Romancing the Black Lace Water Dragon ~ Chapter 2 by Jacqueline Nyahay
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February 2012 ~
 

The remainder of the week I was needed every day to organize, set up, run the register and help kids find books at Zyla's School Book Faire.  I spent most of my mornings there, then relaxed at home in the afternoons reading Anais Diary before picking Zyla up from school.  By Friday I was exhausted and glad the Book Faire was over.  The week ended with a First Friday Mass honoring all the parents.  I was able to sit with Zyla and her school family in the church.  After school I took Zyla shopping for my friend Sandy's son Thomas who was celebrating his 1st birthday the next day.  While out, Ed called me crying saying Zalman King had died today.  It was shocking news, I had no idea he was even sick.  Ed had just been to the 10dB reunion party last weekend, hanging out with co-workers of Zalman past and present and no one had said anything about his illness.  I would have attended with him, but at the last minute the party was planned at a bar and I had no sitter for Zyla.  Zalman had been fighting cancer for many years and it had finally taken its toll.  Ed started posting up on Facebook all his memories and everything Zalman meant to him.  Working for Zalman meant being part of his family, his world for many years for Ed and a lot of the others.  He credited Zalman for his career teaching in High School since he learned everything about the industry from this man.  He credited Zalman for the wonderful experiences and life long friends he made while working running his production office, for meeting me, one of Zalman's top actresses of the late 90's, getting married and having our lovely daughter Zyla.  Zalman was like a father to Ed.  Zalman was in attendance at our wedding and reception.  He was a very special man and meant so much to us both.  For me, I remember the first time I worked for Zalman doing BG on the set of Red Shoe Diaries season 3.  I prepared for the day by watching 9 ½ Weeks.  When I arrived to set, a bordello scene, it all felt very artsy moody.  When we finished the takes, I suggested to the AD that I would like candle wax poured over my breasts in the scene.  He told Zalman and everyone was brought back in for one more take so I could live out my fantasy.  The next time I worked for Zalman I was brought in to read/audition for a small speaking role on Red Shoe Diaries season 4.  He loved my reading and asked me to stay and read for the lead role of the episode.  I was given the lead role in the episode ‘Caged Bird'.  I was elated leaving the office.  I felt like I had finally made it to mainstream.  I considered Zalman at the top of the mountain of erotica I had been climbing the past few years.  From then on Zalman cast me in many movies, including A Place Called Truth, Black Sea 213, for which I was flown out to the Ukraine to shoot for 2 months as well as another star in another episode of Red Shoe Diaries season 5.  Working for Zalman was the height of my acting career and I loved every moment.  Whenever I was on Zalman's sets I felt like an A-list star and was treated like royalty.  I called up my friend Venesa Talor who had also acted for Zalman.  We were both in Women of the Night as well as many other movies together for various companies.  She was heartbroken to hear the news of Zalman's death. 

 

Saturday, I picked Zyla up from gymnastics, hurried her home to change, then we all headed out to Thomas 1st Birthday party.  Sandy now lived in Texas, but all her family was in Cally and this was Thomas first trip out to L.A.  The party was in Korea Town at The Great Wall Restaurant.  It was much bigger than I had expected, filling a huge banquet room.  It was so wonderful to see Sandy again.  We had spent a lot of time together when we both lived in New York and she was attending Columbia for her double masters.  The past few years though I had not seen her since she had married and started her family in Texas.  Christa showed up with two of her girls, Lorena came and so did Steven.  We were all placed together at the ‘friends' table and it was like a mini high school reunion.  We had all gone to high school together in the Valley at Los Angeles Baptist.  That was the high school I attended longest of my high school career which included 6 schools.  I thought it was funny because last year I had a mini high school reunion with Sean and Andy whom I knew from Mira Costa HS in Manhattan Beach and this year a reunion with my Valley friends.  I wondered if I would ever have a reunion with my CEDU friends from Running Springs.  We all had a wonderful time eating tasty Chinese foods, watching the children run all over and talking about what we were up to.  Steven had moved on from his Alias days and was doing costuming for Dancing with the Stars now.  It was interesting how many of our friends from LAB got into the entertainment industry.  Matt, who worked for the camera department on Castle was our other friend from that school, so three of us were out there livin the dream.  We took tons of pictures, many silly ones and had fun laughing before it was all over and time to go.  That evening Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Pt 2 had arrived from Netflix.  Ed and I watched this brilliant finale to the series.  I was impressed and loved every moment. 

 

Sunday, we all got up early to attend the Byzantine Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Mary.  Zyla lit a candle for Zalman.  We found out that in the Byzantine tradition there are five Saturdays set aside each year for remembering the dead.  The first All Souls Day was coming up the next Saturday and we had Zalman King added to the list.  We are not a super bowl family so we did not watch the big game that had the attention of so many others this day.  Instead we spent the day with each other having a snuggly nap after all the emotional upheaval we had been through.  We went out to dinner at Mimi's and then watched a couple episodes of No Ordinary Family.  We were almost done with the first and only season the show had.  It was weirdly de ja vue for me, watching the scenes I had stood in for, the shape shifter who died and ended up in the trunk of the car, just one year ago. 

