Friday, March 2, 2012

Franco part 2, Revenge of the Awkward Ticket Girl

So after shooting the carnival scene, there were fireworks.  Not just for the hell of it, but as a part of the carnival scene.  And again we had to shoot that 3 or four times.  So we had to stand around all awkwardly "ooh"ing and "aah"ing at all the pretty colors.  Then was the firework finale that lasted entirely too long, but in all honesty, can you have too many fireworks.  Hint: the answer is no.  After the magical fireworks, they announced that it was a wrap.  All extras were free to go.  We should go back to the base, get changed, eat some food, and get on our ways.  At this point, it was closing in on midnight, and after having stood in the near freezing cold since dark, I was thinking maybe I should go home.  Or at least to the pub.  Then they made a second announcement.  There would be one more scene of the carnival and extras that were willing to stay were welcome to.  Well what's a girl to do?  Put on warm clothes, go to the pub and have a nice cold brew, and then go home to bed at a reasonable hour?  Oh pish posh.  Imma stay and film the next scene in the freezing cold until 2 AM and then go to a party afterwards and hang out til 5.  duh.

I hadn't completely decided on staying when the local casting guy walked by with a clip board toting intern.  He pointed at me, said "her," and conferred with the kid.  Did Franco call for another awkward encounter with the ticket girl?  Were they mad that I stashed a couple of oranges in my purse?  Were they hand picking me to be in the next scene?  Ding ding ding!  Correct!  They asked if I was willing to stay for the next scene and I answered with a polite and composed "Hell yeah!" (Honestly, you can't take me anywhere.)  So as people were slowing finishing their meals and changing back into their everyday clothes, I sat there reading a book, waiting to be called to go back down to the set.  Franco had chosen to eat at the table behind me and everyone was going up to him to get pictures and autographs.  One lady was so desperate for an autograph that she handed him a paper plate to sign.  Oh mountain people, you never cease to amaze me in all the ways that you don't understand how to interact with society.  For awhile, I contemplated the idea of going up to Franco and introducing myself, so that he could put a real name with the face of the ticket girl.  But I didn't want to be that kinda of girl.  I mean, I've met celebrities before.  Jimmy Carter....that guy from Bizarre Foods....the singer from some Athens band.... Okay, I didn't actually meet the guys from Bizarre Foods, but I sold him a tshirt.  Good enough.  With Franco, I knew I was just gonna stammer and say something stupid, and as much as I wanted a picture with him, I decided to play it cool.  I'd talk to him after the scene.

After about an hour to waiting around, they finally called us back to the set.  This scene was of the main character at a shooting gallery at the carnival, showing off how good he is at shooting things.  They needed background actors to hang out and make it look like people actually went to rural hicktown carnivals.  As we're setting up the shot, I catch Franco again staring at me.  Well I told myself, I wasn't going to act like an idiot this time!  As I'm standing there shivering in my thin dress and tiny cardigan, with Franco in a beanie and warm jacket looking like he's "cold," I ask him all nonchalantly "Ya cold?"  He pauses, "Yep."  For some reason, I have this idea in my head that I'm funny.  I think that I can make people laugh or at least smile sometimes.  And for some reason, this notion popped into my head right at this moment.  So I responded by saying "At least you're not in a dress."  Crickets.  Now it may have been my imagination but I believe a hush fell over the production crew and all of their heads slowly turned to face me.  I swear even one guy was shaking his head and looking down at his feet as if I had just insulted the pope.  Franco just stared at me for an uncomfortable amount of time before turning around and doing whatever a director does.  I'm not sure if what I said was offensive to him in some way.  I later googled his stint as Oscar host last year and found out he had worn a dress at one point:
He does not make a pretty lady.  Thankfully, he makes up for that by being extremely handsome.
 But I sure as hell knew that what I said was not in any way funny.  We shot the scene a couple more times and then they asked all the background people to go.  They had to film some close ups of the main character shooting, so there was no need for extras anymore.  That was it.  I could go home.  No meeting Franco.  No trying to make up for two really weird encounters.  No introducing myself, or shaking his hand, or getting a picture.  Nothing.  It was 2am.  35 degrees.  They let me keep the balloons that I carried in the scene.  But I didn't get to keep my dignity.  Instead Franco will probably never remember me, and if he does, I'll be that weird ticket girl that had a mild stroke when he tried to talk to me and that offended him with a comment about a dress.

