Monday, May 12, 2014


As you may or may not have heard, Crisis is being cancelled.  I'm pretty sure that they are planning on airing the remaining episodes, which is nice, at least, but I'm bummed.  Crisis is the first television series I've worked on, the first recurring background work I've been lucky enough to get, and was an overall very positive experience. 

It's rare, I've learned, to walk onto a set with a group of background actors as patient, polite, engaged, and talented as the folks I shared the Core FBI title with.  We spent 12+ hour days together in holding on below-freezing Chicago winter days.  We built rapport with each other, the crew, the stand-ins, and everyone else involved in the production (including Michael Beach!)

I've been holding on to an anecdote about Crisis for awhile, hoping, I suppose, that the last time I saw the FBI set would not truly be the last time after all.  But it was, and so I'll tell you. 

The first time I walked onto the Crisis FBI set, it was like walking onto the bridge of JJ Abrams' Starship Enterprise.  Everything glinted with a strange kind of ethereal light, bright and clean and too modern and too real.  You accessed the set from a kind of interdimensional portal, one side a sheet of reinforced plywood, the other a gleaming elevator door.  The crew fluttered around you, doing their noble but ultimately endless task of setting everything up JUST RIGHT, with rolls of gaff tape and sandbags and cabling scattered around the floor. 

Everyone knew each other, except for me, it seemed.  Most of the Core FBI actors had been hired in the fall, but I was added on in December, along with a handful of others. 

I worked maybe 12 or 15 days total on Crisis, including two days at the beginning of filming when I was not FBI at all, just a random bystander.  On the last day of shooting, as everything was winding down and we were preparing to wrap, I realized that every single item of clothing that I was wearing, and even my hairstyle, was identical to what I wore on the first day I worked, the first day of filming.  I thought it was poetic. 

I looked around at extras' holding, at the FBI set.  I looked at the walls and windows and lights that had once looked gleaming and almost supernatural in their existence in my life, and I saw a kind of home.  I sat with my fellow background players and felt I was with family.  We had trekked through frozen tundra, through slush, across frozen and pothole-pockmarked Chicago streets to get to the studio day in and day out.  We had gotten up at 4 or 5am to come in from the suburbs, and wrapped at 11pm or midnight.  We had bonded. 


This is us.  Me in the grey suit/pink shirt in front
It's easy to forget when you're watching a television show, how many people worked SO hard to make it a three-dimensional, realized world.  We're people you probably barely even see in the finished product, the blurs behind the principle actors, the motion half out of frame.  I was so, SO lucky to get to work on Crisis and to be a part of this family, and I hope like hell I get to see them all again someday, and not just piecemeal, one or two at a go, when next season's filming begins in the summer. 

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