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Jacqueline Lovell's memoirs on her first year working full time in the entertainment industry in New York, and comparing it to Los Angeles and Miami.  Summer 2003-Summer 2004

 

I’m hanging from a bridge in Central Park, a noose tied around my neck, my face and body pale while blood drips down from my severed ear.  My first death scene, after 10 years in the industry, I am a murder victim speaking from the grave here in New York.

Over the past year I have sought out every avenue to getting into legit acting here in New York with the exception of paying to meet someone.  That seems to be the thing here in New York that is outlawed in California.  I do not know why our union would be divided on this issue in different states but that appears to be the case.  Never the less, I do believe New York encourages those who want to carve their own nitch to take their career into their own hands and being SAG that means independent movies with no money or you do background work.  Seeing as you are your own agent when it comes to background work, how much work you get is entirely up to how much effort you put into the system that can hire you.  I sent out headshots and went to a couple open calls for casting directors and that is how I got into the loop.

 

The loop I have been on this year, in New York, well, you’ve got to love it.  I first started doing Union background work on commercials in Miami.  Bill Maur’s “Politically Incorrect” Christmas 1998 set was the last time I had been in front of the camera.  I guess it is ironic that I left the acting industry on a background job and then broke my 3-year hiatus in March 2002 working on a Zephyrhills regional commercial doing background work again.  We shot 12 hours on this incredible beach south of Miami and I knew I was home.  Being back on set was heaven for me and I wanted more.  In my first year back into acting and I landed a principal role on a Chevrolet commercial for Canada, and a lead role as a series regular on a new pilot for NBC called “14 Stories”.  I felt like my career was picking up where I had left off and I was on a role again.  Unfortunately, because of the reality show market, my pilot was never picked up, but not shelved either.  Commercial background work, which pays over double what you get for film or television, came into my life when I finally found the strength to return to the entertainment industry and pursue my dreams of making it in mainstream. 

 

September 2003, my first acting job in New York took place on 42nd Street for Queen Latifah’s new movie “Taxi”.  I was playing a lost German tourist.  I found it easy to feel overwhelmed and lost being that I had just come to the city and was now spending the day watching over the busiest intersection in the entire world! 

 

A week later, I ended up back at the same corner for the Olsen Twins movie “New York Minute”.  Those girls are so little and so adorable!  That was a long grueling day, because the movie took place early spring so we could not wear jackets, even though it was about 40 degrees outside!  Thank God for the SAG rep who got us a “bump” for more money to make up for the harsh conditions.  Mary Kate Olsen maintained a perfect professional attitude even though I knew she must have been freezing in the little mini skirt outfit they had her in!

 

When I was called, to be featured on the “Ed” show for NBC, I was very excited.  I went out to the studios in New Jersey for my fitting.  The scene was a period piece from the 1920’s with couples out in boats on the lake in Central Park, and ballerina’s dancing by the fountain as Ed imagined how he would like to propose to his beloved.  Sitting in the boat, floating on the lake in Central Park, twirling my umbrella, I breathed in the moment of beauty I was being part of and helping to create.  What a nice way to spend the day making some money! 

 

Spike Lee’s assistant called me up to work on his new movie “She Hate Me” and they bussed us over to New Jersey to shoot a suicide scene of a man jumping out of a high rise.  My favorite part of that day was hearing Spike yell for his first A.D. Boogey who was jumping around making everyone laugh.   A fan of mine approached me on set asking for my autograph, which was flattering, especially when I was just doing background work and standing five feet away from one of the real stars of the movie Q-Tip.  It was hard to think of myself, as a star anymore when the only work I was getting lately was background.

 

Working on “Sex & The City” was a dream come true.  After seeing the show during the first season back in my Beverly Hills apartment, I had been very upset to hear it was shot in New York, thinking I would never have the opportunity to be part of it.  But as it was still running in its final season, I made it on two episodes.  Kim Cattrall is a natural and she is funny, I loved her on and off camera.  Sarah Jessica Parker did not seem as down to earth as Kim but then maybe it is just part of her character.  One thing that stung was I was asked to stand in for a girl who had only one line.  The sad part is I had submitted myself through a nightmare management company for that audition and had not been called in to try out for the role and here I was now standing in for this girl who has the one line.

