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Keepin It Real ~ Chapter 6 by Jacqueline Nyahay

June 2011 ~

My time off had inspired me to write a new novel.  After spending so much time reading Anais I felt like penning my own erotica.  A surrealist free form poetic stream of consciousness sort of Henry Miller-esque book formed in my brain.  I named my creation Tropic of O.  Zyla's Oratorical Faire was beautiful.  Ed was available to shoot most of the children and I was excited to see a new video on Zyla's site.  Since I did not get a job for Thursday I finished up the service hours I needed in Zyla's school library.  I went for a hike praying the rosary for the intensions of my new book.  As I started the 4th Luminous Mystery, The Transfiguration, Jesus talks with Moses and Elijah, I walked around a corner and found two women praying.  They were surprised to see me hiking alone and asked how far it was to the top.  I told them 5 minutes and they asked if I would lead them.  Of course, follow me.  They asked about snakes and I said fear not for most of the creatures are afraid of us and I have never been harmed or felt danger.  I finished my rosary as I reached the top and we all sat on the bench.  They asked me if I was Christian and I said yes.  They started reading out of their Bible and praying.  It was a somewhat clear day.  Couldn't see all the way to the ocean, but the view was beautiful.  I felt God had spoken to me and blessed my book.  I was very happy and said good-bye.  As I made my way back down the trail a huge adult snake cross my path.  It looked like a rattlesnake and I watched carefully as he slid into the underbrush paying close attention to the tail, which did not have any rattles.  I identified him as a Pacific Gopher Snake and thought it was cute that though harmless he acted like a rattlesnake to protect himself.  I think a lot of people act a certain way to protect themselves.  I did not want to live in fear and I was happy to be expressing a part of my life I had ignored for years.

I got a call from Jessica's List for work the next day.  Back on True Blood as a stand in for Annie Fitzgerald who plays Kirsch.  I thought it was a funny coincidence that my grandfather's grandparents were Kirsch.  We were shooting at The Lot in Hollywood on their stage 3.  I showed up early for my noon call time.  Thank god I ate before I left because there was no food.  I arrived first, got my voucher from Toussaint and went to wardrobe truck.  I was told to stand in the shade and wait for the ladies to come back.  More stand ins showed up.  There were going to be 13 of us as stand ins and 4 as BG witches.  I met Kyla, she was standing in for Paola Turbay playing Antonia.  After getting sides, we found out our characters would be next to each other in the scene.  We found chairs and dragged them to the back entrance off set.  The scene was 5 pages long, so there was a lot of downtime once principals took their marks for camera.  The house lights were turned off so I couldn't read Anais diary I had brought with me.  But there was just enough light to jot down all the ideas I had streaming through my head about my novel.  When 2nd Team was called to set, I would go back in to stand on my mark.  We were shooting episode 11 and Romeo was directing again.  He still did not remember my name.  Aaron the 2nd AD did and welcomed me back to the show, thankful to see me alive again.  The time seemed to fly by and before I knew it, Toussaint came to tell me I could break for lunch early.  As I exited the soundstage, I called Ed to find out about my jury duty.  I was on call for the following week and had to call in every day prior to see if I was needed.  He said I was not needed for Monday and would have to call again Monday night.  In the meantime my mother's dearest friend died and she was flying into Cally Sunday to attend the funeral Monday.  I was happy I could go with her.  Lunch was served to us in the commissary, small but decent.  We started shooting again at 6:30pm and stand ins were predicting a late night.  I guessed 1am.  The cameras were finally turning around on the same scene we had been shooting all day.  That meant the cameras would be sitting right where my actor had been so I was not needed.  Neither was Kyla or Dale who had been next to us as well.  He pulled his chair over closer to us and we all started chatting about the weirdest stuff we had in common!  Bali statues and spirits that inhibit them.  Ghosts on the Queen Mary.  Travel and Photography.  Relationships.  Marriage.  Betrayal.  The conversation went on for hours, sometimes in whispers when cameras were rolling, sitting in the dark behind the Moongoddess set.  At 11pm they were on the last set up for the 5 pages scene and Toussaint came over to wrap Kyla and I.  Interesting night to say the least, I said good night to everybody and headed home.  Unfortunately what would have usually been a 20 minute drive turned into an hour when I got held up in bumper to bumper traffic trying to drive down Franklin to Highland to take it over the hill and back to the Valley.  I sat at a stand still in front of the Magic Castle and after 20 minutes made a U-turn and drove all the way back to Laurel Canyon to take it over the hill and get on the freeway to go home.  Usually I don't even use the freeway to go to and from Hollywood.  It was totally insane. 