Whatever.  First impressions are overrated anyways.
For some behind the scenes pictures and videos of the movie, check this out.  It's Franco's website and he takes all these "artsy" photos and whatnot.  After sifting through some of the silly hipster crap he does, there's actually some cool things on there.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

the Franco sighting


I’m in his movie. 

That’s right folks.  I’m a movie star now.  I’ll be sending out my head shot and autograph as my next Christmas card, you know, because I’m so famous now. 

But seriously, right after I wrote my last post about not being in the movie, I got an email from the casting director.  They wanted to know if I would be available Saturday night to film the carnival scene.  I had made plans to go to Helvetia, West Virginia for the Fasnacht festival, but when I heard that Franco needed me, I immediately canceled my plans.  Fasnacht happens every year.  Franco is a once in a lifetime experience.  The email gave me all the info I needed: call time, location, wardrobe, security measures (direct quote: “if star-struck teenage girls mount the fences around the fairgrounds and sneak there way into a ‘hot set,’ the production will get nothing done.”)  My call time was 4 PM, and filming wouldn’t start until after dark.  As it turns out, a couple of my friends were also invited to be extras, including two guys to be included in the bluegrass band to play during the carnival.  The assistant director took us out to the set so we could be placed.  Everyone got a spot, either working a booth, wandering around the carnival, or dancing in front of the band.  Well, everyone got places, except for me.  Isn’t that the way it always is?  So I told the assistant director that I was the last to be placed and she told me that she would worry about me later, when we were ready to start filming.  There was no way in hell that I was gonna let her forget about me.  But I let it slide until after we got into wardrobe.  Which took a good 2, 3 hours.  In the email, the requested that if we had any clothing that might look like the 1950s that we should bring it.  When I got to wardrobe, I showed them what I had and they loved two of my dresses.  One of them, a dress that I had worn to graduation, needed a slip, so that was out.  But the other one, one that had purchased for a grand total of 25 cents, was perfect.

Please ignore my uncomfortably wide child bearing hips.
Heading down to the set, I knew I wasn’t going to let the assistant director forget that I didn’t have a place yet.  I was also craning my neck to find Franco.  The four hours I had been there, there had been no sight of him.  Everyone went to their places and finally the assistant director puts me at the beginning of the fair scene – I’m selling tickets.  I meet the couple that I will be selling tickets to and we laugh about excited and nervous we are about the whole thing.  And then ACTION!  I sell my tickets and wait for the next group to arrive.  Then I realize where the film crew is coming from.  They’re gonna walk right past me.  I’m the first carnival person the main character sees.  I look at him and smile; he does the same.  He’s followed by a cameraman, boom guy, Franco, the assistant director, and like 4 other people.  FRANCO.  Oh man.  He looks exactly like he does in movies except a bit grungier, as if he hadn’t showered in a few days, aka he looks perfect.  When they cut, the crew stands around for a bit trying to figure out where to shoot next.  I’m just hanging out at my little ticket counter when I turn around and there’s Franco, 25 feet away, looking at me.  He says “what’s up.  selling tickets?”  In my head, I’m thinking “HOOOOOLLLLLY CRAPPPP I might pee myself!!!!” What I said was something like “Yeah, I’m trying to.  I’m doing great at it.  This is fun.  Mumble mumble mumble.  Don’t mind me because I’m an idiot.”  Have a cute guy talk to me?  I usually say something dumb.  Have a cute celebrity talk to me?  I’ll say something really dumb.  Have James freaking Franco talk to me?  Apparently I become a mega doofus. 

We shoot the scene again and this time when I see the main character, I say “Hi how are you?”  He again responds with a smile.  We shoot the scene yet again and I say “Hi how are you?” He says “Good how are you” and I say “good how are you?”  Cue face palm.  Like I said, I’ll say something really dumb.  Every shot after that, the main character walked past me so that I wouldn’t talk to him.  I expected that.  We shot the carnival scene for a good two hours.   The same thing over and over again, just shot at different angles.  It was really interesting seeing the filming process, because you never really think about those things when you’re watching a movie.

