Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Quiet On The Set
I actually fell asleep quickly after our call. I felt great, as if we really did have a chance to make something out of this. I ignored the little voice inside that told me I was crazy. Mostly anyway.
Before I went to sleep I had called the desk and asked for a wake up call for 6:30 and for them to prepare my bill for me, so when the phone rang to wake me I excitedly hit the shower.
I felt energized, not because I had gotten so much sleep, but because I was looking forward to the day, to the next 8 days precisely. I said a small prayer to God, who I hoped actually recognized me and asked that if it was true that He protected children and fools I hoped He was paying attention to me.
I dried my hair and hurriedly dressed. I took as much time as I could on my makeup, and then got my bags packed up. Since I hadn’t really bothered to unpack much, that didn’t take too long which was a great thing because by then it was 7:15. I looked around the room and bathroom one final time to make sure I hadn’t missed anything before calling down to the desk and asking for someone to come and get my bags. I went down stairs to the desk and Adam got there as I was paying my bill. When my bags got downstairs, he took them out to the car and I came out just as he was closing the trunk.
“Good morning Bella,” he greeted me, and then wrapped his arms around me for a wonderful hug. I thought that I could easily get used to that every morning.
“Good morning to you too,” I buried my face in his throat and breathed in his scent. He smelled faintly like soap and some slightly tangy aftershave, but mostly I smelled Adam, and nothing could have made me happier. Scent is such an incredible sense. I don’t know of anything that opens us up as much to other people, events, and memories. Scent brings us instant recall, reminding us of all sorts of things, transports us to other places and times. I know that as long as I live, I will remember Adams scent; warm, slightly musky, and very masculine. I suppose it must be his pheromones that attract me so much, but it didn’t really matter. I was sure that if they put my into a room with 100 other guys and I was blindfolded, I could easily find him.
I lifted my face to him and he just smiled at me for a moment, taking in everything about my face, searching my eyes, looking at my lips. I wasn’t sure what he was looking for, I only knew that already his face was dear to me and I stood up on tip toes to kiss him.
His lips met mine and they were utterly tender and soft. The kiss was long and deep and when we drew away from each other, I suddenly felt so alone and wanting. I think he understood because he bent quickly for one more brief kiss.
We got into the car and after he started it and we got going, he reached down and started the CD player. A familiar tune started playing and it only took me a moment to recognize it—Promise Ain’t Enough, by Hall and Oates, off the Marigold Sky CD. It was one of my favorites and I reached down to his CD holder to see what else he had in there.
“If you don’t like this you can put something else in,” he said, navigating the busy streets. I glanced at his hands on the steering wheel, his long fingers gripping it securely, very much in control. He had beautiful hands and I wondered for the hundredth time what they would feel like on me!
“No, I love this actually. I have it at home. I was just looking to see what else you have in here! Hm.”
“Well, what do you think?” he asked me giving me a quick sideways smile.
Damn those dimples!
“I think you have very eclectic musical tastes Adam,” I laughed. He had a little of everything in there, from country to rock to Motown. I continued to laugh a bit as I looked through them.
“Why are you laughing? Do my tastes appall you?”
“At least half of these are sitting in my CD holder at home. It’s like I brought them all with me!”
I reached over and touched his leg lightly and he sort of jumped. I’m not sure why, but I certainly hoped it wasn’t because I scared him. I withdrew my hand and put it in my own lap. I was feeling kind of weird now, not sure if I had done anything wrong.
He immediately reached over and took my hand in his, rubbing my fingers with his. I looked at him, trying to decipher what was going on. I watched his hand holding mine, stroking it softly, and then I asked, “Adam, did I do something wrong, touching you I mean?” I was feeling unsure of myself now.
We were sitting at a traffic light for a moment and he turned to me. “No, no you didn’t do anything wrong Sarah,” he said, lightly squeezing my hand. “I just wasn’t expecting it. And you are very distracting.” His look at me was almost solemn. He started to say something else, and then quickly closed his mouth. The light turned green and we were off with the other traffic, speeding to the next light.
“When you touch me Adam, it feels like electricity zapping me. Do you feel that too?”
