Monday, September 29, 2014

Welcome BACK, Venezuela!

You popped in briefly, back in March.  It's September, so maybe your plan is to catch up every six months or so? Cool.  Good to see ya.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What a World, What a Life, What a Weekend, What a FILM!

Hot Diggety.  Drivin' 70 miles or so round-trip is so much better when you can carpool.  Luckily, the crew of this film have WANTED to do that and have BEEN ABLE to, so that's what we did.  It's hard to do on most projects simply because call times ("report to work" for those of you outside of the industry) and wrap times ("go home") are so difficult to align with those folks who live near enough to you to make it work.  But on this gig, we only had the stages for twelve specific hours each day, so pretty much everyone's call time was 7 a.m. and everyone's wrap time was 7 p.m.  So we carpooled, and if someone had to wait, then so be it.

Yesterday we covered a "fight scene" and made it work.  It was Day One, so we didn't have a "groove" established yet, and at the end of the day, I personally was just a tad worried we wouldn't complete everything today.  But all of the actors were fabulous people.  The crew did what they could to find the "groove", and we managed to complete just shy of half the script.  And a beautiful just shy of half it was.

Today was an early start, and before lunchtime, we had covered a lot of the script, particularly the really emotional stuff.  I was weeping buckets - before lunch - and trying desperately to keep my shit together so I could keep up with my job while the writer held my hand.  I ain't proud - I'll take a hand-holding or a hug or whatever if it's offered.  But man-oh-man was that some beautiful shit.  Gorgeous.  Moving.  I can't wait to see this completed film!

As each actor finished up their emotional scenes, I'd offer hugs and let them know how they'd moved me.  I'm an actor, too, so I understand how it feels to wonder whether anyone thinks you've done a good job.  Each one appreciated what I had to say to them, and they were able to laugh at with me when I told them I'd cried.  I even let the others who'd witnessed my tearfest make fun of me tell the tale of the wondrousness we'd all been privy to.

The crew was also really great, even with only having two days to find a groove.  But really, I want to thank the entire producing team and my friend, the director, Dawn.  I've never been treated with such respect as I was by THIS producing team.  Really special "shout-outs" to Kelly and Mike, who went above and beyond to make sure that anything that anyone needed was provided, post-haste.  We didn't have enough Production Assistants to grab silly little whatevers (because honestly, are there ever enough PAs?), and most of the time, when you're working and feel a need for a "silly little something" you just try to get it for yourself.  But when things are moving quickly because you have a limited amount of time to spend, sometimes you just have to ask someone else.  Mike and Kelly were incredibly proactive in making sure you didn't ever really have to ask. I love those guys, and I hope to work with them again very soon.

Beautiful man; Gorgeous woman; Incredible young lady!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's been a full week, heading into a full weekend

I've been busy with the crowdfunding campaign for the short film we're shooting this weekend, starring Lance Henriksen, Jody Jaress, and Mackenzie Mason.  The campaign link can be accessed HERE.  I'm looking forward to the shoot, because it means I get to focus on PEOPLE and ACTIONS, rather than pages on a computer screen.

No doubt, you've missed seeing me here.  And in the real world, if you get to see me in the real world.  And on Facebook, if you know me there.  I'm sure you've missed me, because even Facebook missed me!  They sent me a link with all the notifications (somehow, only 17?) of stuff that's been happening.  I caught myself up on the notifications, but haven't been able to spend any of my own real time there.  'Sokay - I'll catch up on Monday, after I've caught up on my sleep.  Unless, Monday is when I start "phase Two" of the crowdfunding campaign!  Erp!

Please don't think I've forgotten about you.  Please visit the campaign if you're so inclined.  Donate some money, if you feel like it.  SHARE in your own social media world the campaign link.  This is an important film, and we'd like to make it well.  We'd like to get it finished in time for festivals and whatnot, and maybe somehow get it distributed to a screen near YOU.  We are already proud of it; if you decide to help us in any way (donating or sharing the link), then you can be proud of it, too.

Thank you for missing me - see ya next week!

Monday, September 22, 2014


I've been telling y'all about my work in entertainment; I even posted about the next film I get to Script Supervise.  In the meantime, I've been brought into the fold as an "Associate Producer" to help my friend, Dawn, meet the financial goals for this next gig.

