This morning Hollywood has come to Pasadena in the form of NCIS. A segment of the popular T.V. show is being filmed in an alleyway across from my brother-in-law's office.
Pasadena is the site for much movie and t.v. filming. It is a beautiful old city with lovely architecture as well as attractive homes and shops. Pasadena benefits from the added revenue, but it can be annoying, since they will take over entire streets, sidewalks and businesses, causing the locals to detour.
I walked out of the parking structure into a T.V. set with trucks, porta potties, catering trucks, a maze of cables and cords, camera trucks and of course a crowd of actors and extras. In other words, an entire Hollywood entourage.
The "alley" which is a tree-lined, bricked walking alley with tables and umbrellas behind restaurants, had been transformed into a winter street from the east coast with vendors, newsstands and bicycles. I say East Coast because the vendors were displaying Georgetown University items.
I am still walking very gingerly with my cane, and I was hoping I wouldn't have to take a detour around the entire block. I approached a security person and asked if I could walk through. He told me it was fine since they weren't actually filming yet.
So, with great care I maneuvered through the "set". It was quite crowded with the extras all dressed in winter-wear, heavy coats, scarves, hats and gloves. This of course is where the cane comes in handy. Most people give one space when wielding a cane. I was focused on not tripping on some of the many huge cables when a woman in "costume" said, "Oh, you're a real person!"
I was a bit startled by her comment, but replied, "Yes, yes I am a real person." (As opposed to what? A blowup doll with a patch kit?)
She laughed and said, "Well, you are not in costume but regular clothes." Apparently a dead give away.....regular clothes.
My next task was to get past the actual "scene of the crime" where they had a person laying on the ground. This was the dead body, so to speak. A man yelled, "O.K. let's begin rehearsal!"
The alley had suddenly become more crowded with both people and equipment. But I was so close to the end. I continued on, half expecting someone to say, "Hey, woman with the cane....stand here. You look real. Now look down at the "dead" body and appear horrified."
But, then, I was wearing "regular clothes" and they certainly wouldn't want that in the scene!
I was beginning to think it would have been safer and taken less time to actually take a detour around the block, when I made it to the end. I felt like I had just completed an obstacle course!
I am thinking about keeping the cane around even when I don't need it any longer. It could come in handy when there is a crowd and I just have to say "Real woman with cane, coming through!"
Cheri is a single, freelance writer living in Southern California. She has two grown children, one in Iowa and one at Columbia University, and is the proud grandmother of two. Cheri is also a purveyor of fine coffee, warm chatter and dry wit.
You can find Cheri’s home page at www.ccabot.gather.com . She now hosts another webpage "Celebrating the Joy of Ordinary Days!"
Her weekly political column “Personal About Politics”, can be found at www.personalpolitics.gather.com.