I was sitting downstairs yesterday,
just outside the wardrobe room, while inside it various of the actors who will be
appearing in Cherry were being fitted in Yumi Katsura gowns (for the
ladies) and morning coats (for the gentlemen).
Not all the actors were there. Heather and Aleksa are not
dressing "formal," and they otherwise had the day off. But most everyone else
came in for their fitting, which involved being picked up by a "courtesy van" in
New York, and driven to the set in New Jersey.
Clothes were put on, pins appropriately placed by Ms.
Katsura and her helpres, and then taken off again. Not a long process, but one you
couldn't possibly skip if you wanted your clothes to fit.
And meanwhile, the actors who were finished had to wait for
the other actors who had come with them in the courtesy van. Some talked about catching
the bus back to the Port Authority Terminal, or the Path train downtown, but just as they
would begin to become very impatient Curtis, the First Team Set PA, would appear and send
them up to meet their driver in the street.
"They're coming up," he'd announce into his
walkie-talkie, notifying the driver in the van.
Presumably when they arrived in the street they found the
van, got in and took off. We never heard otherwise, at least.
All of which is fodder for the suspicion that most of us
have, that being an actor may be fun sometimes and occassionally glorious, but it is also
often tedious and always hard work. I think most of us know that, deep inside, even if we
tend to think of actors as people who simply look good and sometimes inhabit other
personalities on demand, and in return they make a lot of money and in general attract a
lot of attention.
Take for instance, belly buttons:
The two above purportedly belong to Donovan
Leitch and Shalom Harlow. I'll let you figure out
which is which. And I leave open the possibilities that they might be frauds. There is a
website out there devoted to celebrity navels, and these two are featured.
Because they are a musician and model respectively, as well as actors,
Shalom and Donovan have each attracted a certain amount of attention. So someone has found
it worthwhile to focus on their bellybuttons. Crazy.
The cast of Cherry is an interesting mixture of people
who have achieved a certain fame, and others who have worked nobly in the theater without
attracting the sort of attention that gets a photo of your belly button featured on an
international computer network.
I spent some time today surfing around the Web looking for interesting
facts about the Cherry cast. I wanted to do a light introduction, steal
some production stills and an offbeat fact or two. But the Web disappoints.
There are plenty of citations. Altavista, an index of all the words on all
the pages on all the sites on the world wide web, except for those sites that don't allow
their pages to be indexed, and those that haven't yet been indexed (for whatever reason)
turned up 1,173 pages containing Shalom's name.
Donovan's name turned up 642 references, and while many did pertain to the
young model and musician and actor, many were actually about his dad.
Which is part of the reason the web disappoints. For the actors who have
spent their time primarily in the theater and worked on some television, such as Beth McGuire (plays Donald's mother), the web spits out just
a few citations. It ignores the theater almost completely, and with the exception of the
ongoing series, pays little attention to television.
What seems to be out there, mostly, are voluminous indexes of credit
lists, though sometimes that can lead someplace interesting. One of the links Beth's name
called up was from a graduate of Beth's voice and speech instruction at NYU.
She put her resume online. Training: Speech and Voice, Beth McGuire. Which
strikes me as nice. Too bad it isn't a fair representation of all she's done.
Gil Rogers (plays Uncle Ernest) has appeared
in some great films, Panic in Needle Park and Pretty Poison,
has performed on Broadway and Off, and appeared on television on the soap operas The
Doctors, Guiding Light and All My Children. His name also shows up
in some episode listings for Lost in Space, though he doesn't have that on his
I remember Gil as Ray Gardner, Tad's father on AMC (which I
watched just a little too religiously back when I was in college). He was a scary, evil
man, Ray Gardner was. Gil is by all accounts cheerful and friendly. That's acting.
Jake Weber (Dr. Beverly Kirk) has a
burgeoning film career, and has done quite a bit of television, too. But having worked
with Marshall Hershkovitz and Alan J. Pakula and Sidney Lumet and Martin Brest isn't what
has made Jake something of an internet star: That would instead be a shortlived CBS series
called American Gothic, in which he starred with Gary Cole.
American Gothic was produced by Shawn Cassidy, of all people, and
was the story of a small town name Trinity that just so happened to be the gateway between
heaven and hell. And the sheriff was the gatekeeper. Or something like that. The series
didn't survive long, but its recent revival on cable has its cult of fans excited. Quite a
few of them have tribute sites on the Web, and have since the show was on, sites that
detail all sorts of minutia having to do with the show, its plots and actors.
There's a guy who has made a place called Virtual Trinity that I
would guess has taken more time to put together than all the time all the directors and
writers of the real series spent making it. Crazy.
One bit that shows up in all this material on Jake is that he attended
Middlebury College, and graduated cum laude with an English Lit/Poly Sci B.A. What is less
commonly known, and coincidental, is that both Jon and Joe, producer/directors of Cherry, are
Middlebury grads as well.
Kelly Singer (Red) is not even an
elementary school grad yet, but she has starred in a movie with Harrison Ford. Kelly
scores 84 web references in AltaVista, but it appears that's because her name is pretty
Still, Kelly turns up in the cast lists of the reviews of The
Devil's Own, in umpteen newspapers, magazines, ezines and other journals on the
web. If you love movie reviews, this is the place to be.
And if you're a real celebrity, maybe you'll end up with a picture of your
belly button online. That's not the sort of thing that happens to writers.