(DISCLAIMER: This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with the city in Pennsylvania or the town in New Jersey--or any other Allentown for that matter. More at the end.)
Yesterday was a bit of an anomaly for me. I was up at 345 am, not to take care of emergencies, but to shepherd our youngest daughter Natalie down to Philadelphia, where we would both take part (as extras) in our first TV show recording. We arrived about 20 minutes shy of our 618 am call at Tenth Presbyterian Church in the Rittenhouse Square section of the city. It was clear that many of the people knew each other from countless similar previous encounters. Natalie, being the social butterfly and wanting to get to know people, struck up a conversation with a young woman.12 years old and she's so good with people.
I almost posted this without telling you what show it was! Apparently it's going to be a mid-season replacement on NBC about a doctor with a Jekyll-and-Hyde thing going on called, "Do No Harm" (the Hyde part is that he goes out at night after bad guys a' la Batman).
The whole day could be summed up in four words: HURRY UP AND WAIT. That phrase is familiar (I'm told) to those who have served in the armed forces, always waiting in lines. We waited in line to turn in paperwork, to be seated in the recital hall, to have our wardrobe checked; I was a bit concerned because at four in the morning everything looks black (I have an identical pair of navy slacks and in the dawn's early light I thought I had put them on instead--not good with the brown tweed blazer. My fears were unfounded).
After paperwork and wardrobe issues were dealt with, we were taken to the location where the scene was shot--which turned out to be, to my great surprise and delight, a recital hall at the Curtis Institute of Music, one of the world's great music schools. I mentioned this to Natalie (and what dad wouldn't mention the free tuition) but gently reminded her that it was VERY VERY VERY hard to get into (didn't get into the details, but musicians out there know what I'm talking about). The fact that she seemed remotely interested was encouraging.
What little Natalie would reveal to me told me she wants to keep doing this kind of thing. Yikes--but in a good way! She's making friends from the start and that's never a bad thing. It's definitely a different parental dynamic than I'm used to.
For me the most interesting part of the day was watching the attention to detail by everyone involved, from the camera operators to the costumers to the directors. Time is most certainly money to the folks behind the camera. Even the caterer had kosher food available on separate dishes (I saw--but didn't try--the nova lox).
We were done about 1230, and drove home but not before stopping at Qdoba for a celebratory lunch of sorts (which became dinner as well--the burritos are so freaking HUGE), and then drove down the block to For Eyes to pick up our new glasses. I can see again!
Billy Joel, The Nylon Curtain, 1982. I chose this title because of the line, "Out in Bethlehem they're killing time, filling out forms, standing in line" which is what we did most of the day.