Dawn is, in my opinion, the "Queen of Crowdfunding."  Unfortunately, she's having to split her brain energy for this film into two very separate foci, Producing (and running the indiegogo campaign) and Directing (you know, being the Director "on the day").  All of the Producers are doing what they can to ease Dawn's Producer duties so she can keep her focus on Directing.  And I've been brought in to help there, as well.

My main focus this week is to post the following message on the walls of Dawn's 5000 Facebook friends (or in private messages, if they've got "post to my wall" blocked).  It's a daunting task, and it's going to take me most of the week to get it done, primarily because Facebook doesn't have an easily-"automatic" way of doing this, because, you know, SPAM. But that's my task, and it'll be the reason you don't hear much from me on my blog or Twitter or Facebook this week.

If YOU personally have any interest in "how films get made" or you know someone who does and may have the means to contribute, then please read the heartfelt message below, and click on the link.  Visit the campaign and find a perk you like, and contribute if you can.  The big reason Dawn always uses indiegogo is because every contribution goes toward making the film a reality, whether the "goal" is met or not. And even if you can only share the message or the link to the campaign, it will help.

  • Hey, @Friend! We are going to shoot Fragile Storm this coming weekend, even though we have not yet reached our first-tier indiegogo goal. We've been funding this with our own money so far, but we could really use your help. This is the most important and powerful film we have done to date. This is not an all-or-nothing campaign; every dollar donated WILL be used to bring this film to you!
  • Please check out the perks we're offering, and you can even read the script if you like! If you've already donated, thank you. Sharing the link and spreading the word really helps as well. Thank you so much!
  • #FragileStorm #PalmStreetFilms #LanceHenriksen #Alzheimers
Thank you, again, dear readers, for having an interest in my life and my work and what I've got to say about it.  This is a big campaign, and I'm happy to do my part.  Really looking forward to the fun stuff this weekend, though! ;)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Background Actor

If you are either in my Facebook "circle" or are "following" me on Twitter (@Showbiz_emelle), then you saw THIS yesterday.  Which means, if you're reading this "today," then you know that I got booked for some on-set work today, and I must already be home to post about it.

I'm not permitted to post photos or name the production or any of the actors.  I'm probably not permitted to indicate the film or television production studio.  So, I'll fill you in "hypothetically."  Or maybe it's "rhetorical."  If YOU know the difference, then you know it better than I, and I welcome the education you may wish to post in the comments.  Ennyhoo.

I was "on location" today, which means that we were, for all intents and purposes, shooting "in the wild."  When you film on location, there are usually off-duty cops helping you block vehicular traffic, as well as "security" personnel who don't work for the studio, helping you block FOOT traffic, in addition to one or more "locations" managers who have secured all the necessary permits and whatnot to be able to use the location.  If your location involves existing buildings, then the production has to lease the space for a specific period of time, the value of said lease being commensurate with the purpose of the building.  Today, we were in a small shopping center, and we had use of the whole shopping center.  Which meant that all of the businesses were CLOSED until we departed (or until the pre-designated time of day when we should have departed).  One of the businesses in our little shopping center refills large water bottles.

During a take, a "bogey" managed to pull into the parking lot.  This woman could see all the activity, as well as the lack of any vehicle in any "space," and I think she got confused, so she just stopped her white SUV (white is a terrible color for both vehicles and clothing, when it comes to filming) in the driveway.  Right. In. The. Shot.  The "powers that be" persuaded her to pull into a space so that the take could be completed.

  • The locations manager discovered that this Latina who spoke perfect English had some empty water bottles in the back.  He explained to her that all of the businesses were closed.  She didn't want to hear that, so she requested a Spanish-speaking somebody to explain it.  
  • The Latina Security guard did just that.  She still wanted her water.  
  • The Assistant Director and the stand-ins and anyone else with hands free brought over as many bottles of CHILLED drinking water as they could carry (about half a case, all told), to put in her back seat.  Still not happy.
  • The County Sheriff who was helping to block off street traffic came over to help explain it.  A full case of water bottles, not chilled, was carried over and put in the back.  No dice.
  • The STAR of the production came over to see if "fame" could somehow smooth over this rough-edged predicament. Hunh-unh.  Not happenin'.
  • Somehow, someone managed to get this woman to depart the parking lot.  She had at least a case and a half of both room-temp and COLD water - for FREE - in her vehicle, but her giant water bottles would remain empty until the business reopened later that day, and it was those empty bottles that kept her in the lot for as long as she was.
This is "typical" of working in the film industry.  No matter how many people are there to protect the creative forces at work, there's still always the possibility of a bogey slipping through.  Now you know.