 

I emailed Tom Walsh to find out what was going on with Dwegons.  He wrote back that it was not released in China for Christmas as had been originally planned.  He said he had changed the release date on Imdb again to this summer, though he anticipated it would be released before then.  It was still my hiatus week from Whitney and after working the Book Faire all last week, I intended to get some hiking in before things got back to crazy busy.  I walked up Stough Canyon praying the rosary, hiking to the far picnic bench.  I remember when there used to be a toolbox full of notes from other hikers.  I used to leave notes in the box as well.  I missed the box that had disappeared a year or so ago.  Talked to my mom on the phone for a while.  It had been one year since my grandfather pasted away and I was thinking about my trip back to Iowa last year.  I booked tickets to see my mom and grandmother in Iowa over the Easter break coming up in April.  Zyla got her homework done in time that we could all walk the mile down the street for a tasty Mexican dinner.  Afterward we watched No Ordinary Family before putting her to bed.  The show was starting to get really weird and I could understand why they cancelled the last three episodes and ended the show.  Everything was just on a negative downward spiral and did not have the happy hopeful vibe it used to.  Jessica's called with my call time for Whitney the next day.

 

It was a dark, gloomy morning that led way to rain as I pulled into the CBS Radford lot.  Chris was feeling much better and had us all dieing laughing during the Camera Refresh of the Neal is gay episode we finally were going to shoot.  There were new rewrites; I guess the writers could not help themselves with a week off to add in some more tweeks of perfection.  I had some breakfast and enjoyed the entertainment for a couple hours.  Tomato Bisque soup was served with grilled cheese sandwiches and Whitney was excited about how good the soup was, calling it liquid pizza.  At 1pm we were pretty much done and told we could leave, but had to be back when the show started at 5pm.  I went home and relaxed for a bit.  Ed and Zyla got home and I helped her with homework.  Ate a sandwich, then headed back to the stages.  A coffee truck was waiting when I got there and Rhea told us it was a guilt gift.  Maulik had won the majority of the Superbowl bet that had been placed last week.  Usually the crew partakes each week in putting $5 in a jar with their name and whoever's name is drawn wins the money.  But last week they had donated $10 and been given a number and if their number won at Superbowl then they won a chunk of the pot.  So Maulik winning half the pot provided a coffee truck for the crew and I had a tasty Caramel Latte, thanks Maulik!  I brought Anais Diary and read it while sitting in the AD office.  The Mason House was being used during the live taping so I could not hang out in there.  Hours went by and no stand ins were ever used.  In & Out Burgers came with food and milk shakes so I had some dinner.  The episode was shot very quickly and I was wrapped out by 9pm, following the light of the full moon back home.  I finished Anais final Diary Volume 7 while hanging in the AD office.  I really loved her memoirs of her trip to Bali and hoped I could visit the magical island some day myself.  Alex had finally remembered to bring Matt's DVD copy of his short Blood Moon to set and I was next in line to borrow it.  Ed was trippin out at the title since he had just written a song with by the same name.  We watched it before heading to bed.

 

Wednesday was beautiful again, sunny and bright.  My friend Jodi was available to go to lunch, something we had been planning for months.  Before meeting up with her, I finished reading the epilogue to Anais Diary.  In her last years of life, she had struggled with a painful cancer and did not write as much.  She wanted the Diary to end on a positive note with her Bali stories and how the spirit of the person moves on to a better place.  I enjoyed reading her thoughts on music and how certain instruments influenced her moods.  It seemed crazy how I was finishing her story and how her life ended corresponding to Zalman's death and his battle with cancer as well.  In honor of Anais and Zalman, their amazing lives and all they shared with the world, Netflix delivered Delta of Venus to my house.  Ed and I had seen the movie years ago but it took on a completely different meaning after all the work I had read of Anais.  Zalman's vision of Anais fiction was beautiful.  Though his movie was not an adaptation of Anais Delta of Venus book, which was comprised of many short stories, the movie told the back-story of a woman writing erotic fiction for an anonymous buyer, which is what Anais was doing.  I felt a lot of the dialogue was pulled right out of Anais Diaries as well as Delta of Venus.  And although the movie was not exactly how Anais life went, because she was not writing erotica based on her life or for an ex lover, it still held the flavor and feel of Anais with the open thought process of what goes on in a woman's mind.   Obviously after reading so much of Anais, I can see how Zalman was influenced by her in so many of his projects and must have read much of her work as well.   

