It’s overcast and drizzling and the address on the call sheet is in a nondescript Queens neighborhood. There are no signs anywhere, but then I notice orange cones & production trucks, so I know I am close. My instructions are to go to holding. I see a PA and ask him how to get there, praying the fact that I’m lugging a 20lb. makeup kit will be evidence enough to send me in the right direction. His instructions to me are as follows:
“See that large vacant building? Make a left there and walk all the way down the block. When you get to the end, you’ll see this alleyway on the right. Walk to the end of the alleyway and you’ll find yourself behind a bunch of industrial buildings. It’s somewhere back there.”
So I set off, fairly certain that there was not a Mafia hit on me, but I was beginning to wonder. I went down the block, through the alleyway, and found the courtyard of a decrepit industrial complex. Not a soul in sight. Then I saw a food truck parked by the side of a building. Relieved, I walked through the nearest door, where I found several background actors sitting at folding tables having their eggs & coffee. Having landed, I set my kit down & got breakfast.
Once when I was working on a series of TV commercials, the First AD came to me very concerned.
“We thought we had booked an all-pink pig for this shot, but when it arrived this morning it had brown spots. The Director also noticed that it has these dark lines under its eyes. Can you fix this?”
Attempting not to burst into laughter & pee in my pants, I replied as professionally as possible.
“Well, I don’t normally keep foundation for animals in my kit, but I’ll call Alcone Makeup Supply & have them send me something appropriate for a pig. No problem, I’ll handle it.”
Somehow I made it through the phone call describing this ridiculous request to the guy at Alcone, who also handled the situation with tremendous professionalism. He even gave me some suggestions as to how I might go about applying makeup to a 600 lb. pig. I distinctly remember him asking if I thought the pig was friendly, “because a 600 lb pig might be dangerous…have you ever worked on a pig before?”
Much to my dismay, I never did get to work on the 600 lb. pig. Turns out the brown spots were just mud (he subsequently got a bath), & the animal trainer had brought her own piggy pink makeup for the pig’s under eye circles, which were caused by its tears. But I have kept the 2 pots of pink RCMA foundation Alcone sent over that day, for the next time I am asked to make up a pig…because you can never be too prepared!