Friday I was pretty wiped out after all the excitement that was Thursday, so I just lounged around all day putting my life back together (cleaning, a little homework, napping, TV, etc.). I was really trying to save all my energy for Saturday when I would be going on the Secret Santa shoot. Secret Santa was one of the shorts Josh was producing for the BBC and that I had been looking forward to for about a month. The last time I was on set was… wow, I guess that would have to be the Sports Studio commercial back in April! I can’t believe it’s been 7 months! I had no clue what they’d have me be doing either. I was going under the title of PA (Production Assistant) but over here, they call being a PA, a runner, and the verb tense is runnering. How’s that for proper English? Oh, I’m just runnering today, no big deal. So I wasn’t really sure what my ‘runnering’ tasks would be, all I knew was that I was supposed to be at Richmond station at 3:30 and that somebody was going to pick me up and take me to set. Turns out that ‘somebody’ was Stefan, the AC. The set ended up being about a 30 minute drive away, the whole time I’m slightly freaking out that we were driving on the wrong side of the road and I should really have a steering wheel in front of me! I tried to just concentrate on what they were playing on the radio instead. (The Libertines, in case you were wondering).
Don’t worry Su, I’m not going to go on and on about the shoot. For starters, the Brits have a weird sense of humor, and I’m not sure the subject matter of the short would exactly cross over well. Let’s just say it was one of the weirder sets I’ve been on. The troop of boys that wrote this script, funny enough, call themselves, RocketSausage. Take away from that what you will. You can check out an example of a short they’ve done previously HERE. Obviously, with a title of 'Secret Santa,' the scene is set during Christmas time and that meant we had to put up lights and make the scene look festive. I personally set up the Christmas tree! Josh came up to me and asked if ‘it feels like Christmas yet’ and was put off when I said, “No, we haven’t even had Thanksgiving!” I’ll make sure to post a link of Secret Santa when it’s finished editing, (the good part is that it HAS to be finished by Christmas time, so I’ll know when it’s up.) I tried my best to be complacent and not sassy per Josh’s request. Apparently the guys who owned the shop we were shooting in got a kick out of the fact that I was American. This lead to a lot of questions, my favorite being why are you here?
It was a night shoot, most of which shot outside, but miraculously, I wasn’t too cold! Just my hands, but then again, they always seem to be cold. Josh gave me a pair of his gloves to wear, which obviously were way to big for me. I felt like the Hamburger Helper hand, but sadly my impersonation of this fell short on my audience as Josh had no idea who the Hamburger Helper hand guy is. He thought it was the Kool-Aid man, but since they don’t have Kool-Aid in the UK, he had no idea what it was called:
ME: These things are huge! I feel like the Hamburger Helper Hand. “One pound! One pan! One tasty mealllll!”
ME: You know, it’s what the Hamburger Helper Hand says. Wait, do you guys even have Hamburger Helper?
JOSH: No, but is that they guy who breaks stuff and goes “ohhh yeahhh?”
ME: Haha, no that’s the Kool-Aid man!
JOSH: Yeah, what’s he supposed to be?
ME: Kool-Aid! A big jug of Kool-Aid who wears shorts and throws awesome parties! You guys don’t have Kool-Aid, do you? Aww man, you’re missing out! It’s like fruit punch but it comes in a powder so you can make it extra sugary and uhhh it’s amazing! Now I want some Kool-Aid!
JOSH: Why is he always breaking things?
ME: Hahahahahaha, you need to listen to Dane Cook.
JOSH: Wait, so what’s the mascot that you push over and giggles?
ME: THE PILLSBURY DOUGH BOY! You don’t push him down! You poke his stomach and he giggles with delight, it’s a classic!
JOSH: Why do you need so many mascots for your food?
ME: Oh man, don’t even get me started on the Puffy Taco!
This lead to me trying my best to explain the Mission games and Taco run to Josh who said I was crazy, but then said he’d make me a Puffy Taco shirt before I left for the States again. Haha, I’m sure that won’t really happen, but all the same, Cheers Josh! (And for those of you non-native San Antonians who have no idea what I’m talking about --> google!) But I think Josh might have a point, we do like our food mascots in America… And here it is guys, the moment you've all been waiting for, JOSH! Josh is the man in all those layers with the silly hat and the puffy vest. It's his 'stern' face which I get sometimes at work, haha. And yes yes, I'll get a better shot in the future!
I ended up getting to do a little bit of everything; paying taxi drivers, making tea, seting up props, making last minute props, becoming the actor liaison, and they even let me slate! When we broke for dinner and they put the camera down, I saw that we were shooting on a RED! Whoamygosh, for those of you who don’t know how amazing this camera is, it’s prolly the most expensive and best camera on the market right now. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with one before, and they’re so nice. When I saw it, I got all excited, which Josh replied with “Oh yeah, I forgot you actually know about this stuff.” Whaaat? Yes I know about this ‘stuff’! And how dare you call it stuff.
Now usually I have a pretty good memory, but when I was asked to do 5 things in the span of 5 minutes, and I never really met the actors when they showed up, how do you expect me to know who they all are? Seema kept handing me things to give to such and such person and when I asked who that was, she just kinda rolled her eyes and said “Oh my gosh girl, you’re a nightmare!” But we all know I really wasn’t. Josh and Seema both said I did a really good job and I got hugs and kisses from both, so that can’t be too nightmarish. I ended up getting home at between 2 and 3 am and when I woke up at like noon on Sunday, I had the sweetest text from Josh that said, “Devon, thank you so much for all your hard work today. You were invaluable. Sorry for keeping you so late. But I’m so grateful that you came along.” How sweet is that? Invaluable is such a nice word! I hope I hear attached to my name more often in the future!
I was soo sore on Sunday though. I don’t know why my shoulders were that stiff, but it felt like I had the worst gym session the day before and every part of my body ached. I wanted to stay in bed and sleep, but I had some blogging to catch up with as well as making dinner for the next week, and I ended up staying up later than usual to video chat with my parents. In retrospect, had I known what was going to happen, I would have just gone to bed or at least napped more that afternoon. I went to bed at 1 that morning, but got woken up at 3:30 AM by a fire alarm! Seriously?! What the f is going on? By the time I got up, put on a coat, put on my boots, found my wallet (you need your ID to swipe in twice to get into your room) and opened the door to my room, the alarm turned off. Yay, pointless! And now I’m awake. But just when you think you’re starting to fall asleep again, nope! Another fire alarm at 5 AM! This one I actually got all the way to the lobby before it turned off. ARGH! Why do I even bother trying to be a good tenant in this crappy building?
I showed up to work on Monday exhausted. I must have looked ill or something too because Wicksey was apparently worried and sent Georgie to spy on me. Thanks for the concern you silly Brits, I just need sleep or real coffee. When I walked in that day, we were getting everything ready for the big Blah Blah Blah shoot just two weeks away and Wicksey thought a good prop for Bono would be a giant map of Africa. So that’s what I did that day at work, I built Africa! I know you can’t tell from the picture, but it’s actually about 3-4 ft high and about 4 ft across. Franny came up when I was making it saying “Everyone always forgets Madagascar!” but I promise you Fran, I didn’t forget! We just can’t really have it when it’s three dimensional. I’m rather impressed with my work if I do say so myself, and both the Bens and the girls liked it, so yay, go me!
Unfortunately, Monday ended up being the longest day ever. I still had to go to class and I didn’t get home till 8 at night, eat dinner, book my trip to Prague with Jeni, and do laundry. And my body still ached from the Secret Santa shoot. Ahh sleep my slippery elusive friend, sometimes you can be so cruel.