Grey Matter_04.Parting Grey Skieson October 13, 2009 at 7:10 am
The last week of filming went by just as fast as I feared it would. Faster, even. Even though my brain was pretty addled from lack of sleep due to the constant night shoots, and I was beginning to crave a more varied menu after eating two weeks of craft service, and the cabin I was staying in felt more and more cramped as my cabinmates and I grew less formal with each other, I loved every minute of it.
Since the film was shot in (mostly) chronological order, the final week of shooting was where things got crazy in the script. It’s at this point in the story where my character, Brian, gets abducted, then returned by the aliens, much to the shock and confusion of himself and his friends. Brian’s the third person in the film to get abducted, so the three of us abductees (Jeff Lorch, Shelley Dennis and I) became known as “The Creepies” whenever we were being directed on the set, due to the zombie-ish look we sported once we’d been “taken.” Being a Creepy was insanely fun, and my favorite part of acting in this film. At one point, my character has a t-shirt and sweatpants on, without shoes, and the scene called for The Creepies to be running with the rest of the “Normals” (Stacy Jorgensen, Aaron McPherson, Michael Cornacchia and Anne Griffin) outside, at night, in below-30 degree weather. Needless to say, running across the frost on the grass was like running over crushed ice, and my feet would be freezing after each take. As those following my Twitter feed may remember, Jeff Lorch would carry me back to our first mark “Tauntaun” style, where they would have a warm, dry towel waiting for me. As much as my feet would ache (kind of felt like a “brain freeze” on each foot) while thawing out, I always had a blast and couldn’t wait until we were all in front of the camera again.
As far as letting off steam and partying – as I mentioned in Grey Matter_03 – the night shoots put an end to most of that. However, the cast and crew were so cool that we wouldn’t mind just hanging out with each other between takes, setups or call times. Some of my favorite memories include: creeping around an empty house, searching for sodas with Anne, then watching “Evil Dead” in the dark while a huge rainstorm erupted outside (we had to be driven back to our cabins later); laughing hysterically at comedic sketches Jeff Lorch and I would run through every time we’d see each other (I can’t even begin to explain); watching “Donnie Darko” on a laptop back at one of the small cabins at 3 in the morning with Shelley while the two of us were on hold one night; hanging out in a cool little coffee shop in nearby Clare County with The Cornfather, when a gaggle of teenage girls who had heard of us filming Grey Skies, swarmed us with cell phone cameras and questions; drinking mimosas in celebration of picture wrap with Anne, Shelley and Jeff. Sure, I missed our times as a group around the fire, but the fun I had hanging with many of the people on the set solidified a bunch of new friendships. So much of the time, after being on a set or stage with a group of people, everyone says how they should all stay in touch and hang out after whatever production they’re doing, but it never happens. In this case though, Anne and I have been hanging out a ton, I’ve met Shelley for coffee, and have plans to hang out with Lorch soon. A small miracle in this town (at least for me)!
Now that I’m back in Los Angeles, and back at my day job for a week, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on (and miss) my time in Michigan doing what I love to do, which is act. This experience has lit a new fire under me with regard to my acting career, and I hope to keep that fire burning by finding ways to get onto more sets. With a lot of work, my hope is to get more auditions in the next few months than I’ve gotten in the past year, and that’s entirely doable. I’ll try and blog and/or Tweet about my progress as that helps keeps me motivated and accountable in many ways. Being on the set of Grey Skies has reminded me that I love acting just as much as I love doing JEFbot, so I have to try and balance the time I put into both while keeping my day job. I just wish sleep wasn’t so necessary.
So that’s it for Grey Skies for the time being. One day being on set and the next being back at work was kind of a shock, and I’m already missing the incredible people (Kevin, Ali, Sonya, Shorty, Andy, Josh, Jeremy, Teri, Ryan, Brian, Banzai, Dede, Greg) and environment (apart from the cold, mosquitoes, sulfur ponds, etc. the county of Lake, Michigan is BEAUTIFUL) that made this experience one I’ll never forget. I’m especially grateful to producer extraordinaire Michael Cornacchia for getting me the audition, Mark Reilly for writing such an excellent part (and script!), Kai Blackwood for being passionate about me for the role of Brian and directing such an awesome film, and Stacy Jorgensen for trusting in me and my talent to be in her movie.
Now let’s hope this movie rocks and appears in a theater near you sometime soon! You can be sure I’ll keep this blog updated with any news as post production on the movie begins.