini second team all over again from BOT, I was so happy. The sun was shining down on our picture perfect day while we caught up. It seemed that most of the movie involved scenes with just Orlando so Zack had been working non-stop all alone. After a few hours of down time, we moved location up to the Venice Beach pier for the sunset shot. Simply gorgeous day, we got the 1/8 of a page shot we had been brought in for done and I was out in 4 hours. I had been standing in for Courtney Ford, which Jason told me would work again at the end of the movie. He said he would try to see if he could bring me back for another girl, but she was really blond and the director might say no. I was hoping if nothing else, they might bring me back for the two weeks they were going to be shooting hospitals scenes. It was only a 25-day shoot with a $6 Million budget.

Joey's List came through for a Monday gig the following week on "My Boys". I headed over to Paramount early in the morning to walk to the back lot where we were to be shooting all day. Our holding was inside one of the facades. I remember holding in there last year or was it the year before on "Worst Week". It was cold and I felt over dressed in a suit, but the hotline had said first outfit was supposed to be business. The last scene of the day was casual which is how most of the BG showed up. I brought a ton of options since it was AFTRA and we were told that wardrobe would pick who was used for a scene that would be a second episode shot, meaning double voucher. But when I went to wardrobe they quickly approved what I was wearing and just said to change blouses for the extra scene. It took all morning and into the afternoon to finish the first scene. I had never heard of the show before but apparently it was in it's fourth season, being the only scripted programming on it's channel. Released for walk away lunch I made my way to the commissary but once there I wasn't very hungry. I ended up back at set reading my book. Maybe a half hour after we came back from lunch I went and made a PB&J from crafty, as they were still working on the first scene of the day, at least it was turned around. Everyone was told to get changed for the extra scene in the diner that would be part of a different episode. Once we changed we were told to line up outside the diner and the PA went down the BG list calling out random names to get the lucky second voucher. All the vouchers were AFTRA union vouchers but accidentally the PA had yelled out 3 Non-Union actors as well. Their 2nd vouchers were taken and the rate was changed to a non-union rate. Everyone not picked who were union, were pissed off and saying it was BS that non-union are taking union vouchers. The scene for a different episode took hours to shoot and there was a lot of down time. Actors storming around threatening to call AFTRA about all this. They said they weren't going to stick around for the last shot we were all needed in, or if they did they wouldn't wear the correct wardrobe. I personally didn't think AFTRA would do anything about it. Not like SAG would have. AFTRA had so many different agreements with every show; they would figure a way not to have to deal with this. I just relaxed and read, I was still on the clock and though I wished I had been picked for the extra voucher, I wasn't going to let it get to me or bring me down. Tempers cooled with the weather and heaters were brought out for us. We changed over for the last scene of the night, a Chicago Bulls Fans street party. Basically we ran up and down the street weaving through cars cheering for the Bulls. It was easy and we were out with just under 5 hours overtime!

Jeff Olan's office called to say "The Bachelor" was pushed from Friday to Saturday. I was getting ready to email Jason about doing BG in the hospital scenes for "The Good Doctor" when they called me to work stand-in again! This time it was a two-day gig Thur/Fri standing in for Sorel Carradine. Unlike Courtney who had medium brown hair, I matched Sorel perfect. She was playing the older sister of the second lead who had the really blond hair and would be in 12 days of the movie. Jason told me he was still planning on asking the director if I could stand-in for her and she started work on Saturday. Zack was happy I was back because he had been working alone again and missed having a team of 2nd teamers. We were on location at some house in Van Nuys, which was so small we had to camp out on the front lawn. We were barely brought in to stand-in because there just wasn't enough room in the house with all the crew setting lights, etc. After Sorel's first close-up of the day, the 1st AD came out to tell me I had messed up the shot and I have to do exactly what Sorrel does. It was all just drama, because Sorel sat on a couch then slid over. I did it exactly like she had in the rehearsal, so either she changed it up or missed her marks. The majority of the time we were not aloud to watch rehearsals or monitors. It was a bit ridiculous and Jason told me not to take it personally. Everything else went smooth the rest of the day. When I came back the following day I told Jason that I was booked on "Bachelor" for tomorrow, Saturday, so I needed to know if the director had approved me. He was still working on it, but told me to keep my job and he would get me back again when he could. Sorel was working again on Tuesday and I was hoping I would be brought back for her. Heather, the stand in for the mom, was asked back for Tuesday but she had to go to her regular gig on "Cougar Town". She was really cool and a 2nd team field trip was in the works. I called Jeff Olan to confirm for "The Bachelor" the following day. It was going to be at the same budget studio it was at last time, meaning it would probably be a short day 3-4 hours tops. It seemed like it was taking forever to get one of the quick 1/8 of a page shots that Orlando's character did alone. Hours were going by and we were still on the same scene. All he had to do was flip a light switch and take a photo out of a frame. Later I found out there were creative differences and Orlando ended up with a headache and not feeling well. A doctor was called in but then left when Orlando was not aloud to leave the set in the middle of the scene. Drama about sums it up. After lunch the doctor returned but the day just dragged on and on. Finally we got to the night scenes outside and had to move our things to the driveway next door. A coffee truck came and I got an Espresso with caramel. Thank god for the neighborhood curfew. They whipped through the three scenes we had to get outside and never even used any of the stand-ins. I actually only sat on set for maybe 15 minutes total that day, when Sorel is sitting on the edge of her bed changing her clothes and Orlando sees her from the doorway. Both days/nights on TGD were long hours but nothing crazy because of the neighborhood curfew. I said goodnight to Jason and he reminded me I was family and they loved having me on set. I did not put myself as available for Tuesday thinking I would be back at TGD, but Zack texted me the following day, while I was on set of "The Bachelor" to say the call sheet said TBD. By the time I put myself as available on Joey's List, Tuesday was all booked up since Monday was a holiday and everything had been booked on Friday. I tried not to be too upset, it was Valentine's weekend and I had plans with Ed. The Chinese New Year announcing the start of the Year of the White Tiger had me excited. I put myself available for the entire week, but things were looking slow. Zack texted me from TGD set to say that no one was brought in to stand in for Sorel on Tuesday and that the woman standing in for the mother was more of a utility and doing Sorel too. President's Day, no job, but of course it's a SAG holiday. Fat Tuesday no job. Ash Wednesday no job. What the hell was I paying Joey for? I went hiking to burn off some steam. Zack had let me borrow "Joey Season 2" so Ed and I were watching that. I missed Andrea and working BOT. I missed having a regular gig. I hated wondering when I was going to work again. I got online and found out BOT was cancelled, and ABC had not even aired two of the episodes we shot. I am not sure which episodes since ABC aired them all out of order from how we shot them. This week was getting really depressing. I rented a new comedy series from HBO called "Flight of the Conchords". I accidentally got season 2 and didn't realize until I had watched half the episodes. I don't think it made any difference. The show was brilliant I loved it. The video store I got it from didn't even carry the first season, I wondered if it was just as good. Two weeks went by with no jobs. I emailed Joey's List after hearing a rumor of a special A list within the list. Joey emailed me back squelching the rumor. I found the first season of "Flight of the ConChords" and went to pick it up. I also picked up "Eagle vs Shark" since I loved Jemaine and he was starring in that too. The first season was just as amazing, but if I had to choose, the second was best since it also includes tons of behind the scenes footage from season one. This was officially my new favorite show. Ed got tired of me talking about it.

Tom Walsh called me to invite me to a private screening of "Dwegons" for cast, crew and family. I was so excited that Ed and Zyla could join me. We arrived at the Clarity Screening Room in Beverly Hills to tables full of doughnuts and lollipops! Zyla was in heaven. The movie was amazing. I loved the colors, the music, the story. I was excited to finally see my name on the big screen and happy I could share that moment with my family.

Joey's List finally texted me the first week of March with a gig on Ed's birthday, to play a doctor on "CSI Miami". I headed down to Manhattan Beach Raliegh Studio and was then shuttled to some abandoned hospital in Hawthorne. As a doctor they wanted me in heels but then they made to much noise so the sticky squishy tape was put on them. Eventually by the end of the day they ask everyone to take their shoes off, which I heard is against SAG rules, but nobody complained. Being first unit and on location we had catering which was awesome! I wrapped by 5pm and was able to get home in time to celebrate with Ed, taking Zyla to hip hop class. Joey texted me again for the following day to do stand-in on "The Mentalist" second unit. When I called into the info box it was only for first unit. I called Central to find out what was going on and they said I was on first unit. Our call times were pulled up and I got a call from Central. When I arrived to Warner Brothers I asked the security how to get to Lot 33 since I had never heard of it and it wasn't a stage. He told me to follow the guy who had just walked through because he was going there too. Unfortunately the dude was running and it was all the way across the lot where we had to be. I kept thinking is he another stand-in? Why is he running? Did they change our call time again? I finally found lot 33, which was just a parking area where production had parked with the wardrobe trailer. By the time I got through the long line of BG, I was told I needed to head to set to check in and get my voucher there from Laz. Where is set? Just go down the street and look for a big bear of a guy, he will be watching for you. I followed some of the BG who were heading down the street and end up at some Western town back lot. The entire crew was setting up for some crane shot. I didn't see any bear of a guy. I looked in the BG holding, no one. I asked one of the electricians where Laz might be. He pointed him out, as Laz headed around the building and told me to hurry before I loose him. But no worries because Laz had stopped at the breakfast set up and told me to get breakfast as well, I was early. I was to stand-in for Elizabeth Stanfeld. She had short, above the shoulder, light red almost strawberry blonde hair. We were not a perfect match, I was surprised I had been called in at all, but totally thankful! The day went really well, I wish I could stand-in on this show all the time. All the regular stand-ins were really cool. Laz's cousin had just come out from New York and was doing stand-in for his first time. We had a scene where our people were naked, having sex, then jump up as the cops bust in on them. Welcome to Hollywood. It was mellow, we just had white tanks on and stood on the marks and never even laid on the couch. My girl was in the first scene and then almost the last scene of the night so I had tons of down time. Time for one of the BG to tell me all about the federal government scam to take our money with taxes when no one technically has to volunteer to give them if they do not hold a federal job. Interesting stuff. He said he had gotten a check from the IRS returning his money. I found his email address bold ‘IRScanSUCKit'. I asked him how he found out about it and he said he read the book Cracking the Code. I heard they shoot long days and since we'd had a somewhat late morning call time, we could potentially go to midnight so I booked out with Joey's. But wouldn't you know it, Jeff Olan called with a gig on "Private Practice" for the following day and I had to take it considering I had submitted to it the previous week and I was looking for all the SAG jobs I could find. Because of the late call, the commissary was closed and they catered our walk away lunch! I felt like I just kept getting more food all day, they just kept putting it out. Later I found out that first and second unit were literally shooting right next to each other and that our unit had accidentally been going to the other units food, then our unit would get more food. Oh well, everyone got plenty. Simon Baker the lead of the show was really busy working on the other unit in the morning, taping an episode with Ellen at her show, then getting back to our unit early evening. He came onto set while I was standing in and introduced himself, shaking my hand. A scene was cut and I ended up wrapping around 9pm. I had an early call on "Private Practice" so I went to bed shortly after getting home. For the first time I woke up to head to Sunset & Gower Studios. At first I had thought it was a mistake when the info box had said that was location since PP is always at Hollywood Raliegh Studio. But no mistake, we were on location and PP had just parked all their production, wardrobe, etc trailers inside the Studio lot. Since I had never been there I kept trying to drive into the parking structure from the street, only to be told to go to the next gate. Three times before I found the correct gate and headed onto the lot. Our holding was inside the shuttle van since the bar we were shooting in was tiny and hardly fit everyone for the shot. Slim pickings at crafty, I grabbed a bagel and headed back to the van. I was used in the last two shots, never facing camera. Christiane was there, and we spoke about the lack of work lately and hope for the future. Quick day, back to our cars by noon and I headed home for lunch. The following day I had reservations at the Magic Castle for Ed and I to celebrate his birthday. It was awesome going back and sharing new memories and retelling the ones I had there with Joleen on New Year's Eve. We were able to see all the shows and enjoyed a fabulous steak dinner, even though it was a Friday in Lent, oops! I called birthday exemption. "Alice in Wonderland" came out in the theaters and we went to see it in 3-D. It was beautiful, I love Tim Burton creations! Ed thought he saw me in one scene, but I honestly would have to pause the movie, since everyone is dressed in white wigs it is hard to scan through all the faces and pay attention to what is going on in the scene before the camera angle moves. I had such a lovely week; I wished it could always be like this. The word out was that more than 40 new AFTRA pilots were starting up and we should be busy. The last day of "The Good Doctor" came and went without a call to come back to stand-in. One day rolled into the next as I sat next to a silent phone, calling the hotlines every few moments, trying to strum up a gig. Then the news announced that Corey Haim died at a hospital near my house. What was happening? All these young Hollywood actors dieing from prescription drug overdose, it was all so sad. I remembered the time I spent with Corey on "Demolition High" back in the mid 90's. I was a cheerleader in his movie and during some down time between set ups he had come over to a bench I was sitting on to chat with me. We hung out for a while, talking about the business. I was just starting my career and was so happy to get advice from someone I had looked up to and watched in movies growing up.

By the end of the week I was feeling pretty depressed again when Joey texted with a gig for Friday. I was going to be a party guest at a backyard BBQ that turned into an impromptu wedding on the set of "My Boys". I headed down to Paramount for my afternoon call time in a short kaki skirt and tank top, hoping wardrobe would let me keep on my boots as it was going to be chilly during the night shoot in which we were pretending it was a muggy 80 degree summer in Chicago. Wardrobe said no, and I had to put on my flip-flop heels instead. Of course they also told me I would freeze. Oh well, same thing happened the last time I came to this show, what do you do. It was gorgeous weather during the day, we were in a warm spell in Los Angeles, and I was hoping the evening wouldn't be too bad. They brought out the grill heaters and most of the BG rallied around them between takes. I think I stood too close as my thighs started turning red like a splotchy sunburn even after I left the warmth. We managed to get an hour of overtime and although we were reminded it was a one-hour walk away lunch at 6:30pm, the production did bring in a mini meal for the crew and we were aloud to partake of it after they had gone through. While in holding I got another text from Joey to stand-in on Monday back at "Flash Forward". Wrapped just after midnight and headed home.

