Friday, October 29, 2010

The Not So Movie Star

So as many of you know, one of our most exciting adventures in Bulgaria thus far was that I tried out for a movie and actually got a part.  The move is called Spiders 3D.  I was given the part entitled "Old Lady" and my ONE line was "Are you ok?"  (I was to shout this to the lead actress.)  To make it even more exciting I would actually be paid for my time as well!  I signed a contract and all.

There is a movie studio here in Bulgaria that films all sorts of movies- Bulgarian, Italian, American.  I think Val Kilmer has done some shooting here, Donald Sutherland and I even want to say Christian Slater.

I went to the Studio to audition, sign my contract and do a wardrobe fitting.  The whole experience was quite hysterical.  So last Saturday was my "filming day."  My car arrived to pick me up at about 8:30am and we headed for the set which was a Bulgarian Business Park that had been re-done to look like a New York City Street.  As you'll see from the pictures, they had American cars, signs, etc.  I'll be very interested to see the movie when it is released next year just to see if I recognize some of the stuff.

So upon arrival to the set I was taken to my "trailer" which was basically a trailer divided into 3 "rooms." One for each American that was filming that day.  I met the other 2 American dudes that would be filming that day as well.  The only other folks with their own trailers were the lead actress Christa Campbell and Patrick Muldoon.  Note:  for any former Days of Our Lives fans, "Pat" was the former Austin on the soap opera.  How funny is that?

We were told to immediately change into our wardrobe so that the wardrobe folks could approve our outfits and then we would head to hair and makeup.  We sat around for a long while then eventually went to make up.  Then we sat and we sat and we sat.  Eventually one of the Assistant Directors came and got us for lunch.  This was the first time we walked through the set.  We were amazed.  A whole army had been trying to get this movie together while we were sitting in our trailers that were heated and stocked with food and drink.  When we walked into the place where lunch was served, it was dead.  That's because the only people served food ahead of us were the 2 stars of the film.  After we were served we noticed that the rest of the crew were being led into eat.  How funny is that?

After lunch we were told that they were having some troubles with the 3D cameras and we were asked if we were able to come back the next day.  I, of course, immediately said I was available- this would mean two whole days of pay!  Wooohooo for me!  So, we continued to wait.  There was a catering cart on set that we could visit free of charge.  On a coffee run we noticed they had beer in there.  So around 3 o'clock we went and helped ourselves to beers.  After our first round we still had no word on the filming schedule so we helped ourselves to two more beers.  At this point, one of the ADs came and told the guys they would be filming their scene.  I asked if I could tag along.  Mind you, I was supposed to be wearing a suit for my scene.  I had on my suit shirt (untucked), suit pants, my uggs, and a puffy coat.  I followed them down to set where everyone started frantically asking me where the rest of the outfit was.  I said that I hadn't realized I would be filming and they said "no no, you must have your outfit."  So an AD rushed me back to my trailer to get my suit jacket and heels.  We proceeded to sit around for a very long time where people were constantly asking us if we needed chairs, coffees, snacks, etc.  We were just in awe of the entire filming production and forgot that, to them, we were VIPs.  hahaha.

The guys ended up filming their scene, I wasn't able to film mine before they "called it a wrap" for the day.  I received a call today that because of the filming schedule my scene had been  Kinda makes for a lack luster ending but the whole experience was hysterical AND I still get paid!

Below are some pictures that one of the guys shared with me. When they were filming I took over the camera and tried to capture as much as possible. 

I love this one.  The cop cars had "NYCP"  versus "NYPD"-  guess you probably have to pay for the rights to NYPD.
If you look closely the sign reads "welcome to New York"
 They even had american cars with pretend NY state license plates
A New York City Street also known as a Bulgarian business park.

 The above makes me laugh because they are american trashcans and mail boxes next to the Bulgarian trash can.

 My trailer- I like how they changed me from "old lady" to "Woman"
 Oh, if you look closely you'll notice my coffee.  Even regular coffee is served like a shot of espresso.  I need like 10 of them to feel like I've had a "real" cup of coffee!
 Inside of the trailer
 The stars taping an action shot, running across the street
 This one is really funny.  As they were filming, they realized there was a bulgarian sign in the camera shot (if that's the right word?)  A man literally shimmied up the pole to try and remove the sign.  Ultimately, they ended up just turning the sign in a different direction
Front shot of the Bulgarian sign (I, of course, have no idea what it says!)

That's about all.  While it turns out I wont be in a movie, the whole thing is pretty funny.  I think that next time they are "looking" for extras I will probably try out again.  Makes for too good of a story not to try-right?