 

“Saving Face” was a little independent film I worked on.  I played the lead actresses friend who waits outside opening night to congratulate her on the success of her show and then hand her a cigarette as she exits the theater.  That was a nice evening hanging out in the theater during our down time, talking with some girls I had met on the Spike Lee’s set.

 

Working “Sopranos” was a quick, quick day, because they wanted my car for the shot and the scene was very short, so I was out of there in about two hours!  Sometimes it is like that, you get paid for 8 hours whether they use you or not, so I was happy to have the rest of the day off. 

 

I was called by the casting agent for “Barry Dingle”,  to do a nude love scene with Lucas Hass.  I remembered the little boy from “Witness” 1985, with Harrison Ford, what a great movie.  Was he old enough for love scenes now, my how time flies.  But when I asked if I would have dialog the answer was no this is just extra work.  The last time I did nude extra work was for Mystique Films back in 1995 when I needed one more SAG voucher to be able to join the union.  But it was not a love scene, just being in a scene nude.  It had paid pretty well and so when I asked how much nude love scene extra work pays, I was surprised at the response.  How could a big star expect to get a decent actress to do a nude love scene with him if they were only offering $200 and no residuals?  That was only a little more than what I was getting for keeping all my clothes on and doing regular extra work!  I turned the love scene down.

Walking onto the Woody Allen set of “Melinda and Melinda” was not everything I imagined.  But then again they dressed us up in crazy Halloween costumes, so I had a cat nose/mask on over my face, with dramatic orange cat eyes and gold obscenely long fake lashes.  When I locked eyes with Woody, for a moment I thought maybe he would see through the costume and discover my creative intellect and realize how much he would need me in his next film, but I don’t think I mesmerized his interest for long.

 

Kelly Ripa is the best!  She was so sweet on the set of “Hope & Faith”, making jokes and keeping everything fun and light.  Faith Ford was a little stand offish, but then maybe it was just her character.  I was part of the Swedish volleyball team in the scene and remember sharing my funny story of Edward going to Faith Ford’s wedding in Carmel, CA back in ’98.  Ed and I had just started officially dating and we were invited to go down to Rosarita, Mexico with some friends of mine for a weekend in July.  Unfortunately for me, Ed had a writer friend of his invite him to Faith Ford’s wedding in Carmel for the same weekend.  He accepted knowing there would probably be lots of industry people there and thinking it was the chance of a lifetime.  He ended up providing Eddie Van Halen with a smoke at the reception, sparking up conversation and getting his photo taken with him.  It made the trip all worthwhile after all the complaining I had done before he left.  But after the reception it was too late to drive back to LA, so his friend got them a hotel room with one bed.  Ed claimed nothing happened but his friend slept nude beside him and supposedly admitted to masturbating while he watched Ed sleep.  Ed was a bit disturbed as they drove back to LA in silence.  I found the whole thing suspicious for a while and was teased non-stop by my friends as we lounged around the Mexican resort in our bikinis.

 

“The Manchurian Candidate” was shooting 10 minutes from my house and I was called in to play a poll worker for the scene.  I drove to set thankful not to have to deal with the trains for once.  There was plenty of free parking as we were 18 miles outside the city.  Along with myself there were 12 of us hired to be poll workers in the shot, but when we arrived on set there was only 3 tables and enough room for 6 of us.  The first AD was surprised I had been hired for the part since everyone else was a much older retirement age.  So needless to say I was not used and spent 12 hours in holding talking with the others who were not being used either.  It was on days like this I felt like I was being hired to counsel others in a big therapy session as we all ended up in these deep conversations for hours on end.  It is all part of the job to be sitting around for hours waiting for a shot to be set up and usually only half your day is spent ‘on set’.  I always look at it like God has a reason for sending me to each job and there must be someone there who needs to talk with me, because I will be able to help them work out some of their issues.