It was awesome to drive down the street to the Disney Studios again and this time I was only standing in for Sonya Walger all day. As opposed to the last time I stood in on this show, when all the stand-ins were new, this time, I was working with the two regulars who did the lead males. I found out that although Sonya has a regular stand-in they like to rotate in others. So it's more like she has a team of regular stand-ins. I am not sure if this is because of all the extra secrecy that the show puts off, along with not letting us have sides, or watch most rehearsals. When I grabbed my voucher, I heard a crew guy talking about breakfast so I headed over to the truck next to our stage and grabbed some. Everyone was looking at me, I thought because they didn't know me and I'm not usually on this crew. The caterer introduced herself and I told her I was the utility stand-in. Later I found out that was not our caterer, but for the next stage over, oops! FF does provide some snacks and sometimes hot food at crafty, but no catered meals. I was excited I could drive home for lunch again like last time. Joey texted me saying I would be back again the next day to stand in for Sonya. I was really a perfect match for her, our age, height and hair was exactly the same. It would be awesome if this could turn into a regular thing! We were shooting on stage 2, but last time we had been on stage 4. When I walked onto the sound stage the entire room seemed to be filled with this immense FBI office. It seemed like BG were everywhere and that the camera could see everything, so I found the bullpen and ducked into it to hang out in a cubicle until I was needed. At the time, just the sound guy was set up in there and it seemed pretty chill. I read my book and another utility stand-in showed up and hung out in there too. When I was brought to set, the other regular stand-ins would take off and I had no clue where they were hanging out. When I asked them, they said they were hanging by all the chairs over by the BG. It seemed weird to me why they would hang so far off set, usually stand-ins try to be pretty close and separate themselves from the BG. But crafty was also over there, so maybe that was it. After lunch, when I came back from standing in for the next shot, video village had been set up in the bullpen and the 2nd AD came to tell me and the other stand in that we were not aloud to hang out on set furniture. Now he had seen me sitting in there all morning and never mentioned this rule, but I immediately got up to find out where the other stand-ins were sitting. They told me it was a rule of the show and that the producers were really picky about anyone sitting on prop furniture. Even when we have to come to set, but then hang back for the private rehearsals, no sitting on set furniture. The rehearsals can drag on, so we all ended up sitting on the stairs in the atrium set. I noticed that the crew did not adhere to the rules even when the producers would come to set, but I wanted to stay on everyone's good side and didn't push the issue. It was a bit of a pain being so far off set out in the holding area when they call second team and you have to run in literally, because half the time you can't hear what is going on or if they have moved on or whatever. I really got along well with the other stand-ins and hoped that I would be called back more often for the show. I also stood in for Christine Woods in the last scene of the night. The following day when we did a big conference room scene and there just weren't enough stand-ins for everyone, they upgraded a BG to stand in for Christine, but toward the end of the day my girl was done and I stood in for Christine again as well. I was done in time to head home for dinner.

From glancing at the advance shoot list, I knew Sonya was going to be back on Tuesday and was very excited when Central called me to work FF again as her stand in. The other regular stand ins said that I must have gotten the job because they had no idea what had happen to Sonya's original stand-in who had been working the show since last July. The show only had 3 more weeks of shooting and then fingers crossed it would be picked up for a season 2 and I would get to come back again. On Wednesday I returned to stand in for Sonya/Olivia during an FBI scene where she brings her daughter to the offices and pauses in the doorway while Joe/Mark talks privately with their daughter. Sonya was wrapped after her close-ups where shot, but I was asked to stand-in for eye line while Joe and Lennon finished the scene. As I sat in Sonya's spot listening to Mark talk to his daughter about death, tears came to my eyes. Joseph Fiennes is an amazing actor and really pulls you into the moment. It was an amazing day, I felt really lucky to be part of it all.

During Holy Week I was only brought in one day, even though Sonya didn't work at all. It was a deja vu moment, on location out in Santa Clarita, shooting a hospital scene. The first time I had worked FF back in January I had stood in for a doctor while the patient was up on the table, pregnant, doing an ultra sound. Back then we were shooting the scene as a flash-forward on a sound stage. Now we were shooting in an actual hospital room and it was suppose to be the actual day of it happening, coming true in the future that had finally come to fruition. It was weird because they brought in the same stand-in from that day back in January and she hadn't worked the show since. And she was standing in for Janis, who I stood in for on occasion and hadn't even realized that was who was pregnant when we shot before. Done in under 8 with catered lunch!

Spring was in full fling the week after Easter and FF was shooting all on location night shoots! I was brought in for the two days Sonya worked. One day we were in downtown LA shooting close up car shots of Sonya driving down PCH. Since Sonya's scene was at the end of the night, I was brought in early to also stand in for the waitress. I got my color cover, which was green. The scene took place in a sushi restaurant where the waitresses were all Japanese with green kimonos on. The call sheet listed the waitress in every scene but since she didn't have dialog in all the scenes and was more just floating through the restaurant, she wasn't part of the rehearsal for the dialog between this couple and so I sat in holding for hours, until it was lunch break. Catered again and awesome, let them eat steak! Hooray! When we came back from lunch they wrapped Yuko Takeuchi, who was the girl who had been in the couple dialog scene. Her stand in thought she would be wrapped too, but instead they kept her to stand in for the waitress since she was a much better match. So again I sat around and waited until they got to Sonya's scene so I could work. I sat in the driver's seat of Dr. Olivia's hybrid Lexus for about a half hour. Home by midnight, not too bad for a night shoot!

I was given the head's up from Tyler, the lead stand-in that Sonya was coming back on Friday and it would be all night at the beach. I went hiking with Ed and Zyla to Escondido Falls in Malibu for the first time. It was beautiful and the path was easy up to the first fall. Climbing up the rocks to the second 150 ft fall base was a little bit challenging for Zyla but we made it and were surprised to find California Newts in a mating ball to the left of the falls. Floating underwater, there were about 5 male newts stuck all over the girl, in what looked like some crazy gang rape. Gotta love nature. I had no signal out in Malibu but was hoping the casting director at Central would call later since my call time wouldn't be until after 5pm the following day. As we were hiking back to the car, my cell phone texted me that an hour ago Joey's List was asking my availability! I immediately texted back I wanted to work FF and they confirmed the booking. I tried to stay up a little later that evening and get my body onto a night schedule. The following morning I woke up shortly but went back to bed for a nap and finally started my day around 1pm. I left around 4pm to get out to the Will Rodgers State Beach, which took an hour and a half, traffic on Friday night sucks! I was early as my call time wasn't until 6:30pm so I got breakfast, well lunch, a burger and some fries and headed out to the pier. It got chilly but it wasn't too bad, more the wind chill right next to the water. We finished the pier scenes on time and then moved on to the car shots. Sonya was wrapped as well as Lennon so it was me and the other stand-in that would be doing Photo Double work driving Dr. Olivia's car down PCH! We stayed nice and warm in the car and were entertained as we listened to the walkie props had left for us. I was told that the second AD was going to drive us to where my start mark would be for driving the car down the street. I was told that I would then drive down the street while the cops held the traffic at each end of PCH. After sitting in the car almost an hour, they didn't get to our drive by and had moved onto another car scene, when lunch was called at 12:30am. I got steak again, hooray! I was completely prepared to stay up for a regular 13 hour shoot day, but was pleasantly surprised when I was wrapped by 3:30am. After flip flopping the schedule around, they finally got to my car scene and I think it was better waiting until the utter dead of night as there really wasn't any traffic to hold on PCH, it was quiet. I enjoyed being down at the beach in the middle of the night. The coffee truck came at 1:30am and I ordered up a Hazelnut Latte with Carmel, yummy! I had a feeling this was going to be my last day on FF since next week was the last week of shooting and it was supposedly all stunts or male actors, and Sonya was not scheduled. I had no idea if I would be invited to the wrap party considering I had only stepped in as a regular stand in the last month or so of the season. I was really hoping it would be picked up again and I could come back in July.

I received a surprise text from Joey's List telling me I was booked again on FF the second to last day of the season. All of the female stand in's who showed up were surprised, since these scenes were added in last minute and a 2nd Unit was brought in once again to finish the final insert shots since 1st Unit now had to shoot these new scenes. I was excited to be back. The crew was pumped about the show ending and being able to walk away from this 10-month experience they had all ridden. Toussaint, our favorite PA, was saying how it's like high school, each show you move to, with a new crew, new group of people and is it like Freshman year or if you do a show for a few seasons you make it to Senior year. Saying good-bye is hard and everyone moves on to other things but you meet up again later. It was a good analogy. The wrap party flyers were passed out, but I was denied access. I guess filling in as Sonya/Olivia's stand in for the last month wasn't enough to be invited. But that was ok. I had an awesome time and snack was fresh amazing sushi, along with a catered lunch since our crew call was late morning made everything nice for my last day on set of FF Season 1. I said my good byes to all the regular stand-ins and hope Tyler, Gerald, James, Meaghan, Alex and I can all be back again for season 2. Not that anyone had high hopes. The ratings had gone to hell since the show came back after its hiatus during first season and why would ABC hiatus a first season show, only to bring it back during March Madness, along with the Olympics, I mean it sounds like sabotage. And with as costly as FF was to produce, everyone was thinking ABC would drop the ball on bringing it back, but then again, they were spending extra money and adding scenes to this final episode, so who knows. I decided I would just have to rent it and check it out myself since the first half of Season 1 was released to DVD. Wow! The first few episodes really blew me away, the show was amazing! I could see how the ratings had been awesome when the show first started. I was totally getting into it. Working FF, was completely different from working the ABC show Better Off Ted, which I had wrapped up last November. While BOT was a comedy and everyday was full of laughs and high energy and learning the dialog and playing it for 2nd team rehearsals, etc., on FF, it was very dark, moody, drama, not that we didn't have fun, but it was a more serious vibe. I was only working a few days a week so I didn't really find myself reading on set, but in my spare time I read. I know I haven't mentioned many of the books I read this year primarily because I felt they didn't deserve recognition except for the following, which I fell in love with. The Shark God by Charles Montgomery, was an amazing memoir of one man's journey into the South Pacific, sharing what the islands really hold and how organized religion, slave traders, and war changed and meshed with the Melanesians. This book was so awesome I almost wanted to take a trip to the islands myself, but I was still working on my trip into the treetop canopies of Oregon, gotta keep my focus. Another book I really enjoyed was The Singing Fire by Lilian Nattel. She's just awesome and I will read anything she writes. I love her underlying Jewishness, the traditions and culture she brings to her stories, she's brilliant. And years ago I had found a book by Paulo but hadn't grabbed it up then. It finally found it's way back into my life and I was able to read it, The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho. Again he is one of my favorite authors and the story was inspiring, which totally made me want to go to Spain and walk the Road to Santiago de Compostela, some day I promise myself!

A week went by after FF ended and I wondered if I would work again. May was almost here and supposedly everything dies then. Not that some shows weren't around, mostly cable, like Weeds, Californication, Mad Men. I got a call to go on a fitting at WB for some new Untitled Steve Carell, Julianne Moore movie which would shoot in May so at least I knew I had one day of work! The fitting lasted 3 hours sitting in a cramped cage in the wardrobe department's basement. Being almost the last of the day to be fitted, all the best pieces were gone. So I didn't end up in a cute little clubby number, but was finally fit into two cute upscale office girl type looks for a bar scene, should be fun. I was part of a small group of girls who would be working MOCA, meaning the motion capture camera. I didn't know how important that was until I showed up to set a week later. As the movie progressed I kept getting calls to come in for more fittings. I would remind the casting directors I had already been pre-fit for the scene on the 13th of May. Casting was running out of union girls, so I was told that my scene had been flip flopped, that the scheduling was all turned around and could I possibly come in on the 5th? Of course, I showed up and the scenes were not flip-flopped. There was no motion picture camera of which I was a MOCA girl. So the six of us that were called in that day for bar scenes were conveniently left off set or in holding. I spent 12 hours reading what is now one of my top favorites, thank you Oprah Book Club for the suggestion! Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald whom I could just kiss, the book was that good! Loved my time spent in her world. I also had fun hanging with the other MOCA girls, one of which, Michelle, recounted tails from the Playboy Mansion where she had spent a lot of time the past decade along with doing Hawaiian Tropic Events. Word was we were still coming back when the MOCA camera was brought to set, sometime within the next two weeks.

I was called by Central and texted by Joey that my shoot date of the 13th would be moved to Friday, May 14th. The MOCA camera was ready to go when I arrived on set at 7am and a group of us were brought in to rehearse with it. I ran into one of the girls who had been a MOCA girl last week and she said she had been on set 12 hours the previous day, just doing practice runs with this MOCA camera. Some scenes with no BG on another stage were taking much longer than anticipated so we really didn't get started shooting until almost 12 hours after arriving. I ran into Christiane, the stand-in from BOT and we caught up on everything. I spent most of the day in Russia, in my head, reading Dosvidaniya by Valentina Ratschenko. This little gem I found at the library was written the year I was born. It was a wonderful story and I hope to find more by this talented author. Once on set, the evening flew by. I got to sit in three different places in the bar for three of the 8 different dates Steve has in this montage sequence. It was cool seeing Steve again, but a lot of the BG girls were upset. It seemed that 8 girls were fit by wardrobe to be his dates in this scene and then none of them were used and principal actors were brought in. Steve wanted to run improv dialog, so I am guessing he thought the BG wouldn't be able to handle it. Or maybe the girls had been used already since production kept bringing girls over and over again on days they were scheduled. I couldn't believe it when they finally wrapped us at fifteen minutes to 16 hours. I had been 15 minutes shy of Golden Time before, but this time I still had to change out of their wardrobe and this was a large call, so I was hoping by the time I got my voucher back I would be in it. I guess you don't get the Golden Money unless you are there at least a minute past 16 hours, so all the waitresses were just lounging in the dressing room, waiting until they would be guaranteed the bonus money. The PA's kept yelling for them to hurry up and come out to sign out. I looked at my watch and noticed it was 2 minutes after as I signed out but the PA put down 11pm on the dot. So I guess I won't be receiving the Golden Money, but with 7 meal penalties and 16 hours, who cares. I wonder if they gave it to the waitresses.

I got online to check the status of Flash Forwards ratings and found ABC announced it was officially cancelled, along with Better Off Ted and a few other shows. Awe man, that sucks. Not that I was surprised, the ratings were not there, it had seemed hopeless and turned out it was. Now I wondered what would be the next show I could get a regular stand-in gig on. I hoped something would work out really cool again, back to the hotlines.

Over two months went by with no work. I was beyond depressed. Of course it was the slow season, but I knew lots of people still working. It wasn't fair, I thought I was in the loop, but no one was calling. I started getting down on myself; my career is over, I'm getting old, what am I going to do to make money. I thought of writing a book, a novel. I read Elizabeth Berg's Escaping into the Open and was inspired from her homework assignments at the end of every chapter. I got really busy with Zyla who was gearing up for a big dance show in June. I would attend every class and memorize the entire dance so I could perform it with her at home and coach her on perfecting all the moves. I started a new series with my husband watching an episode of ‘Bones' every night. I couldn't believe how great it was! I had worked the show last year, but had been distracted since Zyla was sick staying with Ed's sister while he flew out of town for a funeral. I had no idea how awesome this show was, and it quickly became my new favorite. I submitted to Jessica's A-List because let's face it, Joey's just wasn't what I had been led to believe. Unlike others with his list, I was not working 2-3x/week as I had been promised. Since he only worked with a handful of casting directors at Central, it just wasn't enough to get me the amount of work I wanted and needed. Jessica's List immediately responded to my email saying it was the slow season, but if I was still interested to contact them again at the end of July and they might have a spot open for me. I knew a lot of girls with her list and they worked all the time, not that I had any illusions of working full time, but at least her service used all casting directors from everywhere, not just Central. And I had gotten a lot of great gigs through XM from other casting directors, so I felt there was just more work for me out there if I dug deep enough for it. At least they answered my email immediately, and didn't put me on a 6 months waiting list; already they were a plus in book.

