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October 2011

Hey Jenny, here you are! xo

Jenny called last night, it was rather late, but I was up, lying in bed, with my script and tape recorder learning lines.  Next week is going to be a dilly, more than 50% my dialogue for the next shooting block is crammed in to Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  One big scene after another and not the kind of scenes where I listen and look on thinking my thoughts.  No, these are the scenes where Lorna is on the rampage, verbal, complex.

The upside to this is I will be able to kick back and enjoy the following two weeks which will be the last two weeks we have shooting this mini-series.  Be able to waltz in, do a scene here, a scene there, march around the bomb factory, doing my Lorna-thing. 

But, next week…?  Oh mama!

Anyway, I was cramming, pulling the sort of hours that I imagine students going for their bar exam do when the phone rang and it was my sister, Jennifer.  We had a long cozy chat and she told me all about John’s memorial and how beautiful it was.  And listening to her descriptions, it was almost like I was there, with her and my daughter and Sabrina too. 

Then we talked of other things, Bomb Girls, family, friends. 

We had been playing phone tag since Wednesday and I figured she had read my Huffington post blog and knew I had been sad, but she hadn’t read that.  Wanted to, so I’m going to re-post it on this blog now.  So if you’ve read my latest Huff blog then don’t bother reading any further and if you haven’t then feel free to continue reading or not.

    * * *
Almost Like Flying

My agent, Laura Langlie, knows I love reading beautifully written books, so she sent me a galley of Sarah Dooley’s new book, Body of Water. 

Laura was right.  It is beautifully written, the voice strong and true.  The problem was, I had to put it down.  It was too close to the bone, reminded me of a portion of my own childhood that I wished to forget.  And then, the girl’s family is Wiccan and there is nothing wrong with that, many people are.  The problem is, I think my mom is Wiccan too.  I recognized some of the things in the book, celebrating solstice, the circles of things in her house, the different rocks, some of the things she says. 

So, not only was this book bringing up memories of childhood, and the not knowing and bad things happening, and having no say, no control, but it was also making me think of my mother now and how I’m not seeing her and how hard it is.  Both ways, having contact and not having contact.  Neither way, ideal.

And when I think of my mother and the chasm between us, I feel like something heavy is sitting on my heart.  And I don’t want to open that door.

So, I put the book down.  Not because it wasn’t good, but because I am in the middle of a shoot and can’t afford to have a meltdown. 

But still, the portion that I read burrowed in deep and the melancholy came and went all weekend, but I kept it at bay, did a good job, until last night.  Waking up after three hours of sleep, my mind started sifting through all the thoughts and emotions that I’d crammed down and ignored throughout my waking hours.  My mom, John passing, that I’ll never be able to see him again, the happy memories and the sad ones too, and John’s passing and the distance with my mother all intermingled to become one big giant sorrow all mashed together.  And how I found out later that he was asking for me when he died and even though I’d flown out to see him two weeks earlier, I wasn’t able to be there when he passed because I was shooting.  And how I can’t go to his memorial service because there’s no way the production can jiggle the schedule, location, crew, actors all locked in.

I tried watching TV.  Didn’t work.  Checked the overnight gold markets, how the stock markets were doing overseas.  Didn’t help.  Read Investment Postcards From the Edge.  Nope.  Went to the bathroom and the next thing I knew I was sitting on the toilet and I couldn’t stop crying.  Not dainty little elegant tears.  No.  This was the kind of crying where I couldn’t catch my breath.  Noises I didn’t want to acknowledge were coming out of my mouth.  Scary, like something had climbed into my body and wanted to split me open wide.

Finally, I gave up trying to be good, thoughtful, and climbed into bed and snuggled next to Don.  When he sleepily asked, “Are you okay?”  I said, “No” and he turned over and held me while I cried all over his chest.

After a total of four and a half hours of sleep, the alarm clock rang way too soon.  Staggered out of bed, took a shower, ate some food, and then off to the set. 

Conversation with Byron in the car: “How was your weekend?”  “Oh fine.”  Same thing when we arrived and Robin greeted the car.  I went to the makeup trailer; Regan put my hair in curlers.  Then I plod over to Marie Nardella’s chair where she wields her makeup brushes like Picasso, turning ordinary makeup into magic on the face, so subtle.  I love sneaking my eyes open just a crack, so I can watch the focused, intent expression on her face when she’s applying my makeup.  I can’t open them too wide, because the powder flies up and gets in my eyes, and I also don’t want to make her feel self-conscious, but still, I can’t control myself.  It’s like a forbidden treat I can’t help sneaking, because it amazes me how passionate and committed she is to adding her bit, her touch, to my character’s story.  Still can’t get over how she watches at the monitors and then flies over, to fine-tune. 

