Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I did my next-to-last day on SVU today. We were in the "precinct" and the background actors I remember most from a couple weeks ago when I did bg were there today. One in particular I was hoping to see was there. We greeted each other as he was about to head into bg holding while I was heading to the principle dressing room area. I saw in his eyes the recognition of what had taken place. We parted at that moment, each with our own wry smile.

"Wry" because two Thursday nights prior, we left together and talked about the life and doing the bg thing for a bit as we made our way to our respective forms of public transit. He's a pretty gregarious guy, sharing pictures of his dog and aspects of his life during the 11 hr day. I gathered from the day before that he was a bit of an OG in the room. He eventually revealed that he was one of the original core BG people for a few years until about 2006 when the decision was made to "refresh" the squad room (with new faces in the in younger faces). He's in his 50s; looks 10 solar rotations less. One of the last things we discussed before parting ways was about people who say that they'll never do another bg job if they get a principal role (featured, speaking). We both agreed that this wouldn't stop either of us from doing background.

So, today, after that first interaction, I saw him as talking to another group as I walked to the snack table. On my way back, I stopped and leaned into him and said, "remember the conversation we had about going from bg to principal..." Bryce (sp?) is his name.

The other gentleman stuck out to me because I caught him with the cWj comedy act. The first day I was in the holding room, I walked in not knowing anybody and sat at a table by myself feeling very first-day-of-school-lunch-room.  Bryce was one of the people that sat at the table with me. Another was a woman called Mazzy who was THE most talkative person in the room*. Well, I was fairly quiet and tried to read as much as I could. She began chatting with some other guy in the room and said something that left me an opening to crack on her a little bit (as she had been on other people), so I did my thing that exploded the little shell I was in. She was taken aback (amiably), and the other gentleman - Big Dude I'll call him since I never got his name - thought it was particularly funny, and so I broke the ice with a few people in the room.  Part of the reason I call him Big Dude is because they had him sitting at the sign-in desk (so I guess he was supposed to be the desk sergeant) and he and I took turns trying to make each other crack as we performed our background magic. He as the officer and me as the perp getting ushered along by another lovely bg'er named Debra.

Today I say him and greeted him without saying anything. My preference was to let people figure it out. They've been there much longer than me and I figured they'd be able to tell anyway. When we first spoke, he asked me if I'd been there all day; I told him that I'd just gotten there. I started to say something then, but let it be. I'm suspicious he heard something from Bryce, because the next time I saw him, it was understood. He congratulated me several times with heartfeeling.

That is what I took away from today (well, yesterday now). Both of these men were genuinely happy to see that I'd gotten a shot. Bryce was actually my stand-in, so he was around longer and we got to chat a few more times.

It's times like this that start to trick you into thinking that it's not quite so much a horrid existence, this acting thing.

* edit 3/2: whereas Bryce was gregarious, Mazzy was bodacious.....if I ever see her again I may offer that as a stage name: Mazzy Bodacious. Very 70s British glamrock.

Blog Archive