The school year ended and Ed and Zyla were home full time. We immediately took off for Iowa to visit my mom and her side of the family. We stayed in my grandmother's house and it was like old times from my childhood and I was happy to be able to share that with Zyla. Unfortunately I don't think they had ever changed out the air conditioning filter, so even though they took the dog to a doggy hotel for our stay, I still got sick with a sore throat every morning and felt my body fighting off infection. Ed and I went out one evening to karaoke, which was awesome. It was a small restaurant/bar and not that many people were singing, so unlike L.A. where you show up and are lucky if you get to sing one song after waiting for an hour, we both got to sing numerous times. Of course Ed sang Ozzy as he was gearing up for his big audition to be the new lead singer of ‘Rhoades to Ozz'. I sang my old time favorites like Gwen Stafani ‘Don't Speak', reminding me of Russia, where I would walk around singing that song all the time. I also sang Alanis Morissette ‘You Oughta Know', which reminded me of being on set of "Blue Wave", up in Big Bear and I would sing it with my favorite make-up girl Maxine! I sang Pink ‘So What' for Zyla since that is one of her favorite songs that we sing along with at the roller rink. I sang Taylor Swift ‘Love Story' for Zyla too since that is one of our favorite songs we would sing along to in the car on the way to school in the mornings. And lastly I sang 3 Doors Down ‘Kryptonite' because it reminded me of our New York apartment where Zyla and I would sing it out over the Hudson River. Since we wanted to drink and not be responsible for watching a camera, we did not get any footage of the evening and Zyla was upset she didn't get to see us singing all our songs. We had a wonderful time in Madison County but I was exhausted by the time we flew home. I had been listening to the hotlines while I was there and had submitted to be Jennifer Aniston's stand-in for a new movie starting in July. Joey's list texted me right before I left Iowa asking if they should submit me for it as well and I told them yes. As luck would have it, the interview happened the day before I came home and since I wasn't there I didn't get it. Ed got a phone call about a death in the family. So it was with heavy hearts that we returned home to Los Angeles. He immediately went to work making a video from footage he had of her from last Christmas when we had been with his family. The movie was played during the funeral so he could feel part of it since he was unable to fly out to be with them. We took a little mini trip up to Big Bear where I woke everyone at 6am to go searching for a childhood spot I use to hike at in Holcomb Valley, called Artic Canyon. We spent over an hour hiking all over this one area where I felt it should be. Never found the exact spot, but eventually one day I will find it again. There is a lot of land back there to cover and no exact sign as to where it is, I'm not even sure if where I was as a child was the official place or just somewhere my family decided to stop and call it that. Nevertheless it was beautiful and a doe ran across our path, making the morning very magical.

Summer was officially in swing and it was cold, a very unusual summer in the Valley to say the least. It was raining the morning of Zyla's first swim class and I was sure they would cancel it. In Iowa if it starts raining you had to get out of the pool because of the thunder and lightening that quickly followed. There were some amazing storms while we were there that we did get footage of, very spooky! At least Burbank was heating the pools for the kids since, every morning was moody, with a nice chill in the air. I wasn't complaining because I knew it would eventually get hot as hell. My life just got crazier as I started chaffering Zyla around to her multiple classes of swim, dance, gym and art. If I wasn't driving her somewhere I was summer chef, having to come up with non-stop meals. I have never been one who enjoys the kitchen; I can't stay in there all day preparing food. I felt run down and call the hotlines like a lunatic looking for an escape to set where I could relax and be catered to, my vacation job that pays me so well. Not to complain because I loved every minute I spent with my family and felt blessed we could all be together, but balance seemed missing for me, in personal time I use to have. Let's face it too much of a good thing can wear away at anyone. Zyla had joined an advanced dance class after seeing the entire Spring Fling and wanting to dance like Amanda, who is this amazing 19-year-old dancer. Of course I had to go sit in on the 2 hour long class to memorize and write down the order of the 3 different dance styles routines she would be learning jazz, contemporary and hip hop, so she could practice at home. My thighs were burning whenever I walked up and down stairs, Amanda gives you an amazing workout once a week, but I was repeating it all with Zyla every day to make sure she was prepared when class came around again and they would move on and learn more. There weren't any other mom's in there watching and writing it all down. Most of the girls were in high school and could memorize the moves themselves. But here is my 9-year-old daughter trying to keep up and she was pulling it off with my help. She wanted to get into the advanced class that would be performing at the Spring Fling the following year and this class was a two month long audition. I was exhausted just thinking about it. For the 4th of July we went with friends to the Starlight Bowl show. I really love going there since you can lie out on the grass and watch the fireworks right above you. Plus you are allowed to bring alcohol, so we all toasted with wine as we enjoyed the concert venue.

Two months to the day Joey's List finally texted me with a gig. Driving to location, out in Woodland Hills, I parked my car in steaming hot asphalt playground at the local Elementary School. All of a sudden it was over 100 degree weather, after a lingering Spring, and cool June gloom. I sat blasting my air conditioning in my car, making a few calls. When I stepped out, it was so hot, I could barely breathe. I made my way to the lunch box hang out and relaxed in the air conditioning. "The Closer" set was running behind, at first just an hour, no big deal. Even though I'd had a 2pm call time, and was told to eat before coming to set, they sent us to lunch with the crew saying our scenes were being delayed until 4:30pm. After my undercooked cheeseburger lunch the holding box tank was driving away and since it was a handful of BG kind of day, they told us to chill in the wardrobe rooms along the honeywagon. I went in the one marked Girls Changing Room and waited but the other girl never came. I sat in the narrow room wondering what was going on. The hours were ticking by and the windows were frosted over so I had no idea what was happen outside. I felt like I had been forgotten. My room was next door to the restrooms and if someone went in there and then left the entire trailer would shake. I thought the whole thing was getting moved somewhere and no one realized I was still inside. I kept peeking my head out the door to see if there was anyone around, but it was always deserted. Then a knock came and some old man told me to stop opening my door. He said that they knew where I was and I was wasting all the air conditioning and he would turn it off and I could sit with my door open. I didn't open the door for another hour. It was getting late, going on 7pm, what the hell, when finally they called us to get in the vans to set. I found out the other girl had hung out in the room next door to me Children's Changing Room and that all three guys had squeezed into one Male Changing Room! Since production was running so late at this point, they cut a ton of the scripted dialog. Supposedly they were going to build a similar set when they went back to stage the following week and recall us. Our holding was in the back of this Used/Rental Car Lot, right off set. When the principals came off set, one guy was staring hard at me. I was in the middle of conversation with the 1st AD and another BG when he started talking to me. He reminded me of Vinnie D from "L &O Criminal Intent". He was hitting on me in the same way! When he found out I was married with child, he said he wished he had children but his wife wouldn't give him any. I told him they are amazing he should try harder. I told him I wasn't familiar with the show, that I had no TV signal and he said I must be an artist. He introduced himself at the end of the conversation and then went with the other actors to their labeled star chairs. I was called to set and made two crosses in the deep back and called it a day. Sweet, home before dark.

I held off on sending Joey's List my next payment since I was really hoping to get into Jessica's. I resubmitted as they had requested, but did not get a response as fast as last time. After waiting a week, days before the end of July I emailed again to Jessica's only to be told that they did not have any openings for me, but that they would keep my info on file. I immediately mailed my Joey's check out, knowing I would need to be submitting the following week when August was here and Ed would be done on Jury Duty. Zack texted me about the Berlin concert at Starlight Bowl and Ed, Zyla and I all joined in the fun. It was Zyla's first concert and Ed was able to bring her down to the front of the stage where she kept reaching for Teri's feet! Everyone had an awesome time and the Spazmatics who opened for Berlin were a pleasant 80's surprise! I hadn't heard half of those songs since the 80's; they were really great, very tight, creative band.
The first Monday morning of August, Ed was dismissed from Jury Duty after reading the verdict on the week and half long trial. I immediately went online to put myself as available on Joey's and found my account had been cancelled. I called up the office and was told they hadn't received my payment. I told them I had mailed it the previous week and it was in the PO Box. They said Joey rarely goes to the PO Box and was now out of town in New York, opening up his branch there. I thought this was a boutique call in service, now he's branching to NY? I said what about the 5-day grace period at the beginning of the month, and was told they never received my July payment. I couldn't believe this. I then had to email them a list of all my payments and when Joey's List cashed them, showing that I had always made all my payments 2 weeks in advance since the day I joined the service. They put my account back as active and Joey finally called me personally the next day to say his interns had ADD and that I was all good and paid up through September. In the meantime, Thomas the DGA Trainee from BOT called me to say he had the perfect gig for me. He got me on 3 days of "Dexter" standing in for Julia Stiles! I took myself off availability on Joey's and got ready to go on location with "Dexter". They were shooting down in San Pedro at the docks and wherehouses. It was late call times every day, starting around noon. I always arrived on set well in advance to eat, get my voucher and color cover and head to set. I immediately felt comfortable and embraced by the crew. They worked like a well-oiled machine now that it was half way into their 5th season of the show. The work was easy, we did not have to memorize lines or even run them. All the other stand in's Jeff, DJ and Paul were welcoming and informative. I found out that Julia's regular stand in had been pregnant and left the show to have her baby. The stand in for Jennifer/Deb's character was doing double duty and standing in for both, by throwing on a blond wig. But she was much taller than Julia, so it was possible I could be offered a regular gig here. The stand in for Jennifer/Deb was on vacation in Paris and that is how I ended up coming to the show along with Renee another stand in for Jennifer/Deb whom I had worked with before on "Flash Forward", what a small world! I thought it would feel more surreal to see Michael/Dexter walking around since I loved this show and was a big fan of his since his "Six Feet Under" days. But the funny thing was it all seemed so normal, like I had always been there. It was amazing to watch Michael work; he stayed in character a lot of the time. He is a brilliant actor and gives so much thought and care into everything Dexter does. My first day on set went well. I forgot to bring heels so I was a little short for Julia when they put her in some, but I would bring them tomorrow and everything was going perfect and smooth. Toward the end of the night, Julia was walking past me and I looked into her eyes and smiled, she smiled back. They brought in a pasta bar, which was very yummy! I wrapped sometime after midnight and headed home.

The following day I drove back to set on 5 hours of sleep and ran into a traffic mess accident. I hate stressing and having location so far away and trying to find a new way to get to San Pedro sucked. But I made it in plenty of time and the day went beautifully. Our first shot of the day was a big walk and talk follow the blood trail through the wherehouse, which took 5 hours. It was worth it though, the shot looked amazing. I remember Traci from BOT leaving to go back to "Dexter" last year and asked Thomas if she was still working the show. He said her character had been sent to grandma's and wasn't really on this season so no she was not on the show anymore. I remember she use to tell me that the vibe on "Dexter" was very different from BOT, since it was such dark subject matter, there wasn't a lot of fooling around and laughing or jokes. It was a very dark environment and Michael was always walking around in a brooding sort of Dexter way, so I could see the difference. It was similar to the vibe on FF except not so secretive about the script. Most of the show seems to take place at night, so even if we are shooting in the day, it is always dark near set. Around 10pm we moved outside to shoot and as we were standing on the marks Jeff and I both looked up to see a falling star. I was never introduced to Michael or Julia but after two days on set I glanced up and made eye contact with Michael as I was stepping off set and he was heading in. As I glanced up into his eyes, he had the Dexter brooding look going on, but broke out into that adorable smile/grin he has when I smiled at him. Later in the evening I was told by the camera department to tell Julia where her mark was considering she would probably never find it on the cement ground outside the where house. When she stepped outside I showed her and then she asked my name and said it was nice to meet me. Julia seemed really focused on her work but she was warming up to me and I was happy to be working on the show. I thought I would be on set until the end, but Julia must have asked for the scenes to get flip flopped so she could get out of there sooner, meaning me too and I was wrapped a little after 1am. Thankfully I wasn't too tired and Thomas had apologized to me earlier saying how sorry he was he had brought me in on the three longest nights they had had, but that he was working on making me the new regular stand in for Julia. I really hoped it panned out. There were still 6 more episodes to shoot for this season and I would love to be part of as many as possible.

My last day on set flew by in four hours. It was more of a continuation from the day before so the set was more or less lit and ready, just a couple of tweeks to be made. Julia smiled and said hi to me as she stepped on set to run the first rehearsal. The time flew by and as I wrapped out I gave Thomas a hug good-bye. He said he would discuss my future with "Dexter" with the 2nd AD and let me know Monday if I would be back. It all came down to politics and if the show wanted to pay for another stand in. The stand in would be back from Paris and had been doing double duty and probably loving the extra hours and pay. I had my fingers crossed that I would get to play with them again.

I knew Julia's character was working Tuesday so when Monday came and went with no phone call I assumed I wasn't coming back to "Dexter". Then at 6pm Joey's List was texting me to see if I was available for "Dexter" for Tuesday. I immediately texted back yes, but a half hour went by before Joey called saying they hadn't gotten my text and was I available. Yes, yes I am available. I was book for Tuesday to stand in for Julia again. I was told to be at the Sunset Gower Stages at 8:30am but when I called the time change box it said all stand ins were to be in at 7am. I arrived at the earlier time and even though it was a Central Casting error, I was allowed to change my voucher time, which was still listed as 8:30am. Sweet deal because I ended up with an hour and a half of overtime I wouldn't have gotten if they hadn't let me change it! Julia wasn't in the first few scenes so I had some down time to grab some breakfast and hang. As I exited the stage I ran into Julia and she said hi. She seemed to be warming up to me. I spent the day at the Dexter/Rita House set which was so adorable. Julia had a highly emotionally charged scene with Michael and being the professional A-list actress she is, she brought it, every take, every time. It was amazing watching Julia's performance, I felt so blessed to be here working on this set. I was getting really comfortable with the crew and hoping this would be my regular thing, my new family. Renee was back to stand in for Jennifer/Deb and told me that the Paris girl was coming back tomorrow and she had already been told this was her last day. When the prelims were passed out I found out that our Paris girl was listed to stand in for both girls tomorrow and I wouldn't be back. We broke for lunch, which I didn't realize was walk away, so I found the commissary and hung out for an hour watching Wall*E and eating my burger and sweet potato fries. Budgets suck. When I was wrapped out I talked to Thomas about my future with "Dexter". He said they were over budget on the stand ins for this episode but planned to bring me back for other episodes. The Paris girl who was Jennifer/Deb's stand in was also her photo double and utility stand in for most guest star men since she's so tall. But it was an outrage that a series regular A-list actress such as Julia has a utility stand in who was too tall with a straw wig on her head. Seriously, Showtime needed to get it together.

I was glad I wasn't working Wednesday for Julia because it was Zyla's last dance class of the summer. Jumping from level 1 to a level 4/5 advanced class was tough, but Zyla had really wanted to learn Amanda moves after seeing her perform in the Spring Fling. I am not sure how she even qualified for the class that was well over her head, but with my notes and help she was able to pull off most of the moves and perform on the last day of class which of course Ed filmed and put up on youtube. She was nervous since the previous class, I had been working "Dexter" and hadn't been able to take notes and help her learn the last bit of all 3 dances that was added that day. In the end, I think Zyla was burnt out on dancing, I told her, she needs to go about it the right way and go back to level 1 and work her way up slowly.

