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More memoirs of Jacqueline's time spent on NYC finest sets January '05- April '05

Springtime, birds chirping, weather warming up to a respectable temperature, snow finally dissipating, light rains falling and on April 2nd the Pope dies.  That he hung in as long as he did was a miracle in itself.  I remember back in 2000 when I was very much into reading about all the visionaries and all the talk of what would happen when Pope John Paul II died.  Now that the reality is here, I guess we’ll see what happens.  Are we on the brink of the end of the world, doesn’t feel like that to me.


March brought me more work than I had seen thus far here in New York.  Everyone was saying this was the busiest season for acting here in the last five years!  I also believe that with the termination of the fictitious business name officially over March 20th, and my faith solely in God’s will to be done in my life and my trust in God to provide allowed my work to become plentiful.


2005 started out great, I can’t complain.  I worked on “Guiding Light” again and the director shot a close up of my date and I at the bar in a scene where we are toasting and having a fabulous time.  The director asked us to clink our glasses, kiss each other and then start laughing.  At first I thought, hey I didn’t agree to a kissing scene which is usually something pre-arranged before you ever get to set if that’s what they expect of you, but with the director right in my face asking this and the fact that it wasn’t some big make out scene, just a peck on the lips, the same as what I would do if I was greeting a good friend, I didn’t make a fuss and went with it.  On the rehearsal, I didn’t actually kiss my date, just air kiss and being his first time on set, my young date was confused and asked if that was how it would be in the real take or if we would really kiss.  I assured him we would really do it when the camera was really rolling.  Then he got upset that his first kiss scene was going to be with a married woman, I’m like get over it.  On my train ride home that day I ran into Mark Sadan.  He followed me to my seat and started bragging about how he’s this big photographer of ballerina’s and his art is being shown in the city.  He was trying to convince me to come to his house and he wanted to shoot a short film of me talking about how I’m the regular bar girl on “Guiding Light” who never gets to speak and that the producers should really give me more credit and some lines.  I said who would watch this short, when the producers won’t even watch my demo reel of real footage from real movies that I am in?  He said he wanted to do something with me, maybe photos, but not headshots because he was sick of shooting that.  I’m like ya, right whatever, thinking I know why you want to get me to your house.  He gave me his card and told me to look him up on the internet promising he was really big time and I should email him.  He blew me a kiss as I stepped off the train at my stop, and I thanked God he wasn’t getting off there too.


The casting director of “Law & Order Trial by Jury” called me again.  After turning them down in December when they had wanted me for the hooker role, they got creative.  They said they wanted me for a scene in the precinct where I’m getting booked for stealing a car and to dress sexy.  I’m thinking who’s going to know I’m getting booked for stealing a car, it’s not like the background has dialog to explain our positions.  When I showed up to set in a sexy outfit, the 2nd A.D. said hey it’s our hooker.  I said no, they said I stole a car.  We all laughed that the casting director would make up such an elaborate story just to get me to the set.


Going back to “Law & Order Criminal Intent” set was intense.  I knew that I would be confronting Vincent D’Onofrio on the situation that happened last year with him.  I showed up to set early and looked in the window of the Pizza place we were shooting and saw him rehearsing for the next scene.  The 2nd AD told me to go to craft service and get some food and come back after rehearsals.  When I got back Vincent had left to go to his trailer and I went to the back of the restaurant to the holding area.  Wardrobe came and approved my clothes for the next scene that I would be in at the next location and I was told to just hang out.  But then when Vincent got back to set they told me I would be in the scene sitting at a table with a date eating pizza.  So far Vincent hadn’t seen me, and they placed me at the table with my back to Vincent, but he heard me talking and came over to see what was going on.  I smiled at him and said hi and he smiled back and said hi.  About 10 minutes later they told my date that he wasn’t suppose to be eating the pizza and that he needed to pack up all his stuff and walk to the next location about 10 blocks away.  Everyone else was getting a courtesy shuttle ride, so he was being punished, but it seemed a bit much for just taking a bite out of his pizza.  He left bewildered and then Vincent came over and asked if he could sit down with me.  I said sure.  He then wanted to know if we had met before and I said yes a year ago on his set.  He asked if anything had happened and I said yes and told him how weird it was having the PA ask me for my number for him so he could take me out for drinks.  Vincent apologized, and I said if you wanted my number why did you involve the crew, why couldn’t you just ask me yourself.  He said it was in his contract now that he wasn’t allowed to do that. He said that he’d told the PA to give me his personal number and that he’d been waiting for my call.  I told him the PA never gave me his number.  Vincent apologized for offending me.  And when I reminded him I was married he apologized again for offending me.  With that settled, we continued small talk about what my husband does and Vincent found ways to relate to everything going on in my life.  It was a nice chat, but we were holding up production, which had been put on hold when Vincent decided to have this little talk with me that lasted about 20 minutes.  At the end of our chat he said he had to get back to work, and I said ok and he got up from the table and the shoot picked up again.  At the end of the day, when I was leaving set, this other girl came up and asked me if Vincent had been hitting on me.  I told her my story from last year and she said the same thing had happened to her and she had recently married and told Vincent that today to get him to back off.  She said she knew of a few other girls that he had been hitting on as well.  She was shocked that I confronted him on it, but I felt it was the right thing to do to set the relationship right if we would be working together in the future.