 

Thursday I woke up, had some coffee, checked emails, planned to go for a hike when I got a rush call from Central Casting saying I was needed at Whitney in one hour.  I remembered reading the new script notes on Tuesday and knew there was only one guest star girl and figured Alex was probably going in to cover it.  I called the 1st and 2nd AD's to find out what was going on and let them know I could not get there that quickly.  It was all good, Todd had forgotten to call Central the day before and they wanted to give me an extra day of work, though doubted I would be needed, so it was fine if I was a little late.  I got Zyla off to school and came home to get ready.  I grabbed up Diamond Ruby, a gift I had recently received from the author Joseph Wallace, and headed over to set.  Things were mellow and I was not needed.  Alex was there and she was told to cover the guest star, but in the end Whitney wanted Zoe to do it, so neither of us was needed.  Alex and I talked about Matt's short Blood Moon and grabbed some breakfast.  I watched a few of the rehearsals in the Whitney/Alex Apartment when they acted right in front of me while I sat in the stands.  When they moved over to other sets, to the side of the stage, I pulled out Diamond Ruby and began reading one of the saddest books ever.  Joe, the author, had told me it was about baseball, but the first few chapters were all about a disease that swept through New York in the early 1900's killing so many people including the lead girls parents.  I almost started crying on set remembering what I went through during my father's death and had to put the book down.  Around noon Todd said I could wrap out early since they were not going to use me and I headed home.  Tom Walsh called me saying he wanted me to come visit his new offices.  He had moved all the Dwegons and other creatures out of the Valley to a new home in Santa Monica.  He had new projects he was working on and wanted to figure out how I could be a part of it all.  I was excited to see him and planned to get together at his new office the following week.  Jessica's called with my call time for Whitney on Friday.  Ed and I watched the latest Whitney episode on nbc.com.  Its ratings had gone up a bit from the previous week.  The episodes were very funny but I blamed American Idol who held the same time slot for taking so many of the ratings.  This was the episode Matt had appeared in and although they had cut his line, which happened all the time to one-liners, he was heavily featured in the opening scene with Whitney and Zoe. 

 

Friday I was happy to see the whole stand in gang on set.  I gave Matt back his short and talked with him about it.  Alex was out sick, so Veronica was our guest stand in for the day.  I liked the new re-writes and enjoyed watching everyone's performance.  Read a little more of Diamond Ruby.  I really loved the era of the story being set in the early part of the 1900's.  Her courage, determination and drive held me as she faced the challenges of those times.  Rhea was only in 4 scenes so I had a pretty easy day of it.  She had to do a semi stunt of sitting in a chair whose legs break from under her, toppling her to the floor.  Then she and Zoe shatter plates on the floor, fun episode!  Lunch was served, chicken, steak skewers, baked potatoes, asparagus, salad.  Antar needed us for a few moments after the Network Run Thru, then I was off to pick up Zyla from school.  Had a lazy afternoon, ordered pizza for dinner along with ‘sweetza', a desert pizza with cinnamon, chocolate chips, oats and buttery vanilla icing, yummy!

 

I woke up Saturday morning very excited.  Ed and I were having a date night to celebrate Valentine's Day.  We went through the normal routine of Zyla to gym, getting groceries, etc.  The afternoon was spent watching Phantom of the Opera, courtesy of Netflix.  Zyla had been watching clips of it in Music Class at school off youtube and wanted to see the movie in its entirety.  I love this musical and we often play the soundtrack, which moves me deeply.  Zyla of course loved it as well.  I was in the mood for some karaoke, turning the laptop to youtube and my new favorite songs to sing were Adele ‘Set Fire to the Rain', Selena Gomez ‘Hit the Lights', Shealeigh ‘What Can I Say', Demi Lovato ‘Give Your Heart A Break', Greyson Chance ‘Hold On Til the Night', and Cody Simpson ‘On My Mind'.  Ed drove Zyla over to her gymnastic Valentine Party around 6pm while I finished getting ready for our date.  We had tickets to see some comedy and magic at Flapper's Yoo-Hoo Room.  We arrived about 45 minutes before the show to get our favorite seats.  The room quickly filled up to crowded compared to the Halloween show we had been to there.  I enjoyed some champagne while Ed had a scotch.  I wrote Ed a Valentine poem on the back of the program while we waited for the show to start.  The first comedian up was Josh Nasar whom I found adorable.  Buster Balloon was awesome, really unbelievable very funny.  Gabe Abelson brought Ed and I up to the stage at different times during his comedy mind reading routine.  I enjoyed the evening immensely, especially the Love Potion #9 martini.

 

Sunday I woke up to AOL top news, Whitney Houston had died.  Wow, such a legend.  I remembered the first time I saw Bodyguard.  I loved this woman's voice, I Will Always Love You, ran through my mind.  She was amazing and would be deeply missed.  Mike, our brother in law was coming by to visit before he headed over to the Grammy's being held that evening.  Jennifer Hudson would be doing a tribute to Whitney at the show.

