Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Association - Day 3

Well, Kaitlin just finished her 3rd day on set of The Association, and this one was a looooong day!  We had to be on set by 6:15 a.m., which meant waking up at 5:30 a.m.   We were on set for over 12 hours...topped off with a 3 hour drive back to Houston.  As I type this,  I am lying in bed next to my sleeping 6 year old son (yes, he sleeps with me - don't judge), and my snoring husband.  Although I'm very tired, I don't feel like sleeping.   I just feel like I need to chronicle today's events while they are still fresh in my head.

Ken Thomas putting Kaitlin in her place!

Today was a very cool day because Kaitlin turned into a vampire - complete with fangs and YELLOW eyes!  She was pretty jazzed about her yellow contacts, even though they were killing her the entire day. 
One of the best things about today's shoot, though, is that Kaitlin got to work with some amazing actors!  She really enjoys interacting with other actors, and the crew.  We spend most of the drive home just retelling stories of the day.  I hope that Kaitlin learns a little bit from each of these amazing actors about professionalism, work ethic, and having a passion for what you do. 
Faith and Hunter

Marvin, Faith, Kelly, Nina

Fighting off the bad guys with a white picket fence!

Faith and her beautiful "mom" Nina.

Faith with vampire eyes on the monitor

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kaitlin on set of "The Association"

Home again, home again.  Kaitlin and I are back home after filming in Austin today for The Association, and we are still in love with the process.  The experience is a bit of an ego bruiser for me I have to say...I am noticing that I am not very high on the food chain on set!  I again dropped Kaitlin at the door, and went to park the car.  As I was struggling, once again, with her stuff, I was greeted with, "Are those Faith's bags?  She is upstairs in hair and makeup."  That's it.  No "Hi", "How ya doing?", "Thanks for giving birth to that amazing child up there in hair and make up.".....nothing.  I'm not really complaining, though....they have jobs to do, and frankly, I'm just relieved to not be in charge of anything for once!  I will gladly be known as "the lady who carries Faith's bags and sits quietly in a corner."

Watching the Footage
Although I wasn't given a royal greeting, I did move up in status from sitting in a corner in the upper hallway to sitting in a corner in the master bedroom.  This may sound unimpressive at first, but the master bedroom is the room where the directors, etc. gather to view the footage from the monitor!  This was amazingly cool.  At first Taylor's dad (Taylor plays Kaitlin's brother - Dennis) and I were sitting as quietly and invisibly as we could in the corner, but we gradually ventured out to where we were sitting amongst "the big wigs" viewing footage right along with them (still trying to be invisible).  If I had to pick my ONE most important piece of advice to give parents on set, it would be to BE INVISIBLE!  Stay out of the way, but be there if you are needed.  Many jobs are lost for child actors by obnoxious parents - or so I've heard :)

Kaitlin learned something cool on set today, too.  She discovered that if she asked for a food or beverage, it would be given to her...almost as if it fell from the sky.  Example, "Red Bull"....PA (Production Assistant) magically hands her a Red Bull.  "Banana"...PA hands her a banana.  I have a feeling she is going to need some de-programming when this is done.

Another excitement of the day (and I am not being sarcastic when I say this) was my hunt for a wedding ring.  Just as they were about to shoot, they realized they didn't have a wedding ring for Faith's mom, Nina (played by the fabulous Melody Cobb).  Well, my theater teacher/problem solving persona kicked into high gear, and I was on a hunt for a wedding ring.  Mine didn't fit, so I dashed out at high speed for a store that sold costume jewelry.  Thanks to my handy dandy GPS on my phone, I was able to find a Target and emerged with a perfect $20 wedding ring!  They ended up finding another ring to use, but it still felt cool to run around Austin hunting for a prop for a film.  I've always said I would love to be a PA.  I'm sure it is grueling work, but my ADD personality would love to be the person that runs around doing completely random jobs!!

One of the difficult parts about managing my children's acting careers is balancing this fantasy life with my real one.  Kaitlin is the oldest of 4 children, and while we are off on set, the other 3 are going about their normal lives at home with Dad or Grandmother.  Well, today, Braden went home sick from school.  It turns out he has strep throat.  Also, tomorrow Allie and Hailey have a Lip Sync show at school, which I am directing (since I am one of the Theater Arts teachers at their school).  Towards the end of the shoot today, the director mentioned that he would like Kaitlin in the scene tomorrow (which she was not originally scheduled for).  Well, of course we both wanted to stay...because it's fun, but also because it means more on camera time for Kaitlin.  Plus, it is soooooo important to be flexible in this business.  If the director asks you to stay...you stay.  Well, this meant getting another hotel room, finding a substitute for me for tomorrow, leaving my husband with our sick child, Kaitlin missing another day of school, and not being there tomorrow for last minute rehearsals for the Lip Sync Show.  They ended up not needing us, so we were able to go home, but it's decisions and sacrifices like this that make this business so difficult!  Luckily, we have amazing directors and crew that view Kaitlin as a child (not just an actor)!

