Love Letter To Desperate HousewivesPosted by: Felicity Huffman on April 2nd, 2012
Well, we have 4 more episodes left to shoot and that is truly shocking. When the finish was 9 months, even 3 months away, it was still just a concept. I mean I knew it was ending, but I was still there, doing the same job I had been doing for the last 8 years. So my day to day experience hadn’t changed. But one month? That is countable; you can feel that, that goes from the conceptual to the concrete. A lot has happened to this Desperate Housewives family of ours, over 250 of us, from the ordinary to the profound. All of us working together, day after day, often for 12 -15 hours, makes for a tight knit group. We do the same jobs every day, week after week, and that sameness seems to put the whirlwind of life’s milestones in relief. Finding love, losing love, getting married, getting divorced, having babies, first day of school, fighting disease, loved ones dying, in short… life. I realize it is the same experience that anyone would have while in a long term job, but I am an actor, and actors usually bounce around from job to job, so this is a unique experience for me. And in-between all of this life going on, I have been acting in a TV show that I love and am honored to be a part of.
Here is what’s it’s like on a typical day. I get up at 4:45 a.m., have coffee, read my book for too long, and realize I have to rush or I am going to be late and I drive to work in my pajamas. I pull into the Universal Gate and the sweet guard, Harry Adzhemyan, waves hello to me and I pull up to my trailer. I just have to give a shout out to Harry, because he greets all of us with happy enthusiasm and puts a smile on our faces. It’s a wonderful way to start the day. I park, I grab my big, ugly bag (everyone makes fun of me because my bag is an old gardening bag that used to be a diaper bag) that is full of my computer, ipad, book, sewing project, random half eaten snacks and usually some small article of clothing from one of my children. I walk to the hair and make-up trailer, go through what we all call “the works”. It’s kind of like when Dorothy arrives in the Emerald City, you know, “with a brush, brush here and a dab, dab there that’s how we pass the day away in the merry old land of OZ” and I come out the other side coiffed and painted and ready for work. How cool is that?
Almost everyone gets “the works” done in the same trailer, and even when its 5am there is a happy caffeinated buzz going on. Actors are looking at their scripts, reading the paper, working or falling asleep (Doug Savant) while their hair gets done. Before we are finished, the assistant directors call us into rehearsal which usually takes between thirty to sixty minutes, then back to hair and makeup, go put on our wardrobe (costumes) and begin the days shooting.
For me, it’s a dream come true.
And I have approximately 30 shooting days to savor every moment.
I want to give you a few mental snap shots of all the things I am going to miss. I will keep the list short and maybe write a little love letter every week after a new episode airs, until you “Kiss Us Goodbye.”
- Eva’s laugh: Eva say’s “yes” to the universe and “how can I help?” to the world. She brings love, light and enthusiasm wherever she goes.
- Doug Savants “good morning” as he walks into the trailer: He is always already in costume, he is sleepy, smells like soap, and when I see his handsome, kind face I know it is going to be a good day. He always makes me feel like I’m enough.
- Getting to act every day: I love the dance of figuring out how to perform a scene with the other actors and the director. I love the collaborative process and listening to my own instincts and intellect.
- Going to the “writers den” to talk about a scene: I love writers, and ours work so hard it’s staggering. Can you imagine having a script due every 8 days! I love talking to them about exactly how to act something, how to make sense of something, or what something really means. Doug savant and I have talked with them a lot about marriage, divorce, family, children, in-laws and love in general. It is always fascinating and illuminating to hear the writers talk about Tom and Lynette.
- The Family: Walking onto the set in the morning and seeing DH crew. Camera, grips, electric, props, wardrobe, script supervisor, assistant directors, directors, lighting. All of us coming together for a common goal, working to get it right, being efficient and laughing as much as we can.
Yup, It takes a village to raise a TV show.
It is a wonderful way to make a living and I am one lucky girl.