 

I self drove to the set of “Alphie” something most NY actors do not do, because in NY you have to pay a lot for parking and the incredible metro system is set up so that need for a car is unnecessary.   But they were paying to use my car in the shot so I received free parking on the studios dime.  In the scene I am walking down this incredible little street in the East Village, with the fake snow blowing, thinking wow, how beautiful it will be when winter really comes.  The wardrobe ladies had told me to bring my bag with me to set as a prop.  The mini suitcase was blue with black shading of what looks like snake skin, so it was understandable when the first AD asked if I was a principal in the scene with this suitcase that stood out so much and seeing me walk down the street toward Jude Law in the rehearsal.  No, I said, I was just background today.

 

Snow fell outside my window early December and I thought this is it, I will be snowed in for months!  But after an hour it stopped and I found the roads were cleared quickly and I was on my way again.  Guiding Light called me for an interview, I was so excited!  Ed had predicted that I would land a role on a soap when we moved up here.  Unfortunately, Zyla got very sick and I could not take her in to day care and had to stay home with her and reschedule Guiding Light.  At first, they were understanding, changing my appointment to a few days later, but as Zyla got worse it ended up being a week before I could make a new appointment.  By that point my calls were passed to assistants who told me they were busy and to call back next week, then when I would call they would say the same thing or put me to voice mail.  The casting agent never called me back after many messages, so I started mailing in my headshots again, monthly, in the hope they would forgive me.  I heard from someone on set that they don’t like to hear no and never under any circumstance bring family issues into whether you can make an appointment.

 

 

They say you are not a true New York SAG actor until you have worked “Law & Order”, so I was induced to the club in January 2004.  After turning down a job the previous week shooting outside in the icy zero degree weather, I was told by the casting agent that I would be doing interior shots all day, except for a quick exterior around noon.  When I arrived to holding at 6:30am the second AD announced that we would be shooting outside all day.  I could not believe I had been lied to by the casting agent and that I was going to have to stand outside for the next 3 hours in the freezing morning air.  It was hell and some people left, unable to stand the harsh conditions.  I bundled up so much only my eyes peered out at the crew as we shot the scene, an Anti-Bush protest.  Some pedestrians passing by mistook us for a real rally and wanted to know how to join in.  We were finally given hand and feet warmers around 9 am.  The hand warmers were amazing but the foot warmers defective.  The nightmare ended and we were sent back to holding.  I swore under my breath I would never accept a job outside until the temperature was at least back up to 40 degrees, it just wasn’t worth the risk of getting sick, this was just insane.  Our holding was in the basement of a Irish bar and someone put paper towels down the toilet and flooded the place out and we all had to moved upstairs into the bar.  We were told to go on “walk away lunch”.  That means you have to go find your own lunch and usually you get paid a little extra on your voucher for it, but Law and Order has a special deal with SAG that they do not have to pay the fine.  I did not feel like leaving the bar so I had lunch there with some of my friends from set and then we contemplated ordering drinks.  After the morning we’d had we felt like we deserved them and seeing one of the crew guys order a beer, we bravely ordered our alcohol.  Technically you are not aloud to drink on set, but since this was considered a walk away lunch, we got away with it.  The second AD was watching and said nothing, we didn’t abuse the situation and when they called us back in we were in much better spirits for work.  Around 4pm we finally got to shoot the indoor bar scene and the director actually shot a close up of me, as the bartender, handing drinks to the lead and then he asked for my headshot.  I mailed it to him first thing the next morning, but nothing ever came of it.

I did my second stand-in job on another episode of “Law & Order” and really enjoyed being on set right in front of the cameras remembering my days when I was the star and hoping it would happen again soon.

.

I spoke with one of the writers on “3rd Watch” while we shot at this little Polish diner in Brooklyn one rainy afternoon in March.  He told me how the “3rd Watch” team had helped out with the World Trade Center during 9/11, bringing in a lot of the big lights the firemen and rescue teams needed to continue the searches at night.  He gave me a lot of advice on writing and told me I should write a book on my life, maybe I will.