He laughed, and that laugh sounded more like a groan, maybe it was. “You could say that. I’m so afraid I’m going to be walking around the set with this huge erection I can’t even think straight! I know I’m going to forget half of my lines, I just know it.” He was shaking his head and staring intently out the windshield of the car, really almost glaringly focused on the road and traffic.
I started laughing for real then, and after staring at me in astonishment for a moment he joined in.
“We make quite a pair. I’m afraid my nipples are going to get hard and someone will see!” I finished, thinking what an impossible situation this was. There was of course one thing that would help, but we hadn’t gotten around to that yet.
He groaned for real this time and said, “Don’t talk to me about your nipples; it’s NOT going to help me!”
I mumbled something about it not helping me either and then noticed we were pulling into a parking square downtown. We were here I guess.
“Adam, you’ve never told me anything about this movie, what is it about? Is this where you are shooting?” I asked, suddenly curious as I looked around at everything. There were a dozen or so buses parked here and equipment everywhere that included lights, cables, and things that looked like cherry pickers which I later found out were called camera booms. People were rushing around madly and I saw they were coming in and out of what was the art museum when I lived here.
Adam parked the car and hurried around to open my door. “Yes, this is where we are filming and it is a movie about a family that is being blackmailed because their grandfather was a Nazi in the war,” he told me almost absentmindedly. While he was telling me this, we were walking towards one of the buses, and when we got to it his name was on it and the door was open. I realized it was his dressing room. I looked around it and there were a lot of clothes hanging on portable rods, several copies of scripts, but nothing there that was personal at all, almost like it could have been anyone’s dressing room instead of Adams.
“Adam, they need you in make up as soon as you can get there.” Two young women came up the steps of the bus, looking around and spotting Adam, it was the first one that spoke. “Hi there,” she told me, smiling broadly, “I’m Patty Richards, one of the set assistants, but everybody calls me Sunni. This is Krista Marshall, our directorial intern.” Sunni held out a hand to me, which I took. She had a very firm grip and a Texas drawl, if I wasn’t mistaken. At first glance she seemed very young, but I quickly realized that was just because she had so much excess energy. Sunni had red hair, that beautiful shade of deep strawberry blonde and it was pulled back into a pony tail. She had a dusting of freckles across her nose and the most beautiful azure blue eyes I have ever seen. The second young woman, Krista didn’t say anything. She was a very intense looking young woman that was evidently fond of the Goth look—she was all in black and the only spots of color on her were a very pale face and huge brown eyes. Thick black eye liner emphasized those startling eyes, making them look huge. She was very watchful, seeming to take everything in.
“I’m Sarah Marcus and it’s nice to meet you,” I said, smiling back at them. I knew immediately that I liked Sunni; she just seemed so positive and energetic, but I couldn’t yet get a feeling for Krista.
“Hey, that’s a mid-western accent! Where you from?” Sunni queried, grabbing a suit and handing it to Adam, then pushing him into another room. She didn’t seem to miss at beat at anything as she was now looking through the scripts on the table until she found the right one. “Hey Adam, you want some coffee?” she yelled out to him, and then turned to me. “How about you Sarah, you want some coffee or something to eat? Come ON Adam. Sarah, that tent over there is the mess tent, go on and help yourself,” she told me pointing to a striped tent across the square. Krista remained silent through all this. Adam came out then wearing a black suit that frankly made him look gorgeous. Okay, he looked gorgeous no matter what he was wearing. Sunni was guiding him down the steps of the trailer and he turned and flashed an apologetic smile at me and then was gone. Krista trailed along behind, casting one last inscrutable look at me before following Sunni and Adam.
I stepped down out of the bus and watched Adam, Sunni and Krista climbing into another bus. Sunni was using a lint brush on him, handing him a script and yelling at someone else to get some coffee for him. Whew! I thought, whirlwind Sunni. I decided that if she was the one making our reservations for the trip that we had nothing to worry about. I can’t imagine anyone being more thorough than Sunni.
Taking a look around, I decided to head over to the mess tent to see if I could find some coffee. It seemed strange that on a movie set they would call it a mess tent, like the military did. You’d think they would have a classier name. I remembered that I saw on TV that they sometimes call them commissaries, but then again, that was a military term too.