Man oh man, do I love my job! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille

Isn't this what they mean by "camera-ready"?

 ZERO product in any of the hair here, btw.  NONE.  ZILCH.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Don't hate me 'cuz I'm beautiful

Do you remember that ad campaign?  I think it was for a cosmetics company, possibly L'Oreal, but not hair coloring.  I don't remember.  It was back in the day when Mommy wouldn't let us watch TV.

But the "catch-phrase" is rolling through my psyche lately, because it directs me to this blog, where I sometimes get the impression that my readers, not working in the film industry (for the most part), might be jealous of my life.  So I'll change it to "Don't hate me 'cuz I work in entertainment!"

Here's the thing: I would love to be working, ALL. The. Time.  But the film industry doesn't let anyone work All. The. Time.  Even all the A-list folks who seem to be working All. The. Time. aren't really - they get to take vacations and stuff!  And maybe they get to pick the projects they work on.

I am really working to WORK every day, but the only real project "on my plate," as it were, is a short film that I've got the privilege to participate in at the end of the month. I've been officially "attached" as Script Supervisor for the past couple of months or so, even though I got to read the first script before we were ever even planning to leave LA for North Carolina in the first place, 2 1/2 years ago!  This is a great project and is going to have a huge impact. The primary "issue" we've been facing in recent history is the financing to cover production and post-production costs.  There's been an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign running, that we can't quite put a finger on as to why it's not gained any momentum.

So today, we've been shooting a "promotional" video to boost the campaign.  We talked about "why I'm doing this," individually, and as a group.  That video should be "up" on the website sometime tomorrow, at which point, I'll update THIS post.  If you've ever wanted to be part of the film industry, you can help us!  Visit the Fragile Storm link; watch the video there; click on one of the campaign links to see if there are any perks you'd like to get (like "Producer" credits on IMDb or an autographed photo or screenplay or whatnot); contribute any monetary amount you feel you can afford; SHARE all the links in your own social media networking!

We need your help, kids.  I need your help.  I love the work that I do; I love the industry I am blessed to work in.  Don't hate me because I get to work in film; don't hate me because I get to love my work.  If you can help me with your involvement, then you can let others "hate" you! ;)

Let's make a movie, kids! This is a film that makes a difference.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

blog (and other) stats update, ICYC - UPDATED (I know, how many times can an update be updated?)

22% of this week's "hits" have come from 2/3 of the countries that have hit, if that makes sense.  On a weekly basis, the US will always show the greatest number of hits, and will therefore always appear the darkest green on my map...

But Canada and Australia are big chunks of land on my map, so as long as they are at least a little green (meaning, as long as at least TWO folks have looked at my page in the last week), we'll be able to see that on the map.

But there are a bunch of geographically-small European countries that show "hits" where the shades of green are somewhat indiscernible.  This week, two-thirds of the ranked countries exist in that small splotch of green.  Thank you, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, France, Germany, and Poland, for continuing to read me, and for returning "in force," as it were, when you leave for a bit and then find me again.
this WEEK's map, with counters.

the last 24 hours, for comparison.

Thank you, EVERYONE who reads me.  I hope you find this particular topic at least a little interesting.  I'd hate to think I'm boring you with my blog stats!  Do let me know in the comments here, if there's ever anything I've posted that you're sick of hearing about, or if maybe you'd like my "take" on something I've mentioned in passing but not "covered."

This Just In:  I received an email that a PA gig I'd submitted my resume for had gone to someone else.  I'm okay with that, and I appreciate the emails.  But I went to the website to see what I still had out there, and I saw THIS (the first gig, status on the right), which I'd never seen before, and now I'm at least a teensy bit more excited than I was, say, ten minutes ago:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tomorrow, tomorrow! I love ya! Tomorrow! (gotcha - go ahead and sing, kids)

Tomorrow, I get to go to "work!"  The reason "work" is in "quotes" is because it won't be anything like actual work.  In the morning, I'll walk over to Central Casting to see and be seen by the handful of Casting Directors who will deign to grace us with their presence for "visitation day."  And then around noon, I'll hop in my car and drive over the hill to a studio to watch a court show, as if I'm a litigant.  I'll be dressed in upscale dark business attire, but I'll only be there to "watch" the cases that get presented.  They'll not call me up to the stand; they'll not address me in any way.  I'll be in "the audience."  Nice "work" if you can get it, right?  What a life!