Drank some wine and watched Ed's latest version of Bug Boy the Next Generation starring Michael Boxlietner.  The evolution of the bug getting the son he always wanted was cool to see.  I fell asleep a little before 1am and had a dream.  Usually when I dream about celebrities they are female, but in this dream I was talking to Robert Downey Jr. about my novel and he was going to get it to the right people to have it published.  I was excited to have this new project to work on.

Spent the entire next week with my family.  I joined my mom and sister at the funeral in Manhattan Beach for our close friend Kay.  It was emotional for me since it was the same church my father's funeral had been in all those years ago.  The following day we got together again taking a walk along the beach.  I was happy Ed was off work and could join us.  Jury Duty kept putting me off each day of my hold week and I was wondering if I would ever be going in.  Finally on Friday, I was scheduled to go to the Stanely Mosk Courthouse in downtown L.A. for my first day of Jury Service.  Getting there by 7:30am was easy and I lined up outside in the gloomy damp air.  Many upgrades had been made to the Jury Waiting Room.  There were now multiple laptops set up with Internet access.  Free Wifi if you brought your own.  New carpets and seats.  And a snack bar just outside the room.  We went through the orientation then sat back and relaxed for 3 hours.  I brought Anais with me.  I was so happy to read her letter to Henry on October 11, 1937.  It said everything I had ever felt about Henry and could not understand how Anais didn't feel the same.  Why she never addressed these things about him that obviously bothered her.  Too bad he never got to read it, not that I think that would have changed anything on his part.  At a quarter to 12pm we were going to be sent to lunch when a call came through dismissing us for the day and completing our obligation for Jury Service for the next year!  Spent Saturday at Zyla's Flip Festival where her gymnastic team performed to Michael Jackson's Thriller. 

Monday I called Jessica's to book back in from Jury Service.  I had waited until then so I would not get booked Monday and would be able to spend the day at Disneyland with Ed.  Zyla still had to finish one more week of school so it was date~day for the mommy and daddy.  I put my novel on hold since it was hard for me to write with commotion in the house.  I needed still quiet to let the creative story flow.  Ed was going to be working on his new novel this summer as well so we were planning out ways to accommodate each other's need of quiet space.  

Disneyland was amazing.  Cool misty weather all morning in Fantasyland where we went on Mr. Toads Wild Ride first.  The ride froze at the gates to hell and freaked me out.  Then Snow White and Pinocchio put me in a childlike mood.  Over in Adventureland I had to ride Pirates and was excited to see something new, Black Beard the Pirate had replaced the Octapus face that comes out of the foggy curtain.  Got sticky in honeycomb on Pooh's Adventure ride, before going to back to Haunted Mansion.  We ran to catch the train over to Tomorrowland.  The line to Star Tours was 2 hours long and by 11am all the fast passes gone.  I was so glad we had won those advanced tickets.  Fast passed our way through Space Mountains hour wait only to have the ride break down just as we were approaching the boarding gate, but thankfully it was only a 10 min delay and the ride was working again.  Walked over to the Cally side.  The new Ariel ride did not have fast passes and the line was 1 ½ hours long.  We went to get a margarita instead and did single rider passes to zip onto Screamer.  Back in time to pick Zyla up from school and thankfully I was not booked on Tuesday so I could finish coordinating the End of the Year Class Party for Zyla's 4th Grade Class.  Everyone contributed so much and with the help of some other parents the party in the park was a success.  My job as 4th Grade Contact Room Parent was coming to an end.  I got a call from Jessica's for a gig the following day on Bucket and Skinner's Epic Adventure.