 

Standing a few feet from Robert De Niro on the set of “Hide and Seek” was amazing.  I was asked to put on this flowing pink gown and stand by Robert’s bed to open the scene as the camera moved from Robert’s dreaming form up to the New Year’s Eve party he was dreaming about.  No one was aloud to talk to De Niro, so when he swung his legs over the side of the bed and sat up sliding into his slippers as the camera’s were changing to a different angle, all I could do was smile brightly at this legend, hoping my eyes told him how much I loved his work and all the unspoken praise I felt for his accomplishments.  He smiled back; he looked so old, like a grandfather, kind and sincere. 

 

Spring blossomed around me when, I landed a big job, being a stand-in for a lead actress in Will Smith’s new movie “Last First Kiss” (renamed 'Hitch').  But three months worth of work soon turned into a couple of days, when I found out I was standing in for Amber Valletta, who is a big time super model, but far from an experienced actress.  She had me thrown off set, I am guessing because I have more acting credits to my name, and she does not like to feel threatened or beneath anyone.  The movie wrapped without her having any stand in left after going through five and attempting to get Will Smith’s stand in canned as well!  Talk about a prima donna!

 

When I was asked to play an attorney on “Law & Order, Criminal Intent”, I was excited that the casting agents were finally looking at me for an upscale, corporate look.

Arriving on set I was told I would be walking up and down the stairs leading up to the courthouse.  I was the only one in a pin striped mini skirt suit, which I had bought off the wardrobe department on “Sex, Lies & Politics” where I had played a reporter.  It was great to wear the outfit again on set.  Unbeknownst to me, Vincent Di Onofrio had been checking me out all morning so when we went to the second location down the street, I found myself placed at the table next to his in the café scene.  Vincent saw me and as I was now dressed in jeans and a hippy type shirt for the trendy outdoor café scene, he recalled my outfit on the courthouse stairs and nicknamed me Legs.   We chatted a bit between takes and he seemed like a nice guy.  When he asked if I was coming back to the sound stage I said no because I was only booked for the two scenes and had no other clothe changes for anything else.  He said good-bye, telling me to come back to work on his set again soon and I went back to holding thinking I would be rapped.  But as the skies burst forth a fury of water, I was told I would be vanned over to the sound stage for the next scene.  Was this a mistake?  I had no other clothes.  I was told it would be taken care of and so I got on the van curious.  When I got to the studio I was sitting in holding when Vincent walked by saying hi Jacque.  I didn’t even realize it was him, shocked at having the lead actor single me out but then again, I was pretty much the minority in the room full of men, wondering why I was here and what I would be doing in this unexpected scene.  Wardrobe gave me a different t-shirt to put on and told me to keep the jeans on.  I was brought to set and told to badge up but when I went to the props guy, he didn’t know what to give me since everyone else was in suits and getting detective badges.  They finally decided to give me a Visitor badge and I walked onto set and was placed on set out of Vincent’s eye line.  When we were about to start, Vincent stood and thanked us all for coming to the late shift.  He scanned the room and finally found me and I waved and he pointed at me saying, “YOU, are you our perp tonight?”  I was like uh yah, I didn’t want to correct him in saying no I’m the visitor, it didn’t seem important. 

After the bizarre account of the day, I was surprised when they said I was rapped for the day.  The second AD told me I needed to return the badge to the prop master on set and that Vincent was rehearsing for the next scene so we would have to walk quietly around set.  The AD’s walkie was saying go to three, which means channel three where a private conversation could commence.  He kept saying no, but finally went to channel three, and then turned to me and said, “Vincent would like to know if he could get your phone number to take you out for drinks sometime.”  Flabbergasted I blurted out but I’m married.  The AD then spoke into his walkie, “We have to get permission from the husband.”  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, was this how Vincent got dates?  Is this why I had been brought to the studio?  I told the AD I was flattered, but the whole thing seemed strange to me and now that I had turned Vincent down would I be banned from working on this set again?  As I was checking out getting my voucher signed, Vincent walked out of the stage area, rehearsal done, and looking up at him I saw him turn his eyes on me for half a second before averting them and walking off as if I didn’t exist. 

