This first day of shooting also happened to be the same day that another client of my manager was shooting another new Showtime show “Ray Donovan”. Stacy Arnell arrived just before my lunch break and stopped by to say hello. So after I ate I wandered over to her set and found her in make-up and hair and we chatted for a bit. I did some more wandering around the Sony lot before making my way back to the MOS set. She came back to visit me while she was waiting to shoot and we took a quick photo to send to our manager.
I ended up sitting in my trailer until about 7pm (I finished my book that I had brought and played enough Angry Birds that I had to charge my cell phone) when I was finally called to set. Julie and Norma were on set and gave me a touch up while I waited. We also were given dinner. When I took my place, the director talked me through the scene: they were shooting me from behind first while the series leads, Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, did their speech. They did this with two other actors, then released Michael and Lizzy, reset the cameras and I got ready for my close-up. We did three different takes and then I was released. Super easy and super fun. It was almost 10pm by the time I was changed and leaving set. I was given my call time for the next day (12:30pm-yay!) and I drove home exhausted, but very happy.
In order to save time for day 2, Norma asked me to sleep in my hair. Before I left on Wednesday evening she pinned it up and told me to sleep with it covered. So when I got to set Thursday she removed her pins and freshened up my hair and it was as good as day 1. She’s amazing. Julie did my make-up again, which was fabulous once again.
While they had initially thought they would shoot me before lunch, they ended up breaking for lunch before my scene. I had brought a new book with me and hung out in my trailer after lunch and went to set around 5pm. Day 2 happened to be Valentine’s Day, so the hair and make-up department had got the Coolhaus ice cream truck to come to the set. Wahoo! So while I was waiting to shoot my scene, one of the PAs went and got me a bowl of ice cream so I wouldn’t miss anything (best PA ever!!!). Everyone on that set was so wonderful.
My final scene was shot a few different ways. The scene contained some nudity so they used what is called a closed set. And I can’t commend everyone there more for their professionalism. I knew what I was getting into when I auditioned, but when the boom operator (the guy who holds the mike) even turns away during shooting I felt very well taken care of.
A lot of my friends were shocked that I chose to be topless and some said I was brave to do it. I have always been of the mind that there are two kinds of nudity: the kind that furthers the story so you don’t even realize it’s happening, and the kind that has a young girl running through a forest naked from an axe murderer just so we can see a young girl naked. (There’s also the Lena Dunham nudity, but that’s a whole other post.) I’m okay with the first, but not the latter. And I know that every actor has their own feelings toward doing nudity, it’s a personal choice and one that no actor should ever be pressured into. For a show like “Masters of Sex” though, it just felt right. Americans tend to be prudish about sex, and watching the first few episodes of MOS I can’t believe that those studies actually happened, and in the 1950s no less! No similar studies have happened since and I don’t know if there would be any decade since then that they could have happened.
I was wrapped and back in my own clothes by 7pm. I left the Sony lot feeling like a million bucks. The entire process, from the casting session with Risa, to the on set PAs like Mona, the hair and make-up crew, the boom operator, the director Jennifer Getzinger, everyone had a great attitude, was professional, and a lot of fun to spend my time with. I look forward to the next job I book, but it will be hard to beat the 2 days I spent at Stage 27 on the Sony Lot.
*Please note that “Masters of Sex” is rated TVMA and is for mature audiences only.*