Wednesday morning I got up early to get ready for set.  I was heading into Hollywood to the Sunset Bronson Studios, just down the street from the Dexter studios.  I had never been to these stages before and pulled up to the gate to figure out where to park.  Backed out of the gate and went down the street to Lot A.  After going through security some PA's for the show were there to direct me to a holding room for BG and give me a bracelet.  I was early and had hardly eaten and sadly found minimal food in holding.  I should have known, it being a new AFTRA Nickelodeon show on the lowest rate contract.  I sat in the back watching everyone show up.  It was a big call with lots of 18 to look youngers.  I was playing a parent with a handful of others.  There were some 8 year olds coming later, so I assumed we would be in the same scene.  I was wrong.  I was brought to set with the other parents and science fair students to rehearse the scene we would be performing in.  It was going to be a live taping of the show that evening.  I was playing the parent of a high schooler and was placed at the front of the crowd watching the Science presentation given by Tiffany Espensen who plays Piper.  Went back to holding for a bit, then to wardrobe who made me change my clothes to the same pink/salmon color most of the teens were in.   Most of the day I spent in holding since most of the scenes involved only the teenagers.  The 8 year olds showed up and were placed in some scene without the parents eating ice cream.  The parents were brought to set for a nighttime pier scene grand finale thing.  We stood toward the back and cheered when Bucket and Skinner won the Jet Ski for playing the violin with this other girl hand cuffed between them.  Thankfully this was taped so we would not be doing it again for the audience.  It was getting close to lunch and all the BG were told we had to go to a back room to hang out while crew ate their lunch where we had been sitting all day.  Supposedly they would need 30 minutes and then we could come out to eat.  The room turned into a refuge camp.  There were only a few chairs and way too many of us.  We weren't allowed to bring the chairs we had been using in the room since crew needed to sit in them to eat.  It was really ridiculous and the PA was upset about it and not sure how it had come about that union actors are told to sit on the floor.  After 15 minutes some of the regular BG teens went to get food and eat it on the floor of this room.  A few of the older BG and I waited until we were officially broken for lunch by a PA.  When the PA arrived 30 minutes later we were told to go to lunch if we hadn't figured it out.  Some crew were still sitting in the chairs in the main room, but a lot were empty so I got my food and sat down.  The table with lunch was half a table long.  I've seen more brought out for snack than this on most sets.  One salad, a plate of veggies and three choices of meat.  I got the last of the steak, the salmon was gone and there was a little bit of chicken left.  We had assumed more would be brought out but sadly not the case.  I was shocked that not enough was prepared and if this was the case why didn't they give us the option of walking away to lunch instead of waiting and not having enough.  There would have been ample time to leave and come back considering lunch was an hour and then we sat around for another hour waiting on the audience to come and get seated.  The parents were finally brought in to do the scene we had rehearsed in the morning.  They had dance breaks between each take since the audience was there.  After 4 or 5 takes we were done and walked back to holding to check out.  I made it home in time to kiss Zyla good night and prep for my gig the following day.  Jessica's had called with a commercial!  My first one since moving back to LA, I was excited.  Then I heard the rate.  SAG industrial $122.50/8 hrs. but it was through Idell James whom I had tried getting with for 3 years when I first moved back to L.A. with no luck.  She was known for only using her personal in-house talent for all the SAG commercials she books.  So I felt lucky Jessica's was able to get me onto one of her sets, and hoped this led to regular rate commercial work in my future.  Idell's directions were strict but I had heard of this before and wasn't surprised.  Jessica's had told me to confirm on a phone number after getting my details.  But when I got the details they said to confirm by email.  Since I was on set, I called to confirm, then called Ed.  He was home and able to email Idell for me as well.  We were required to arrive to set 30 minutes before call time.  No big deal because I did that anyway for every set I go to.  We had to bring clothing options pressed on hangers.  Business casual with black shoes.  We were to be given lab coats by the wardrobe when we arrived to set.  All packed up, I got my direction to set, another new studio I had never been to before.  GMT Studios was in Culver City down by LAX.  I had to be there at 9am, but really 8:30am and with morning traffic I would have to leave at 7am, meaning getting up at 5am.  Thinking about it made me tired and after my glass of wine I went to bed.

