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1:58 pm - Mon 9/17/07
The Real \"Monk\" Entry

The Real Monk Entry

Mon 9/17/07 (11:11 a.m.)

The Monk Shoot

“On Location” at the Monk shoot, at the Westfield Promenade Mall in Woodland Hills.

I’m now “Hot Dog Vendor”, which I’d assume is a lateral career-move from “Coffee Vendor Guy”...unless “Coffee Vendor Guy” is serving really fancy coffee. But anyway...

On the set, sitting in the air-conditioned comfort of “West Bank Trust”, the bank that’s gotten robbed in the episode (I don’t remember the name of the real bank we’re using, but they moved earlier this year, making this the perfect location for a faux-robbery).

Things have been moving too fast for me to write much, and it looks like I might not even get any food (Which makes me feel dumb for skipping breakfast, since I assumed I’d be overindulging at craft services and enjoying a catered meal l to boot).

But either way, it’s “win-win”; either I’m here long enough for the free food, or else they get me in and out so fast I make $900 for just a few hours work, giving me that nice, “I’m getting away with something” feeling.

That $900, by the way, is $140-and-change more than “scale”, which means I now have a “quote” (i.e. an “asking price”) for future co-star roles. Which I think was very kind of the Monk folks; they sure didn’t have to give me anything above scale, so I assume someone just likes me, and thought it would cost them next to nothing to help me out, giving me a little extra cash and a new “quote” in the process (Being me, I’m amused by having a “quote” now, but also slightly nervous–$140 is nothing when you’re talking about a tv-show budget, but I still wonder if some casting people will just say, “$900? Then screw Jim Hoffmaster–We’ll go with our second choice, who’ll do it for scale”. I guess I just to have to believe my “distinctive looks”, charisma, and acting chops are worth the extra dough).
(Well, I see some extras outside the bank eating, so I’m going to go see what that’s about...)

2:45 p.m.

(Two donuts, a banana, and a sparkling water, and I am now officially “good to go”...)

3:45 p.m.

Well, after getting off to a quick start...


And ironically, just as I was about to go on about how things had slowed down-because of problems with an electronic sign that figures prominently in the story-I was called for my scene, we did a few quick takes, and it was all over.

(Actually, I was called twice earlier, once so they could get a shot of me putting a big umbrella up over my hot-dog stand, and then to rehearse my scene. But anyway...)

My big scene was with “Lt. Disher” (Jason Gray-Standford): He says, “So you didn’t see anything?”, I say “I told you. I didn’t even get here till 10:30", put my umbrella up, and he moves on to the next potential witness.

Not much to it, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous.

When we rehearsed the scene, the director told me not to look at “Lt Disher”, but to just say my line as I’m setting up my cart. So I picked a couple things to do as I was saying my line–set out the catsup and mustard–said my line, then grabbed the umbrella

But when it was time to shoot the scene, they’d put a bunch of other things on the cart, and I didn’t have room to do what I’d planned. So I had to figure out something else. Then after the first take, they moved the umbrella from my right side to my left side–better for the shot--and the director said to address my line to Disher.

Very technical stuff.

But all-in-all, I think it went pretty smoothly. We did three takes, it took maybe five minutes (It wasn’t like there was a big “re-set” to do between shots), then they thanked me and moved on.

I sort of wondered off at that point, not quite sure of what to do next (Initially, I was a little unclear about whether I was finished or not). Jason/ “Lt. Disher” actually had to run after me in order to shake my hand; I hope he realized that I wasn’t being rude, just ignorant).

From there, it was back in the van to “base camp”, where I went back to my trailer, got changed, then signed out with the AD.

The AD–who was very nice (Everyone I dealt with that day was very nice. Except the director. But he “had a lot on his plate”, as you might imagine)–told me that if I wanted, I could hang out and have dinner.

So I did. Which meant I got my short, “I got away with something” day, and my free food (I swear, sometimes, it’s really cool to be me).

And that was my day on Monk.

Don’t know when it’s going to air, but the new season doesn’t start till January, so it’s going to be awhile, in any case.

I may have more to add about this experience–I just realized I didn’t say anything about the actor playing the “living statue”, which was one of the more interesting parts of the shoot–but right now, it’s off to get my car from the ramp at ArcLight (Where I then will be going to Discount Tire, to get some more automotive work done).


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