Francis McDormand was fabulous to work with on “Friends with Money”.  She reminded me of her character from “Almost Famous” which is my favorite movie.  She really is that character in real life.  We were shooting in an Old Navy store in Brooklyn and she was checking out boy’s t-shirts for her sons and just seemed like a really cool mom and actress.  I ran into my date from the “Criminal Intent” set that had been thrown out and got to explain to him the real reason why they had sent him packing.  He was happy to hear it really wasn’t about him.  I also finally got to see “Radio Man” whom I had heard about from tons of people but had never actually seen on set any of the days I worked.  He was riding his bike down the sidewalk cussing, as we were walking to lunch and at first I thought he was just some crazy homeless man with turrets syndrome, but no this is the guy Adam Sandler put in his movie who was famous for showing up to sets on his bicycle with a radio around his neck, getting stars to sign headshots for him.  Crazy.


Being back on the set of “3rd Watch” was cool.  It was an exterior shot in the rain and thankfully I had an umbrella, but I felt bad for the children in the shot who were playing basketball and on the playground because they were getting rained on take after take.  This business can be grueling and especially hard on children and I am thankful Zyla doesn’t want to be part of it right now.  I was glad I could work the show one last time because as of March it was announced that the show had been cancelled.


“Guiding Light” called me again in February and I got paid double day to do two scenes in the bar.  One was with the lead playing with his band on stage.  It was a lot of fun, hanging out listening to music and rocking out and getting paid for it!  I always have fun at “Guiding Light”.  The only weird thing is that they refuse to update my name change.  Almost everyone had fixed my name, since I changed it last November, except for “Guiding Light”.  I don’t understand why they won’t update it; I keep sending them letters, post cards, new headshots, to no avail.  I heard the casting director was going to be taking some time off with her new baby, so maybe she just didn’t get around to it yet.


I got back on the set of “Hope & Faith”, working in a movie theater scene with Faith Ford and Ted McGinley who plays her husband on the show.  Every time I see him all I can think about is “Married with Children” and him playing Jefferson and Marcy always getting so mad at him being a womanizer.  He still looks great and is full of energy and a fun actor to watch, very much a goof ball!


An audition finally landed in my lap for “Big Bad Swim” through an agency I hadn’t heard from in almost a year!  I could have self-submitted for the lead role, but the character was 20-24 age range and I thought I would be too old for it.  But the casting director requested me so I auditioned and did so well the casting director was thanking me and praising me for such a good job.  I really felt I nailed the role, unless they just really wanted to go with a younger actress.  Three weeks later I got called in for the callbacks, but not for the lead role.  I wouldn’t mind taking a smaller role in the movie, but when I looked at the sides for what they wanted me to come in for, I told my agent I wasn’t interested in auditioning for some day-player stripper role.  He said he didn’t blame me and called up the casting director to let them know I wouldn’t be coming back.


