Nurse Jackie filming in front of my apartment. If you look closely, you can see Edie Falco (left, in blue nurse's scrubs and camel-colored coat) and Adam Ferrara (right, in police uniform).
This morning I had an experience that might serve as an apt metaphor for my life, as well as the lives of many other people in our 21st-century, technologically-mediated world. The TV show Nurse Jackie, which stars Edie Falco (a.k.a. Carmela Soprano on The Sopranos), was filming in front of my apartment building. Now, in addition to being a huge fan of Edie Falco, I also have a real—if tenuous—connection to her in real life. We did children’s theater together on Long Island…37 years ago!
“What are the odds of Edie Falco being in front of my apartment?” I thought, conjuring images in my head of instant entrée to show business, camera bulbs flashing, velvet ropes parting. “Let me go across the street and say hello to her.”
Yeah, right! Like there isn’t someone on the staff on Nurse Jackie whose sole job it is to keep people like me away from her.
I showered and quickly got dressed (without eating breakfast), ran across the street and approached the PA.
“I know this sounds crazy,” I said, trying hard not to sound crazy, “but I did children’s theater with Edie Falco on Long Island.” The PA, who couldn’t have been more than 25, widened his eyes and said, “Cool.”
“I know you’re working and I don’t want to interrupt, but do you think it would be possible for me to say hello?”
“Well, we’re kind of busy shooting right now,” the PA said.
“Of course,” I nodded, assuming the air of a seasoned TV actor. “Do you mind if I watch?”
“No problem,” he said. “Just stand over there.”
He pointed me to a spot outside the gate surrounding the park where they were filming.
I peeked through the metal poles of the gate and, sure enough, about 15 feet away from me, I could see Edie Falco sitting on a park bench in her blue nurse’s scrubs and a camel-colored coat and Adam Ferrara sitting next to her in a blue police uniform.
I instinctively took out my iPhone and took a few pictures.
“How long are you going to be filming here?” I asked.
“About another half hour,” he said.
I was surprised they were going to be finished so soon. The last time I did extra work, I was on set 16 hours and I only did five minutes of work!
“Maybe I can come back later. I live right across the street,” I said, pointing to my apartment.”
“Sure,” the PA nodded.
I figured I would have a leisurely breakfast and come back in a half hour. Instead, I ran back to my apartment and frantically started trying to post the photo to my Facebook page from my iPhone, along with a pithy comment. The first three times I tried sending it, it didn’t go through. Shit! I hooked my iPhone up to my computer and tried sending it again. Still no luck!
Finally, on my fifth try, the photo went through, along with my painstakingly worded comment.
Then I looked out my window and, much to my dismay, saw that the crew was already dismantling the set.
I went back to the PA I had spoken to earlier and asked, “Did everybody leave already?”
“Yep,” he nodded. “They just left a minute ago.”
What TV shoot ever wrapped in 15 minutes?! That had to be the fastest shoot in the history of television!
It occurred to me that if I had just stayed 15 minutes and waited until they were finished filming, I might have been able to say hello to Edie Falco! Instead, I spent that time posting a stupid picture on my Facebook page! My chance at stardom was lost!
Oh, well. At least I had my Facebook photo. Proof that, for one nanosecond, I was 15 feet away from Edie Falco.