Lunch was a pretty nice time to chat with one another. Waseem, cast for my video as my boyfriend, was ironically cast to be my husband in Elliot Loves. The ongoing joke was that he went from boyfriend to husband in a matter of weeks! LOL...if only it were that way in real life...but then again, that's just fine. Usually people who marry too soon break up just as fast too. We had a great conversation about religion. I have always found it fascinating to discuss spiritual matters...I am a Christian; he is Muslim. And it doesn't bother me one bit! There are two things we are taught in life to never discuss: politics and religion. I don't have a problem discussing either, and that's because I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would NEVER force my beliefs onto someone else in the same fashion that I'd hate someone doing that to me. I respect other people's spiritual beliefs, and when I don't understand, I don't accuse them of being crazy - I don't proclaim there is only one right way, I simply choose to respect it, and ask as many questions as I can. And I can tell that, in spite of Waseem being raised to believe differently, he treated me the same way, and we had a very enlightening conversation. And Dalia, who plays Aunt Denise, was so great to me as well, asking me, "Judy, why aren't you on Broadway?" When I explained to her that I didn't have a casting agent and was not a member of the Equity union, she replied, "So! You're Judy Torres! Stick around me, honey, I"ll help you." Everyone was just so good to me!! But I've digressed....
So after lunch we returned to hair and makeup for touch up before we continued on with the dinner scene. It would be a long scene and simulatneously one of the most emotional ones. I was looking forward to it, and I was also nervous about it. In this scene I had three lines...and I was PROUD of those three lines!!! I confess to wishing it was more, but the same way I "paid my dues" in my music career, and did over 150 free shows before even getting paid, I had no problem paying my dues here...Truth is I am BLESSED to even be cast at all!
Javier was applying make up and then...Ouch. Ooh. Damn...What IS that?! Hair and make up were being applied in the backyard to make necessary room for the indoor scenes. But the sun was going down, and we were very close to water...and that could only mean one thing: (insert scary music here with a scream). Dah, dah dah!!! AAAAHHH!!! - MOSQUITOES out having a buffet on me. I was under attack. The owner of the house told us he was growing basil, and we were welcome to rub it on our skin, as it acts as a natural bug repellent. So now I was all done up, looking fabulous with 5 mosquito bites, including one very close to the bottom of my foot, and I was ready to do my thing, lol.
All the actors were ready. We were all on set. The woman who was playing the Abuela (grandmother) had a look on her face that said, "Oh, honey, you think this is taking long? You ain't seen nothing yet!" LOL. She reminds me of that one woman in your family that speaks with her eyes...she need not say one word, but she has that one look that can bring a person to her knees with fear. Marking the lighting to get it just so, was SO time consuming. I don't know how long we waited there, but I can tell you this much: we were all hot, we were all tired, but we were all determined to get it done, and get it done well. Finally, we were all at the dining table, and we took our spots. We ran through the scene a couple of times, and the director warned us that it would be long; there would be many takes, and there would be extra takes in order to get certain actors' expesssions, and to capture certain angles. All in all I can say, I was humbled, and I will NEVER watch a movie in the same way ever again.
The scene began. It was so much fun watching all of us feed off each others' reactions and body language. For a moment, I had a sort of out of body expience, and I was mesmerized watching Elaine Del Valle (Aunt Carmen) and Elena Goode (Ma) act...the scene is very tense as one sister is basically embarrassing the other, not out of spite, but out of love. Either way it was seriously compelling to watch how honestly their tears hung from the eyes, and it made me remember what filming the Stay video felt like on day two. I looked around the table, and I was just proud to be part of it...and I was freaking HOT!! I was sweating, lol. In the scene, the family is celebrating Abuela's brithday and we all had a piece of cake at the beginning of the scene. All I can say is that we filmed over and over again so many times for so many different reasons, that when we were done, there was barely any cake left on anyone's plate. And then we finally heard "And that's a wrap!!!"" There was applause and then there was relief, and then there was sadness. I was immediately brought back to memories in high school and college on the closing night of a show. We all cried because it was over...the late night rehearsals, the laughter shared with fellow cast members...the hectic schedule. And although it is always promised that you'll all keep in touch, it is exremely rare. So for a moment, I felt sort of what-do-I-do-now-with myself???
As I was leaving I thanked everyone, and got all my stuff together...Gary Terracino, the director, cried, "Good work, Judy..you're a natural." "Thank you!!' I replied...and I have to be honest. Here is where I fail myself: I wondered if he really meant it...not because I thought he was lying to me, but because I wasn't too sure or myself as an actress - I never have been - and it was hard to hear. "Abuela" asked me for a ride into the city and I obliged. It gave me a chance to speak with her...I have no idea how old she is, but I'd guess 50's, perhaps even 60's, but this woman has her act together, honey! She looks great, has a body of a woman in her 30s, and just exudes extreme confidence. I had to pick her brain. I found out she's NEVER married - no children either.I asked her if she ever thought she'd marry, and she said with that look in her eye, lol: "No! Never!" She explained ot me that she is an extremely busy actress and believes it would be unfair to anyone to be involved with her. She told me she, to this day, relishes her independence, and I could see she felt no loss and no regret. Hm, I wondered...will that be me in another 10-20 years?
Before leaving, she encouraged me to get on Broadway. She encouraged me to get my butt out and audition for everything and anything.I think perhaps that will be my next endeavor - hopefully I am not too late. Call time to be on set was 11:15am...I got home at 2:45 am. I had five mosquito bites, my feet ached so bad I almost couldn't walk! And I would gladly do it all over again!!!