The next Monday I was texted by Joey's List about my availability on returning to "Dexter" on Wednesday. I was needed to be Julia's photo double. I had a late call time 7pm, at the Sunset Gower Studios. When I pulled up to the gate they couldn't find my name in the computer. I had to call Thomas who said he would call the gate. The guard said that they had a list of all the times I had been at the studio and that "Dexter" needed to call every time they wanted me on the lot. After 10 minutes with no phone call, she decided to check and see if they misspelled my name. They had left one letter out. She printed my pass and I drove up to the parking structure. When I walked to set I ran into Rob from BOT. Thomas had said he was going to try to get him on and he was here for the rest of the season. We walked over to the production office and I got my voucher. I was early, but went ahead and got my wardrobe, changed and was told to hop on the van to location. Michael jumped in the van a few minutes later and sat next to me in the front row. I was feeling a little awkward about whether I should have sat in a back row and left the front for the principals, but I had no clue they were even getting in this van, I guess that's how this show rolls. Julia was next climbing in and into the second row. We rode to some neighborhood over near Paramount. The crew had just moved location to this one and was setting up. All the stand ins were sitting on set chairs they had brought over. I had been rushed over and had no chair. I met Lauren, 'the Paris girl' I said shaking her hand. She was very nice, reminded me of Emily Deschanel, I wondered if she'd ever stood in on "Bones" for her. I asked if I could go back to the studios to get a chair since my photo double scene was the last thing of the night and I wouldn't be needed for hours. Yes you may, and I hopped in a van going back with the wardrobe girls. We were talking about how cute the neighborhood was and admiring these amazing chandeliers at the end of the block displayed in some store window on Melrose. When I got back to the studio I went inside the sound stage and grabbed a chair. I sat outside waiting for a van ride back and hung out chatting with Thomas. When I returned to set most of the stand ins decided sitting on the sidewalk outside the house we were shooting in wasn't close enough, so they moved to the backyard. Since I wasn't needed in that scene and it was overcrowded and dark back there, I stayed out front. Some paparazzi had been following the crew all day trying to shoot a picture of Michael. He was sitting in the bushes in front of the house, but I guess not technically on the property and our security officer had to keep standing in front of him and try to convince him to go across the street. Finally he did. It was weird being dressed like Julia and looking like Julia but having to sit around for 5 hours watching someone else stand in for Julia. I couldn't believe this girl who was too tall with a straw wig stealing my job from me, but she had seniority and the show had a budget, a small one. I found out that because the actors' salaries inflated every year as the success of the show grew, the rest of the budget went downhill. Half the crew left and were being replaced. I wasn't complaining I loved my job and I had a wonderful time sitting on the sidewalk, socializing with the crew and just being part of it all. It was funny when people started showing up on the block to watch the production at work. They would stand for hours waiting for Michael to come out of the house. The stars were twinkling on a beautiful clear night in Hollywood and I even spotted Venus. Around 10ish Michael and Julia came outside to shoot their car scene. Some house down the block started blasting music, which was interfering. Sometimes that happens when a neighbor gets mad they weren't paid off for the incontinence of the production. When they finished it was close to midnight and we had to be shut down and moving out by 12am. Jeff (Dexter's stand in) and I got in Dexter's car for the photo double scene. We drove down the block twice in under 10 minutes and called it a night. I was recalled to do stand in on the show again the following day. I asked wardrobe before leaving what color cover I would need. Red tank top, I've got that. I wanted to get right to sleep since I had to get up early, get Zyla ready for a playdate and be back to set by 11:30, but 10:30 if I wanted breakfast. But falling asleep after being at set all day is never easy, I need to unwind, process the day, and try to relax. I fell asleep around 2am and Ed's alarm clock woke me up at 5:30am when he gets up to get ready for work. I ended up not getting enough sleep before I had to start the fun all over again. That's never good, especially when I knew that this new day on "Dexter" was going to be brutal. It was a nightclub shoot in Hollywood on Sunset and there were going to be 250 BG and it was going to be like a 20-hour day. Jeff reminded me that I would probably make golden time as he had been and since I was not only standing in for some Hot Blond but also doing double duty as BG for the club scene I would be there all night. Thomas had said breakfast would be at Sunset Gower Studios and to come there and shuttle over to set. When I arrived at 10:30am there was no breakfast. I called Thomas and he said just get in the van. Another girl was wandering around and asked me if I was working "Dexter", I said yes and that we had to find the vans. We rode over to set together; she ended up being one of the guest stars of the evening. I was early so I walked over to the catering truck and got some breakfast before checking in. When I went to the production truck, they didn't have our vouchers but gave me the sides for the day. Central Casting director Jeff had said he was going to be there today, checking in the BG, so I went over to the table to meet him, but he wasn't there, but my voucher was. Then I checked in with wardrobe about what to wear in the club scene. They liked my purple dress choice so I didn't have to borrow anything from them. I headed into the club to get ready for the rehearsal. It was really cute. The set was amazing, Egyptian themed. I liked the open area and high ceilings and different levels. It looked like it would be a fun club to party at. We set up the first scene and everything went smoothly. It felt like a Miami club, with the Latino techno music and everyone dancing, lights swirling, and go go dancers featured on the center tables. I was surprised that the show had budgeted me in for this since Lauren could have easily come in to stand in for this Hot Blond who's hair color more matched Lauren's wig than my own. Lauren was booked to come in later when her main character Jennifer/Deb was showing up. After my scene was over, Rob told me to go get changed for BG. I packed up my gear and headed out of the nice air-conditioned club where I had been sitting in my own private corner, and into hell. The BG holding was a big brick building two doors down from the club. It was hot as hell and there were industrial size fans blowing which were really loud. So everyone was trying to talk over the noise and it was out of control. Every available chair, couch, cushion was taken. Thankfully I had brought my personal comfy hammock like chair and found a corner between two couches to set it up in the back of the room. I changed into my club clothes and took a little nap in my chair. I couldn't completely fall asleep but just resting my eyes helped. I was finally brought to set right before out lunch break. They wanted me out on the dance floor, they really wanted everyone always dancing and grooving. I was wearing these ridiculously high heels and with my bad knee wasn't about to start dancing all out. I sort of moved myself off to the side and leaned against the railing to the stairs and watched the dancing while swaying to the groove. The go go dancers were really good. We all got our right hands stamped with the club logo an Egyptian Eye. Lunch of producing something great in film. It was 3:15 in the morning, I asked if this van was going back to Sunset Gower to one of the crew walking past when the driver sat up and opened his eyes and said yes. I hopped in and we were entertained by the mayhem in Hollywood in the wee morning hours as we made our way back to Sunset Gower. After hearing that I had gotten the last parking spot on the roof, he drove me right up to the elevators. I didn't even know there were elevators in the parking structure! He made me a little nervous when he told me he had gotten stuck in them once when they weren't working and had to call a buddy to get him out. I said maybe I'll just do the stairs, but he reassured me that the elevator had been fixed since then and was working properly now and I would be fine. I made it home a quarter to 4am. Good night "Dexter" I crashed out until 11:30 am and not even my husbands alarm woke me up this time.

As Zyla's summer break was ending the temperatures skyrocketed. We escaped out to Malibu for a party and then the day before she entered 4th grade I took her to Magic Mountain for her first time. I hadn't been in a few years and remembered the rides being wilder than when I was a kid and not feeling up for all of them. Zyla was tall enough to get on most rides and she had always wanted to ride the crazy ones. We arrived at the park an hour early to get tickets and be first in line to get in. I had read online that X2 was the new hot ride and the line could be anywhere from an hour to three hours wait time. When the gates opened everyone started pouring into the park and running for X2. I had flashbacks to when I had visited the park during a riot over the TLC concert. We got to the ride with no lines and Jim Morrison playback repeating, "Is everybody in". Securely strapped in the seats then tilted back so that we were lying on our backs. "X2" whispered into our heads. The music was incredible as we left the station and went out backwards and then up. Facing out like that was cool to see the entire park, but then some crazy music kicked in and I felt like I descended into hell. I feared for my daughter's life. The ride was so insane, then the flames from the fireballs were so hot, and with the temperature rising to over 100 degrees it was pure craziness. I was screaming and Zyla was frozen in fear. I couldn't believe they allowed 9 year olds on this ride. After that we took it easy and casually strolled through the park. Fortunately it was a Tuesday and we never waited in line for anything, as the park was empty. We alternated between water rides and roller coasters all day long. My favorite ride was Terminator Salvation, which we rode three times in a row before I got too dizzy for another round. By 3pm we had been on everything at least two times and the heat was starting to get to me. I got a text from Joey's List asking if I was available for "Dexter" for the following day. Yes booked to stand in for Julia again. Thankfully it was a late morning call time so I could take Zyla to her first day of 4th grade and make it to set on time.

I arrived down in Long Beach an hour early to catch the people mover bus that was taking crew to base camp 20 minutes away. As we drove over this bridge I felt like I had been transported to Florida. It was crazy how this little area looked just like the Intercoastal. Got my voucher and color cover and headed over to breakfast. Set was just a few blocks down the street, which I opted to walk over to instead of riding in the van. It was a beautiful morning and breezy along the waterway where some people were kayaking. Our set was this big car crash in the middle of the intersection. Tents were set up all over for shade, as the temperatures were to reach high 90's. There were going to be some dead girls lying on the pavement. I couldn't imagine having to lie on the hot black top all day, but fernie pads were placed on the ground to keep the sun off the spots the girls would be in. Then right before they came to set, the pads were removed and these black cushiony thin pads were strategically placed under their bodies so they weren't completely baked into the street. The sun was high overhead when we shot the scene and those girls were troopers. I found out why I was called in to do Julia instead of Lauren's wig. Jennifer/Deb and Julia/Lumen were in the same scene together. All the regulars showed up to the crime scene and then Lumen is off to the side and Dexter doesn't want her there. They broke the scene up and Julia's piece wasn't shot until the end of the day. After spending all day in the hot sun at Magic Mountain the day before, I was very lucky to hang out in the crew tent with misters blowing. When we finally got to Julia's part, the sun was setting and lots of people were home, so we had tons of onlookers and folks out on their balconies watching the show. As I wandered around set and down the sidewalk, I overheard people whispering about Julia and Michael. Everyone was so excited that "Dexter" had come to their block. I felt lucky to be part of it all. Lunch was pushed two hours so I got a handful of meal penalties, but not as many as the dead girls who hadn't broke for an official meal all day! I wrapped out, ate some dinner with the crew and headed for a van to take me back to crew parking. Driving down the 5 freeway as the sun was setting, painted a pink hue over the clear blue skies. I felt blessed.

August ended and a week went by without any word from Dexter. I went through a roller coaster of emotion remembering my dad's death day; lying on his grave and listening to the chimes fill the air. Labor Day weekend was here and I decided to put myself back on the availability list at Joey's. I hadn't been all month so I was always available for Dexter. The CD at Central booked me on Dexter for Tuesday. Very nice surprise and I was excited I would be back after the long weekend. My call time was 8am. The second AD welcomed me and thanked me for coming. She told me it would be a fun, fast day just doing photo double work of my hands. I got Julia/Lumen's clothes and Jenn/Deb's clothes from wardrobe and changed into my first outfit. We were shooting on the stage in the Rita/Dexter's Apartment. We watched the footage I was going to be playing for the close up. Dexter was showing Lumen some pics from his cell. I had to pick up a cell phone from the counter in the kitchen and hold it, pretending to look at photos. Then put it back down, then pick it up and slide my finger across like scrolling through pics and then down. Did that a few times, then a couple close ups and all done! The director nicknamed me Nurse Jackie and told me to relax for a while. My next scene would be up after the shot they were doing with a Dexter double. Unfortunately the guy booked had something wrong with one of his fingers and wasn't a good choice for close up hand shots being Dexter's hands. So he went to stand in for Dexter while the other regular stand in Jeff showed up to do the shot. Somehow the director blamed me for the guy's finger, all in fun of course. Everyone was having a good time, it was easy work, second unit and we were done in two hours. My last shot took place on the next stage over where the police station is. I put on Jenn/Deb's outfit and wristwatch then sat in her chair and watched the footage of what was happening in the scene so I knew what to copy for the close up. She tossed two folders on a pile with pics of the barrel girls from the last time I'd been working this set. Crazy shots, I remember that day. We did some takes of that, some close ups, then they switched up the pics that are featured and we did it all again. I exited the stage and changed into my clothes and returned the wardrobe. I heard over the walkie that Michael was on his way to base camp from the other stages where they were filming and saw him talking on his cell in the base camp parking lot as I signed out. Under two hours sweet, but where was Thomas? I had run into Rob briefly, but Thomas wasn't around. I looked at the call sheet and his name wasn't listed as the DGA Trainee anymore. I wondered what had happened. I was thankful that Dexter was still booking me and told there was rumor of a gig for me coming soon, but no details so as not to jinx it!

I put myself available again on Joey's and got called a few hours later for work on Castle. The spell of Dexter was breaking. Of course the show would be ending filming next month anyway, but it's always different to move on to something else after being on one show for a while. I felt really close to the crew there, like I was included in their family. But I was excited to go back to Castle because I remember my friend Matt working there last year and I had just seen some mutual friends of ours a week ago so it felt like some synchronicity going on. I checked the call time change box after getting all my details and found out the call times were pushed an hour. I wasn't sure how long I'd be on set considering last year was a really long day. And we were going to be on location, and not at the Raleigh Melrose stages. The weather had shifted to dark, and moody, like Halloween was coming early. I got to the crew parking at Melrose Elementary around 9:30am and was shuttled over to set on a street near downtown. When I walked down the street of the set, for a moment I could imagine I was back in New York, in my business suit, with the trench coat on and it was late fall. Our holding was on the people mover that had brought us to set. I was in the first set up and placed with a cute girl to walk down the street with. She had just started watching Flight of the Concords and we were talking about how amazing that show was and how talented and clever the boys were. Then Cary the stand in for Rick Castle remembered me from last year and came over to say hi. I told him about standing in on Dexter and he had done the show as well, other seasons and loved it. It was funny to be standing in the middle of the Castle set talking about how great Dexter is. I saw my friend Matt over by the cameras but his ear was glued to his cell phone. After the first set up I had some down time in the people mover and was happy to get out of the sun which had crept out and turned my lovely New York mindset, back to the reality of being in Cally and it's getting hot in all these clothes! I took a mini nap and was happy knowing I would be done with this scene by lunch and get to wrap out early today. I was called back to set one more time to do crosses on the street by the car the principals were sitting in. Then we the BG were told that we were wrapped but wouldn't get back to our cars for 45 minutes because the crew had to get out first on all available vans and the people mover. So we were told to stand on the sidewalk and watch the whole production pick up and leave. Finally it was our turn and we were walked over to the people mover as it pulled away and left us. Finally we got picked up and made our way slowly through traffic back to Melrose Elementary. A text came through from Joey's List asking if I was available for Dexter the following day. I texted back, then left them a message, then texted again when they hadn't booked me after a half hour. The text came through; you're booked on Dexter for Friday 7am. That lifted my mood! I was happy it was a quick painless day and even with the hold up at the end I got out in under 5 hours and was able to get Zyla from school on time.

