That line up there? Remember it, because when you see an upcoming episode of 30 Rock this season, Liz Lemon will say it to Jenna in one of the dressing rooms, talking about the character of Jayden, who should be hired by the show.
I got to see four takes of this scene today. I sat behind the director, as she watched the monitors and called the shots. Between takes, Tina Fey would come out to where we were sitting in the director chairs (which were set up in the corridor you see on the show where Kenneth’s desk is, actually) and fawn over the real Jayden in a quiet, silly whisper.
Jane Krakowski came over and held him for awhile, too. They were both so laid back and nice! They’re also tiny. Shorter than me, and the type of skinny that makes me jealous.
The entire studio was amazing. It was so strange to just walk into the studios with Kristen’s Dad, stopping to say hi to all kinds of people who work there so they could meet the baby. Kristen’s Dad is a giddy grandfather, and he was so excited to show off his first grandchild to everyone he works with. We must have met the entire crew, including production and writing staff. Heck, we even met the accountants. It seems like such a fun office to work in. They shoot on the first floor of the studio, and the third floor is where the offices are. The writer’s room was a big room with couches and one wall of windows facing the Queensboro Bridge. The studios are located right underneath an overpass there. I saw some notes written on the dry erase board about upcoming scenes.
Everyone was wearing jeans. And they were just normal people, all of them. Just doing their everyday job. What’s funny is that I wasn’t more starstruck. I thought I’d be all stupid-nervous and possibly babbling dumb things, but I surprised myself by being calm and interested in all of the behind-the-scenes stuff going on more than meeting the stars. Watching those scenes being shot on the monitors right there in front of me…seeing a flub happen… hearing Jane Krakowski being told to do another take on a scene she was doing alone and hearing her answer the director back with a soft “ok” as she nodded and set herself again–much like the actors I’ve directed in some plays, really– was so, so, so cool. It made me want to get back into TV production. I’d be lost, sure. But that job seems both hard and fun at the same time. There are SO many people that work there, moving set pieces, hanging by the catering tables (Judah Frielander was out there, in fact. I wish so much I could remember what his hat said today! But he was really nice, too… saying Jayden looked like his grandfather. All I wanted to do was mention something about the episode with the Harry and the Hendersons scene because when I looked at this Judah guy, I pictured Alec Baldwin yelling at him: “Go away! Can’t you see we don’t want you anymore?”)
I could ramble about this incredibly fun afternoon for awhile, but I need to go to sleep. I’m giddy tired from everything we’ve been doing. I love it. Oh, I should mention that no, we didn’t have lunch with Tina Fey like I’d thought. It was because yeah, they were in the middle of actually shooting while we were there. It was OK though because I did feel shy around her and I was struggling just a little to not feel weird when she was talking to us. I didn’t get to take many pictures because it felt funny whipping out the camera around all these people in the middle of working. They treated me and Kristen like we were “insiders” and I thought we would stand out like tourists or something if we were flashing cameras while they were trying to shoot…know what I mean? But, I did get a couple of pictures anyway. I have pictures of Tina holding the baby, next to Kristen’s Dad. And then there is a picture of Jane Krakowski, Kristen, Tina, Jayden and me. So I am in a photo next to her. I am not looking at the camera, though, of course. But STILL!! So damn cool!
I also got a cute picture of me and Kristen on the TGS “Tracy Jordan Show” stage-set, so that was neat, too. (I smell a Facebook profile picture coming on!)
As we left, Kristen’s Dad pulled me aside and told me that I really need to write a spec script and send it to him. I guess now he feels comfortable enough in the company to hand-deliver scripts to the writing team. I got all flustered when he announced to someone on the writing staff that I was “going to be sending her resume in, so you guys should get a look at your next new writer.” Umm… what the hell are you DOING, Mr. M?! OMG, don’t say that…I can’t handle it. He laughed and the people were really nice and seemed so cool, though, so I couldn’t really stay embarrassed for long.
How. Cool. Is. That? Really, though. I’m still in awe of my amazing good luck to be connected with my favorite comedy show on TV. I guess I really shouldn’t waste my connection. I need to get my ass to counseling when I get back so I can sort out my thoughts and figure out how I get myself back into writing mode as soon as possible.
I have nothing to lose and so much to gain. I’ll do it!
Oh, there is one OTHER thing. This trip is making me seriously regret buying the house now. Maybe I should have taken all those roadblocks as a sign that I was actually supposed to move back out here instead. I just love so much out here, down to the sound of the crickets at night. I guess if anything amazing were to happen, career-wise, I could sell the house and come out here. Or at least rent it out. So all isn’t lost, of course. But this is how it goes sometimes when I visit. Sometimes, I miss AZ and want to get back there pretty badly by the end of the trip, and other times, I wonder why the hell I ever left NJ and cry like a baby on the plane back to AZ. I think this could be one of the latter trips.
Cripes, time to pack it in and get to sleep already! I’m sitting in bed at Kristen’s, using my new netbook that I bought the night before I left. I bought it so I could do work on the plane. And guess what: my plan backfired. The interview audio file I’d saved on my iPod to listen to and write the article from ended up crashing and freezing my iPod. Then, this netbook wasn’tl etting me use the word processor and/or Word 2007 because I needed to do some online registering or something and in the air, I couldn’t exactly do that. The best part was when I opened up my hard copy folder for the article and realized I’d left the important notes someplace back home. I just started crying right there in my shitty little plane seat. I feel like I suck at my job. I just don’t know why nothing ever goes right, especially at times like these. Now I am torn between trying to take some time away from seeing people to get work done, or just enjoying my vacation. I’m leaning towards VACATION, to be honest. Even though I am over deadline and afraid they’ll just replace me one of these days because I’m the crappy writer on the team right now. I think being here is making not care as much.
Which, you know, is probably what’s supposed to happen. It’s vacation. Not obsess over your job at home and freak out because technology thwarted your efforts to do work.
YAWN. Note to self: Stop typing, close the book and get the lights off already. Get to sleep, you turkey.