 

Monday I was back at Whitney watching rehearsals, standing in, the usual.  Had a great breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, eggs and potatoes, then lunch came a few hours later, amazing lasagna with garlic bread and a salad.  I was stuffed.  During the hour walk away lunch I hung out in my car reading Joe's book Diamond Ruby.  He had promised it would get better after I emailed him about how disturbed I had gotten.  We had to reshoot a scene from last week's episode.  There seemed to be an issue with referring to any car as being gay and the line was completely changed.  After the pre-shoots and reshoots were complete, we started camera blocking for the remainder of the scenes.  Andy whipped through them so fast that we were all wrapped early at 5pm!  I made it home in time to enjoy dinner with my family.  Ed had grilled up his amazing steaks, which were super tasty.  Zyla got her homework done and we said prayers and put her to bed.  With a glass of wine in hand, Ed and I started watching the original Red Shoe Diaries movie with David Duchovny.  Ed told me stories of back in the day when Zalman would tell him about what it was like to work with directing different actors including David.  We had both seen the movie before and grew tired before it was over and headed to bed.

 

Happy Valentine's Day!  Ed and I woke early to celebrate, then got Zyla up to give her treats.  I drove Zyla past her friend Tobey's house on the way to school so she could leave him a Valentine in his mailbox.  She had a whole bag of them to pass out to her classmates.  I returned home since my call time was late morning at Whitney and leisurely got ready after checking through emails.  Arriving to the sound stage a coffee truck was waiting to give me a Valentine Latte.  I grabbed up some breakfast and relaxed in the audience section watching the Camera Refresh commence.  Andy got through it very quickly, by 1pm we were told we could leave, but to be back by 5pm.  I drove home to chill for a bit before picking Zyla up from school.  Checked my email to find the invite to the First Season of Whitney Wrap Party!  Shared a snack of rosemary bread with melted mozzarella cheese and roasted red peppers, kissed my family good bye, then back to work.  I brought Diamond Ruby along and read sitting in the Mason House set while the actors and crew pumped out another live show.  I was delighted with the gourmet mac n cheese, which had blue cheese, and buffalo chicken mixed in, super spicy, that I ate with some Swedish meatballs.  There were Valentine donuts from Krispie Kreme, I grabbed a heart shaped one to take home to Zyla.  Pizza came later, about 10 different kinds.  I had one slice of the white pizza and one of pepperoni/jalapeno.  Ryan came by with the new scripts.  Whitney had wrote a to be continued type two part episode to finish out the season.   I enjoyed them finding many funny moments.  The live taping went quickly meaning I was heading home by 9:15pm. 

 

Wednesday I woke up excited to see Tom Walsh and his new studio.  I got ready, then took Zyla to school.  She gave me three Valentine's to bring for Tom's kids.  The weather had turned rainy which meant even more traffic than usual as I made my way out of the Valley and over to Santa Monica.  I still managed to get to his office 15 minutes early for our meeting.  The new place looked amazing, just blocks from the beach, on the second floor with many windows letting in soft sunlight.  The creatures were everywhere, beautifully displayed.  The entire line of action figures for Dwegons were on a table when I first walked in.  I saw my character Missy in her box.  The vibe was fresh and fun.  Tom told me about the drama he was dealing with regarding the feature and that it might be transferred into 3D.  He then shared all the exciting new things he had in the works that he wanted me to be a part of.  I was very excited about his plans for a daily webcast news show about good news!  I would be playing a cartoon reporter sharing stories of hope and good will.  He also had me in mind to voice some characters in a weekly web-a-soid that was in pre-production.  I had fun catching up, hearing about the projects.  He also wanted my husband Edward to help out with media departments across the United States giving footage of students involved in good stories.  I called up Ed on my drive home to share the news with him.  I was happy we could be involved in the project together.  Jessica's called saying I was needed at Whitney Thursday morning.  I had a feeling I would be called in since there were 7 guest star roles.  That evening Netflix delivered Shameless a new Showtime series based off the one from the UK by the same name.  I liked how far Showtime was willing to go with their shows, but there were so many lead characters in this show, it seemed like too much to me.  Maybe I just missed US of Tara so much and this show sort of replaced it and did not give to me as much as Tara did. 