Tomorrow. I remember it like it was yesterday.  Tomorrow is 9/11 (in the States.  In Europe, it's 11/9, and not a "day to remember.")

Already (all day TODAY, in fact) on my Facebook newsfeed, I'm seeing folks posting pics of the WTC Twin Towers.  I won't be posting a pic; I won't be sharing a pic; I won't be "liking" a pic; I won't be commenting on a pic.  This blog post is the extent of me "commemorating" the terrorism of that day.

It was THIRTEEN years ago.  Most folks don't seem to want to have anything to do with the number 13 on any other day, so why are so many "remembering" tomorrow in ways that are "milestone" remembrances?

I'm probably going to make an enemy or two here by saying what I have to say.  But whatever; I'm sorry for your loss, but THAT IS ALL.  I don't have any "loss" related to 9/11, so please don't treat me as if I am grieving, or expect me to share in your "grief."

On "the day" (you know, that one that I remember like it was yesterday?), I went to work and did my job like ANY OTHER DAY.  And since I'm newsphobic anyway, I had NO IDEA what was happening in the moment that any of it was happening.  And I wondered why half the office was getting work done, and the other half were walking around like their own mother had just died.  When I got home from work at the end of "the day," there was the footage on the TV, from THAT MORNING, and I asked my then-husband what movie he was watching.  Because the news footage looked LIKE A MOVIE.

In 2006, my own Mommy died.  THAT anniversary is the one I grieve, still.  Because she was my Mommy, and I have a right to grieve her.  Nothing I did before or since, or ON THAT DAY, can change the facts or circumstances of her transition to Spirit.  The same goes for all that happened on 9/11.  If you personally lost a loved one that day, then I am very sorry for your loss.  If you didn't, and you just happen to be sucked into the idea of "Never Forget," then please just do your remembering quietly, without expecting a response from me.

Because, frankly, I'll be at "work." :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Happy where I am. No spam.

I was informed in my G-mail account that "Anonymous has commented on Welcome, Ireland!"  I read the comment in my email before coming here, and LO-AND-BEHOLD, not only was the comment a really long spam "comment" but it NEVER made it to my blog!  Thank you, Blogspot, for recognizing what is spam and keeping it off the blog!

So now you know, Dear Readers.  I have been testing the spam precautions here at Ideas I'm Kickin' Around, and I have turned OFF the "Captcha Code" that proves you're not a robot, and I have NEVER TURNED ON the "moderate all comments" feature, so you may comment to your heart's content without fear that I will block you.  The other good news here is that, if you're even thinking that you might like to start blogging someday, but you don't really know where to start, and spam is an issue you're afraid you'll have to combat, I suggest you start here, at

As for me, I'm not a writer, and I haven't been here a year yet, to consider myself a "blogger."  I don't know how long I'll be blogging here, or what will be the impetus for me to cease-and-desist from this particular spot.  I have faith that work in the industry that I love will put larger gaps between posts.  I don't expect to run out of ideas to kick around, nor do I expect that THIS will be my ultimate income-producing machine and will eventually force me to relocate!  HA (on either count)!

For now, I'm happy to have the readership that I have.  I hope you're enjoying this particular ride as much as I am.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Welcome, Ireland!

I see that a bunch of you read me all at once.  That's cool.  Lately, I get ten hits from the Netherlands weekly, all at once.  So I welcome your six hits and hope that you'll make a habit of me!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Fotos

When it takes ALL DAY to make a pitcher of iced tea...

Cocoa in one of her two fave "spots"
Smokey, being all "cool"

Both furbabies just hangin' out
Last-minute Labor Day Weekend cookout/pool party
Hostess & my hubby
young dragon? or dinosaur?

all dried off from the pool

hosts pre-"go inside because it's dark out"
Meg Ryan, where ya been?
Cuisine Art
only 17000 miles on this RUINT tire - it'd cost me $25 in gas
 to get "warranty" replacement, and half-a-day in personal time!

why do they even MAKE these awful spares?
got that silly bicycle tire off for ya!
packed back into the trunk, and
just about ready to roll!  (just checkin' the pressure all around)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Adventures in LaLaLand

Still waiting for the costuming paycheck to arrive...

It was cooler today, so when I got in the pool, I had to work extra to warm the muscles.

