Well, let me start this blog by saying, I’m absolutely in heaven about this little part. It also made me highly curious about when I worked on that pilot. After sifting my organized vouchers, I get way back to August of last year and there it is.

I was thinking while looking for it, oh GOD! Please don’t let it be ART Payroll…PLEASE!! Turns out, it’s CAPS, which is EeeeeeeGGScellent-mwah ha ha!! (That’s a statement only insiders will get, sorry fans!)

I have to thank Carla Lewis, a Casting Director friend since I started working in film/television in 2005. Carla is the one that cast me in this part and it was a week ago tomorrow that she called me at 8am asking: “Hi Norma Jean, it’s Carla. Do you remember that show I cast you on a while back with Ray Romano, Men of a Certain Age?” “Yes.” “Well, it’s been picked up by TNT and I’m casting you as a permanent Waitress. You are still working, right?” “Yes, of course I am, it’s my life-didn’t you know that?” *couple giggles* “Ok, well, you’re going back to work on Monday the 17th, I’ll call you with details before next weekend.” “Ok, thanks!” “Oh, wait, Carla! Is this an AFTRA show? I just wanted to remind you I’m an AFTRA member.” “No, NJ, it’s SAG.” “They’re going to be using you a lot since the diner is used frequently.” “I’m in shock, Carla…thanks soooo much!” “You’re welcome Norma Jean, you’re going to be great.” *end*

I was seriously in total shock!!

So, this morning, Friday, August 14th at 10:40am, Carla tells me I’m going to a “New” Norm’s at Paramount Studios. *we laugh* She said, “I’ll be sending you an email with all your details, make sure you respond so I know you got it.” “Sure thing.” “Ok, congrats again and have fun on Monday.”

Wowie, does that firm it up or what? So, I’m still sitting here waiting anxiously on that email. Is this really happening? I have a recurring part on what promises to be a super hit show? *Hypothetically Faints*

All my dreams, my hard work, my endless days and my unknown number of 100-mile round-trip commutes to Hollywood-finally I’m getting a break. Diligence, professionalism and belief in myself are paying off and I’m so excited! Ok, so I cried this morning….Ok, ok…so I cried twice after that phone call….

So….Let’s switch gears and go back to how this whole thing started:
So, my work date was August 13, yesterday was the year mark. Funny that we’d begin shooting almost a year to the day (we go back for Season 1 start on Monday, the 17th). Anyway, I remember that day pretty clearly, so I wanted to recap for you guys. I think this just may end up being nostalgic blog, especially if I get lines down the road, which will be the first in a professional production.

You know, I’m thinking. Weird how Ted Turner bought this show and I’m such a fan of Jane Fonda-I know they’re divorced, calm down.*ha*

On that first day, about 10am….Scott Bakula asked me, “What brings a girl like you to a trailer like this” (hair trailer-we were getting done up at the same time). It was pretty cute and funny so I really can’t wait to see him again. Do you guys remember him from Quantum Leap? If not, do your homework. Scott’s a great actor and super funny! Scott also appears as Brian Shepard in “The Informant” a new movie starring Matt Damon.

And then, of course there’s Andre Braugher who was incredible in “The Mist,” one of my favorite Stephen King movies to date. He also did a kick-ass job in Poseidon. He should be a LOT bigger star than he is, the guy’s incredible!

Last and most importantly, Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) whom I didn’t get to speak with, but I’m hoping to on Monday. Since I’ll be on set there a lot, I’ll be sure to get a lot of fun pictures for you guys and put them here.

So, let’s go back a little. So I worked that August 13th, 2008 from 9:30am until my sign-out time which, according to my voucher shows 2pm. It was a short day, to say the least. I do believe we were shooting at the Norm’s at Woodman and Sherman Way in Van Nuys. I don’t tend to make enough notes in my database about my location shoots, I guess I should?

I remember being directed by Craig Miller, 2nd AD who I also worked on Parks and Recreation with. Great guy, I’ve worked with him on a bunch of stuff. He’s definitely making a name for himself.

So in my Waitress role, I basically had to pour coffee, respond to principals (slightly) and check on some other tables–that’s about it.

I’ll keep this blog going with future stories and photos from the show. I think it will be fun for you guys to follow its growth and “birthing” season.

Take care and please wish me lines!!

Love to all from “The Waitress,”

Norma Jean

And…KISS MY GRITS!

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About normajeanactress

Funny Red-headed Character Actress SAG/AFTRA

3 responses »

  1. whaleyf says:

    I'm so excited for you. FYI Scott was also Captain Archer on Star Trek's Enterprise. Can't wait to see the show. I so want to be you.

  2. Norma Jean says:

    Whaleyf, Thanks for that, I really appreciate it. It's a long climb to the top, but I'll get there. I watched Scott on many things. Be sure to watch the "Informant," he's in that movie with Matt Damon. I know he's got to be pretty proud. Much love, NJ

  3. Norma Jean says:

    Won't be long now, premiere is Dec. 7th on TNT. Don't forget!

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