 

Thursday morning I was told that I would be covering the Stripper and Britnee roles for the Producer Run Thru.  The Stripper had one line in the strip club Scars scene.  Britnee was a stripper in three scenes that the rapper Eve was going to be playing but was not available for rehearsals until the following day.  Rhea ended up covering the role for the rehearsals and run thru.  Alex, Ryan and Matt joined me to play parts.  I brought along Diamond Ruby to read in my down time.  Andy was happy with my performance but asked all actors to pump up the volume since no microphones are used during the Run Thrus and since 50 people are standing watching it can be hard to hear at a normal voice.  I got a lot of laughs on my line.  Rhea brought her Valentine chocolates and passed them out to everyone.  Dark chocolate truffles very yummy.  Good energy, great day, out in time to pick up Zyla from school and get her home to finish homework, and eat dinner before gymnastics.  When Ed came home, we watched the Whitney episode that had aired Wednesday night that I was supposedly in.  It was a funny episode, then it ended before the TAG scene in which I was in.  This had been happening a lot lately, they just shoot too much and have to cut so much out when it goes to air.  The scene before the TAG, was shortened replaced the TAG for the episode.  I thought it was a cuter ending that way and was not disappointed my scene hadn't aired.  Jessica's called with my call time for Friday.  I picked up Zyla from the gym, got her ready for bed while Ed made us dinner.  I had debated returning Shameless without finishing all 4 episodes on the disk, but thought I should give it more of a chance and watched another episode with Ed before bed.

 

Friday, we started with scenes that did not have Whitney in them.  Whitney was not the first actor on set.  That never happened.  I think maybe she went with the car to pick up Eve.  When she did fly into set, she was nervous thinking she had stepped on Eve's toe when she gave her a tight hug hello.  The entire cast was excited to have Eve on set and stopped everything to welcome her to the show.  Everyone agreed she smelled really nice.  Some of the guest star roles had been rewritten out of the script, but I still was doing the same thing I did yesterday, covering the Stripper for the rehearsal and run thru.  We had a new guest stand in, Lima, who would be standing in for Eve/Britnee.  She seemed cool. In some of my down time I read Diamond Ruby.  I stopped when I had only two chapters left, not wanting it to be over.  Lunch was Bazilian food, tasty!  Our caterer Bryan, announced he was leaving to go work on a movie, we would be sad to see him leave.  After the run thru we were not needed for lighting and wrapped out.  An extra bonus was finding out we would get paychecks for Monday, which was a national holiday even though the stages would be closed.  Everything was being pushed and we were needed back Tuesday for pre-shoots and the live taping would not be until Wednesday night.  I headed out about 1:15pm to get Zyla from school.  Our three-day weekend was about to commence!

 

The weekend held all my favorite flavors.  The Caponata from Dino's, pizza with eggplant, garlic, onions, tomatoes, capers and fresh basil, minus the green olives, exchanged for sausage.  The Sweetza pizza again, more frosting drizzled on top.  Mimi's Artichoke Asiago Chicken Spaghettini, with a strong Pinot Noir.  I remember laughing, enjoying the company of my family so immensely.  Sunday we all went for a hike to Switzer Falls.  We climbed to the top and sat down on the look out over the top edge of the waterfall.  Ed and I sat right where we had 13 years ago facing each other Indian style when while during a deep meditation he proposed.  Zyla was fascinated that it had all happened right here, wanting all the details.  We shared snacks I had brought, Mitica Marcona Almonds, dried pineapple, raspberry rugala, and a banana.  There were so many people enjoying the woods that morning, especially with young children.  It reminded me of all the years we have spent in these woods, with Zyla at different ages, with my childhood family at different ages, with Ed at different ages.  I loved walking through this forest of memories while making new ones.  I suggested guacamole and margaritas.  Everyone agreed as we danced our way out of the woods, heading down the mountain to Los Gringos.  We watched DMT: The Spirit Molecule on Netflix instant.  I was very interested in finding a psychedelic Catholic Santo Daime church to worship in.  Sounded like my cup of tea.  Raincoast crisps cranberry hazelnut crackers tasted really good with Beehive Cheddar Teahive or Buffalo Blue cheeses.  I recorded a couple of different voice options for my character Tom wanted me to work on for the webisode.  Finished reading Diamond Ruby.  She was a smart, imaginative girl, a fighter, a survivor, my kinda gal.  I emailed Joe many thanks for sharing her with me.  As Monday rolled around, President's Day, I was happy to sleep in taking the morning leisurely.  Ed had to leave for Brinke Steven's house.  He was filming her scene for her latest horror movie.  Around noon he called me.  Brinke had suggested Sushi Dan's on Ventura and they wanted Zyla and I to join them.  The shoot had gone fabulous.  It was so great seeing Brinke again, as if no time had passed we quickly got caught up on each other's lives.  Back home my family snuggled together to enjoy Mars Needs Moms.  Ed made his mouth watering marinated grilled steaks for dinner.  My pallet of senses was on overload and I enjoyed every moment.  I thanked God for the many blessings that filled my life.