I got called to be a featured waitress on a new ABC pilot “Lennie Rose” but the casting director had told me to hold Thursday and Friday for them.  Then I was called to be a featured soccer player on “Real Madrid” that needed me the entire week.  I told them I was on hold for the ABC pilot at the end of the week, so they booked me just for Tuesday.  Then the casting director for “Lennie Rose” called me and they said they needed me on Tuesday as well.  Since I’d already booked the “Real Madrid” I lost out on being the featured waitress on the pilot.  Then they said they’d get me on at least one day, but in the end I never got to work it.  I don’t know why I was loyal to the casting director of “Real Madrid” because they were the same people who a year ago had wanted me to do the nude extra role love scene for $200 that I turned down and then never heard from them again.  The “Real Madrid” shoot ended up being a total nightmare.  Since I wasn’t available all week to be a soccer player, I ended up being a fan in the bleachers watching the soccer game.  It was freezing cold that day and my face ended up getting totally sun burnt.  Then they wanted me to come back again to do it the next day as well and I said I wasn’t available.  I was so pissed off that I had missed out on my great opportunity with the ABC pilot.  Thankfully I got a call to work on “Criminal Intent” again for the next day, so it was all good.


I thought it bizarre that I got called to work “Criminal Intent” so soon, when it had taken a year for them to work me on the show last time.  Now it had only been 6 weeks since the confrontation, how would Vincent treat me this time?  When I arrived on set I was told I was going to be doing stand-in work so I was immediately rushed to the set of a dentist office where the scenes would take place.  I got a call sheet and saw Vincent wasn’t going to be arriving until the third scene of the day so I relaxed.  After doing the first two scenes, I was told I would stand-in for another girl who was going to have a scene with Vincent.  But when Vincent was called to set all of a sudden the 1st AD told me to go back to holding, which was two blocks away.  Normally people standing in are kept on set to watch rehearsals and then do their job.  I spent the rest of the afternoon in holding and asked if I would be done working after the dentist office scenes since I originally was booked to play a dental hygienist and that’s it.  I was told I would be done before the company move to the next location for some office scenes.  Then, I was called to set for the last shot of the dental office scene and placed in the shot as a receptionist getting questioned by a detective.  I glanced around the room and noticed Vincent in the back but he had no way to walk up to me since a light box was in the way and it was a small cramped office.  The weird thing for me about Vincent is he eerily reminds me of my father.  My father died when he was 44 years old and that is the age Vincent is now.  They are both really tall and have the same stature and even similar facial expressions, so that when I talk to Vincent sometimes I feel oddly familiar with him like I know him because of this big resemblance to my dad.  When we finished the scene I immediately left and went back to holding, thinking I was done for the day.  Not the case.  I was told to go on a walk-away lunch because I would be needed to stand-in for the girl in the office scenes at the next location.  I’m thinking, but I never stood in for her yet today so this is weird.  Was the crew purposefully keeping me from Vincent’s sight the first 6 hours I was there to get back at him for holding up production the last time I worked?  I went and got some food and then was shuttled over to the next location.  When they brought me in to watch the rehearsal, Vincent saw me and smiled and waved, I smiled and waved back.  As first team left, second team (that’s me and the other stand-in’s) stepped in to run the scene and help with lighting.  But contrary to normality, Vincent came back to set to watch the stand-ins run the scene and as he walked by me he squeezed my arm saying, “Hi beautiful, how are you?”  “Fine.” I said.  As we ran the lines I forgot to say my next line since I had two in a row that were broken up with an action sequence and Vincent started reciting my lines.  I’m thinking does he have the whole script memorized?  How embarrassing.  I quickly caught my mistake and finished my lines.  The night ended without any more incident from him and no private breaks for chats and I hurried home after wrapping around 11:30pm.


Background, Inc. finally called to invite me to their spring registration.  I was happy to finally get in with them, but now that it was getting so close to the end of my stay here in NY it seemed ridiculous to have to pay $50 to join their service.  I only did it because of all the work everyone says they get through them for commercial background work and with three solid months left, I was hoping it would pay off.  Extra, Extra Casting called to invite me to their once a year registration here in NY.  They came to NY last year after all the success they have doing commercial background work in Los Angeles.  I had been trying to get in with them as well, but seeing as how they aren’t nearly as successful in NY as LA, I didn’t want to pay to join them unless it would transfer to their LA branch.  They assured me it would, and when I went to the registration I met the owner of the LA branch and got her number and she assured me she would be putting me in their LA book as well and I could start working with them immediately upon my arrival in LA!  I turned down three jobs to attend, but it was well worth the $25 fee, considering they hardly ever have registrations anymore in LA.