I stood there by the opening for a moment sniffing the air appreciatively. I smelled rich coffee and cinnamon rolls and then I spied a hot plate and a guy behind it cooking up omelets and eggs. I realized that I was very hungry and I wandered down the length of the table, trying to decide what I wanted. There were lots of choices.
I had finally decided on an omelet and was trying to figure out what I wanted in it from all the available options when Sunni came in, no Krista this time, calling out greetings to the few people who were sitting at the tables, lingering over coffee.
“Hey Sarah, you never told me where you are from. You hungry? Try one of Tino’s Texas style omelets, he makes ’em special for me, cheese, onions, bacon, hash browns and peppers, I promise you’ll like it. They are the big hit around here, aren’t they Tino? Of course,” she continued on, “It’s Italian bacon, something they call Pancetta, but it’s pretty good.”
As she spoke she got a cup of coffee and poured a liberal amount of cream and sugar into it and walked over to where I was standing by Tino, who was obviously the cook.
“Yes, that sounds delicious Tino,” I told him, watching him expertly concoct the omelet. “Wichita, Kansas,” I told her “that’s where I’m from.”
As Tino worked on my omelet, Sunni continued on her seemingly endless stream of conversation. “See, I was right! I knew you were from the mid-west. I got Adam into make up. You two have a late night last night? He looks a little peaked this morning, but some concealer will take care of that! Hey, he told me that you all are leaving in the morning for a little trip and asked me to set all that up for you. It sounds like fun!”
She took time to sip her coffee and I told her that yes, we were looking forward to the trip. For all her non-stop talking, she wasn’t really asking any questions or being nosy, and I was thankful for that. I wasn’t ready to answer any questions about Adam and I. Last night with Cass had been enough. I had a vision in my mind of Cass and Sunni together and thought what an event that would be!
Tino finished my omelet and I chose a fresh croissant to go with it and took them over to a table to sit and eat. Sunni was talking to the other people in the tent about the shots planned for the day and I looked at them a little more carefully, but if they were actors I didn’t recognize them. Of course they could be extras, but from the casual way they were dressed it didn’t seem likely. Anyway, it gave me enough time to eat my breakfast, which was indeed wonderful. When I took my plate over to the can to throw it away, I told Tino how good it was and he accepted my compliment with a blush and a smile.
The other people were just leaving and Sunni motioned for me to follow along and we went into the museum to watch what was happening. As we walked, Sunni squirted something from a tube into her hand and rubbed it on her face. She saw me watching her she smiled and explained, “Sunscreen! With these freckles, it is my constant companion.” They were setting up the first shot now, laying tracks for the cameras to move along and hanging lights and placing mike booms and a dozen other things I couldn’t even identify. It was fascinating, twenty people all working independently, but together at the same time—each knowing their job and doing it perfectly. It was almost like a scripted ballet, one person would turn and duck to guide some kind of cords and the person next to them automatically bent or scooted whichever way they needed to go, all without a word being said.
Sunni told me a little about was going on, describing the various things, why there were so many cameras in lots of different places and how the lights and huge reflectors will need to be moved at different times during the day so that the light was constant, pointing to the large windows in the building that let lots of natural light in. She started explaining about continuity when Adam and three other actors came in. I immediately recognized Rachel Tomlinson, William Richards and Paul Hallenbach and Adam turned to me and smiled, a totally cheesy smile, as if he was saying, “I told you so!” which made me laugh. I could see the make up on Adam, but it only enhanced his natural looks. He had mascara on and that seemed kind of funny. Krista made another appearance then, and was asking questions from the person that Sunni had identified as the director, hands gesturing wildly, trying to make a point about something obviously.
Sunni came up with a couple of chairs for us and we set them up well-away from the scene and explained that even at this distance, it was very important to be quiet as cameras easily pickup background noises. That actually seemed like a good thing because if I had to remain quiet, so did Sunni. Her constant stream of conversation and energy, as fascinating and informative as it was, was quickly wearing me out. Adam and the other actors were listening to the director and finding the places where they needed to be during the scene. Adam seemed totally immersed in working right then, which was a good thing and I focused on staying out of the way.