I was surprised when Central called me to say my call time for Dexter was pulled a half hour and I needed to be on set by 6:30am. I mean on a Friday, how rare is that, usually they get later and later as the week drags on, so even if we went late, I knew I wouldn't be working into the wee hours of the night. I showed up at the crack of dawn, parking down the street at this new Dexter lot. The second AD thanked me for coming and we were talking about how eerie it is so early when it's still dark on the lot and almost like a ghost town. She said I was doing something special today and would be in a photo shoot for a test on the kill costume for Lumen. Then I would go back to standing in when we finished that. After getting color cover for later, Jeff and I headed over to the wardrobe department to put on the outfits. He wore Dexter's typical kill outfit and I put on Lumen's for the first time because this was a test shoot to make final decisions. Lumen had never had a kill outfit before and the head wardrobe guy was very secretive about it and didn't want me on set in it. So after I pulled on the stretchy skin tight blue pants, tugged on the black boots, and slipped the navy blue long sleeve thermal type shirt on, I walked over to where the butcher aprons were hanging. Lumen had a clear see through one that tied in the back. Then clear plastic sleeves were pushed up my arms over the shirt and the latex gloves came on. My hair was pulled back in a ponytail and I was ready to go. The outfit looked amazing, it felt amazing. The clear apron showed off in silhouette the shape of my body. They told me that Showtime was going to making a doll of Lumen in this outfit. We were walked over to set when the DP showed up and taken in a back way into the Rita/Dexter house bedroom. The crew stapled some plastic to the wall and Jeff and I stood in front of it, like we were in a kill room, while some dramatic lighting was put in place. Then we rotated around while the DP took pictures and video footage of the outfits. It was over quickly and we were hurried back to wardrobe to change. We were asked if we felt like killing anyone wearing the clothes. I did come back to set feeling a rush at having been in Lumen's kill outfit. We started up rehearsals and moved into the day of filming smoothly. Lauren, Jeff and I were standing in a triangle pattern and she asked what I had been up to. I started telling them about working Castle yesterday and running into Cary and how he had talked about loving working Dexter. Jeff remembered him and was talking about how smart Cary was and the games he would get the whole crew involved in to make set more interesting. It was funny what a small world stand ins are in Hollywood. I had eaten a steak and cheese sandwich around 5am before coming to set because I knew it was usually walk away lunch and I was sort of hungry for it then. But today Dexter seemed to bring us non-stop food. I ate some breakfast, eggs and hash browns, then a few hours later, they brought in Chinese so I'm eating rice and orange chicken and some vegetable stir-fry. Then the coffee truck came! I ran into Rob and asked about Thomas. I guess DGA Trainees only get 50 days on set so his time had been up for Dexter, but he was missing it. In the meantime, little baby Dexter, Harrison was on set and so incredibly cute, but one of the twins kept crying so they would bring in the other. Julia was so good with the baby and would be singing him songs and rocking him and walking him around set to comfort him. Then the second AD came up to Jeff and I saying we had to redo the photo shoot because Showtime wanted options and that they were probably going with the first costume, but we had to dress up again to show them a different apron for Lumen's kill costume. When we moved on to the second scene of the day, watched the rehearsal and stood in and set up the first shot, Jeff and I were whisked away back to wardrobe to do it again. So now I am stepping back into the pants and the boots and the shirt and becoming Lumen. It is so funny how clothes can change how you feel. This time a dark black apron was lifted over my head and tied on with green sleeves pulled up my arms with the thumb holes and the latex gloves snapped in place. It was more a copycat look of Dexter's kill costume and it was cute as well. We went back to the bedroom set and took the pictures and video footage again. Everyone kept thanking us like we were doing them the biggest favor in the world. No problem, please call me anytime, I love coming to this set. Today was by far the most interesting magical time I had had. I went back to set to finish standing in for Julia, but made a dodge for the coffee truck before it left during my down time. I ran into DJ at the coffee truck and I was telling him about the photo shoots Jeff and I had been doing. Then his dad walked over and I met David Zayas face to face. He seemed really cool. I got my espresso frap and headed back into set. The day was over before I knew it and I got out early enough to pick up Zyla from school and take her to her school BBQ that evening. I loved every aspect of my totally perfect day and felt like I had stepped into this alternate universe where things just flow beautifully and everything seems so easy, simple and seamless. I felt blessed by God.

In the magic of it all I had completely forgotten to put myself available for Monday and ended up without a job, but was happy for the down time to get some mommy time in and things sorted around the house. I put myself available for Tuesday and got a call early in the day saying I would work ‘90210' on Tuesday. I hadn't been to that set in over a year, usually it's an 18 to look younger kind of show, so I was happy to return to the set. My call time wasn't super early but with traffic heading down to Manhattan Beach Raleigh Studio from Burbank can be a pain so I knew to avoid traffic I would leave much earlier. Since I was ahead of time, I took the 405 down and exited onto the 90 to take the drive along the beach from Playa Del Rey to Manhattan. It was early dawn and a spooky cloud cover hovered over the wetlands as I approached the beach. I pulled over for a few moments to look out over the ocean as the sun started coming up. Gentle waves lapped the shore with one lonely surfer floating about. What a beautiful morning, I thought pulling away and heading into my old stomping grounds to get to set. Wardrobe approved my clothes, unfortunately they wanted me in my heels that aren't all that comfortable for all day, but other than that, couldn't complain. I found out I would be working all day and that it was runaway lunch. Well that's what they call it on 90210 since there is no food on the lot and it is a bit of a hike to get something. I ended up driving off set to find food when the time came. I had an amazing day meeting so many fun people. Mostly the BG consisted of 18 to look youngers, which were called the kids. Then the 30 something crowd of BG were the adults. We adults were hired to be in the beach club scene in the bar section having cocktails while the kids were in the other portion of the beach club having their award ceremony for underachievers. Production didn't hire enough kids and threw the adults into the crowd scene to make it more full for the over the shoulder shot at the stage. The kids got pretty wild; the adults were more laid back. But we weren't even supposed to be in the shot so when they started going in tighter on camera, the adults went back to holding. Holding was still under the clear tent outside, until 4pm hit then we moved onto the sound stage next to the one we were shooting in because we were told it gets cold out there! When we finally got to the bar scenes I got to sit up at the bar and chat with the BG bartender whom I discovered I had a lot in common with. Later I was paired up with some other guys and girls and it just felt like everyone I talked to was so cool. We were this little group of 30 somethings who were hanging in a bar all day, chatting each other up and not getting drunk in the process. After 12 hours of this we got to know each other really well! Since I didn't know how long my day was going to be I didn't put myself available for work Wednesday. I'm glad because it was a late night and I was exhausted after getting up so early and loved the idea of a day off. I spent the next day relaxing and went for a hike. I put myself available and again early in the day got booked for the following day. Wow Joey's List was calling me like I wanted finally! Tomorrow I was off to ‘Parenthood', which I had never worked before. I remember Traci the stand in from BOT saying she was going to that show, so I was hoping to run into her and tell her about ‘Dexter'.

I am working at Uni today baby! I had always wanted to say that. I didn't see Traci, but I worked next to my favorite Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham all day. Arriving to set at Universal Studios felt like a dream. I had never worked this studio lot before, so I arrived an hour before my 12:30pm call time to figure it out. I got my parking pass and drove up the mammoth parking structure. The guard gate had said go to Lobby 2 and they would take me from there. I got lucky by the 3rd floor and went down the elevator to the lobby. It was a small lobby and there was no one there. There were some signs on the door with arrows pointing to the left. I went outside and walked to the next door, which said main lobby. There was no one there. I walked out and then the next lobby was empty as well and I figured I would just walk to the sound stage. It wasn't as far as I had been told and I arrived at stage 44 and hung out with the Security Guard Jorge. It was a small call, and our holding was on the sound stage of the main house interiors for ‘Parenthood'. Tours would stop in throughout the day to be led through the house. We were the novelty background hanging out, all part of the show. After going through wardrobe, we sat around for over 2 hours before being broken for lunch. Catered, hooray, this show had a lot of food; the crafty table had nonstop hot food, mini meals going all day. About an hour after lunch we were finally called to set. As we walked over to the next sound stage I glanced down between the buildings to the street that runs through the lot, at the tram. The Universal Studios Tram ride is riding right past me. It was like one of those de ja vue moments because I came to this park so often as a child, with my family and we took that tram ride every time and all I wanted was to be able to get a job living in this world because it looked like so much fun. And now, here I was, finally full circle and having this wish come true. It felt very magical and I enjoyed this day already. When we got to set I found out Lauren Graham was going to be in all our scenes. She is one of my favorite actresses. After watching every episode of Gilmore Girls on DVD that my mom had given me, I felt I knew her really well. She walked on set and I had to counter her and pass her as she comes down the hall. We did the take 10 different times before moving on. I felt completely comfortable with her. I felt like I was happy to be there to help Lauren get the best scene possible and have it run smoothly. All of the BG that day were really professional. We pretty much were left to do what we felt was right wandering around this office while the actors did their thing. Lauren hadn't run a rehearsal and wasn't even quite sure what she'd do and wanted to know if it was all about the shoes. She felt most comfortable in her flip-flops, but for the first few wide shots, she had to slip into the cute red heels. The scenes went quickly, not too many takes, and we moved on. Sometimes the AD wanted us to stay close and just sit off set, in other parts of the office set while the crew set up the shot. Everything was decorated for Halloween in the break room, the set and art departments had done a beautiful job. As the day grew later, the security guard went home and no more tours would be coming through. So the girls decided to take our own tour of the house. It was amazingly decorated. It was huge and we all wished we could have it. It had a back sunroom, type enclosed porch with a swing and fireplace. It was incredible. But I was glad I was being paid to be here and paid to take this tour! Our last scene of the night we just did random crosses in the halls of the office while Lauren walks down the hall and enters Billy Baldwin's office to talk. Lauren kept starting the scene standing next to me. Then on action she walks down the hall first. At one point, a few resets later, all of a sudden it felt like it was taking too long between takes and Lauren's like what's going on? Changing a lens or something and we keep waiting and standing in the hall. Lauren finally says, "Waiting is the worst." To which this other girl standing behind me says, "Oh yeah, we know!" Lauren turned around to us and said "Oh I know, you know." And then smiled at me that cute Lorelei smile, I just love her! So she acknowledged that yes BG wait around a lot! We finished with that and the cameras were turning around and we were sent outside to eat burgers while the martini shot was up. Wrap at a straight 8, and caught the van back to the parking lot. It felt really good having those childhood memories brought back. Things seemed to be going in a positive direction lately and I felt blessed. :)

All of a sudden my husband and I were getting calls and emails from friends from our past. His best friend from college came into town from Indiana with his wife to attend a wedding, so we ended up meeting up with them over the weekend down in Redondo Beach. It was a beautiful day and I took Zyla on the swings and we went down by the water where she found some seaweed. I thought she would wear it like a necklace, but she decided it would be better as a whip. Then my friend Jennifer from acting days in NY, whom I hadn't seen in 5 years, called saying she was in town to do a show and wanted to get together. Then an email from Tony, the Aussie camera man from BOT, in town working ‘Make It or Break It' and wanting to meet up for drinks and my oldest HS friend Sean, whom I hadn't seen in 20 years! It was like all of a sudden raining friends! Thank god for friends. J I enjoyed all the time I got to spend with everyone and felt loved. Then ‘Dexter' called, well my call in service texted saying are you available to stand in on Dexter Tuesday? Yes I am. So back to Sunset/Gower Studio for my 11:30am call time. I assumed I was standing in for Julia, but sadly no. Instead I stood in for Angela Bettis who was playing Emily Birch. She's another rape victim of the guys that did that to Lumen's character. It was a different sort of vibe on set that day. They were showing footage of the rape and it was disturbing. We were shooting on location at two different houses. After I got my color cover, I hopped in the van and went to the first location even though I wasn't in any scenes there, but didn't want to hang out at the second location all alone somewhere at some random house in Hollywood. It was the same house that we shot at last time I did the photo double night. I ran into Lauren the stand in for Jenn/Deb and we hung out. We all moved on to the next location after I'd been hanging out about an hour. The other house was literally three tiny blocks north of the studio so it was surprising that we were getting a catered lunch when we were so close to the studio and usually had to walk away. We set up the first shot, which was Dexter and Lumen walking up to the house, and talking to Emily at her front door. Then we walked back down the street to catering which was under some black tents, in a mini parking lot across the street from the studio. It was only a half hour long, so they were cutting time there, make the day go faster, I suppose. I had an amazing salad I created from all the options at the salad bar. Back at set the day went quickly, lots of hand held shots. It was fun seeing Michael and Julia work together they really click. Lauren was standing in for Julia with her wig again. It was all so silly because Lauren is too tall for Julia and the wig is so ridiculously bright blond, not near Julia's color and here I am Julia's photo double and I'm doing Angela, who was super tiny and nowhere near my size. But I was just happy they had called me back and I was glad to be working and I heard that Angela's character was contracted for the next two episodes so as long as there are scenes with two girls in them, they would be calling me back. Finished the day in 6 hours and headed home to join my family for dinner, love when that all works out!

I ran into a friend of mine who said they had been watching Dexter season 4 and were almost done. I wanted to know how she saw it since I had been waiting over a month and a half for Blockbuster to get it in and she said Netflix. I hadn't been with Netflix since a falling out in 1999, but for Dexter I would go back and try again. The deal seemed better than before, free month, unlimited access to immediate streaming shows and get 1 disk at a time for $8.99 a month, I signed up. Now Dexter would come to my door! Unfortunately season 4 was not available for immediate streaming but that's ok because I wanted to see it on the bigger screen of my TV. In the interim I had been watching "Breaking Bad" which everyone was talking about. When I had first seen the box cover at the video store, I wasn't interested, but this turned out to be one of my new favorite shows. The story line and acting are intoxicating and I enjoyed all of season 1 and 2. I found it funny that Bryan Cranston from Malcolm In the Middle was the star. Last time I saw him was on that set nearly 5 years ago to have him play with my toes for a foot double scene in which I stood in for Jane Kaczmarek. With the weekend came my desire to get out of the house and find a local bar scene. I don't know if it was my mid 30s hitting or just that I hadn't been out for so long, being immersed in the stay home mommy role, but I felt like it was time to get back in touch with my inner party animal. I convinced my neighbor Janette to join me at a local dive sports bar down the street for drinks, while the husbands stayed home with the kids. The bar had recently switched ownership and was renamed The Hollywood Way, since it was down the street from the Burbank Airport on Hollywood Way. I thought the place had potential, with the baby grand in the side room, but no one was playing the night we went, maybe they had theme nights. I suggested to Janette that we should make this a habit and go check out all the bars in Burbank and write reviews on them. Janette would only drink soda, so after I had a few glasses of wine we called it a night.