Marie finished my face, and then it was back to Regan who removed the roller and brushed my hair until it looked like Lorna’s.  When she was done I went back to the trailer and got in Lorna’s clothes.  It was cold so Kim had left me long underwear, Hot Shots to stick under my clothes and a big down coat to wear until the last moment before the cameras roll when Kara would rush up and rip it off my body and race away again so she wouldn’t be in the shot.

I was tired today, a muted sadness lingering from the night.  But once we started rehearsing, something happened.

It wasn’t a complicated scene, a little dialogue and then Lorna/I had to run and then fall. 

And we ran Lorna and me.  We ran and we fell.  Sprawling out.  Skidding on our belly, autumn leaves under our body, more leaves making the dancing decent from sky to the ground, the wind dancing too, clouds tumbling in and out, the smell of wet earth and grass, the exhilaration of running hard, fast, the feel of Lorna’s stout heels digging in, flinging me flinging the two of us on the ground again and again.  Joy built the more I did it.  Running and then hurtling myself up and out, making the landing look good, right, momentarily knocking the breath out of my body, such a happy feeling, almost like flying.

After we were done and driving back home, I thought about shooting that scene and how happy it made me, a simple thing like running in the park and throwing myself on the ground on a windy autumn day.

As a child I did that kind of thing all the time.  Rolling down a hill.  Seeing how far I could jump.  Splashing through a creek, trying to make the biggest wettest splashes ever, collecting tadpoles and building a protected area in a portion of the creek by the house so I could go down every day and watch the changes that occur until one day they’d hatch and the little frogs would hop away. 

Why do we stop running, spinning, jumping, singing out loud just for the joy of it?  Why do we care if no one else is?  Why should we care if people think we are bonkers?  Just because we are grownups we are supposed to stop throwing our bodies on the ground and smelling the earth?  Who wrote these rules and why are we following them?

And as for Sarah’s Dooley’s book, Body of Water?  I’ll finish reading it at the end of November, when Bomb Girls is done.



Here’s the latest.  xo

important Rosie O’Donnell show bulletin

Am watching the new Rosie Show, it’s commercial break and let me tell you… it is FANTASTIC!!  Loving it/her so much!  If you missed this show, don’t miss the next.  A great fun show, dancing broadway boys, confetti, funny conversation, the show has everything this girl could want.  FUN! FUN! FUN!

Okay, back to the show!  Bye for now.  xo

Rosie O’Donnell

Eeeeee!  The Rosie Show premieres on OWN tonight at 7 pm.  So excited!  Actually, triple excited, because I’m off work courtesy of Canadian Thanksgiving, so I’m actually going to get to watch it in real time.  No TIVOing tonight.

Tomorrow, back to work.  Am loving doing this show.  Forgot how fun acting is.  Creating with other people.  So much cozier than being trapped in my writing room with only my computer for company. 

Oh and I’ve got another example of just how fabulous Bomb Girls film crew is.  Friday, in one of the scenes we shot I was handed someone’s resume.  I was supposed to read a name off it, etc.  So, we were blocking the scene, Richard Fitzpatrick (lovely man), the other actor in the scene handed me the paper.  I glanced down and there was an actual form in my hand and the person’s name that I was supposed to pretend to read off the paper was actually written down! 

I was flabbergasted. This is not the normal way of things.  In an ideal world, it would be, but who has the time, who takes that much pleasure and care in getting every little detail right?

I tried to thank Sang, but he told me it wasn’t him, I turned to Ernesto who is in charge of set dec.  He said it wasn’t him.  Sang informed me that it was the Art department’s doing.

The mysterious Art department who is constantly one set ahead of us, feverishly putting together one fabulous set after another.  Truly wonderful, detailed, rich, gorgeous sets.  And doing all that, at mad pace we are moving, still they took the time and the care to put the name mentioned in the script on the paper that I pick up and read.  I could have kissed them.  Aidan Leroux, Kim McQuiston, Barbara Agbaje, Martha Sparrow and Danielle Haeberlin, I’m not sure which one of you is responsible, but thank you…thank you…thank you! xo

And… HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my Canadian readers!