Hope you guys are all well!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Life in Bulgaria

Hello Blogging World!  I decided that it was finally time to sit down and start this blog I've been talking about since we learned we would be moving to Bulgaria (read: this is a great excuse for me to avoid cleaning this house!)  Anyway, this week we will celebrate our first month in Bulgaria!  It's so hard to believe!  It feels like years have passed since we were in the states but at the same time I can't believe we have been in our new home for almost a month!
Below is just a silly picture that we took of ourselves on the computer. 

Anyway, I have kept in touch with many of you via email but figured that in honor of my first posting I would share some of the highlights of our adventure so far!

Note:  We aren't sure where our camera cables are so in the mean time I have "borrowed" some images via the internet.  I also love those blogs with lots of photos! :)

I was (am probably still am) in a bit of culture shock since our arrival.  Matt tried to prepare me for what to expect and I tried to prepare myself.  The couple that even picked us up from the airport tried to prepare me before we left the airport.  But it is so.much.different when you see it with your own eyes.  Some highlights:
  • The ROADS, the driving, the sidewalks.  It's all so out of control!  It's unlike anything I have ever seen.  Our car is a stick shift so I haven't even attempted to drive.  Mostly I am chauffered (and by chauffered I mean by my husband, friends, taxi drivers) to and fro the places I need to be.  Or I walk.  I can easily walk to the Embassy which is nice.   
  • DOGS and Cat.  There are so very many stray dogs and cats.  We drive by them and just want to collect them all and bring them home.  Matt's already pushed for another cat with no luck.  Mostly the neighborhood folks take care of them but they can be MEAN.  We have been chased by one already.  funny and not funny all at the same time.  Basically Matt was "checking" them out and I guess the head dog wanted to "teach us a lesson" and ran us off.  Last weekend we saw a pack o 6 or 7 barking like mad in our street.  When we reached our lobby they were all walking the opposite direction except for one which turned around and followed us.  I was a bit scared but he was just looking for food I think.  Then, yesterday I turned to walk home from a little market down the road and there was a dog sitting on the sidewalk directly in my bath.  Of course, your first instinct is to run up to them and love them but you just never know.  I was with a friend and she stayed with me for a moment as I determined my approach.  I saw a man coming up the street in the opposite direction so decided to watch what he would do (and mostly how the dog would react.)  The old man shook his keys and the dog moved out of the way.  My friend reminded me that the dog's stance was really sad.  His poor little tail was so sad.  My friend walked me home.  I am officially I whimp and must overcome this fear.
  • Graffiti- it is absolutley everywhere except for a couple of blocks around the city center where all of the touristy stuff is.  It's so werid.  I dont think the Bulgarian's mind it either.  The picture below is the Alexander Nevski Cathedral right in the city center.  I have no idea who this Nevski person is but he must be a pretty big deal.  This is the major icon that you see if you ever see pictures of Bulgara (specifically Sofia.)

  • Laundry- this is just the darndest thing!  We have a washing machine in the laundry room and the dryer is in our bedroom.  So weird.  The appliances are german or austrian or something so we have NO idea what the words mean.  We see the word "trocken" often so typically we set things on "supertrocken" or "ubertrocken" and assume that is a major load.  Laundry takes hours, days, maybe even years.  Me and the washer have come to an agreement.  It will take 4 hours to wash one load (now, these are much smaller loads than we are used to) and I will not touch any buttons, hit, bang or yell at the damn thing during that time.  Now, the dryer is a totally different story.  It beeps at me so much sometimes that I just give up.  I'm not sure our clothes are ever dry.  We purchased a drying rack.  Like I said, laundry is never ending.  Pray for me that someday soon I will have a maid and laundry will no longer be a concern of mine!  :)
  • Water and Electricity are not always constant.  Both have been turned off numerous times during our month here.  You can imagine my dismay when the water shuts off and I am trying to do a load of laundry!
I feel like this is getting pretty lengthy so will stop for now.  I have SO many more stories and now that this blog is up I hope to share them with you on a more regular basis.  Matt and I are in constant amazement and laughter at some of the things we see.  Next up, I will tell you all about my movie stardom!  That's right, I landed a part in an American movie right here in Sofia.  I'm gonna be famous- not really but it really does deserve it's own posting :)  I l'll leave you with this photo that I "borrowed" as well of Mt. Vitosha.  We haven't seen any snow on this mountain yet, but I bet we will soon.  What I thought was cool about this pic is that if you look at the tall building in the left hand corner, that's a big hotel in our neighborhood and just a couple of blocks from our house.  Most of our balconys (I think we have 8 balcony's in all) overlook Mt. Vitosha.  It's really, really gorgeous on the days when it's not actually raining or too smoggy or foggy to see :)