I was back to Dexter after waiting a week to work the show. Standing in for Angela/Emily again on episode 10. The scene had Lumen and Emily sitting inside on Emily's couch talking about the rape. It was the interiors on stage 8 for the exterior scene we had shot the previous week. It was a very low-key vibe on set, moody and dark. I got to know Lauren a little bit better sitting in on the couch with her inside Emily's Bungalow. She mentioned that she's with Jessica's List and I could use her as a referral. It's funny how the pattern repeats, I hope this will be another way to crawl into that call in service and get them to accept me, all about the timing. When camera was ready and the lights were set Sunday our 1st AD, thanked us for sitting in and gave Lauren and me knuckle bumps. In and Out burgers were supplied by props, yummy! Jeff asked me what size t-shirt I wore because props was also making up Dexter shirts for the crew. I hope this means I'll be coming back again and that I'll get a shirt and maybe an invite to the wrap party? Not holding my breath on that, but we shall see. The scene was very emotional watching Angela's acting was beautiful in a tragic way. The next scene was with Angela and Jonny Lee Miller playing Jordan Chase. Jeff stood in for him and we both sat in on set since the characters sit across from each other one on the couch, one in a chair. Romeo the DP can never seem to remember my name week to week. He was asking me to get up and move to Emily's second mark when she reaches down to touch Jordan's hand and was saying what's your name again? Then all the crew guys, camera dept, etc are like she's Jacque or Jacqueline. I mean the director told him last week, I'm Nurse Jackie, but Romeo is in a world of his own or maybe he's just messing with me. I love this set. I feel so comfortable here and definitely feel part of the Dexter family. I found out the show is being picked up again for a 6th season, and hope I can return next year. Finished out the day in under 6 hours, sweet.

Dexter season 4 disk one finally arrive at my house and I was so excited to start watching it since I already knew everything about season 5 and wanted to get all caught up! I loved it. I really enjoyed the whole Dexter goes family. Being married with child myself, I could completely relate and found the writing very funny. Of course John Lithgow's character was brilliant and taking the blood bath with that girl was very erotic in a naughty serial killer kind of way.

I was stoked that I got a text to come back to Dexter for Friday. Said yes, even though it was going to be a challenge. Ed was out of town for a retreat with his school for four days and I had to line up a playdate/babysitter for Zyla so I could head down Friday afternoon to my late afternoon call time in Long Beach. This time we were shooting at the little airport down there. Why they had to do an interior dental office scene at the airport and not just build a set on stage seemed a bit much. They ran overtime doing the other day shots and our beautiful exterior through the amazing windows was canned when the sun went down before the first shot got off on the dental office. I was standing in for Leslie Grossman who was playing Lauren Mendell. My call time was originally 4pm, so I left at 2pm, just to be safe with traffic on a Friday heading to Long Beach. Just before I arrived to set I got a text saying my call time was pushed to 5pm. It was all good and I just chilled at base camp while lunch was pushed an hour and a half since they were running behind schedule. Worked for me because I got to eat with everyone and hang with Lauren and this new stand in I hadn't met Warren. When we finally got to the airport, we weren't sure where the scene would take place or where the office was so we just parked our chairs at the opening of a hanger and watched the little planes take off. The planes to our right were the same size as the plane I jumped out of the first time I skydived in Hawaii for my 18th birthday. Good times. We ended up moving closer to set once we found it inside and the scene went fairly quickly. I was out in under 6 hours again and headed back to the Valley to pick up Zyla.

My friend Sean invited Ed and I to join him at his home away from home Howl at the Moon Saturday night. Unfortunately Ed was still on his retreat and since Zyla had a sleepover party to attend I was the only one available to join him. I didn't know what to expect I mean I don't go out all that often and figured it would be a fun night at a club with music and drinks. But to call Howl at the Moon a club with music and drinks is an understatement. It was this completely interactive, improv, musical entertainment experience that blew me away. I had planned to park right outside the door to Howl in the parking structure at the Universal City Walk. I knew where the club was after seeing it last year when Zyla had her first Holy Communion after-party up at the City Walk. But after dropping Zyla at her sleepover, I ended up getting caught up with the crowd coming to the Universal Halloween Haunted Nights event. I ended up parking far, far from the club and being alone, making my way through what felt like millions of people milling about and hearing the horror nights going on behind the walls, I was all turned around and completely lost. I felt like I had walked into Time Square in New York again. The lights, the sounds, the people, it was crazy. I finally made my way up the City Walk and found the club and Sean brought me to his table. Sitting front row to these dueling piano players was intense. The energy they brought to the evening, the talent they produced, I felt like I was hallucinating. The guys hands were flying all over the keys and he's singing all these songs and it's just amazing. Then more musicians just magically join him on certain songs, and the piano players switch out, but it's seamless and the experience and energy never lets up. Meanwhile it is completely interactive with the crowd and you can make requests for songs, or birthday girls and boys go up to be sung to, or bachelorettes~! There were four bachelorette parties going on the night I was there, and all the ladies were sitting to the left and to the right of me. They also had this fairy girl walking around giving jello shots from her syringe. For a small fee, she climbs in your lap and give you a shot. Very friendly fun vibe at this club, I totally recommend it. Sean has been going to the club for years so he introduced me to the musicians and all his friends there. I also found it interesting how the crowd yells certain things out at certain times, reminiscent of my Rocky Horror days. It was an amazing evening; I was totally engaged in the magic and had so much fun and so many laughs. Thanks for sharing Howl with me Sean, you ROCK!

I started watching ‘Californication' season 1 through immediate streaming off the Netflix website. I didn't think I would enjoy the show since I knew it had a lot of random sex between David and his minions of girls. But after watching the pilot I was hooked by the amazing writing. It was so funny and in your face, blunt sexuality talk, I really liked it. Since the episodes are so short, I ended up watching a bunch of them all weekend. I had gotten a call sheet on Friday with the advanced shoot schedule and if things didn't change was expecting a call Monday for working Dexter Tuesday. I was right and was texted around noon on Monday and booked Dexter just like I planned. I was standing in for Emily/Angela again. It was a full day of scenes in her bungalow. I was sad because she dies and this could quite possibly be my last day working Dexter season 5. The entire day was amazing. I woke up at 4ish am and got ready for set. Headed out in the early morning dark to Hollywood. It was early October and the weather had cooled off from the crazy extreme heat of the previous week and it was chilly and moody clouds hung. Everyone was in a real good mood and playful. Romeo the DP remembered my name for a change so that was nice. His quote of the day was ‘If you touch your toes every day, then you will be able to touch your toes every day'. He said this philosophy works for most anything in life. Then he was bending over touching his toes and all the crew would join in. Everyone was busting out with stretches and yoga, it was hilarious! I just stood on my mark and watched the fun as we set up the shots. The day went really smooth, had some breakfast and then some snacks. At walk away lunch I went with some of the crew over to the Mission Cantina for Taco Tuesday. I sat at the bar with Chuck the PA who's worked Dexter since day 1. He ran into an old buddy from High School, small world we all live in! They were reminiscing about everything and I told Chuck I'm a native Cally girl myself, which is rare in this business. I sipped on a white Sangria, enjoying the vibe of the bar. I asked Chuck about my t-shirt that props was making me. He said if I'm not working on set the day they pass them out, to make sure Jeff has my number and he'll get it to me. He said they may be passed out at the wrap party, which I then asked, will I be invited? He said he wasn't sure but I would definitely get my shirt. Headed back to set for the second half of the day, which is when my girl gets killed. I lost my sides, which I always keep in my back pocket. The only thing I could think of is they fell out at the Cantina, oh well. I tried not to think about it possibly being my last day of Dexter. Chuck said that they always have a blond on the show and that it was picked up for a 6th season and so hopefully I'll be back again next year. I made sure Jeff had my number to get me my shirt. He said he'd seen an advanced shoot schedule and believed that Lumen and Deb would be together in a scene so that I might still have a chance of coming back on the last episode. The last scene of the day for me was when Emily is found dead in her bungalow. Emily/Angela went with make-up to get bloodied up for the scene and Dexter/Michael was called to set to run a rehearsal for camera. I was asked to lie on the floor where Emily's body would be found. So Dexter/Michael walks in and sees me on the floor and says hi. I say hey. Then I close my eyes and we run the rehearsal. It was a surreal moment feeling Michael's energy as he comes into the house and discovers my body. He squatted down next to me, then got up and stepped over my body, to check out the room's blood spatter, then stepped back over my body to leave. I am really gonna miss this show! Emily came to set and they started shooting. I wrapped out at 7pm and headed home for the night. So many memories on this show. So many new friends. As I look through my magic romper room mirror I see Jeff and Lauren, and Dawn and Rob, and Sunday and Warren, and Chuck and Denise, and Romeo and Marty, and Mike and Thomas, and Jack and Pappas, and DJ and his dad David along with all the other lead actors Michael and Julia and Jennifer and Angela. Dexter was always a favorite show of mine and Michael has been a favorite actor of mine since the first day of Six Feet Under. This show and this experience was really special to me and I won't forget that I was lucky enough to be a part of all the magic. The second disk of Dexter season 4 was waiting for me from Netflix when I got home, so I spent the evening watching more episodes and thinking about my friends.

Rain poured out of the sky all day and just when I was feeling blue, my call in service texted me to ask if I was available for Dexter the next day. I thanked God I would be blessed with another day on the Dexter set! My call time was noon to be Lumen/Julia's photo double. Location was at the stage so I was thinking it would probably be hand double work again. Easy peasy lemon squeezy I'm there. But I should have known nothing goes the way I plan. I got a call from Central later that evening saying my call time was changed to 2:30pm to work on Mentalist. I was thinking, what? In the morning I called the change box and my call time had been changed to 1:30pm, sometimes Central does make mistakes. I headed to set and when I got there, I couldn't find my voucher in the office trailer or my name on the call sheet under photo doubles. Then I began to worry that there had been a mistake. I went to the wardrobe trailer to see if they knew what was up and Kat said yes I'm doing a make up/scar test, not really photo double work and I was listed on another section of the call sheet. Then Jason showed up to give me my voucher and took me to set to get some Chinese food that had just shown up for mid morning snack. We all went back to the make-up trailer and I sat in the chair to be the test subject for Dexter and Lumen's characters. They both get into accidents in the last episode and special prosthetics were being used on their faces to make the cuts appear real. But I guess they can't practice or experiment on the stars so I get to come in and be their guinea pig. Luis applied the pieces to my hairline by my forehead for Lumen and one at the side of my face by my ear for Dexter. Then he painted in the blood and a little bruising, spritzed some water to make the blood run down my face and neck and took some pictures to send over to production. Michael/Dexter showed up in the trailer and sat a few chairs down from me getting some blood out of his hair from the last scene he had been filming. Keith the head of make up brought up that Tony Danza was a teacher now and Michael was saying I guess he's not the boss anymore. He was talking about all the great shows we all grew up with that were filmed on this lot, like Who's the Boss, Silver Spoons, Growing Pains. Great memories on this lot past and present. After the pictures were done, Luis was needed on set and Keith cleaned my face up and I was wrapped out in 1-½ hours, but of course paid for 8, not bad, feeling the love from Dexter!

Weekend again, with new meaning for me, now that I was broadening my horizons and going out again. This time with Ed in town and Zyla at another sleep over, we headed to a local karaoke bar down the street called Michaels. This place was adorable and I enjoyed all of the phenomenal singing coming from our lovely local talent. Ed hit the stage to bring Ozzy back to Burbank with Mr. Crowley. That got the bar excited! I was drinking my wine and snacking on the blue cheese fries, trying to figure out what I would sing, since some girl ran up and did Don't Speak from No Doubt, which is my favorite song to do. Eventually Ed suggested Hotel California by The Eagles and I said ok. When my turn came at midnight I walked up on stage and sang this old classic putting my special touch to it. Took a bow and exited the bar with Ed. We headed out into the night under a blanket of stars with Jupiter shining brightest.
A long week went by with no call from Dexter. Jeff, the stand in from Dexter, texted me to say he had my t-shirt. He thought I would be brought back the last week so he was holding on to it in hopes of my return, otherwise I would have to get it from him when the show wrapped. On Thursday I got a text saying Castle wanted me for BG/possible Stand In on Friday. I took the gig thinking I would be on the Melrose Raliegh stages, but instead found out later that night from the call box that location was downtown L.A. and that they were thinking it would be a late night, like 2 or 3 in the morning. It ended up all good. I had a late call time of 11:30am and thank god I arrived early because crew parking was about a half hour away from base camp. I was one of the first people there, got my voucher, and went through wardrobe. Met a BG who had the same last name as my maiden name, which is rare. He told me it is a Welsh name, I said yes it is. He said that the guy on Chuck also shared the name but his agent had him drop it and just use his first and middle to sound more Jewish. Hair and Make-up looked me over, pinned back some of my hair and I was good to go. Then I asked about the possible stand in thing and after confirming that I had stood in on Castle before and knew wtf I was doing, was told sure I could do it and to grab some color cover before we headed to set. I didn't get sides though, since the 2nd AD said I could grab them on set. I just assumed the girl I was standing in for, #9 is all I was told, would be in the last scenes at night. I had some breakfast, got my sides and went to relax in holding. We were inside some office building downtown, set upstairs and holding ground floor. As I looked over the sides I quickly realized that the girl I was standing in for was in the first scene! I grabbed the color cover and ran upstairs to set where Cary and Chanda, the regular stand ins were waiting. I apologized for missing the rehearsal, as I had no clue I was standing in until just now. It was no big deal; everyone was running behind due to the crew parking being so far away and not enough vans. I had fun hanging with Cary and Chanda again, they are funny and really smart. You feel like you are on a game of Jepordy when you are with them, questions and answers and facts flying out, so much interesting information, it is always fun! Found out that Nathan Fillion likes World War Z and has read it a number of times and Cary was now getting caught up on it. I asked Chanda where Matt, who lays down the marks for camera, was. I told her how Matt and I went to High School together so I like to say hi when I'm on the show. Then Cary wanted to know what Matt was like in HS, sorry Matt I told them you were a decent, clean cut boy, hope it didn't ruin your image with the Castle crew! Chanda said Matt usually takes Fridays off, how did he end up with that sweet deal? I told her I had a funny story to tell Matt, that our mutual classmate Christa had just delivered her third daughter on the record breaking heat day, two weeks back, and all on the freeway! Christa made the news since an ambulance had to come get her and Brianna from the freeway and take them to the hospital she was suppose to deliver at. I wasn't sure if Chanda was going to tell Matt the story when he showed up to work again but it was fun to tell. I ended up standing in for Jeanette Brox who was playing Ayyana Holder. She was in 3 of the 5 Science Center scenes so I thought I might be used as BG for the other 2, but in the end one scene was dropped due to running overtime and it was announced they would build the staircase scene at the soundstages for a later date. The other scene that Ayyana was not listed as being in, well, she was, just no dialog so I still was needed to stand on her mark and therefore was never used as a Science Center Employee. I had gone to a lot of trouble figuring out just what to wear to this call. The call box had said a lot of different things, especially that it should feel like we work with UFO's and then suggested watching the scientists in the movie Contact. So before coming to work this morning I had pulled up Netflix and found Contact was an instant download and then scanned through the entire movie looking for the scientists to see what they wore. I changed my mind like 10 times before settling on what I wore and thankfully wardrobe approved, but unfortunately it didn't make camera. When we finished up with the Science Center scenes, I was asked if I was available Tuesday to come back. I said yes, but then was asked if I was used in any scenes. No, I stood in the entire time, so then it was up in the air if I would come back, because they wanted to use people already established. Since I wasn't booked with my car, I was told they were done with me, but I asked if I could eat lunch before wrapping out. Of course they fed me and then I clocked out in under 8 on a Friday night, awesome!