The scene only seemed to about 10 minutes long, but they shot it from many angles multiple times. It took over 4 hours to complete and it amazed me that no one seemed frustrated or grouchy! Sunni had disappeared an hour or so ago and when they stopped for lunch, Adam came over to get me. Krista was with him and seemed intent on talking to him about the scene that they were going to film this afternoon.
“Adam, you have to show anger in this scene, it’s integral to this character,” she was telling him agitatedly. She had her hand on his arm as if she was trying to hold him in place, forcing him to listen.
We were standing outside Adam’s trailer and I could see he was irritated with her. He held his body stiff and rigid and it seemed to me that he was having a bit of trouble keeping his temper in check. His mouth was clamped tightly shut and you could easily see the vein on the side of his temple pulsing. He casually removed her hand from his arm and stepped back a bit.
This can’t be good.
“Krista,” Adam sighed impatiently, “he doesn’t know what is happening for sure yet. He isn’t feeling anger yet, only confusion and worry. You have to play each scene as it is. If his character displayed anger now, it wouldn’t make sense to the audience, it wouldn’t ring true,” he finished. “Now, I’m done discussing this. I’ll see you after lunch.” Krista stood there looking balefully at us, but didn’t say anything else.
Adam reached out and took my hand and we went to his trailer to have some lunch and for him to relax a bit. Sunni had already brought lunch over for us and left the itinerary for the trip on the table for us to go over.
As we read it and ate lunch, Adam was quiet and I realized he was tired. I would have offered to rub his shoulders and neck if I hadn’t thought that would just make things worse and all too soon anyway, it was time for him to get back to the set. I’ll say this for my experiences this morning, I was totally disillusioned about any of this being glamorous—it was hard, taxing work. I can’t remember how often things got delayed by the sounds of some loud traffic noise or someone saying the wrong line, or even saying the right line in a way the director didn’t like.
The afternoon scene took almost 8 hours to complete. In fact they had to stop in the late afternoon and shave Adam and Paul because their 5 o’clock shadows were being caught by the camera. They brought sandwiches around for a quick supper while they were being shaved to save some time. It was almost 10 o’clock before they were finished and we left to go to the hotel. I couldn’t really say I had a fun day, but it was definitely interesting.
Seeing how tired he was I was really glad that he didn’t have to take me back to my hotel. He was very quiet and after a quick hug and kiss, said he was hitting the shower, so I decided to do the same.
When I got out of the shower, I put a nightgown on and a matching robe; nothing too sexy, but comfortable and attractive and headed into the living room of the suite. Adam was already there, in a luscious royal blue terry cloth robe and he looked plenty sexy even if it was terry cloth. He was sitting on the sofa, legs stretched out and resting on the table in front of him with a glass of wine in his hand.
He held out a hand to me to come and join him and I did, picking up a glass of wine that was sitting on the table that I figured was mine. I sat down next to him and he wrapped his arm around me; it felt warm and comforting. He told me he had called the desk and asked for breakfast to be brought up at 9:30. I asked him if they were going to call to wake us up before then and he told me no, that he had set his travel alarm in the bedroom. He leaned down and kissed me, lightly and sweetly. I could feel his exhaustion, so I just leaned back against him and enjoyed the quiet, listening to his breathing. We said very little and soon finished our wine. I took his glass from him and sat it and mine on the table, then I stretched my legs out along the couch and he shifted his along side mine so we were laying facing one another.
It felt wonderful, just laying there with him, feeling him pressed up against me. I wrapped my arm around his waist and yawned. He quickly yawned too and we laughed.
“We’ve got a big day tomorrow,” he murmured, stifling another yawn. “I suppose we should go to bed, but I want to just stay here a few minutes more.”
“Um, me too!” My head was lying next to his chest and I could hear his heart beating steadily, which made me feel wonderful. I could feel the curly hairs on his chest tickling my cheek and I softly kissed his chest, pressing my warm lips against him. I felt his lips in my hair and heard him inhale its fragrance and he pulled me to him a little tighter, settling himself around me.
We were awakened by someone knocking on the door. When we opened our eyes, we realized it was morning; 9:30 to be precise and we had slept the night away!