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Saturday, October 30, 2004

Mary Kraft's wild ride, 10/30/04

From Mary Kraft:

So, Jay and Arma and anyone else involved in scheduling were nice enough to deal with adding one more snag to their already snag-ridden, pre-production-engulfed lives. I, Mary Kraft, Carol the bass-player, was simultaneously in Stomp! Shout! Scream!, and in a nearly 2 month long run of Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical! at Dad's Garage Theatre here in Atlanta as Donna the Cheerleader . I had to be in Atlanta, GA, on stage at the theater, no matter what, at 8:00pm every Thursday-Saturday. Hmmmm. We're shooting the majority of the film in Bradenton, FL. Hmmmm. More on that in a bit.

It was tough, mentally, to be at the beach and not be able things.
Monday we got there about midnight--Cynthia (Jody) and Claire (Theodora) and I drove down together...that was the most time we had ever spent together and I thought we had a ridiculously good time. Topics discussed: Religion, politics, family, marriage, agents!, and why that Subway/Dairy Queen/Souvenir shop/alligator head emporium/gas station/giant sewer smelled like a giant crap took a crap on a crap. Interesting side note 1: Cynthia can start tearing up with sickness at the mere mention of a televised surgery.

When we arrived in FL at the house, Jay and the van pulled up shortly thereafter with 12-packs of beer and I can say it was a beautiful moment. We hung out at the beach and then back at the guys' house til way too late, but I still managed to get up and go jogging and swimming the next morning before settling in with Melissa for my daily hair/torture session. How did the women do it back then? Good Lord! To this day, whenever I see Melissa, my scalp starts tingling and my eyes water. (By the way, never a better makeup/hair person than, what a trooper, she did it all and did it with a great attitude)

We shot all day/night Tuesday, got back to the house, somewhere around 2 am?? Can't remember. Regardless, still in time for some cocktails. Chris Hines and Claire were nice enough to go grocery shopping while Cynthia, Jonathan and I shot our scene in an awesome light blue Ford Fairlane whose air-conditioning smelled like Brawny the paper towel giant had just taken off his socks which he’d had on for 2 weeks. We decided to go without the a/c…. Interesting side note 2: talking about the reeking socks made Jonathan sicker than the actual sock smell. The rest of the crew got back a little after us, and everyone fell right back into place, and another night of 4:00 am (or later) bedtimes.

No jogging/swimming Wednesday morning, just a quick walk and some shell-collecting. You know, the shells you pick up then get home and throw in the trash. Then straight to the hair chair with Melissa. Then Cynthia, then Claire. Then we all drive to Treasure Island... then... 3 hours later... the film gets there. Another story. Let's just say we had some down time at the old motel which was our location for the day. We finally get to shoot as the sun's about to go down, so now we (and by we, I mean gaffer/lighting director John Swindall) have to create daylight with lighting. It all works out, but it's a long, long night of shooting, as this is all of the Violas’ motel room dialogue scenes. We wrap that at about, oh, 3:00 am, then drive an hour back to Bradenton, so another 4 am bedtime....after a beer or two. Cynthia is slightly mentally disabled from lack of sleep, Jonathan tells me Travis and Ned are asleep, and I think Claire and Melissa are in their room asleep, so--thankfully--I go to bed. I found out later that Ned (Skunk Ape) woke up, Claire and Melissa were over there having cocktails, and stayed up til like 7:00am?? Good damn thing I knew nothing about that.

Interesting side note 3: The dietary necessities of the band and Melissa made for enough material for a movie within a movie. I’m a vegetarian, who very occasionally eats seafood, so I’m used to being the problem. This was a nice reprieve.

I had to wake up at 7:45am on Thursday to pack for Atlanta and get ready for my beach scene with Jody where we find the mangled body. So, I go into the hair chair with Melissa (who was up til 7) at about 8:30. We have to shoot this scene before 11:15 which is my absolute cut-off time, like, gotta be in the car at 11:15 and heading toward Atlanta. We're on the beach, we're shooting, it's 10:15, it's 10:30, it's 10:55, we do a couple more takes, it's 11:13 and we wrap, I hug everyone and run off to the car, hair NOT blowing in the wind, Cynthia running behind me (same hair, not blowing either) as pit crew for the quick change. I throw off my clothes at the car and hand them to her, pull on my shorts and shirt and realize I have to have something to drink for the trip, so we run back inside, Cynthia runs to the fridge, and we're like, "There's no water.... Where's all the WATER!!! Grab a Coke!" She grabs the fridge pack and stabs at the carton with a sharp knife to open it, pulls one out and we realize she's stabbed it with the knife, so it's spewing coke, "Get another one!" "Here!" "Thanks!" "We'll miss you!" "I'll miss you too!" "Bye!" "Bye!" ...Peel out.

I'm cruisin' making good time, listening to Bread: The Anthology, ("If a picture paints a thousand words.....", "Baby I'ma want you"), I round a corner just north of Valdosta and see traffic at a stand-still. As far as I can see, cars are stopped, inching forward. I panic. I try not to panic. I panic. I shouldn't have had the caffeine. I have more caffeine. Panic. Call my boyfriend, Dan, in Atlanta to start the ball rolling on getting in touch with those at the theater who I don't really want to give this information to but who need to know. The managing director calls me and is a very calm contrast to my inside-of-a-golf-ball-shredded-nerves-I've-had-7-hours-of-sleep-in-the-last-2-days mental state. She goes online to find out traffic/construction info, she gives me some alternate routes, she says they'll hold the show for up to 15 minutes if I need it and offer free drinks. Finally the traffic starts to clear after about 25-30 minutes--all of my "padding" I'd built in for a luxury like a shower before the show. I haul ass, which means 11-14 miles over the speed limit. Kathryn calls back at intervals to see how I'm doing, stressing that it's better that I make it back alive and we hold one show, than have to cancel all the shows. She says they've looked up some porn trivia that they will ask the audience in the hold if we need one. That's cool. How very Dad's Garage. I pull into the theater parking lot at 7:34pm. I run in, still in full hair (you can't get a brush through this stuff, people) and makeup. I wash my hair quickly in a sink in the workshop in back, dry it, straighten it, wipe off a little brown eyeshadow and replace with blue, add lip gloss, then some more lip gloss, put on my spankies and cheerleading outfit, grab my pompoms ("We're at Places, people!") and jump on stage. No porn trivia. No hold. At the buzzer. And so pumped full of caffeine and adrenaline that the show was barely containable. Great audience. Great rush.

This is so crazy.

Why do anything else?

- Mary Kraft
Carol, bass player
Stomp! Shout! Scream!

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