Monday rolled around and I got a text asking if I would go back to Castle on Tuesday to be a Science Center Staffer! Great, now I knew exactly what to wear, and I was pretty sure I knew where I was going, and what made me very happy was knowing I would get to see my Castle friends again! Crew parking was at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I arrived early to catch the van, but no van arrived until the exact call time to take us over to Melrose Raleigh Studios. So the six of us BG wandered around the graveyard, I took a path down a Russian Jewish section; it was a moody overcast day with a high chance of rain, which started to fall on us just as the van pulled up. We hopped in and as we drove out of the graveyard a man looked like he crawled out of the pond and was walking toward us all wet and creepy looking. Someone yelled zombie and we all freaked out and were happy to make it to the sound stages in one piece. I found out I would be standing in for the same girl as last week and that there was one scene I might be used for BG. One of the BG who parked next to my car came up to tell me that I had parked next to a Masonic Satanists tombstone. Lovely news. We had around 3 hours of downtime waiting for the crew to move over to our sound stage for the Science Center Lab scenes. While we waited we were listening to the art department finishing the final touches to the set we would be using. I think the paint fumes were getting to them, they got a little crazy! Some of the décor wasn't sticking properly because the set wasn't completely dry when the crew came over to set up the first shot. I stood in for Jeanette/Ayyana and smiled at Cary and Chanda, picking up the conversation from last week and how was everyone's weekend. I met Charles, another regular stand in on Castle, he was nice. Matt was finally back at work and as he laid down the marks, I told him the story of Christa. It was a wonderful, easy stand in day. None of the BG ended up being used in the first two scenes, so when the last scene came around, I told them, don't worry about it, I've been standing in all day, now I'll go do the BG for this last scene you guys just relax! They laughed, but it ended up that I wasn't used and got wrapped with the BG guy who had parked next to my car. At this point it was 9pm and the graveyard was closed and pitch black. It had been raining off and on all day and the sky was full of thunderous clouds. The guard opened the gate and we drove into the spooky graveyard and all the way back to our cars. We got out of the van and he wanted to show me the possessed gravestone and I had my little mini Tinkerbell flashlight so we walked over to the grave and I shined Tinkerbell over the symbols and his name. Then a flash of lightening lit up the sky and we screamed and ran for our cars. I drove out of the graveyard in one piece and made it home in time to say good night to Zyla.

I had received a text on my way to Castle to work Dexter the following day, so Wednesday I woke up and got ready to be Lumen's photo double. When I arrived at Sunset/Gower Stages it was raining out and I found out that the 2nd unit was on location in Glendale shooting car shots with the photo double guys and it would be a while before they got to me. I was going to be photo doubling Deb's character too, so I put on her purple shirt and then hung out on stage 8 with first unit. I got my t-shirt from Jeff, very cool! I talked to Rob most of the day, catching up on things. He was wearing our BOT shirt from the wrap party last year. I found out I was not invited to Dexter's wrap party, but that was ok, I hadn't really expected it being a utility stand in, and not full time crew. At walk away lunch I went to the Cantina, but since it was Wednesday it was empty. Sat at the bar and had a Sangria. I had eaten so much on set from crafty I didn't have much else at the bar. Around 5pm 2nd unit was finally ready for me, and they did Lumen's scenes first so I changed into her clothes and sat across from the Dexter photo double so he could slide the Emily Birch file over to me. That was quick, then we moved on to the scene with Deb and I put her clothes and wrist watch on and sat in the police department where she is looking at some print outs of the killers. Quick and easy, the director couldn't believe I had been sitting around all day just for these two quick things, but I said no problem because I had been having fun, just chilling on set, listening to horror screams from Lumen. Julia had on the scar make-up I had tested for her a few weeks ago, so that was cool to see. I avoided the monitors because I still wanted somewhat of a surprise when I did actually get to see the 5th season. Wrapped out in under 8 and headed home, knowing tomorrow would be my last day on set of Dexter season 5 standing in for Lumen when Jen/Deb and Julia/Lumen's characters shared their last scene together.

I woke up at 4:30am and checked my cell phone. Jeff had texted me that they ran really late the night before and all calls were pushed 2 ½ hours. I went back to bed. I woke up again later to take Zyla to school and then came home and started getting ready for set. Crew call was 1pm; I had to be there at 1:45pm to stand in for all of Julia/Lumen's scenes. She was in three scenes and they took all day. The set was intense. The art department and props had made an amazing basement kill zone for the grand finale of the season. I stepped onto set and felt sick to my stomach, something wasn't right; the vibe was pure evil, perfect for Dexter. I found out how the season ends, but it was ok, I would still enjoy watching the season when I got a chance to start it. Lumen and Dexter got caught by Deb but she can't make out Dexter through the plastic sheet hanging and fires her gun which at first they used an air gun thing that wasn't that loud, but then they didn't and it was really loud. Hearing Jen/Deb doing her dialog was intense, she is so good, take after take after take. Snack came and I had some Italian Meatball soup. Jack from Electric dept had taken a picture of me the day before with this Dexter syringe pen and I asked him to email it to me so I could have something for this memoir story. Lunch was suppose to be at 7pm but Julia had a plane to catch, so it was announced that we would work until her scenes were finished, then go to lunch. That's a wrap on Julia for Dexter season 5. Everyone started clapping. I came up to Julia and told her how great it was to work with her and she did an amazing job. She told me she wished we had had more time together to hang out and talk. She is so sweet, I hope we can work together again; I'll be your stand in/photo double any day! :)   I told her to have a safe flight and then wandered off the lot on lunch break at 8ish pm to the Cantina next door. Had sangria and some chips at the bar, while listening to Zyla tell me about her day at school before she went to bed. Dawn kept trying to wrap me, but Denise said no I needed to stay. There was a silhouette shot of Deb, which they said they might need Jeff and me for eye lines, but they didn't. After that shot, I thought I would be wrapped, but then they decided I should be background in the County Records Office scene. But they didn't want me to look like Julia and asked Hair Dept to do something. Since Julia had worn her hair in every imaginable way during the course of the season, they put mine up in a bun, gave me a coral colored sweater and I went back to set. At midnight the coffee truck came, thanks to Production. Funny thing was the guy said he'd be working at Crespi the following evening. I'm like small world, my husband works there and he'll be shooting the football game tomorrow with his production class! I told Ed he has to go by and say hi. Rob said good-bye and wrapped out of the show, moving on to a new project in the morning. DJ showed up to stand in for the guy who was going to be on the phone with Dexter in the Office of County Records scenes and we were wandering through the kill room, kill basement sets admiring all the amazing work and detail that went into it all. DJ was taking all these pictures with his cell phone and I figured why not see if my cell phone will work and on the last of my dieing battery I got off a shot of the kill table with the sad little children painted on the wall behind it. Eerie stuff. Finally got to my scene and I played the bored, overworked, underpaid, exhausted office worker at my desk next to Derek Basco who was the County Clerk. Then it really was a wrap on me from Dexter season 5. I went back to base camp and turned in my wardrobe and the earrings they let me borrow, since the day before I had taken mine out when doing the photo double stuff for Julia and it was over my back shoulder type shot and they could see my ear and I put the earrings in the pant pocket of the Lumen jeans I was wearing and totally forgot when I returned them and wardrobe hadn't seen them. Awe man, lost my favorite earrings that I always wear to the Dexter show. I headed out of Sunset/Gower to the Producer's Parking lot across the street only to find my car locked up behind the gates. I couldn't believe it, I mean it's minutes to 2am and not the most favorable characters out on Sunset Blvd at that hour and I'm alone and locked out of the lot where my car sat all alone. I hurried back to the Security Gate at Sunset/Gower and grabbed a security officer to escort me back and unlock the gates so I could get my car out. Made it home fast, but was still wired from the espresso, so I poured myself a glass of wine and just sat thinking about the whole experience. What an amazing time, what a great show. I really hope I can go back again next season and do it all again. I passed out at 3am, but had to get up 3 hours later to take Zyla to school. Goodbye Dexter family I will miss you.

The weekend went by in a lazy hazy blur. I remember showering and putting on my Dexter shirt and living in it all weekend. Monday rolled around and I didn't get any calls for work. I didn't put myself available either, just in case there might be one last photo double day for the last two episodes. I really wasn't in the mood to get back to BG work on some random show. Then Tuesday, my friend Sean texts me that we are going to Rocky Horror. When he had first told me about the one night only, once in a lifetime performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show with an A-list, star studded cast, of course I wanted to go, but tickets were ridiculously expensive and all that was left was the back of the balcony in the Wiltern Theater. But a connection of his came through and he managed to acquire seats for us! Ed and Zyla wanted to go as well. Zyla heard that the cast of Glee would be there, and she loves that show. She has never seen Rocky Horror and I was trying to explain to her that it was an adult movie and not for her. Ed wanted to go but his school production of Dracula was performing that night and he was filming it so I was the only one available if a miraculous ticket came through. Since Zyla and I had planned to see Dracula on Thursday, we went Tuesday night instead. The performance was amazing; I did not feel like I was as some typical High School production. It felt like an intimate off Broadway show and the cast was phenomenal. The leading lady was played by Chelsea Diblasi, a re-occurring actress on 90210 and high school student at Crespi's sister school. I got to meet Melissa Gilbert, as her son attended Crespi now and tackling the role of Renfield. She gushed over the coaching Ed had given her son for his performance, which was A-list all the way. Dracula, played by Neil Rawate, was intense. The chemistry between the actors was brilliant and I loved having a front row seat to the production. On Thursday, Sean came to pick me up on one of the most dangerous nights in Burbank. Everywhere you looked there was a traffic accident, a major one. Two cars flipped upside down, another car a blazing fireball, a motorcycle flipped over and a body in the street. Those were just the accidents we witnessed, I heard about a lot more. It was really disturbing and I wasn't sure what was going on. It was October 28th, and a lot of Hollywood was heading to the Wiltern to see Jack Nicholson and Danny Devito in the 35th Anniversary Tribute to Rocky Horror Picture Show. I was excited I was going to be part of all the magic. I hadn't been to Rocky in over a decade. Back in High School, Sean and I went every Saturday night at midnight during Junior year.


Me and Christy ready for Rocky Horror '98
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Rocky Horror 1998
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The last time I had gone was with Ed and his sister and a bunch of our friends from the crew of Zalman Kings set. I decided I had to dress up for this once in a lifetime event, I had never gone to Rocky and not dressed up, so I put on a version of my Halloween costume from last year and headed out to join the creatures of the night. Sean bought me a drink at the bar and we made our way to our seats. The room was vibrating with energy as everyone awaited the start of the play. What I wasn't aware of was that there would be a gigantic screen playing the movie just like when we went to the theater, so not only were A-list actors performing the show, with a shadow cast made up of the best of the best from casts across America who perform in front of Rocky screens every night, but we got the movie too. And an added scene I hadn't seen before of Brad singing and smoking after sex with Frank! Jack Nicholson sat with his back to the audience and the movie was paused as he turned around to cheers. He read out the narrator's lines, it was brilliant. Evan Rachel Wood was playing Magenta and she did an awesome job, perfectly blending her performance to the visual on the screen. The night was magic, it all came back like yesterday, all the shout outs and audience participation. I hadn't even thought of bringing anything to throw, but a lot of the audience had and I was showered in rice during the wedding scene and water in the rain scene and toast was flying during the dinner scene! I had so much fun, laughing and yelling back at the screen and watching the antics of the actors on stage. There were too many amazing moments to describe but it was a once in a lifetime evening and I thank God for blessing me with a way to go. Danny DeVito came on stage with Jack at the end of the night for the last bit of Narrator's lines. They were so funny together and everyone in the audience was filming them with their cell

phones so they pulled out their own phones and were videoing each other! Classic! The grand finale, after the movie ended, was announcing that Tim Curry was in the house! He should have won best actor for 1975 for his performance and everyone cheered as he took the stage and accepted the love and adulation we all felt for him. The entire cast did one last take of the Time Warp again as confetti shot out all over the crowd. Sean and I turned to each other and just felt like WOW, we just lived through an amazing moment in history. Being born into a Rocky Horror world was our childhood reality, as the film was released before either of us had turned one year old. There will never be another Rocky tribute that could top this night. We exited the building as the private after party was getting started at $3000 a ticket! I forgot we hadn't taken any pictures and I wanted some for this memoir. So outside the theater Sean got a few shots of me and then we headed back to my place to tell Ed all about it. We drank some wine and reminisced about the magical evening, ‘it was a night out (A NIGHT IN!) we were to remember for a very long time (thunder, into a dissolve, next Rocky scene)'. Don't Dream it BE IT!!! Creatures of the Night forever!

Me outside the Wiltern for Rocky Horror Tribute
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David Blair from Enteraktion Studios called me up to say that Dwegons had been picked up for distribution by Alpine Pictures under their new family entertainment division of Summertime Entertainment and that it would be screened at the AFM the following week! I was so excited! Now my family would see me on the big movie screen at the AMC on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, unlike the screening we had in the private screening room back in February. I was very excited!

I got booked for Friday to work Castle again, matching shot of the Science Center Employees. Funny how I had yet to make camera in the outfit since they would always pull me to stand in, so I wore the same clothes again and parked at the graveyard again and waited for the van. The Hollywood Forever Cemetery was very busy with activity. I didn't realize concerts and movies were shown here to bring in revenues, but it seemed the graveyard was on the brink of bankruptcy at one point. But this event was the Dia de los Muertos which seemed more of the graveyard's speed. It was amazing all the skeletons and decorations going into it and there were speakers and lights throughout the graveyard. Definitely not the spooky vibe of last time, but a nice strong Halloween wind was whipping through the air. Arriving to set, I got checked in, got the lab coat and was told to hang out in a darkened hallway. They said they would turn on lights but that didn't happen for a few hours. We sat by the light of our cell phones; one guy had a laptop and was watching Korean movies. He kept talking about how prostitutes in Vegas are expensive, and he just wanted to find a nice girl, she didn't even have to be pretty to settle down with. I found out he was a Tiger, born same year as me. Crafty brought out hot food and said we couldn't have any until crew went through first. So we waited 20 or so minutes and then went to get some and were told 15 more minutes. We waited 30 minutes and went back only to be told 5 more minutes. This was getting insane, I mean are we not allowed to have the meatballs until they are cold? It was pasta and garlic bread and meatballs and all of us playing BG, total of 6 people were dreaming of meatballs since we kept getting denied them. Finally we sent one of the guys in and he came back with meatballs so we all went to get ours. The craft service lady was gone, not guarding the door anymore, so we got our food and got out of there. One girl didn't get any meatballs; she said they were all gone by her turn. I felt bad for her, but thankfully we had a catered lunch at the commissary and they were serving meatballs and she finally got some. Our scene was a quick hallway scene and only 3 of the 6 of us were chosen to be in it. I was not chosen to play on camera again, but it was cool. I ran into the stand ins Cary and Chanda and they were excited to see me. We wished each other a Happy Halloween and I was wrapped out in less than 6 hours. Perfect timing because I needed to get home to go with Ed and Zyla to see our friend Steve playing in his band Salt at Buchanan Arms. This cute little pubbish type bar/restaurant in Burbank allowed kids so we all rocked out to Salt while Ed filmed some of the set. Steve and his wife Shannon were leaving/moving to England to be with Steve's family there and we weren't sure when we would see them again, so I was glad we got out for this night. Got home before midnight and put Zyla to bed and sat down to enjoy Dexter Season 5 episode 1 that Sean had been so kind enough to burn for us. I was happy I wouldn't have to wait until next year to see what was going on with my favorite show!