Stephen and I did a bit of grocery shopping and then returned home by way of his job, so he could check his schedule.  Turning into the parking lot of the adjacent bank, I caught the curb and popped my right front tire.  Called for roadside assistance, because otherwise, why have it on the insurance, right? and was on hold for much too long.  By the time I decided to hang up from the on-hold music, we'd already gotten the car jacked up and the flat nearly removed.  I knew it would take no time for us to get the "bicycle" spare installed and the old one back in the trunk, so that's what we did.  When he went into the store to check his schedule, I finished the tightening of the nuts (by "standing" on the tire wrench, of course) and was asked what I was doing by a little old lady who clearly was not offering me any help - she just had to see what I was "jumping" about!  We had already been offered assistance by two other gents, but we had it handled, so we graciously declined.

We're home now (obvi!) and Stephen's preparing dinner.  My next step is to find out exactly what the "Road Hazard Warranty" I purchased with the tires covers (curbs?), and how I go about replacing a Precision Tune purchase at a non-Precision Tune store (I don't think we have them out here!).  No matter what, that bicycle spare's getting put back in the trunk TOMORROW (Photo Phriday).

Good times!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

¡Bienvenidos, España!

Hablo bastante Español para ser peligrosa. No puedo communicar en Español más, aquí, ahora.  ¡Pero, bienvenidos!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

'Murican Inverted Shepherdess Pie


So easy.  One bowl, nuke the mashed potatoes (nothin' but frozen taters here).  Add some Kerrygold and frozen peas, nuke again.  Add a little more Kerrygold and top with pulled pork, nuke a bit more.  Total microwave time to properly heat all elements, less than five minutes.

So yummy.

So... "more."  Dammit, now I gotta make another bowlful, because even though a "serving" is really plenty, it just tastes like "more."

After the Money's Gone ("How Did I Get Here?" Act FOUR)

If you haven't been playing along at home, OR you got sidetracked from playing along at home (you know, when "life" got in the way), OR you'd just like to read the back-story in the order it was written, I suggest clicking HERE, then HERE, and finally HERE before you continue reading THIS POST.

... aaaaaand, we're back.

So I married my college sweetheart in 2009, and since there was NO ROOM in my 1-bedroom apartment to add him and his stuff, and his roommate wasn't moving out (and was allergic to cats), we found ourselves a nice 2-bedroom place in North Hollywood.  My niece commented on the new address being so similar to the address of the place I'd shared with a roommate in previous years; it made me think I'd ALWAYS come back to Morrison Street, Apartment 202!

That was not to be, however.  The cats got used to the new guy, and while Cocoa became more and more of a "Momma's Girl," Smokey decided that Stephen was to be HIS guy.  Stephen would work his day job at the restaurant and write with his partner on the weekends, and I would be gone up to sixteen hours at a stretch when I booked any background work.

But with splitting my time between the two unions (remember how I told you I had joined AFTRA?), I was no longer eligible for health insurance.  And Stephen's job was a part-time gig, so we ended up going to free clinics if we needed anything.  Thankfully, we mostly didn't need anything.

And then the background work got "slower," and my unemployment benefits decreased, gradually, over time.  A good friend hooked me up with a friend of hers to get me trained in Script Supervision, and I started working behind the camera.  Now I have the skills to be anywhere on set, just about.  The only job I know I will never succeed in is Craft Services.  I have the mindset and talents to manage time, money, people, or things, but I cannot manage other people's food.  Don't ask me to.  We'll both be really sorry if it comes to that.

I booked a fifteen week webseries (we shot for 15 weeks; they aired 22 episodes) and we were "set" for awhile.  It was still considered a "low-budget" gig; I wasn't in the Scripty local of IATSE yet, but that gig brought me this close to eligible.  When it was over, I went back to whatever my unemployment claim was at the time (not much) and background work and personal assisting, but it started getting really tight.

And then we learned about Stephen's dad's health.  We had two options: put Stephen on a plane to NC and have him take a leave from his job, so he could do what he could to nurse his dad back to health, OR pack everything up and move.

You know what we chose, right?  You're caught up now?  I started blogging in December of last year, and I'm fairly certain I told you enough of the backstory to get you to that point of our lives.

We arrived in North Carolina the day after Stephen's dad died from chemotherapy.  The night we arrived, I received a phone call asking about my availability to Script Supervise a gig.  That gig would have made up the difference in my eligibility to join IATSE, had I still been in Los Angeles.  But EVERYTHING happens for a REASON, including our move to North Carolina.

... Once in a Lifetime