Breaking News: the News is Heartbreaking

Drugs, politics, scandal, murder, mayhem, traffic, and weather.

It’s no wonder I rarely watch the news considering the weather is the only potentially pleasant topic (and if it isn’t sunny and 80 degrees than the weather can barely be deemed an agreeable subject).

I remember waking up unnaturally early in the morning all throughout my grade school career and turning on the news and toaster as soon as I stepped downstairs to the kitchen. I probably could have slept in an extra 10 minutes if it weren’t for my partiality towards Eggo waffles with a light amount of butter and a liberal amount of cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, and the morning news, but it was worth a bit of missed sleep to happily greet the day.

wjzWhile gulping down my waffle and trying to keep my sugary fingers limited to the area around my napkin, I would tune into WJZ channel 13 news, and aim for a level of knowledgeableness that those as young as I was rarely achieved. True, the information I was retaining was more about local stories, such as the year’s Polar Bear Plunge, interviews with local businesses regarding the effect of whatever weather pattern we were in the midst of, the Raven’s chances at bringing another championship back to Baltimore, and the musical styling’s of a particular club or charity group, but I loved greeting my city each and every morning through channel 13.

puppies and rainbowsAnd now, it saddens me to turn on the news once so full of charm and energy. Maybe society has increasingly given into the lawless ways that were once so forbidden in the past, maybe I just never noticed the doom and gloom almost ever-present on the television as a child, maybe now our society is more attune to the serious and seriously disheartening subjects, or maybe I just keep tuning in right after a happy story about rainbows that lead to puppy friendship and happily ever-afters with more rainbows.

But really.

Things have got to change people, and fast, because if I have to listen to one more story about a corrupt/cheating/drugged out politician, I may be in danger of spitting out my Eggo waffle in an almighty rage before proclaiming to the neighborhood a distaste for my negative perception of the media and then proceeding to light my house on fire (with the cat toted away to a safe location) as I gleefully watch all of my televisions melt into a dreary heap.

And that’s not a story you’d be pleased to see on the news.

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Veep Veep!

So…last week I officially became a superstar as an extra on HBO’s Veep.

vee[As typical with any college student, I’ve long suffered from a decisive lack of disposable income and have been forced to survive without HBO for these many years. However, thanks to the generosity of the human spirit, I have been known to bum off of my neighbor’s account and watch delightful shows such as Veep and The Newsroom from the discomfort of their couch with a weird metal bar that continuously makes my butt ache no matter which way I arrange myself. As a creature of comfort, the fact that I put up with a sore butt for an hour or a half per episode should attest to my devotion of these shows. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, and Gary Cole all starring in one well done and intriguing comedy of governmental proportions? I’m so there. In fact, the show could literally only have Tony Hale and I would consistently tune in to stare upon the goofy visage of a man who will forever be Baby Buster Blooth.

So when I heard that Veep would be filming at the ever beautiful and camera-ready University of Maryland, I controlled my gut-reaction to scream and did a little hopping happy dance. The dance was immediately followed up with a Facebook, texting, Twitter, and face-to-face confrontation to any and all friends/acquaintances/strangers/enemies/frenemies/vaguely familiar faces/vaguely familiar friendly faces asking for information on how to be a part of the production. The Veep-crazy shout out was then followed by the heavenly instructions to send information to a mysterious email address in the dead of night under a full moon on the side of an abandoned hair salon after spilling root beer on a tree stump and reciting the parting lines from the 5th Harry Potter movie. Well, it was only required to send a phone number, age, and headshot, but I was prepared for whatever task they would throw at me.

And then I waited. First, by devoting an unhealthy amount of time and glances at my phone. Next, by developing a very real and problematic addition to checking my email. Then, by constantly staying on the lookout to hear from others if they had been selected for the honor of this and any other lifetime.

California hipster fall? Or Maryland trendy winter? You decide.

California hipster fall? Or Maryland trendy winter? You decide.

A week and a half later, I got the call and half-had the conversation of a lifetime, as I was too excited to focus on words and could only make out such things as “California fall” and “hipster employable”. I was promised to be sent an email link with not much more information, but that hardly mattered. That same day I ran out to go shopping for an outfit that just screamed the random descriptors that I could recall from the phone conversation. That same night I could hardly sleep for excitement. That next morning I embarked on what would begin my film career!

I woke up at 5 in the morning. I walked in the rain to the building they filmed in. I waited around with some friendly people. I continued to wait around with some now less talkative people. I wasn’t even close to a camera for the vast majority of the day. I began to realize that being an extra was an extra boring process. And then, by the grace of God, I got chosen to partake in a scene where it was finally my time to shine.

Well, I walked in the background about 50 feet away from the actors and will most likely never be noticed due to the two glass walls that also separated us from the real action. About 5 hours later, I did just about the same thing. About 2 hours after that, I sat in an audience hidden away in a corner.

IMG_2764I loved it! I could actually see celebrities while “working” and they were actually quite decent people, as I had a conversation with Nelson Cole (who kept falling asleep as this was the fifth day in a row of filming) and smiled at Julia Louis-Dreyfus who stood 8 inches away from me at one point. I made some great friends in the holding area, I dined on a lunch salmon so heavenly that it must have been blessed by Poseidon himself, I got to tour the gorgeous new building on campus, I bought a beautiful outfit which the casting director called “perfect”, I got paid enough money to afford that beautiful outfit which the casting director called “perfect”, and I ended up getting a reoccurring role in the series! Well, my imagination took over at some points during the shoot, but I swear that the salmon was as delicious as I claimed. Oh, and I introduced myself to Tony Hale, called him by his first name, took a picture with him, and even shook his gosh-darn hand!

We weren't really allowed to take photos, but I needed proof gosh darn it!

We weren’t really allowed to take photos, but I needed proof gosh darn it!

So while you probably most definitely won’t be seeing me in the third episode of season 3, it probably wouldn’t hurt to look for the spunky, overjoyed extra with the look that just screams “California fall” and a tummy protruding from ingesting an inappropriate amount of salmon.