The second season of “Rescue Me” started up and I got a featured close up on the first episode as the girlfriend of one of the principals.  The casting director had informed me that the two-featured girlfriends were already picked, but if I dressed really cute they might change their mind and go with me.  They did.  Dennis Leary and his brother were fighting on the show and my date jumps in to try to break up the fight.  Dennis introduced himself to me and shook my hand, he seemed like a really cool guy.  They had stunt doubles doing the fight scene and really being brutal.  Dennis came in and said he didn’t want it that violent, that he hadn’t written the scene that way in the script and wanted more of a scrap between brothers.  The stunt doubles really didn’t work in the scene as much as they thought they would have since Dennis wanted it more toned down.


HSBC Bank was shooting a commercial in the subway at Grand Central on Good Friday and the question of the night was whether it was a SAG holiday and were we going to get double pay.  I had no idea how I got the job until I got there and heard Hero Casting had helped book it, whom I worked for before.  Unbeknownst to me the casting agent of Hero Casting was doing background work with us.  This girl and I were sitting on the subway during takes and joking around, it was a late shoot and everyone was tired.  There was a background guy holding the subway pole in a funny way and he looked like some stripper about to perform so she started singing some stripper kind of song and we were cheering him on to do a dance.  Later I found out he was the casting director of Hero Casting, I hope he calls us again and wasn’t too mad at us.


“Law & Order Criminal Intent” called me again, this time not even two weeks after I had just worked the show.  It was a two day gig in a Finance firm and I met Artie Gross whom I discovered was Austrian-Hungarian and his family was from Ruska Nova-ves as well!  What a small world!  Vincent wasn’t there the first day so everything went smoothly.  Then he showed up the second day with his daughter and as he was walking her through set he saw me and started explaining that she was his daughter.  She was adorable, reminding me of my own 12-year-old niece.  I didn’t have any incidents with Vincent as long as she was around, but when she wasn’t he came up behind me and squeezed my arm telling me I’m loosing too much weight.  I’m like WHAT?  Personally I think I need to loose a few pounds, but really I’m exactly the same weight as two weeks ago, what the hell is he talking about?  Then when we moved on to another scene, he comes into the room and gives this other tall blonde in the cubicle next to me a huge hug and kiss, and makes sure to do it while I’m watching.   When we move on to the last scene of the day, he keeps staring at me and every time I look up he’s looking at me, so I keep looking away.  Then he walks up to me and asked me if I’m ok.  I say yes, are you ok?  He says yes.  I told him I thought his daughter was adorable and he says thanks, smiles and walks away.  After that scene I was done and couldn’t wait to get out of there. 


A new pilot called “The Prince” started shooting and I was called to be Amber Heard’s stand-in.  Unlike last year with the other Amber, this girl was professional and far from a prima donna.  The set was a bit crazy, as new shows tend to be, but the most ridiculous part was the craft service lady who wouldn’t let anyone eat from the craft service table or if you did she’d give you dirty looks.  At one point, she literally was blocking the food with her body saying she didn’t have enough to feed everyone, and then later when chopping vegetables threatened to chop off one of the crew guy’s fingers if he tried to take anything before she was done chopping!  Someone get her a Valium quick! 


