No Bunk Here

It's true.  I spent all day on set with Donnie Wahlberg yesterday.  No, really!  Perhaps you saw the article in today's Boston Globe?  I got to learn about shucking oysters from Anton Christen, oyster bar specialist, at ye olde Union Oyster House and everything!  While I wasn't doing exactly what I would like (i.e., acting in front of the camera), I was in front of the camera as a stand-in for Maria Thayer in the TNT television pilot Bunker Hill.

Working as a stand-in is an interesting position to be in.  Clearly the director and crew know the names of the stand-ins because we all walk around with large pieces of tape stuck to our chests that list our names and the names of the characters we're representing.

Yet we're almost always referred to as "second team".  Or, in first AD speak: "SECOND TEAM!"

There is an unwritten but standing rule on TV and film sets that one does not speak to or approach the principal talent unless such talent speaks to or approaches you first.  Well, Maria turned out to be super-nice.  She introduced herself straight away and she and I had an easy conversational style from the get-go.  In between scenes I helped her run lines (at her request) and we chatted a bit.  Mr. Wahlberg was more serious, shall we say, and remained focused on his character and the action at hand.

Did I get to meet him?  Well, in a sort-of way, I guess.  The second team had been called in while cameras were re-set.  Mr. Wahlberg's stand-in, Shawn, and I were making our way into the room when--SMACK!  I ran straight into Mr. Wahlberg as he exited.  Literally, I walked into the man.  My words at that moment?  "Oh!  I am so sorry!  Please excuse me."  He looked over me saying, "It's okay," as he moved past.  Did I feel sheepish?  Yes, but I soon got over it.  

The day was rather long and while most of the day was spent inside the Union Oyster House, we spent the last three hours shooting outside in the positively cold weather we had.  I think it was 18 degrees at the time.  While the principal talent typically gets to move about and have some kind of action that will generate warmth, the second team just stands there, when and where requested, not unlike large bumps on a log.  There's not much warmth created when doing so.  Succinctly: I was a popsicle.  However, Shawn had a connection at the Bell in Hand which allowed us to wait inside a large, warm, unpopulated space between shots. 

All in all, the day was great!  I met some fun people, received a nice compliment (I "look beautiful on camera"), and enjoyed myself in the process. 

Someday, just watch.  I'll have lines and I'll have a stand-in, too.  Until then, I'm hoping to be called again to work when they shoot the remainder of Maria's scenes.


David August said...

You'll have lines and a stand in, and they call _you_ first team... it's gonna be nice!

Alecia said...

LOL. Oh, David August. You make me smile. :)

Andy said...

It couldn't happen to a nicer professional auditionee!

magickat said...

I am so happy you had such a great day. I work as a Stand-In all the time and so I know exactly what you have to face in those cold elements, being still and not giving your blood the opportunity to warm your extremeties. But it is worth it at the end of the day, isn't it? You get to work with the crew in front of the camera and see fellow actors at work. It's a good opportunity to take when you can get it.

But those masking tapes with names on them have to go! Tell them ix-nay on the asking-may. If you go back they should know who you are, no tape required!

Anonymous said...

Hay, Wow bumping right into him.. NICE! Do you know when they started FILMING the series? I am looking forward to seeing it on TV