 

 

My day on “The Interpreter” was a fast, easy day.  We were shuttled to JFK airport, then ate some breakfast before going to set, which was outside the baggage claim exit.  Standing a few feet away from Sean Penn and thinking of all the stars I had been within feet of in the last few months, I knew I was going to be back in the spotlight again soon, if I just waited for my moment it would come.

 

On a breezy day mid-May, “Law & Order Special Victim Unit” wanted me to play a SVU detective, being shot on location in Queens.  I was hoping they liked me and would let me come back as a regular SVU detective.  I had heard that happened all the time.  David Platt, the director from when I had done the “Law & Order” episode as the bartender recognized me and said he had never received my headshot.  I guess it was thrown out when I mailed it to the studio, so he gave me a better address to mail him direct, we’ll see if something blossoms this time around.

 

Being asked to be featured, on Steve Martin’s version of the “Pink Panther” was a resounding yes.  Some of my favorite movies growing up, that my dad always rented for us, were of Peter Sellers.   Dressed in a cute little cocktail waitress outfit, I carried drinks past Steve as he opens the scene at a craps table.  We were suppose to be in some big time Italian casino and there were over 200 extras dressed to the nines having a great time.  Steve was playing Inspector Clouseau exactly like Peter Sellers had, except for Steve is much older than Sellers was when he did the role, and it came off as a sad imitation.  I wondered if Steve was thinking why had he agreed to this part, it wasn’t him, he was trying to be somebody else, live up to the original.  They changed my clothes and put me in another scene with Steve, walking by him as he was checking into his New York hotel.  I finally saw the Steve I love as he played the scene like he had come right off the set of “The Jerk” or one of his other comedies.  He was being Steve, not pretending to be Sellers, or maybe that’s the whole point of this new “Pink Panther”, I guess we will see when it comes out.  That is another thing about being on set only a few days, only seeing a piece of the story, and trying to figure out what the whole story will be and how your part will work into it all.  I always love watching the movie after to see how it all ends up.

 

The summer was humid this year, moments of extreme heat, then cold, stormy rains.  I worked on “The Warrior Class” playing a New England patron at this outdoor café on location on City Island, and then a traveler at the airport, this time at Westchester County Airport. That was the cutest little airport, especially for shooting, much better than the chaos of JFK. 

 

“Miss Congeniality 2” was doing a re-shoot on their last day of production in New York of one of the scenes they had shot in Las Vegas three months earlier.  I was picked to be a cocktail waitress at this cowboy themed dive Vegas bar and casino along with three other girls.  We had to adjust the costumes since they had been custom fit for the girls in Vegas and none of us being quite as endowed as they had.  Wardrobe bought us Victoria Secret push up bras and these jelly chicken cutlet looking things to stuff in our bras and make us look more like the Vegas girls had.  I felt like some Dallas Cowboy cheerleader in a time warp, but the costumes were cute.  Sandra Bullock did not make eye contact with me, but she was adorable as always, so you gotta love her.

 

“Flower Girl” sounded like the perfect movie for me, but then they went and changed the title to “Little Manhattan”.  Nevertheless, I worked a day on that in the subway scene where the leads are talking about how much fun riding the subway is without parents, some coming of age movie.  The good thing about that day was I met up with some actors who had been doing the business in New York the last 15 years and had a lot of connections and information for me to follow up on for more work, especially commercial work which I had been trying to get into the loop of all year. 

Fingers crossed!

 

In between it all I struggled constantly trying to get a decent agent to represent me in New York.  You would think a working actress with a demo reel from Los Angeles would have no trouble with that, but everywhere I turned doors were slammed in my face.  After doing a mass mailing to the over 100 agents in New York, I got a few modeling agencies interested in working with me, but they did not really have any pull in getting me the auditions I desperately wanted in on.  Looking for work online, I found a management company looking for girls age 18-28.  I signed up with them, but it ended up being a total disaster.  The guy running the company worked out of his apartment and was a big time lawyer who was semi retired and wanted to meet cute young modely girls and so started up this management company.  On my first meeting, he informed me I would head the married women’s division since he usually only represented single girls.  He told me I would have to bring my own envelopes, stamps and headshot/resumes, then get on-line at his desk in his apartment and go through the breakdown and submit to whatever projects I wanted then stick his management label on the envelope, and hope for the best. 