I'll leave this as a cliffhanger for now, as there is much much more to the story.  Tune in soon for part 2 of Franco.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I could join the circus...oh and James Franco

Most of my experiences in West Virginia have been about immersing myself into the Appalachian culture.  Recently, I’ve been trying something different.

Lewisburg is the big town of the area.   People literally say they’re “going to town” when they talk about traveling to Lewisburg.  It also helps that it is a huge cultural mecca for art of all kinds.  There are countless art galleries, Carnegie Hall, handmade jewelry shops, you name it.  The culture that is highlighted in Lewisburg isn’t quite the Appalachian culture, but rather that of an urban setting.  It’s hard to describe to people who haven’t been here.  Anyways, like I said I wanted to try some new things.  There’s a yoga studio downtown and I know people who taken classes there.  Let me just start by saying I am not a yoga fan.  I’ve tried it before and I just couldn’t handle it.  Focus on my breathing?  Mind, body, soul merged together?  Sounds stupid.  I just want some kind of exercise that will make me feel good by the end of it. 

EmNewt, the Emily that took my rock climbing, suggested I come to a yoga class with her.  My rock climbing experience with her was nothing short of magical.  It was something I never thought I would do, let alone really like.  I was forced to trust her with my life, and it’s really changed the dynamic of our friendship.  So when she said I should go to this class with her, I had to trust her and just go. 

It happened to be an acrobatic yoga class. 

Did I mention that EmNewt went to clown school instead of college?  No joke.

If you’re like 99.7% of the world and you don’t know what acroyoga is, let me explain before you watch the video.  Partner yoga + trapeze artists + a bit of ballet = what the hell does that even mean.  Let me show you:

Prepare to have you mind blown.

Next mind blowing subject:

Everybody knows who James Franco is.  He's in like every movie and every tv show ever.  He's an actor/director/student/performing arts loving hipster dude.  You know how most actors start in soap operas?  He's in one right now and he's at the top of his career.  This dude does whatever he wants.  Including filming a movie in Lewisburg West Virginia.  But not just any movie.  One that focuses on necrophilia and pedophilia.  It's called Child of God and it's based on a Cormac McCarthy novel.  For those of you unfamiliar with that author, he wrote other books that have turned into movies: The Road and No Country for Old Men. 

So Franco's in town.  They need extras for the movie.  I email them a bunch over the course of the last month.  Nothing.  No response.  No Franco sightings.  I would love to spot the elusive Franco in his natural habitat.  But alas, it's not to be.  Apparently he doesn't drink, smoke, or leave his room ever.  He sits around reading all the time.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good book.  But I also love a good beer and being an active member of society. 

So I didn't get to meet Franco.  I didn't even get to see him.  I think the film crew is only in town for another week or so and then it'll all be over.  It'll all be over and still the only celebrity I've ever met is Jimmy Carter. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A new year

Welcome to 2012.
It's been two months since I last posted an entry on my blog and that's because time has run off on me.  I've been unbelievably busy these last few months.  I've been working for AmeriCorps for 3 1/2 months now and I've been living in West Virginia for over seven.

My job has been wonderful.  I can't believe that I'm actually doing something with my history degree.  How many people can say that?  Right out of college and I'm actually in the career field that I want to be in.  At the museum, I've been doing everything from giving tours to decorating for Christmas to washing lace from 1830.  I think I fit in really well with the people there and they like me a lot.  It's so different than my internship at Pearl Buck.  There's an actual staff at the North House and committees for each area of the historical society.  There's an archives and a collections room.  There are changing exhibits and people actual visit on a regular basis.  It's like Pearl Buck was t-bee and the North House is little league, or maybe even middle school baseball.

At City Hall, we've been making some head way on new walking tour brochure.  I'm really excited to be working on this project because the old on is, well, ....crappy.  And I'm gonna make the new one totally kick ass. Other projects I got going on are a photo exhibit of Lewisburg through the years to be on display in City Hall, rerouting a Civil War path to the Confederate Cemetery, and developing signs to be places around the historic district of downtown Lewisburg as well as directional signs for pedestrians navigating downtown.

