• Emlyn McFarland

I booked it!

The whole drive to set I still wouldn’t let myself feel excited, I was completely ready to get there and find out a big mistake had been made and they thought I was someone else. I was fully prepared to be sent home as soon as the director saw me and realized I wasn’t the one he wanted.  I carried on none the less remaining calm and steady and really unsure of what to expect. I mean it’s only one line, a kind of important line but still, pretty simple and again just one line. I drove up to the gate in my little Toyota Yaris and rolled down my window I’m here to work on “House of Cards” today I said kind of meekly or at least what is meekly for me. “Are you Emlyn” said the a member of the crew “Yes I am” I said completely surprised that he knew who I was. “Go ahead and park over there and we’ll have a van drive you to set”  Wait was he there waiting specifically for me? This was pretty neat. And WOW! A van is driving me to set, this guy knew who I was and I was about to get a van ride, I was really liking this. When I got to set I was shown to my trailer, that’s right I had my own trailer! It was awesome I’m not gonna lie. Very modest, just like a little dressing room kind of but I had my own bathroom and my character’s name was on the door and it was mine, just mine. My trailer was right next to a very big star’s trailer which was much larger and much more decadent but I didn’t care, I loved my little trailer, I loved it very much. I had my own electrical outlet, my own air conditioner my own heater my own stereo and again my own bathroom it was pretty much amazing in my book and way more than I had expected. I filled out the paperwork and made myself right at home I plugged in my phone and my laptop. I had plenty of tv shows like modern family downloaded on my i tunes. Having been an extra on film and tv sets a lot I was very aware that this could be a quick shoot but it could also be a forever shoot and I was prepared and ready for whatever.  Pretty soon after I got there I was taken to hair and make up, I was really looking forward to this. How cool to be able to show up to work looking just like blah ugly me and then magically after two people work their magic bippity bobbity boo I’m looking great and camera ready. Ok truth be told I was going to show up to set totally bare faced but I didn’t want to freak anyone out so I did put on some tinted moisturizer and a little powder, I mean I can’t go out there looking like a total animal. Bottom line though the whole thing is fantastic someone fixing my hair and someone tickling my face with soft little brushes and then I open my eyes and voila – hey I ain’t half bad lookin’!

I was then sent back to my trailer to await further instruction.  No problem, I had all my media, had a nice cool air blowing from my personal ac and hey I kind of needed to use the bathroom so blam, I did, I used my own personal bathroom. After a short while they told me to get into costume so I did. Little secret I was not crazy about my costume , not so flattering and I looked a little like a lesbian, not that there’s anything wrong with that, I guess I’ll just say I didn’t feel very feminine but actually when I think about it, I kind of never do so on with the costume. I tell myself to back away from the diva train and just “be all that I can be” which you will find funny if you ever see the episode of the show I was in.  I know it’s all in the details and I would like to give more but the confidentiality agreement I signed prohibits me from sharing information and hell if I’m gonna mess with a binding legal document!

All costumed up it was then time to go to set for rehearsal, I was met at my trailer door with a crew member who since it was beginning to drizzle had an umbrella to  walk me to set with so I wouldn’t get wet – I felt like the frieken pope! It was amazing. I kind of wanted to say “oh I can hold the umbrella you don’t have to do that” but then I thought…just let it happen, just let this rock star moment happen.  We got inside and he led me to the area of the set where we were shooting, I of course thanked him. I know what it’s like to be wardrobe crew and background and a stand in and have always vowed that when I “make it” in this business I will always  be polite and appreciative and treat everyone the way I wished I had been treated. I also am aware of the reality that one line isn’t exactly “making it” in this business but I was still going to be nice.

We rehearsed a few times so everyone would know what they were doing, learn the blocking and know our marks, (where we should stand). Then they called lunch.

“Cool” I thought that wasn’t so hard “and now we get free food, awesome!” I headed back to my trailer and put back on my regular person clothes and headed over to the tent where lunch was all set up. The interesting thing here was that I was so used to being an extra where you kind of develop a little group of fellow background friends and eat with them it didn’t occur to me that being solo on set and in my own little trailer I hadn’t really gotten to know anyone. The other actor my scene was with was really nice but seemed kind of serious and I didn’t want to mess up his “process” or whatever he needed to do to be focused. I walked over to the tent where the catered lunch was all set up. I saw a lot of crew and I saw a table of extras and stand ins but I didn’t know them and felt weird just going over and sitting myself down with them uninvited. I kept looking but none of the actors with lines were there, I guess they were all in their trailers. I fixed myself some lunch and walked back to my trailer with my tray. “I guess I’ll just watch some Modern Family episodes on my i tunes while I eat my lunch” I thought to myself. As I began eating my lunching and watching tv on my laptop it hit me, “I’m living the dream!” I was eating while watching tv while taking a break from being on tv. Save for the fact that I was wearing jeans and not sweatpants this was my perfect day!

That’s when I finally let myself get a little excited. I allowed myself to realize this was actually happening and I should really enjoy it. It still was a bitter sweet joy, kind of like a first boyfriend. I felt happy and giddy and warm but I was also all too aware that it wouldn’t last forever. I could only be Cinderella for a little while today and then at the stroke of “that’s a wrap” I would have to get back into my pumpkin, or Toyota Yaris, head back to reality and start the hunt all over again.

#funny #actor #HouseofCards #agents #improv #essay #actress #Netflix #NewYork #acting #showbusiness #Philly #castingdirector

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