After 5 weeks of going to the city to his office/apartment and getting no feedback, no calls I figured he was not connected into the loop and none of the casting agents were opening his envelopes.  He told me I should pretend to be his secretary and call the casting agents to set up my interviews.  At this point I realized this was silly, if he had no connections and couldn’t even make phone calls to set up interviews, what could he really do for me?  Nothing, so I left taking the last of my headshots with me.  Little did I realize that over 6 months later he would call telling me he got me an audition.  Surprised at his call I asked him how this happened.  He had my headshot electronically submitted on the breakdowns and had an audition lined up for me on Dennis Leary’s new show “Rescue Me”.  I had never heard of the show, and Dennis Leary is a big actor so I excitedly asked for the sides to be faxed over.  What I received was the 17-page script to the half hour show that I found was a sad imitation of Sex in the City with guys instead of girls and mostly about Dennis Leary getting laid by all available women.  There were 5 scripted love scenes and the character I was suppose to audition for had two love scenes with Dennis.  The dialog and character were stupid blonde bimbo and I just could not see myself playing this role.  I called the manager and told him it was not for me and he freaked out saying he could not represent pretentious actresses who needed to ok every script sent to them and he needed girls ready and willing to go to all auditions he got them.  He said I was a waste of his time and money and he could not represent me anymore. 

 

My next break with an agent happened when my agent from Florida started calling agents in New York to refer me.  This seemed a much better approach to trying to get a great agent than my luck at mass mailing had been.  But even though my agent in Florida was SAG franchised and in the business forever, she did not know anyone in New York and was cold calling trying to get me in when they did not even know her, so they gave her the run around.  She finally hooked me up with an agent who was representing one of her clients when he was in New York half the year.  She was SAG franchised and I had heard she use to be a big time agency.  But when I met her, I found her in a tiny box of an office with no office help.  On a icy cold November morning, I stepped into the office of this little old lady, talking on the phone, questioning why she is still in this business and what is she doing.  She said she would represent me, I am assuming as a favor for my agent in Florida.  I gave her my reel and she promised she would watch it at home on her big screen TV.  She told me to get new headshots, more commercial looking and come back.  I had not shot headshots since 1998 and the ones I had been using were from 1996 so I knew it was time for new pictures.  I shot with David Plakke, I found him on the internet and liked the style he used.  I came back to the agent right after the Christmas break with the photos and she seemed to have forgotten who I was.  I asked if she had watched my reel and she said she had been too busy with the holidays.  She said it was the busy season for commercials and she took 12 headshots and sent me on my way.  Usually agents take 20-40 pictures so I was really surprised at how little she took.  She called me two weeks later with an audition for Clean & Clear, finally my first audition in New York!  When I arrived to the casting agents office, my face dropped as I read the breakdown my agent had not mentioned.  They wanted college girls age 18-21.  I was nearing my 30th birthday and there were girls there 16 years old trying to be 18, there was no way I was getting this commercial.  I could not believe she would send me on something so far out of my age range of 25-32.  At least I made a connection with the casting director so one good thing came out of it. 

 

I did a new mass mailing with my new photos, and got a few more agents interested, but most were modeling agencies interested in sending me to modeling gigs.  Since I did not have a comp card and had no interest in getting one or pursuing modeling, I loathed going to the auditions, but the agents said some clients accept headshots as well and to try.  I got an interview with a big commercial casting agent and she said she liked my look and would be calling me in for projects through my agency that sent me, in the meantime she told me to resubmit my photos to commercial agents because she was sure I could do better than the 5 agents I was currently freelancing with and told me the old lady agent was a has-been whom the casting agents never even bothered sending breakdowns to anymore of the commercial auditions!  Now it all made sense why she had never called me again!