Another new pilot shooting here “Love Monkey” starring Jason Priestly and Tom Cavanaugh from the “Ed” show was shooting down in the East Village.  I was called in to be a Rock and Roll party girl and they needed to use my car in an exterior shot.  All the scenes were shot in the same club but they would use different angles and lights to make it seem like a bunch of different clubs.  At one point it was suppose to be a club in Michigan and Tom is checking out the band and I’m featured standing next to him grooving to the music.  Then I’m featured standing next to him while he’s checking out some awful band in NY, so it should be pretty funny to see this episode, which will seem like I’m some stalker chic following Tom around!  He was very cool and introduced himself to me and shook my hand.  “Radio Man” showed up and the producers were pleased because they supposedly had been looking for him since he’s now become a staple of NY, they asked him to play a homeless man outside the NY club in the exterior shot.  He was more than happy to be part of the show.  On our lunch break I went to relax in my car and some guys were hitting the back of my car where the spare tire is attached, so hard I thought a car had rammed me.  I jumped out and asked them what they were doing and one of the guys had his hands on my spare tire and I told him to get his hands off my car.  They started making fun of me, so I got back in the car and when I saw the PA from set who was in charge of making sure our cars were safe on the street that we were shooting on, where they had permits for them to be parked, I jumped out and told her what had happened.  She freaked out at me and told me to confront the guys myself.  I told her I had and they started making fun of me.  Then the guys told her I was crazy and PMSing.  I got back in my car and she spoke with them and they left.  Later I asked her what she’d said to them and she freaked out at me again telling me she had to apologize for my behavior and for the whole production being there because they were residents and weren’t happy that this production was shooting on their street.  She started complaining that everyone wants money from her and she didn’t need me over reacting like I did when she was trying to keep peace in the neighborhood.  I told her they hit my car, and it seemed like they were going to try to steal my spare tire, I mean we were in a shady area of the East Village and it was getting later and later.  She didn’t seem to care and said they wouldn’t touch my car and walked off.  Later that night when she was folding up the chairs in our holding area, she purposefully came up behind me and kept bumping into me and not apologizing.  I just ignored her and was happy to be done and on my way home at 12:30am.  Thankfully nothing happened to my car, but I am never bringing my car to set again, it’s not worth the stress.


The casting director of “The Prince” had been calling me all week desperate to have me back for stand-in work and finally caught me before I booked something else on Friday, asking if I would do stand-in again for two night shoots.  Normally I don’t take night shoots anymore, or if I do only one night, but I agreed.  When I showed up to set I found out I was utility stand-in meaning I was standing in for all the women working that night, which is not what I had agreed to.  Unlike the last week when I stood in for Amber because we were the same height and hair color, they had me stand in for 2 brunettes and a red head, none of which were my height.  They refused to give me any breaks and to top it off had another utility stand-in who didn’t work at all the first 6 hours.  Needless to say I was pissed and tired.  When Amber finally did appear in a scene around 2am in the morning, they didn’t even have me stand-in for her, but for the other lead who yet again I didn’t look anything like or have the same hair color.  To me I felt they just needed a body there and were big on abuse.  No SAG rep showed up I’m assuming because of the late hours of shooting so we had no one to complain to about our treatment.  Not only that but the SAG background players weren’t being given the mandatory break every 3 hours, which we deserve.  It turned into a nightmare shoot and on the train ride home at 7:30am I called the casting office to let them know an emergency had come up and I would not be able to make it back to set again. 


Not two weeks after working on “Criminal Intent” I was called back yet again for the next episode to play a waitress in a bar scene.  They featured me giving dirty looks to the principal girl who had been stalking her boyfriend and was watching the TV, which showed that he and his current girlfriend had just been murdered.  Vincent showed up for the next scene where they interrogated her in a back storeroom, and I purposefully kept my back to him so no eye contact could be made.  Thankfully they sent me home immediately after that shot so no crazy drama that day!


My in-law’s called me from Florida to tell me I was all over TV down there in the Oil of Olay commercial I had shot last November.  Unfortunately, Oil of Olay did not let me know they were using me so extensively and were skipping out on paying me a much-deserved upgrade and residuals for this edit of the commercial.  I had my family help me in obtaining a copy of the commercial and went down to the SAG office to file a commercial claim in hopes that justice would be served on my behalf.  This process can take a while so we’ll see what happens!  While I was there a nice older gentleman was helping me fill out the claim and giving me the direct names and numbers to the commercial department.  He said he would be retiring in June now that he was 65 years old and the secret to his success and getting through the good times and bad were three things: Faith in God, Positive thinking and Loving yourself. 




Saying Good-bye to New York final chapter Click Here!