 

Happy Fat Tuesday!  I was back on set of Whitney where a Mardi Gras mood filled the air.  Crew members were wearing colored beads; crafty was serving up New Orleans food.  The entire Mason House set was gone.  It felt like a big loss and the beginning of the end.  Our last episode had many different locations, none of which were Mason House, so to make room, it had to disappear.  I found out more people would not be at the wrap party.  Our 2nd AD Todd was leaving on a trip to Europe and Jeff the set decorator was traveling out the country with his wife as well.  It seemed like everyone had plans after the shows end to get out of the country, the director, some of the actors.  I wished I had money to travel; I missed being overseas and on a great adventure.  While standing in on the first scene up for camera blocking Jeff, Dexter/Michael's stand in appeared.  He was playing our bartender in the Desperoso Bar scenes.  It was cool seeing him again.  I told Matt about the DMT movie which he said he was into and would be checking out.  His short, Blood Moon, which he had just submitted to a film festival won an award.  The manager and stripper roles were cast but the actors would not be in until Wednesday, so Ryan and I got to play their parts again for the camera block with Whitney.  I started reading a new book, Nightwood, by Djuna Barnes.  Anais had spoken highly of this poetic novel, which drove me to check it out at the library.  I liked T.S. Eliots intro to it and found the work interesting.  By 6:30pm I was on my way home to relax with my family.

 

Ash Wednesday, what a day to have a Show Night.  I did not have time to get ashes before heading into set.  A production meeting was being held in Whitney/Alex Apartment about the layout of the different sets needed for the last episode.  We camera blocked the last scene needed in the Desperoso Bar.  A 20 year old military man had won a walk on role to the show and was seated next to Rhea/Roxanne's character in the bar scene to flirt with.  It was his first time to set, any set, ever.  After that, the camera refresh went quickly.  The actors for the Stripper and Manager roles in the Scars Strip Club scenes arrived to set.  Dov Davidoff was playing the Manager.  He looked familiar and we were told he was a comedian friend of Whitney and Chris.  He seemed a little out there for our network sitcom show.  We finished up everything by 12:30pm, got our show night bracelets and were told to be back by 5pm.  I went home to relax for a bit.  Picked up Zyla from school.  Had some snacks and helped her with homework, before heading back to set.  A coffee truck was provided by the writers of the show.  I had a Caramel Latte double Shot.  Antar invited the stand ins to hang out where the DP, Patti had set up her monitors in the vacant space that used to be Mason House.  I watched the first scene, then went into the AD office to read Nightwood.  The book was all right, not as good as all the hype, then again I heard you have to read it multiple times to get it all.  What I found more interesting was the note left in the book by whomever had checked it out before me.  It read in pink ink ‘hi, I'm Gina.  I have a severe addiction to pastries (and food, in general)'.  I wondered who this girl was, where she was, how old she was and if she was getting help.  We had a new 2nd AD Brian, training to take over Todd's position, since Todd was leaving for his 20th wedding anniversary trip three days before the show ended.  I answered some of his questions about the process and quirks of how this show was run.  The pastrami sandwich guy came later, I had half size.  I watched the taping of the Strip club scene to see how Dov did, he was much more mellow and delivered the lines perfectly.  Courtney Parks was playing the Stripper with the one line I had been running all week.  After one take they cut her line.  Usually one-liners are cut from the show in post, but I guess Whitney knew the show was already too long and decided to cut her first line, and the stripper's one line response.  Whitney started the scene with her second line that sent the strippers scattering away.  I felt bad for Courtney, and hoped she did not take it personally that her line was cut in front of the studio audience.  At least she was still on a principal contract.  The show finally finished up a little after 10pm and I was wrapped out.  Alex and Robson had to stay for a reshoot of a scene from last week's episode.  A bunch of guest star parts had been cut from the next episode so I was not needed to come in the following day to read lines.

 

Thursday, I woke up from all these crazy detailed dreams feeling exhausted.  But after taking Zyla to school I headed up to Stough Canyon for a 2-hour hike.  It was such a beautiful day, felt good to be outside in nature, walking while praying the rosary.  The trail was crowded.  I went to the far picnic bench where one woman was just leaving.  I thought I would have it to myself, but some guy showed up, did some stretches, while a group of three women arrived with snacks, chatting incessantly.  I was looking for a more quiet meditative experience and left them to walk back down the trail to a secluded bench.  I lied down on the bench and directed my thoughts into the universe, feeling my body pulled down deep into the earth.  A cool breeze tousled my hair.  I had felt depression coming on, with my show ending, but being here on top of the mountain helped me forget that, let go of controlling my future, just being one with what was meant to be.  I read some more of Nightwood, the story was getting better and making me wish for free time to delve into work on my own novel.  I contemplated taking March off from Jessica's to focus on it.  Around 7pm, I called Jessica's to find out when I was working Whitney.  I was told that I was not needed Friday.  I texted Ryan to find out what was going on and he said that Thursday they had not run the Producer Run Thru and everything was pushed a day.  This was good news because Zyla really wanted me at her school Friday to work the Walk-A-Thon, an event I had never missed being a part of.  Ed's friend Noah, who photographed my last headshots, called to say he was auditioning at Whitney on Friday for the role of the Paramedic.  I know Ryan was reading that guest star role for the run thrus and he was hoping that production would give him the part.  I wondered what was going to happen.  Ed and I watched the latest Whitney episode ‘Mad Women' which was so funny, I was dieing laughing.  Ed thought I could have written this episode as well, there were so many great moments we could relate to. 

