Thursday, March 08, 2012

A Tale of Two Mailboxes

Up at 2:00 AM to make sure the call time hasn't changed. It hasn't: 6:30 AM at a base camp near Albuquerque's old town. The car is already packed and fueled. The road to Hatch is pretty lonely at night, but there is radio -- until there is neither scenery nor much worth listening to on radio, and it's just a long drive in the dark to Albuquerque.
This was for another day of work on the set of In Plain Sight, and this episode we might actually watch with friends, not only to enjoy one of the final episodes of a fine comic-drama, but for the added enhancement of a drinking game along the lines of "Spot Algernon." You can play along with us at home, dear reader.
The day began with an elderly woman falling kersplat! in the middle of the street right around the spot where the photo above was taken. (This is not my photograph: I brought no camera with me to set, and it is not Christmas time.) On location like this, the crowd easily gets mixed up with the 100+ extras on set, but the medic rushed to her aid regardless.
The first half of the day was spent here in this plaza, shooting dialogue in the midst of a crowd, with some of us costumed as undercover FBI agents. I was in a mailman costume with the telltale sign of an undercover Fed: the earpiece with squiggly cord on the right side of my face.
A fake mailbox was set up immediately next to the real one you see in the photo here. Despite a piece of gaffe tape bearing the words "FAKE MAILBOX" I had to keep an eye out for people dropping their bill payments and Netflix DVDs into the fake mailbox.
The clock began at 6:30 AM and I was sent home at 7:30 PM after appearing in two scenes. First as the FBI/mailman and later as the partner riding shotgun with a guest actor in the episode, pulling up to a "situation" and jumping out of the car looking all federal. I feel empowered to use that adjective since the script-consultant, a law enforcement guy who makes sure the show gets the details right, described me as looking "really federal." Go me.
For non-speaking extra work, this was a good day, and long enough that despite the long drive I earned a little money. Furthermore I actually did get to act, receiving direction even, and might be visible enough to make the drinking game work.
It will be episode #506, airing in late April.


Kelly said...

Remind us again before it airs.

Perhaps you could give us some pointers on how to look "federal"? (not that I get much occasion for the look)

quid said...

Long day! I think looking Federal might be... look of confusion?