Kaitlin and Ken Thomas
I am just so excited for everyone to see this movie!!  The storyline is amazing, the writing is hysterical, and the cinematography is beautiful.  Not to mention the amazing cast (name dropping time)....Today we got to meet Ken Thomas-he was in G.I. Joe and Miss Congeniality, and Kaitlin's family is a group of really wonderful, funny actors!  We feel so blessed to be a part of such an awesome production!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hurry Up And Wait - from the set of "The Association"

So I am sitting in the hallway scrunched up in a little corner.  I have to stop typing every few minutes when they call "quiet on the set".  I'm sure the lady that volunteered her house for the shoot had no idea it would be taken over to this level!!  Seriously, the only rooms that haven't been taken over for this movie are the Master Bathroom and the little girl's room!!!  The guest bathroom has become "hair/make up", the baby's room is now "wardrobe", the game room seems to be headquarters for the Assistant Directors, the patio is home to "Craft Services", even the master bedroom is being used as an office.  To top it off, they can't run the A/C because the sound would be horrible for the cameras!!  We drove in last night, had a 1:00 call time, have been waiting over 3 hours to shoot, and are LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

Seriously, Kaitlin walked in the door of the house (I was parking the car and lugging in all the stuff).  She was greeted by the director's assistant who immediately announced that "Faith Cassidy" was here.  She then asked Kaitlin if she could get her a water, orange juice or anything else.  Kaitlin said she'd like a water, and the assistant quickly brought her a water, AND an orange juice (just in case).    She was then whisked away to Hair and Makeup where the ladies from Paul Mitchell worked magic with a hair straightener to give her an awesome crimped look (think 1990s only so much cooler)! 

She is seriously in heaven!!  When we  broke for lunch at Which Witch, she wrote "Faith" on her lunch bag and we both sat there giggling while we waited for them to call her name!!

There is a saying in showbusiness - "Hurry up and wait."  Which basically means you better bust your rear to get to the set on time, but be prepared to wait a long, long time!!  Luckily, Kaitlin and I (and my other acting girls - Allie and Hailey) have learned to LOVE the wait time!  There is so much to see and learn on a movie set :)  I could get used to this....but I need to remember to bring a chair and a small fan with me every time!!

My First Blog

I'm sure "My First Blog" is the title of everyone's first Blog....I'm just not that creative.  "So," you ask, "Why are you writing a blog if you can't even come up with a creative title?"  Well the answer is this...I feel like my kids and I are on the brink of something big, and I want to chronicle the experiences as we have them.  What if "something big" never happens?  Well, then I guess I have a nice diary of the experience to show my grandchildren.

My name is Kathy, and I have 4 children.  At least 3 of my children have expressed a desire to be actors.  The fourth is just a tag along for now (he's 6 and not quite capable of making such life changing decisions), but he shows just as much talent (read:  drama) as the girls.  So as I am sitting in the hotel room waiting with my oldest daughter, Kaitlin, to film her first feature film, I decided I needed to write a Blog.

Kaitlin (now 14) was about 5 years old when she first verbalized that she wanted to be an actress.  I say verbalized because she started entertaining people at birth....literally at birth.  Her first foray into making an impression on people was her 10 lb. 4 oz weight at birth.  That really had the nurses talking.  This was quickly followed by her attempt to pull herself off the scale as she was being weighed.  She literally grabbed the side of the scale, and tried to pull herself out of there.  Again, quite a hit with all the nurses sitting in the weighing room/nurses lounge having their morning coffee.  Top that off with her jet black, thick head of hair-the nurses spent so long washing and fixing her hair.  They brought her to me with a bright red bow in her hair....not pink like the other little girl babies, and certainly not stuck to her head with a dab of KY Jelly!!  No, Kaitlin had thick black hair that stuck every which way!!!!!  On August 31, 1996, a STAR was truly born!! 

Of course her dad and I thought she was wonderful from the moment of her birth, but people started talking about her being a performer at a very young age....like the time at a friends party when I was upstairs nursing my twins (more about them later).  Kaitlin (2 years old) kept the crowd entertained by singing and dancing on the fireplace (aka her makeshift stage). Did I mention that this was a party full of my friend's family and friends...people we had never met before.

Kaitlin's imagination was vivid!!  One time I overheard her playing with some animals from her Noah's Ark toy.  She was holding a lion saying "ROAR....I scared....ROAR...I scared."  The funny thing is, she was TRULY scaring herself!!  Now that's convincing acting!

That's it for now...I've got to go awaken the movie star.  She's got to film in 3 hours!!!  Oh, and in case my BLOG becomes a huge hit and a published book after my children hit it big in the entertainment business....I don't mean to leave out my other 3 children.  They are just as talented/beautiful/intelligent/loving as Kaitlin.  I will be writing about them in later blogs.