Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Today was a unique day, to say the least.
I played tennis with my new work friend, Aaron. This is a big deal. It is hard to find someone to play tennis with. You have to be about exactly the same level, or it won’t be fun for one person. It worked, we are a great fit. We played until Old Man Houghton got tired. Then we sat by the court and talked relationships. I talk about relationships way more now than when I was single, I’ve become one of those married people. From talking to Aaron, and other friends, I am glad I am not a single gay man, that dating world sounds even more difficult than straight dating, and straight dating had had all the difficulty I could handle.
Then, I drove to North Hollywood to begin my transition into a 1960s businessman. I don’t film Mad Men until next Tuesday, but I had a fitting appointment at this big costuming company today. I walked in the front door and received instructions that were practical on a surface level, and metaphorical on a deeper level.
Jeff: I’m here for a fitting.
Woman: What show?
Jeff: Mad Men.
Woman: Are you a principal, or background?
Woman: Then, you have to drive around to the shipping docks in the back.
That about sums up what I’ve heard about extra work. I arrived in the back and checked in at a desk. After waiting for a few minutes, I was escorted back through this warehouse of every costume imaginable. Each show they supply costumes for had their own fenced in area, plus racks and racks high and low with various costumes hanging from them. I was led to a fitting room where I met a PA (Production Assistant) for the show. He asked me my measurements and helped me try on a suit. Everything fit pretty well, and I suppose the pants fit appropriately, but he kept making me pull them up higher and higher. In the end, they were a couple of inches above my belly button. I felt like Urkel, but I trusted them that it was the style. Seriously, how did men do this in the past? It’s weird. It’s like a torso turtleneck. Only advantage I can think of is abolition of plumber crack.
From there I went back out and to a trailer where it was time for my 60s haircut. There was a woman stylist and a man stylist. Mine was the man, a large African American man who, based on his shirt and bag was proud of his Vietnam service. They said my hair didn’t need much work. So, I sat while he trimmed up the back and cut my sideburns down to above my ears. We listened to Marvin Gaye on his iPod while he used Marvin as his inspiration to wax poetically about what women want to hear from their man.
The day was not done yet.
From there, I went to the Paramount Studios Lot to visit with my friend, Catherine, who works for the show, Community. We walked over to the set, where they were filming a scene. It’s amazing how many people are involved in the production of one scene that will come and go quickly for the viewer. There are so many people with so many jobs. It was a funny scene, and Jim Rash is very funny.
They took a break after the rehearsal. In the meantime, Catherine took me around to the study room set where Joel McHale was getting makeup done because she needed to talk to him. As a result, I talked with both of them for awhile. He really does seem like a good guy. He did not remember me from meeting him before with Catherine, but I didn’t hold it against him.
Then, I got to eat a real meal from craft services. It was an actual sausage fest. I got to choose from all kinds of different sausages I had never heard of, and it was only guys in line for the food.
After Paramount, I headed to a coffee shop and pounded out a record four blogs in one day, because I had gotten behind and had so much going on recently.