So that's what I've been up to.  My professional life is soaring and so, because I believe in karma and balance, my social life is crap.  That's how it's always been, but I'm fine with it.  I never thought I would be doing such wonderful historical projects.  I love my job.  Every so often I'll get a little down in the dumps that my best friend is cable TV, but really it's not that terrible.  How I Met Your Mother is a great show.  And every time I get a little downer than normal, I walk around Lewisburg and I fall in love with the town all over again.  It's adorable and quaint and lively and busy all at the same time.  It's America's Coolest Small Town!

I haven't gotten into any crazy adventures down here.  It's a bustling metropolis: no swimming in the river or living in tents for these people.  It doesn't make as interesting a blog topic as my past WV living arrangement. But those mountain people are just a little too removed from society for me.  (Although I do love the fact that I don't have internet at my house.)  In November and December, I left town just about every other weekend. I went to Athens for a weekend and took Emily and Sonya, some non-native WV buddies, with me.  It's pretty entertaining to watch people as they experience Athens on a home game day for the first time.  I went to Ohio for Thanksgiving: had dinner with my grandpa and cousin, went to some bars in downtown Cleveland, hung out with my brothers in Columbus, saw a bad ass Irish band called The Drowsy Lads.  In December, another non-native WV buddy, Eva and I met Billy and Bethanne in the Smokies for a 5k called the Santa Hustle.  Everyone was dressed up as Santa Claus.  And it was every bit as ridiculous as you think it was.
Me, Eva, and Bethanne.  I didn't take the beard off for the rest of the day. 

Massive amount of Santas
Did I mention that we saw bears?  5 bears.  Yes, Dad, there was a bear.

Then I went back to GA for Christmas.  I stopped in Athens on the way down, hung out in Leesburg for about a week, got to see some wonderful people, stopped in Athens and Greenville, SC on the way back up, and finally got back to WV on New Year's Eve.  Unfortunately, I woke up Christmas Eve with tonsilitis, but it went away when momma loaded me up with pills, but I was stupid and forgot them at my parents' house.  So on New Year's Eve, I woke up with my throat almost completely closed up.  It hurt to talk, to eat, to drink, to breathe.  I would have cried, but that hurt too.  And I had to drive 5 1/2 hours back to WV like that.  So my NYE was spent in bed from 3pm to 10am.  I spent the next two days recovering, and even now I still don't feel 100%, but no pain no gain.  

So the new year started out pretty crappy.  But when I think about it, 2011 started out pretty crappy, but ended up being one of the best years of my life.  So I'll take it.  Comes in like a lion, our like a lamb kinda thing, right?  Or is that March?  The Ides of March?  Now I've gone and confused myself.  Anyways, that's the update on my life.  I'm still alive and well, sorta.  I may be updating the blog more often now because I've decided to leave the soul-sucking monster also known as Facebook.  Maybe people will be more likely to actually call me and have a conversation rather than use the convenience of a network that claims to connect people when all it really does it alienate them.  That's my rant for today.  They'll prolly be another one soon.  

Until then, Happy New Year.  I wish you and yours a safe, happy, and healthy year.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

I'm popular

Just fyi, my blog is famous around the world.
These countries have viewed my blog:




Saint Kitts and Nevis




Hope all you non Americans are enjoying my nonsense.  

hula hoops and dance class

The results are in - 87% of you want me to keep the blog, and the other 13% wants me to only write interesting things.  Well sorry 13%, but I'm going to write about boring monotonous things just because you voted incorrectly.
Since getting back from the hurricane in Florida, I've been non stop busy.  It's really November?  Seriously?  bleh I'm getting old....
When I flew back to WV from Florida, I got to the Charleston airport around 9.  As it was, I had tobe in Charleston the next two days for AmeriCorps training and swearing-in.  I wasn't about to drive two hours back to Lewisburg just to drive back in the morning. So what did I do?  What would anyone do in this situation?  I drove to the nearest rest stop and slept in my car of course.  And that my friends is why you should own a van or station wagon.  Camrys are not conducive to a restful night's sleep.  (And yes Mom, I lied to you about where I was sleeping because I knew you'd worry and freak out.  Oh well.  Get over it.)

