Murder in the Evening

Two nights ago, I was chased down an icy dirt road outside a castle in 30 degree weather, then dragged down the same road by the feet, then hogtied on the frozen gravel and creepily petted by a stranger while six other people watched. In other words, it was just another night at my job.

I’ve done a few of these “reenactment” shows. They’re silly, non-union, and can be really bad, but they’re also pretty fun. It’s like all of the most fun stuff to act without the pressure to be “good,” because really, who cares.

So the last two days I shot an episode of “The Haunting Of,” which airs on Lifetime Movie Network. I played Judy Dull, a 1950s pinup model (obvi, haha) who was murdered by the serial killer Harvey Glatman. Not only did I get to do the fun murder-y stuff (most of which was shot in the freezing evening I described above (they padded me so the dragging didn’t hurt, but you can’t fake lying hogtied on the ground– it was fucking FREEZING, and anytime we weren’t doing a take they rolled me up like a burrito in a moving blanket), but I also got to be a ghost, which was a surprise.

So yesterday, I met the courtesy van in Union Square at 10am, and we drove to an obscenely enormous house in NJ (the “castle” we filmed at the night before was in Tarrytown, NY) where we were shown to actor holding and I was immediately ushered into HMU (I genuinely have no idea what that stands for, but it’s hair and makeup). I got all dolled up and pretty for my bondage scene (yep, 1950s lingerie and tied to a wooden cross– THIS IS WHAT I WENT TO COLLEGE FOR GUYS) and then got all scary for my ghost scenes. I mostly lurked around corners, did a whole lot of walking around crying, messing with wires, etc. etc. It was a blast.

It’s kinda hard to express exactly what it’s like to shoot something like that, but it can be really, really fun. You’ve got to have a sense of humor about the whole thing, because otherwise it would be pretty dark.

Here’s me in the makeup chair yesterday between bondage scene and ghosty makeup (pre-blood, strangulation marks, and sad makeup running down my face.)IMG_0422

Here’s what the back of me looked like after getting murdered in an episode of Redrum on Discovery ID (it was a great episode– lots of fight choreography. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZvatPDzuls&list=ELFhYgKowg8ek&index=11  )

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Ch-ch-ch-changes! (and bachelorette pics)

Some thoughts.

1. It is crazy to live somewhere long enough that you start to see how it changes. Where you grow up doesn’t count, since you can’t vote or really interact with the community at all, except through your parents. But I’ve lived in NYC for over six years now, and so much has happened. I’m about to vote for mayor for the first time (Bloomberg had three terms)– DiBlasio all the way! When I moved here, the yellow line had N,Q,R and W trains and the orange line was F and V. There is no longer a W line, and the V line is now the M. Huh? We have new taxis that only work uptown (110-215th st), and they’re green! There’s no Village Voice theatre column anymore, and the guy who used to write it is now teaching Theatre History where I work. Tiny things, but noticeable, when you take the time to see them.4732140834_6542bd62b0

2. I found out some great stuff a couple nights ago about that the episode I shot of the Discovery ID show a couple weeks ago. i was at a bar with two of my dearest friends, one of whose husband was the director of the episode. She told me that not only was I her husband’s first choice for the role, but the network loved me too– and the real kicker was that I had fight experience, which made the network excited. The CD, from a large office in NYC, was apparently excited about my work too– he asked, “why have I never called her in?” to which this director responds, “’cause you’re a fucking idiot.” Also, it seems the network is really enthused about the episode altogether– it’s definitely the most complex fight choreography and most gruesome death they’ve ever filmed, and Discovery ID does ONLY murder shows. I cannnnnnnnooooootttttt wait to see it. It was so so so much fun. 🙂

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3. A’s away at army AGAIN. I’m not pleased. It’s a long time! And he’s been gone a lot! He hates how much I hate it, I think mostly because it makes him feel guilty. I appreciate the privacy, but I’d prefer the privacy came without him having to do something he hates while I go about my normal life. It’s not fair.

4. THE WEDDING IS A WEEK FROM TOMORROW!! We’re all freaking out. I can’t imagine how R feels! Our dresses are done, and we through an epic weekend bachelorette party over the Columbus Day weekend! Check out all the pics:

The dresses!

The dresses!

Personalized champagne flutes upon arrival in CT!

Personalized champagne flutes upon arrival in CT!

Gorgeous table setting.

Gorgeous table setting.

The most delicious meal I've had in... years!!

The most delicious meal I’ve had in… years!!

Penis funfetti cupcakes, 'cause you just have to.

Penis funfetti cupcakes, ’cause you just have to.

2nd night was snacks and homemade dinner and movies! (we didn't watch any because we talked all night... but how cute is this?!)

2nd night was snacks and homemade dinner and movies! (we didn’t watch any because we talked all night… but how cute is this?!)

Team Rachel.

Team Rachel.

Beautiful ladies in a beautiful sunset in beautiful Newtown, CT.

Beautiful ladies in a beautiful sunset in beautiful Newtown, CT.

 

 

 

 

Tech Week

Tech began yesterday.

9am call in a basement theatre somewhere between the Lower East Side and the East Village. An A train from 181 to 14, the L from 8th Ave to 1st Ave. An hourlong commute.

I like tech. The pressure is off me– it’s a time for the designers to work all of their stuff out. It’s also fun to see everything finally coming together. Those fake and horribly offensive AK-47s they had simulated in rehearsal with wooden sticks are now real, and shoot idiotically wonderful laser-light with a half-hearted "pew pew." That transition I’d always done in silence, with few props and no timing, now is punctuated with sound, and concludes with a solo quick change in the back hallway. You don’t realize how many props you have in this kind of comedic clown-show until you enter from the front after your one long-ish break from the stage to discover the floor piled high with newspapers, Doritos, a spilled first aid kit, and many bottles of water.

Last night, after getting home at the incredibly kind hour of 6pm (usually techs are 10/12s, which means you work for 10 hours out of 12 scheduled hours– the other 2 hours are for Equity-required breaks, including an hour for lunch). I did this and that, ate dinner, puttered about, watched Orange is the New Black, then, just as A walked in the door from his show, launched into full meltdown. Why? I couldn’t find my new boxes of contacts.

I cried. I yelled. I stomped and threw shit around. a stayed calm and tried to help, his voice soft and meek in a way that irritates me in the best of times. I am a monster, he is a saint.

Eventually, I cooled off,

***

Two tech runs today. I showed up at the theatre at 9:45am, Americano from The Bean in hand. Now costumes aren’t questions, makeup slides on. We’re ready to go for a run by 10:30. We break for lunch at 1:40, and I head across the street to Hummus Place with R, P, and SP. We’re back in the space by 2:40 to put back on our costumes (still damp, now cold and hanging heavy). Another time through, then notes, and I stumble out into the heat towards the L train.

***

I can’t wait to do this play.

I can sit around and talk about the struggle of my "career," about how it’s not what I "wanted," how it’s possibly a "step back," but when I walk onstage, when the moments flow smoothly, one into the nest, everything feels RIGHT. I am 100% myself, 100% present. It’s the greatest thing on earth.

I wish I felt more like writing, but this tab has been open for days, and I can’t seem to finish it.

More, I suppose, as things get closer. We open Thursday.

I can’t wait.

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