It was raining as I headed out of the valley and over to the West Side.  Traffic was a nightmare swinging around onto the 405 from the 101.  But I got to set an hour early and was the first BG to pull on the lot.  The PA moved an orange cone outside the sound stage and told me to park there.  I was brought inside and told to put my stuff on a couch and then go get breakfast.  The omelet bar was open and I was so happy at all the food and what a difference from the day before.  There were only 5 BG and the girls showed up first.  The 2 guys showed up 15 minutes early, though one said he had been an hour early and just hanging at the Pavilions down the street.  Make up came to check us out and approved.  Wardrobe came and said our clothes did not matter.  They did not want to see our options and we were to put on full body white hazmat type jumper suits that zip up the front, one size fits all.  The girls were all so little in our outfits we looked like Pillsbury doe boys.  When we were brought to set we were given white booties to slide on over our shoes.  We all found this funny since such a big ordeal was made about the wardrobe we needed to bring, when we just ended up being completely covered.  The commercial was for Rigley's.  We were scientists in a lab.  The principal actor Terri from Lost was cool and came over to talk to us.  The commercial would air online as some interactive scavenger hunt game.  My job was to analyze a boiling flask holding lavender liquid.  It matched my blouse that wardrobe decided to let peak through at the top of my hazmat jumpsuit.  I did this over and over for a few hours.  Lunch was served at 1pm because crew call had been 2 hours before our call.  This time a big spread like it should be.  I never take the dessert but it was chocolate covered strawberries so I indulged.  All the BG brought our food back to our cool holding room to eat, which had tables, chairs and couches.  After lunch we did more of the same on set.  Then things wound down and they did individual shots of the BG.  I had a close up of my hand drawing pictures of the device Terri had been working with that levitated in the air before him.  Wrapped a little before 4pm, but traffic held me up so I got home a little after 5pm.  Tomorrow will be Zyla's last day of 4th grade and I had to present her teacher with the Class Gift from all the parents. 

Summer spun out in front of me.  24/7 with Ed and Zyla day in day out felt like every day was Saturday.  I lost track of time, days.  I kicked off summer having lunch with my friend Jason.  He then invited me to accompany him and his roommate to a musical show being held in the basement of a Mexican restaurant.  It sounded like fun and when he was able to find me a last minute ticket I couldn't say no.  We were seated front row at the last performance of Invincible, The Legend of Billie Jean.  William Belli playing Billy Jean was brilliant.  Her comedic timing kept me laughing all evening.  Jessica's list was not calling and I fell into a lazy haze of sleeping in late in the mornings and putting off emails.  I remembered more vivid dreams upon waking and felt like I was waking from one dream world into another.  For Father's Day we celebrated in Disneyland.  I reserved us a waterfront table at our favorite restaurant Blue Bayou for lunch.  Season 3 of Breaking Bad came in the mail from Netflix and Ed and I started back into that scene.  Ed and I traded off taking Zyla to her many activities to allow for free time to write.   I tried to get some writing in on my novel, but with the change of schedule and energy around me, my creative flow I had been in seemed on hiatus.  I did not want to push anything, but have it come naturally so I just put my new book on hold until I felt the inspiration take hold of me again.  The new season of True Blood, I had just been working on, started up and my friend Jodi invited me to her house to watch.  I was not caught up with the previous season and waiting for it from Netflix was taking forever.  I finally got season 3 and had a True Blood fest weekend with Ed watching 10 hours, with the theme song permanently playing in my head ‘gonna do real bad things with you'.  We did Disney one more time before our annuals became blackout for the rest of the summer break.  I had to have a taste of my latest favorite fast food on the Cally side of the magic kingdom from Lucky Fortune Cookery.  By magic we ran into my nephew in the line for food, who had not been answering my texts all morning.  The weather had sweltered into summertime hot.  I went hiking with Lining one day around noon and we regretted that choice.  I went hiking again around 8am and it was still too much to bear. I went into Central to re-register since it had been 2 years and I needed an updated picture taken.

Keepin It Real ~ Chapter 7 Click here to continue reading...

In June, Ed added my Jacqueline Lovell demo reel for the Zalman King Company to his youtube account.