The next two days were a blur of silly training exercises and so called inspirational speakers.  "Alright everybody, get into groups of people you don't know and stand in a circle of ten people.  Here's a hula hoop.  Everybody point your two index fingers straight out in front of you.  Everybody's fingers have to be touching the hula hoop at all times.  Now you have to lower the hula hoop to the ground, keeping it parallel to the ground the whole time.  You have to work together to do this.  No one can move faster or slower than anyone else.  Communicate.  Listen.  Work together."  What am I, in kindergarten?!  Give me something to do that I can actually apply to my job.  That's some real hard core "leadership" training alright.  Glad I had to leave my real job to do this nonsense.  But for real, I like AmeriCorps.  It's great.  You should join.
Unfortunately because of this training, I was unable to make it to a good friend's wedding in Atlanta.  I'm sure Elyse was a beautiful bride and I wish her and her husband Nathan all the happiness that life can offer. 

I had a full week of work after having the week off for rain and leadership.  But I had something to look forward to - Halloween weekend.  Carnegie Hall showed The Rockey Horror Picture Show, the community came out in drag, and the audience participation was top notch.  If you haven't seen this movie in a theater, I highly recommend it.  Unless you're freaked out my dudes in lace panties and platform heels, in which case you probably shouldn't watch Rocky Horror anyways. 
Saturday night, Pretty Penny in Hillsboro was having a Thriller themed Halloween party.  I could have gone as a zombie, but I had already decided on my costume: Liz Lemon.  If you don't know who that is, it's the greatest TV character of all time.  It's Tina Fey on 30 Rock.  It's also Tina Fey in real life.  It's also me in real life.  I could watch these videos all day.
this is what my costume consisted of: jeans, tennis shoes, sweater, eating a lot, being awkward around people I don't know, being awkward around people I do know, making fun of everything around me, being mean to people and not even realizing it, eating, dancing awkwardly, eating, and eating. 
Nobody knew who I was.  Partly because no one around here has basic cable and partly because they thought I was just being myself.  Basically it was the best Halloween costume of all time.  Slutty nurse?  psh Slutty witch?  psh Slutty anything?  psh  Imma be Liz Lemon always and forever.

So Halloween came and went, but it was time to get back to reality.  In my reality, I went to my first Hip Hop class.  And I freakin rocked it.  It was so much fun and I didn't look too terribly awkward, but only because there were some middle aged women in there that kinda took over in the awkward department.  But you know what, props to them for getting out there and shaking what their mother's gave them.  (I sincerely hope you read that in the whitest voice you could think of.)
Not only did I join a hip hop class, but I finally, finally FINALLY joined a ballet class.  I haven't taken a ballet class in four and a half years, until last night.  And oh my goodness it was amazing.  I felt terrible and unbalanced and unflexible, but it was the most amazing feeling to get back into ballet after being gone for so long.  This class is considered the adult ballet class, but I'm the oldest person in the class.  The rest are all in high school, and some of them just started learning ballet this year, after having just had modern classes.  So it's not quite what I expected, and I know it will never challenge my technique, but I think it's better this way.  It's taking me back to the basics.  I need to sort of start over and ease myself back into it.  Ballet is tough on your body and your mind, so I should focus on taking it slow.  The kids kind of marveled at my turns (which, I'm not gonna lie, I'm freaking awesome at), but I told them practice makes perfect and you'll get there and I've been dancing longer than you've been alive.   Ugh I'm old.  Seriously - a decade and a half of dancing.  SO OLD.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Florida vacation + rain = still better than not being on vacation

So I've lived in Lewisburg for about a month now.  Things have definitely settled down compared to my life in Pocahontas.  But I'll sum up the last couple weeks for you.
My best friend, Bethanne, came for a visit.  We had a lovely time.  TOOT (Taste of our Town) was on Saturday and they shut down the main road in Lburg and all the restaurants had samplings of their food.  First Friday was also that weekend.  Tent City boys don't know how to function without some form of drama, but they performed as Casasanta again and it was pretty good.  We also went hiking along the Scenic Highway and saw the Honeycomb Rocks and ate at the Pretty Penny. 

