What. A. Week.
Where to start?
I arrived in New York on Sunday and then I promptly ran into Zach Braff. I wanted to tell him how much I appreciate his film “Garden State” and how it encapsulates a year of college for me but we passed briefly in Union Square and in that moment all I could do was gasp. No words really. Maybe he’ll google himself and find this post.
Monday: I attended 2 auditions. They went well even though I feel a little audition-rusty. That first audition after a job ends is always a little depressing. Back to this again. Oh that’s how the accompaniment goes. Oh yeah. Oy.
Tuesday: I already told you about wandering around and the deep thoughts and the William Zinnser quote.
Wednesday: I attended another audition-this time for Phantom of the Opera. I basically auditioned for the company that produces the Broadway production and the touring production. As I was waiting in line to get into the Equity building at 7 AM I had a flashback to my Junior year of college when my boyfriend at the time and I were on the internet and happened across an audition for the Broadway production of Phantom. I remember talking about how awesome it would be to ever actually go to an audition like that. 4 years later I was there. Standing in the rain. It was kinda full circle and kinda cool.
Thursday: I was an extra (background actor) on Gossip Girl! Not a joke! We filmed a party scene on the sidewalk outside of the Diane Von Furstenberg store in Chelsea on 14th Street and 9th Avenue. It was a pretty thrilling and fascinating experience. So interesting and SO boring simultaneously. From around 11 PM until 1 AM I was going bonkers a bit since I was merely standing around. The first few hours of filming were interesting as I was watching the production assistants control the crowds, the director choose shots, the stand-ins pose for camera angles, Diane Von Furstenberg appear for less than 5 minutes for a cameo. It was amazing seeing the hair and wardrobe the stars wore. It was hilarious to be fussed over by hair and wardrobe people myself. I was standing on set at one point and a hair stylist was brushing my hair—as if I was SOMEONE! (hilarious.)
One of the craziest aspects of the experience was that we were filming on a street in Chelsea so paparazzi and fans clamored at the barriers. At one point there was a mad frenzy of photographers attempting to snap pictures of Ed Westwick. I was on set standing opposite them so I saw the entire scene from the celebrity’s point of view. It was mind-boggling. What is it like to get THAT much attention? Strangers screaming your name and trying to take pictures of you? I can barely imagine. It’s not the kind of attention I would ever ask for. Weird, weird, weird.
Oh also, Ed Westwick looked great and was in a gorgeous suit. Maybe he was just in character or maybe he’s really tired of Gossip Girl but he was brooding nonstop. I stood near him during one shot and the only thing I heard him say was (in his ridiculously delicious British accent) “It’s hot as f*%!”
It must be so hard being him.
Friday: I shopped around town and bought some incredible earrings at a market in Soho. I also got to see Bernadette Peters star in “A Little Night Music.” Is it too dramatic to say her performance changed my life? It might have. I WEPT as she sang “Send in the Clowns.” If you have an opportunity to go to New York before December and see a beautiful piece of theatre GO SEE “A Little Night Music.” If you’re not into the art of theatre it may not be for you. It’s really a brilliant piece of commentary on relationships and it’s sung and acted ravishingly. I wish you’d go.
A very poignant line from the play is said by Frederik to Desiree when he chooses not to be with her against his better judgment:
“I’m sorry. I never should have come. To flirt with rescue when one has no intention of being saved…Do try to forgive me.”
* * *
New York weeks are infinitely MORE than weeks other places. MORE exciting, MORE wonderful, MORE terrible, MORE fascinating, MORE intense. This week (luckily) was primarily MORE fantastic. While getting back into the grind of auditioning can be a bit overwhelming, I found myself inspired to live life with more vigor just by walking along the sidewalks of that city. Getting to observe the goings-on of filming a scene of “Gossip Girl” was fascinating and witnessing a paramount performance by Bernadette Peters was inspiring to the point that I couldn’t shout my applause for her during the curtain call because I was too moved. What a wonderful week in a wonderful city. What a wonderful life.