 

I did a new mailing just to commercial agents and got another response from another modeling/acting agency.  So far no one that had actually called me was a SAG franchised agency.  Whereas in Miami, when I did my mailing to the 10 SAG franchised agencies, 4 had called me and agreed to freelance with me, here in New York, none of the 60 SAG franchised agencies had called.  Desperate I did a mailing to non-franchised agencies as well.  I guess Miami spoiled me, but New York was thrown into my life to make me more of a fighter?  What the hell was I doing in New York anyway? 

 

It all started last summer when Edward’s teacher exchange transfer to London fell through because the UK could not find a television production teacher to take his place in Florida while he taught over seas for the year.  We were itching to leave Florida.  We had been there 3 years and had only planned to go there for a little while so I could get the hang of the mommy thing, hang out with his family for a while, then be back on our way to the West Coast.  But my husband, hitting his 30’s felt it was time to get back in touch with his roots and wanted to move to New York to see where he was born and raised the first 4 years of his life and where his parents had lived there whole lives and all the history of his family.  He went to New York in July 2003 to attend a job fair. My high school girlfriend who was attending Columbia University, finishing her double major, happened to see a flyer for the job fair and told me about it.  Ed called to say he got a job and we would be packing everything and moving to New York in one week. 

My world flipped upside down.  The last time I had been in New York was for BABE magazine.  And the time before that was for Andrew Blake’s Penthouse movie “Secret Lives”.  I had signed autographs of BABE down in the subways.  I remembered New York as being a cold, hard, dirty city with mean people.  That was the last place I wanted to move.  But I wanted to be supportive of my husband and I could still pursue my acting there, so I packed up everything and said good-bye to Florida.

 

When I first got to New York, I cried.  I felt isolated in this harsh place that can eat you alive.  Learning my way around the city and how to use the trains and subways was overwhelming at first.  I always looked around wondering if it was this subway exit where I had signed magazines, I couldn’t remember exactly where it had been.  I don’t really like having to depend on the subways and trains because they do not run 24 hours a day and the movie industry does. Ed had found us an apartment overlooking the Hudson River 30 minutes train ride outside the city, right near the hospital he was born in.  Occasionally we will have a start time that is too early for me to take the train or I will get rapped after 1am making me miss the last train.  I miss the independence of having my car with me, but parking in the city is so expensive and I hate driving in there with so many people and cars, it all so crowded and claustrophobic. 

Every day I dream of returning to LA, and I know I will get back there soon, but for now my life has led me here and everything happens for a reason so I must have some lessons here I need to work through before going back to LA.  I put my trust in God that He will guide me in His will for my life. 

 

Once in a blue moon happened mid-summer and my luck suddenly seemed to change.  Guiding Light called me to reschedule my interview and I finally got in to meet them.  They said there was a lot of work now so hopefully they call soon.  Sitting in my bedroom humming the Natural Born Killer’s song, I’m waiting for the miracle, for the miracle to come, Law & Order called me to audition for the next episode David Platt was directing, thank God, he finally got my headshot!   I feel like I am riding a wave of energy that I have tapped into after working this last year through the industry up here, or who the hell knows, maybe it was just the Blue Moon…

 

At 6:30pm on the second Monday in August, David, the director from Law & Order calls.  “I think we have a part for you”

“Really”

My heart is beating so fast; I forget to ask which character he’s offering because I had auditioned for two different roles.

“The producers did a background check on you.”

“Ya…” oh no, I thought, here we go.

“You were the Queen of another world.”

“That was a long time ago.”

“Are you ready to go legit?”

“Uh, ya,” was this a trick question!

“I will help you out as much as I can.”

I take a deep breath and tell Ed the news through my tears of joy.

Twenty minutes later, production calls to tell me they are offering me the role of Heather.

I accept.

 

Law & Order "Dead Wives Club" aired as the season premier September 22, 2004 on NBC.

The Gnawing continues click here for Part 2!