My landlord went out of two a couple days after I moved in.  She went on a three week safari in South Africa.  Oh, to be rich.  So I had the house to myself for a bit.  It was nice except for her cat....this cat is 17 years old and the loudest thing on the planet.  I think that it's vocal cords don't work anymore so instead of meowing like an animal, it scream like a banshee.  MMMMMRRRRUUUUUWWANKNSACINEA.  Yep.  That's what it sounds like.  And she doesn't do it once or twice.  But ALL THE TIME.  She'll just sit in the middle of the living room and think to herself, "Hmm.  I'm bored.  And I haven't done anything stupid in awhile.  What should I do? .....MMMMMRRRRRUWWWANNANAREAJIFNAEVSE.  MMMMRRRAIWNICFMIERNSIVRSG.  MMMRMWAIISNICASIRVBNRSIHBD."

I miss Cody.

Nothing of great importance happened in the three weeks my landlord was gone.  I went to the bar like twice, but because I didn't want to be the weirdo who goes to the bar by herself, I decided to stop doing that.  It also doesn't help that I hate meeting new people.  If I was a normal person, I might go somewhere by myself and casually strike up a conversation with someone.  But me?  Aw hell no.  I think I scare people.  The normal look on my face is a snarl because I hate mankind and everything in society, so people try to avoid me.  Also, I've realized I'm an acquired taste.  New people don't quite know how to handle me.  When I swear like a sailor, drink like a fish, and make fun of everything around me, new people tend to think I'm a "bitch" or "mean" or a "sociopath."  When in reality, I'm just a big fucking ray of sunshine!

The last two years, my family has taken vacations.  That's a huge freaking deal because we've never done that before.  The last two years, we found awesome mountain cabins in the weeks before Christmas.  And both years, there has been some disastrous snowstorm/shitstorm.  So my bro and sis-in-law decided to hell with the mountains, we need to go somewhere warm.  How bout the Keys?  Great idea!  lol good one. 
record breaking 15 inches of rain in 5 days.  Seriously.  Mother Nature hates the Ramsey family.  That is not an opinion.  That is a fact.

Also, don't ever go to the Yeager Airport in Charleston West Virginia.  They hold you hostage.  As in, my flight was supposed to leave WV at 630 AM.  I didn't leave WV til 11 AM.  So yeah that sucks, but in a legitimate airport, you can eat food, go to the bar, shop, people watch.  In the Yeager airport, you can sit on a chair, sit on the floor, stand up.....umm...go back out of security three times to change your flight and then come back through security three times and then everyone in security knows your name, where you're going, your life story, your hopes and dreams.  Welcome to my hell.  Welcome to my reality.
I'm thinking Yeager airport, that'll be great.  Maybe they'll have some jager.  Nope.  No airport bar.  In fact there was only one restaurant: Biscuit World.  What is that?!  By the time I got hungry enough to actually consider purchasing "food" from Biscuit World, I realized I would not have enough time to go out of security again, buy some food, come back through security and make it to my flight.  For the love of God, I never want to fly again.

Finally I get to Florida.  But not to the Keys.  Just to Miami.  And I know what you're thinking: Miami is at the tip of Florida.  It can't be that far.  Miami is practically in the Keys.  No.  Wrong.  False.  Miami is forever hours away from the Keys.  Advice: If you ever want to go to the Keys, pay the extra money and fly into Key West.  I promise you it's worth it.

We make it to Florida!  WOOO!  Let's get our vacation on! 
Oh wait.  It's raining.  And it never stops. 
Thankfully, inside the house, it was raining wine.  And it never stopped.  After two and a half days, we had downed 13 bottles.  And then we lost track. 

Here's some highlights of the trip.

Z looking doofy.  Not a highlight, just a normal thing for him.

Crazy ass wind.

Ominous skies

sea shell tree

yeah we should totally climb that during a storm.  what a good idea.

spongebob creeperman

Hemingway's writing studio - everything original, except the most important thing - the typewriter

tour guide feeding the 6 toed cats

giant feet!

Turtle race!  Mine won!

End of the line

Dats right errbody - that got Terrapin beer in Key West!
me and momma looking sloppy at Sloppy Joe's
Sloppy Joe from Sloppy Joe's

End of the line!