I started putting myself as available through Joey's List and was texted that I got booked for Monday on Brothers and Sisters to play someone at an adoption clinic seminar. I hadn't worked the show since last February and was happy to be going back to the Disney lot since I would be able to come home on my walk away lunch. Monday morning rolled around and I got to set and sat in holding for hours. Thankfully I had my friend Sean's favorite hero In the Pit With Piper by "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. I have never been into the whole wrestling scene but this book was very entertaining and I loved hearing Roddy's stories. When we were finally brought onto set, I was paired up as the white heterosexual couple as apposed to the 2 other gay couples, black couple and Asian couple. I was seated at the front desk of the room, which was set up as an intimate classroom. The scene went smoothly and the male gay couple, that were the principal actors, came up to do a role-playing exercise with a baby doll. It was a touching scene, nicely played. We broke for walk away lunch and I made it home to eat and back to set with 10 minutes to spare. We sat around for more hours all afternoon as they shot different angles of the scene or close ups that didn't include BG. We thought we were done for the day, but no one came to wrap us and then a hot meal was put out, lasagna, green beans, salad, so we all went to get food. Then a few moments later we were told we were done and got wrapped out in under 8.

The following day I had off, but put myself available and got texted to go to Undercovers for Wednesday by the casting director who had been booking me on Dexter. This time I was playing a patron at the Health Spa. I was excited when I heard on the info tape box line that the only wardrobe I had to bring was a beige bra and panties since we would be wearing white bathrobes and slippers in the scene. The last time I got to lounge on set in a bathrobe was for Grey's Anatomy when I played a patient maybe 4 years ago. The call time was mid afternoon, so when I found I didn't own a pair of white, beige, or neutral colored underwear I had time to go buy some. We were shooting on location in Santa Clarita and the weather had taken a turn to hot. I was early so I checked in and then lounged in my chair in a grassy park behind the Borax building we were shooting at, enjoying the breeze. My scene was up after lunch so I had some down time and finished reading Roddy's story. Lunch was amazing, we were served a huge sushi spread and steamed dumplings, with teriyaki chicken, beef, sticky rice, good stuff! The wardrobe department had a miscommunication issue with Central and it seems we weren't suppose to be patrons at the spa, but employees. So wardrobe had to come up with black shoes, socks, pants and grey shirts for us to wear since no one had brought anything but flip flops and underwear. When our scene was finally up, I saw Derrick, the Electrician from BOT and said hi. We chatted for a few about my cartoon Dwegons that I had told him about last year, and how this show, Undercovers, was being cancelled. He said it was only doing three more episodes and then it was canned. Another one bites the dust, that's Hollywood, shows barely get a chance. I was just happy to be working. We wrapped out in under 8 and I headed home to watch the pilot of Dead Like Me on Netflix streaming.

 


Me holding my ticket to the screening of Dwegons!
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Over the weekend my family, my sister's family and some friends of mine all made our way to Santa Monica to the AFM screening of my cartoon Dwegons at the Broadway Cineplex. I was so excited to see it on the big screen and it looked even more amazing than I remembered last February. I was told that it was slated to be released to theaters Christmas 2011. Everyone enjoyed it and congratulated me on a good job voicing the two lead girls and how well my voice sounds projected out over a theater audience. :)

On Monday I got a call from Central with a voice message from casting director Bryan. I guess he had booked me through Joey's, though they never texted me about it and he was leaving my details. I was excited to work a new show doing stand in and hoped that Bryan would start booking me more often as this was the first time he had. I showed up to the Disney lot on Tuesday morning after dropping Zyla at school. No Ordinary Family was doing 2nd unit shots outside the Disney store which was made to look like a High School Quad area. I stood in for Katrina Begin playing Bailey Browning and wardrobe had no clue what she was wearing until she was brought to set, so color cover was pretty lax. I kept feeling like I knew everyone, the crew looked really familiar, then one guy came over and said hi from BOT. Then the stand in Mario figured it out, we had all worked together last year on Sons of Anarchy and that show was cancelled and a lot of the crew from it was here. The DP Joaquin was really cool and he said he was happy with my performance and they would have me back to the show! Then Bryan from Central showed up so I got to meet him in person and thank him for the booking. It was such an awesome day working outside in the sunshiny, beautiful weather, with a nice breeze blowing through. I also stood in for Katelyn Tarver who plays Natalie in a couple scenes before we moved into the stages for locker hallway shots. They catered our lunch at the commissary which was surprising considering the info box has said it would be a walk away lunch and I guess it usually is, but this was to be an exceptional day! Wrapped out by 7ish pm. I had a lot of fun working with everyone and hoped to be back again soon.

The weekend came with plans to check out Dimples, the karaoke club across from NBC here in Burbank. We invited some friends and showed up to the club at 9pm on a Saturday. We had never been, but I had been told that it was similar to Michaels but with a bigger stage and really made for karaoke. Walking inside it had a similar vibe as Michaels, but with a lot more flashy random décor. We went to the bar and met up with Lining and her boyfriend who had already gone up and done a number without us! The bar gives out free DVD's of your performance the first time you do a song and they were showing us their DVDs. It wasn't crowded by a long shot so we got busy looking through the songbook to pick out our songs. I had practiced at home some new songs that I'd never done out at karaoke. I wanted to sing Milk by Garbage or Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson or Rush by Aly and Aj. But as I was looking through the book and more people got on the stage, I started feeling uneasy. The music was turned down so low, it seemed ridiculous. Everyone getting up was singing really weird songs and putting on costumes and props, provided on the stage. Then there was a huge screen that broadcast the image of whoever was on stage. After you sang your song, they replayed it throughout the bar on the TVs. No one was singing anything crazy or with a lot of power and emotion behind it. There was a stripper pole on stage that one girl used with her song. So the vibe was totally different and I wasn't sure I wanted to stay, but we had already ordered drinks so we put in our song requests. They didn't have Milk, so I ended up singing #1 Crush by Garbage. The song is pretty depressing and the MC wanted to know why I wouldn't cheer up and was I being forced to be there. After my song, he said he felt like going to rehab and depressed and needed to rethink his life choices. Then I got my copy of my performance and Ed went up. He sang Ozzy Crazy Train, but the music was so low it was horrible. Lining's boyfriend Gene sang one more song and we breezed out of there and back to Michaels. Since it was past 11pm, Michaels was insanely crowded with some birthday party. We put in our requests to sing, but the stack of requests was sky high and after waiting over an hour, our friends had to go and then finally Ed was called up for his song. All the singers at Michaels were amazing and the music was pumping and our seats were vibrating. It was great energy there and I had a lot of fun, even though I didn't get a chance to sing again that night. Next time we would just go straight to Michaels and early so we would get to sing more as Ed and I had planned to do a duet of Metallica's Nothing Else Mattters!
The following morning we watched our DVDs and Ed wanted to post them to youtube. I said no way for mine. The MC had messed up Ed's CD and turned his mike off for a bit of his performance and changed the volume of the playback, but we'd never heard that in the bar, so this was done on his editing machine while Ed performed. Thank god it was free, I can't imagine paying for that copy. I guess Dimples tries to sell you a copy of your song once you've done more than one. I guess they also post the footage on their site but I don't think they'll post mine, as it was really depressing.

I was starting to get bummed out when Joey's List got me nothing two days in a row, but then they texted with a gig back on 90210 to be a beach club member. Late morning call worked perfect since I was going down to Manhattan Beach Raleigh Studio, and I knew what style the wardrobe liked so I put on a gray business suit and headed off to set. Our holding was in the outside tarp tent as usual and we checked in and went through wardrobe, got approved and hung out until our scenes were up. It was an easy, mellow day, did a cross in one scene, hung out with a cute girl in another. At one point the AD's came in to tell the BG we needed to liven it up. We needed to be less Jazz and more Rock and Roll! I thought we were having a mellow afternoon at the bar, but if they wanted more RnR we gave it to them. Mouthing quietly we all started getting more animated, let's do shots, let's hook it up, party people in the house! Later I chatted up my scene partner in holding, she'd just joined AFTRA and had only been in Cally 2 years, so being a native and veteran in the biz I answered her industry questions. The last scene of the night I was paired up with this funny fellow to do crosses behind the lead actors up at the bar. All of a sudden the script supervisor comes over to the actors and it's like her voice and movements and everything about her was familiar to me. My mind flashed to her name, Genie. I wondered if it was her. If it was, then I hadn't seen her in 15 years since we did the movie together up in Big Bear for Mystique Films called Damien's Seed aka Blue Wave. I finally asked one of the crew if her name was Genie and they said yes. We were getting ready to shoot the martini shot and I was telling them, I really wanted to talk to Genie after this shot since I hadn't seen her in 15 years when we worked together on another set. Immediately another crew guy heard this and called Genie back to the set yelling how I knew her from 15 years ago. So now all eyes were on us as we stopped production to reconnect. I'm not sure she recognized me at first, as I was telling her the movie we'd worked on and the Polaroid I had at home of her and I together on the film. She had some spark of a memory and gave me a hug and then we got back to filming the martini shot. After set, I went to wrap out at wardrobe and walking toward the parking lot I ran into her again. It was then that her memories flooded back and she reminisced about moments we had shared. I told her I really wanted to give her a copy of the Polaroid's and asked for her email. She gave it to me and I sent off the scans to her the following morning. It was a crazy magical moment and I hope to run into Genie again soon!

My friend Sean, invited me to tour Picture Head, the post production facility he has been working at over the past decade. In the heart of Hollywood, surrounded by tourists and trannies, you step into an oasis of high tech, cool, zen atmosphere. Sean introduced me to most of the staff and editors, who were all very friendly. I learned a lot about the history, growth and challenges the company has gone through in the competitive world of post. Walking in a magical maze, we crisscrossed up and downstairs, peeking into different editing bays and mixing rooms. I got the impression everyone enjoyed their job here with the cool, friendly, hip, young vibe flowing. I am hoping one day to do some ADR work at Picture Head, I think it would be a fun place to hang out. :)

Work was slow, but thankfully my heart could reminisce Dexter style with the copies Sean generously gave me to catch up with the rest of the world. When I hit episode 6, I was in heaven, reliving my first days on the Dexter set. Memories flooded my mind as I watched the episodes from that point on. I could barely pay attention to what was being said, since the thoughts in my head were so much louder. I ended up watching episode 7 a number of times just to get it all and write out some favorite quotes from the show. It was awesome to be surprised with scenes I had not seen yet. I loved Season 5. Season 4 was a tough act to follow, but this new season was quirky and cute with the story line, not that I find gang rape and murder cute, but you know what I mean.

The Thanksgiving Holiday came and went, had an awesome time with my sister and her family joining mine. December started out slow, got booked on 90210 as a beach club member again. Had a short-lived day on set in one scene and called it a day after 4 hours. They had us park at the Marriott which I hadn't done in a while and never for 90210. Then another week went by with no work. I emailed Jessica's List with the referral from Lauren and Jeff from my Dexter days. This time they didn't even respond to my email. Got texted back to 90210 the next week for my last day of BG work for 2010. For the first time wardrobe didn't like my clothes and put me in a splash of crazy color dress with cute purple heels. I ended up bored in holding most of the day, taking video of my cute shoes. Not so cute after a few hours, my ankles started bleeding from the way the heels were cutting into me. 90210 had no medic so I had to walk down from stage 27 back to where Medium shoots, then upstairs to their medic. Their medic was out of his office, but I found the first aide kit and helped myself to two Band-Aids. Made it back to set in time for the one scene we were needed for and my ankles felt much better. I was partnered up with a cute German blonde and enjoyed my time on set. Unfortunately I never did run into Genie again, but that's my life, in one moment out the next, never know when I'll see someone again, maybe next time.

My birthday came and went, not excited about being an even number. School ended, both Zyla and Ed home for the holidays. My year quickly wound down. News came out about Julia Stiles being nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Lumen on Dexter. I was so excited for my girl, she deserved it and I was hoping to see her back on the show next season! Sean texted me about the Comedy Store and I ended up spending a Friday night laughing my ass off at the wonderfully talented comics and I just want to give a shout out to my favorites of the night ok they were all amazing and had me laughing and I loved them all so thank you Shawn Pelofsky, Argus Hamilton, Kirk Fox, Ian Edwards, Dov Davidoff, Chris D'Elia, Leslie, Freddy Lockhart, Iliza Shlensinger, Ari Shaffir, Nick Yousseff, Justin Martindale, Sarah Tiana, Rick Ingrahm, Mike Faverman and last but not least doing over an hour long set with the band and pulling his pants down Don Barris! And of course a special shout out to the wonderfully talented Steve Simeone who was responsible for getting me on the list. Awesome evening of great talent and thank you Sean for the invite!

Things were pretty much slowed down, Joey's List said tinsel town was on hiatus for Christmas and not even worth getting online to list availability. Zyla wanted to start doing BG and I tried to register her with Kid's Management but they weren't returning my phone calls or emails for over a week. Who knew it was such an ordeal to sign up kids. Then I got an email from Jessica's List inviting me to join them, I was ecstatic!!! I printed out all the info and faxed it into them. It all came at perfect timing as I had just made out a check to Joey's List that morning for January but hadn't mailed it yet, now I wouldn't have to. Joey's gave me a nice year, but I wasn't feeling the boutique vibe I was looking for with his expansion to New York and all. I had plans for 2011 with Jessica's and getting submitted back to all the casting directors I had been missing since my XM days.

Zyla's birthday week was a torrent of rain here in Cally and our plans to go up to Big Bear to sled in the snow were waylaid as the roads had been closed due to flashfloods, mud slides and the snow. We ended up at the roller rink and taking walks in the rain since the weather was still at the 60-degree mark. Zyla did get her birthday wish of signing up with Kids Management. They finally returned my email after I sent them a third one requesting an appointment for Orientation/Registration for the first of January. Right before Christmas, Sean texted me that he had the rest of the Dexter Season 5 disks for me. I thanked him for helping me see the show, which otherwise I would have had to wait for until next year's DVD release. I was excited to see how the show ended since I had some idea from my time on set but not the whole story.

Zyla was the alter server for Christmas Eve Midnight Mass and I enjoyed seeing my baby in the glow of the candles and tree lights, celebrating the birth of Christ. When we got home and put her to bed, Ed and I watched the final episodes of Dexter and it was an amazing early Christmas morning gift to see my impromptu BG scene had made the final cut! Christmas Day my sister's family came over to party with us and then we woke super early the next morning to spend the rest of the holiday in Ohio with Ed's family. With 15 people it was a party every night and more were invited on New Year's Eve to ring in the New Year. We were on the same time zone as New York, which made watching the Time Square festivities more special. Willow Smith rocked it!
I thank God for all my family and friends who shared so many magical memories with me this year and look forward to more excitement and fun in 2011!


The Final Dexter Kill Room Season 5
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LA Atmosphere ~ Keepin It Real ~ 2011 CLICK HERE to continue reading!