 

Friday, I woke up from more weird dreams, something about elephants, it eluded my waking mind.  Got Zyla to school then came home to chill for a bit before I was needed at the Walk-A-Thon.  After the event, I brought Zyla home to have lunch and watch Amistad.  Even though it was rated R, it was an extra credit assignment to watch the movie and write a paragraph about for her history class.  I had never seen the movie, which was amazing, love everything Steven Spielberg does.  Saturday Zyla spent at the gym doing her class then a gymnastic intensive clinic all afternoon.  I went to Beverly Hills Library to get Anne Rice new novel The Wolf Gift.  I also watched Kissing Jessica Stein, very cute.  Sunday, Ed, Zyla and I all went down to Disneyland for the last time on the annual passes.  We were also celebrating Ed's birthday week.  Went on all his favorite rides in the Magic Kingdom, seeing a new planet of snow on Star Tours, a live band throwing out beads in New Orleans Square.  Disney was still celebrating Mardi Gras even though it was now Lent.  Zyla got a strawberry cheero covered in cinnamon sugar with chocolate dipping sauce.  Ed got his birthday pin from the City Hall as we exited the main park to go to the California side.  It seemed everywhere, everyone noticed the pin wishing him birthday blessings.  We had lunch in the back of the park at Ed's favorite Greek fare Paradise Garden Grill.  More live jive music under the trees.  After riding the roller coaster in the back, we headed to Tower of Terror but the line was too long.  Instead we watched a new live show of Disney's Dance Crew, where two dance crews compete.  Mickey joined the crew in hip-hop clothes dancing to the beat!  We ended the day on Soaring over California, then headed home.  I was thinking of The Artist, wanting to finish the movie we had started last month.  It really was a beautiful movie, I was happy to hear it had won an Oscar this evening.

 

Monday was dark, moody, looked like it would rain.  My call time for Whitney was not until 3pm, but I remembered Ryan having that call time the previous week, then they had called him half way through the morning to ask him to come in at 1pm.  I decided to get ready in case the same thing happened to me.  I read for a bit from Nightwood.  I really loved the chapter Go Down, Matthew, about a woman struggling with an epic love and the thoughts that stream through her mind, what she projects on the other, the control she wants to wield over the other, holding onto a happiness that brings misery, wanting to kill her to keep her permanently in her heart and mind as hers alone.  I was not called into set early.  I pulled up to the lot while a bunch of the crew were crossing the street on their walk away lunch.  Arriving to set, I found out lunch was called late.  I grabbed the new script to find out what had changed.  The Paramedic character was gone, so I guess my friend Noah would not be on the show.  We had a new guest stand in Melissa for Nicole Sullivan playing Alicia, the City Hall Marriage License employee.  Everyone was excited to see Nicole on our set.  I recognized her from MADtv.  All the pre-shoots were done filming by the time I had come to set.  When lunch ended we got to work on camera blocking.  Rhea was in the City Hall scenes so I took notes on her and helped camera block two of the scenes she was in.  Then wrap was called at 6:45pm.  I was glad we did not finish all the blocking, meaning I would be back to work again the following day.  Jessica's called saying my call time for Tuesday was 3pm again.  Rhea was only in one other scene in her apartment which we would camera block then.  Robson told us this was good bye since he was going to be working on two commercials back to back the following two days and would not be with us.  A lot of new crewmembers were working this last episode as others had left, moved on to new gigs.  It was a different vibe on set.  Andy was not directing the last episode, Betsy Thomas was.  I felt sad knowing it would all be over soon.  This was my longest running gig, lasting 7 months.  I had worked the show 65 days, that was 10 more days than I did standing in on Better Off Ted.  I felt sad that my little family of Whitney would all be breaking up and going our separate ways.  I bundled up as I left the stages, an icy wind whipping around.  Zyla and Ed had eaten dinner already, but he had left a plate for me.  Ed went to church to the Parish Mission being held this week for Lent.  Not only spiritually enlightening, but he was able to get service hours toward Zyla's school for attending.  I hung out with Zyla watching Kyle XY before sending her to bed.  Ed came home and showed me this hilarious video on youtube called Background Anthem "Lose Yourself".  I loved watching the way BG artists were expressing themselves and our piece of the industry online. 

 

Tuesday I woke up deciding it was time to call Jessica's about March.  I had been debating in my head all month about what I wanted for March.  I knew it was a busy time for Zyla to get gigs last year and I wanted to be available for her.  I really did not want to go back to doing BG work just yet.  The thought of dragging around a garment bag of clothes depressed me.  I obviously was sad my Whitney show was ending and really wished I could just switch over to stand in on a new show.  I left a message saying I wanted to only be submitted and available for stand in or photo double work for the month of March.  I knew that would probably mean not as much work, unless I got some lucky break.  I planned to use the time off to work on my novel, work with Tom on the webisode pilot, finish my service hours for Zyla's school and refocus myself into a more prayerful Lenten journey.  Ed had found the drum dancing CD I made last year, which brightened my mood.  I finished Nightwood, wrote down a couple quotes I liked from it in my quote diary.  I started Anne Rice new novel The Wolf Gift.  I immediately fell into it, taking me up the northern California coast to a mansion set amidst the redwood forest.  I really wished I could visit a place like she described, it sounded amazing.  A get away mansion on the coast for quiet contemplation, or poetic parties sounded wonderful.  I made my way to set at 3pm, finding no one at the stages.  Lunch had been catered at 1pm, and they were still shooting on location outside somewhere on the lot.  Melissa, our guest stand in from the day before was brought in again at 3pm as well.  It was a mix up though because Nicole was not working.  A few hours later they wrapped Melissa.  Tony arrived to replace Robson, it was nice to see him again.  Gerald, my stand in friend from FlashForward was doing BG on our show and I caught up with him right before he was wrapped out.  He had just finished standing in on Awake, which looked like a cool new drama coming out.  A little bit after 5pm we got to the Roxanne/Lily Apt scenes to camera block.  Rhea was only in the second scene so I had time to grab some birthday cake.  Everyone sang to Antar Happy Birthday, even though I thought we had celebrated it and sang to him a month ago.  This time there was a huge cake made for him by our caterers, it was yummy.  We also had Fatburger brought in so I grabbed up some dinner.  Finally time for Rhea's scene, took notes on her blocking then helped the camera crew block it out.  Wrapped out just before 7pm heading home to Zyla so Ed could attend the Parish Mission again. 

 

Wednesday I woke up with my eyes all puffy.  I had been crying, I was so sad the show was ending today.  I am not good with endings, especially of things I love.  It was Leap Day, I felt drained, exhausted.  I was happy I would not be doing much or be on camera.  I pulled myself together and headed into the Whitney set for the last time.  The circus was pulling out, the gypsies dispersing, facing the great unknown.  The parking situation was back to crazy; I was directed to park by the river.  I headed to the stages, finding a catering truck for the Whitney show for breakfast!  I ordered up a breakfast burrito.  Once inside the stage the crew got to work on the last two scenes in Whitney's Apt to camera block.  I enjoyed watching Whitney and Chris for the last time, laughing at the comedy.  Our guest stand ins Tony and Melissa were back.  An announcement was made by the UPM that they had tried really hard but absolutely no +1 could be brought to the wrap party, it was an NBC policy for first season shows.  I guess a lot of people were upset about this, since the party was on a Sunday evening.  The camera refresh commenced, taking a little longer than usual.  Huge 6-foot sub sandwiches came, I got a piece of the Italian meats one.  We finally got our show night bracelets for the show and were told to be back by 5pm.  I got home a bit before 3pm to relax for a bit.  It was going to be a long night.  Ed brought Zyla home from school; I helped her with some math homework.  When I got back to the Whitney set, I heard the good news from the UPM.  They had finally gotten +1 approved for the wrap party!  We needed to reconfirm our RSVP if we wanted to bring someone.  I was so excited!  I immediately called my friend Diana to see if she could watch Zyla so Ed and I could go together.  She said yes.  I called Ed telling him the news; he was excited by the twist of events.  It was all the more special since it was his birthday weekend and we could have a date out to The Federal Bar where the Wrap Party was being held.  Whitney had purchased the Sprinkles Cupcake truck to come.  I grabbed a red velvet cupcake to share with Zyla.  Later in the evening Alison said she was gifted a dozen of the cupcakes and offered all the stand ins one.  All the stand ins were hanging in the AD office like old times.  Tiffany had gone home sick and Ryan had gone to an audition not returning for the live taping.  I grabbed some snacks, BBQ beef kabobs, pesto stuffed mini tomatoes, Brie and crackers.  Later a sushi chef came.  He made me a hand roll of spicy tuna with avocado.  I read for a bit from The Wolf Gift.  The night went on and on.  It was fun hearing the audience laugh hard at some of the scenes and jokes.  The music between takes was pumping.  It did not necessarily feel like the last time we would all be together.  Chris the 2nd 2nd AD came in to tell me that most of the crew was doing Andy's new pilot the first week of April and I should ask Joe about getting on it.  Jack, a new PA assisting Chris came by to hang with the stand ins and share funny stories from his massive experience on set, stretching back to the 80's!  The mood was festive, but finally came to an end around 11:30pm.  Chris, our 2nd 2nd AD came to wrap us out, but Alex and Matt had to stay for the TAG scene, which was being taped after the audience left.  I bundled up in my Whitney jacket, heading to the parking structure and leaving the show for the last time.  Ed had a glass of wine waiting for me, I told him about the evening. 

 

 

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