Sunday, December 16, 2012

18 Hours with Julie - Part 4 - 4:00am-


4:00 am
As the hour grew later, the crew paid more attention to us. Besides the producer, director, stars and crew, we were the only ones there. The attention we got made us feel pretty special, like part of the family.

During this time, a man came to ask us why we were there.
“Are you all fans of Julie’s? Why do you come?” he asked.
It seemed like everyone was talking about our little group in the first two rows. Even producer, Nick Vanoff, came to inspect us. 
“What are those kids doing here?” he asked.
Another man said, “You’re not even getting paid. You know we ought to charge you rent for your seats—same ones every night.”

Now, Julie came back on stage. They did the scene a couple more times and got it good enough. I couldn’t help feeling a little sorry to see this girl in the wig go. She looked so enchanting.

Now, the men started taking the big camera apart. Two crews were dismissed. It felt sad. This enchanted day and our time there was really ending.

I was starving with the worse hunger pains I have ever had. I went out and bought a can of hot spaghetti in the vending machine, but I was so hungry it didn’t do any good. A man, who I thought was a camera man, came out and spoke to each one of us individually.
“Why are you here?” he asked me.
“Well, because I like it and because this is what I want to do,” I told him.
“What?” he asked.
“This is what I want to do—act.”
“Do you realize only one out of 2,000 make it?”
“Yes,” I said, smiling as sweetly as I could in the face of his negativity.
“Well, maybe it’s not so bad,” he said.

Now, they were going to do the chromokey. It took half-an-hour for them to set up. A long blue roll, like a carpet, was rolled down in a frame from the ceiling. It made a curve down to floor. Only one special camera would be in use with the chromokey, and  the actors had to look into a monitor to see where they were in the scene. With the chromokey, the actors would be transported from where they were into a cartooned background. It was strange, and difficult to do. Keith Michell walked through the furniture in the scene many times.

Julie came out for the scene, “The King’s Breakfast,” dressed as “the Queen.” She wore a white dress and a red crown over her curly-haired wig. She was the exact picture of an A.A. Milne illustration. Keith Michell came out in red and white pyjamas with a King’s mantle.

They rehearsed their lines. Julie was so wonderful. She said the queen’s lines in a deep, matronly voice, sounding every bit a Queen. It made me laugh.

Then, Julie came to sit down near us. She was very, very tired. It was four in the morning.

“Mum, Mum, dear, would you do something for me?” she called. (I’m not sure if it was Lorraine or Joan that she called.) A few minutes later, the woman returned with a cup of tea and a peanut butter sandwich. Julie put her legs to the side, almost over the arm of the chair and tried to relax.

After her snack, she had to climb over the roll of “carpet” (chromokey blue roll) to get back onto the set.

“Walk as though you’ve never seen the floor,” director, Bill Davis instructed her about the scene, and she did. I laughed again at that (quietly) and to my surprise I was the only one laughing. Everyone else was so sleepy, but I felt as if I was just waking up. Kneeling on the floor, and then bouncing a little on the seat of  my chair helped.
“Please move the monitor over a bit,” said Julie.
She and Keith were constantly looking at the monitor in order to know where they were in the scene.
“Thank you,” she said, after one of the crew moved it so she could see.
Then, he moved it a bit more and, suddenly, she said,
“Oh no! Not in front of the people sitting there.”
She was very excited about them not blocking our view. By now, there were only four of us left: Vivian, Elizabeth, Kelly and me. Around 3am, Patty had either called her parents or heard from them somehow. They were very angry about her being there that late and she had to leave.

That night, as the evening had gone on, Vivian and I, to entertain ourselves during the breaks, started speaking to one another with an English accent. We were surrounded by English accents. There was Julie, Keith (though he was really Australian) and Elizabeth. But besides those three, at least one of the cameramen was also British. 

Now, about three or four in the morning, I found myself stuck with the accent. Although I tried, I could not speak with an American accent. Actually, I found I didn’t know how to speak with an American accent. Prior to this time, I had just accepted that I had one! But I wasn’t the only one speaking like a person from England; it seemed to me that even the director and another camera man were catching it as well. Words I’d never said with an accent, I was pronouncing the way Julie would say them.
One of several cue cards I got this night. This one had
been doodled on. The "Do Not Sit Here" signs were often
used to put on Julie's chair or a guest star's chair so that
no one else sat there.

Meanwhile, I had been keeping my eye on some of the cue cards all night. When the cue card man came by, I asked him,
“May I have these or do you need them?” I really wanted a souvenir of this long night!
To my surprise, my English accent was stronger than ever. He told me after the show, I could have them and I was thrilled.

The King’s Breakfast – 5am
Julie was watching and moved her chair down closer in front of us (usually, she turns her back to us).  It may have been the only way she could see the set. Now, she turned and facing us directly said, “If somebody doesn’t do something, I’m going to fall asleep.”
I would have liked to pop up and do something crazy, like singing “On the Good Ship Lollipop” to make her laugh, but it didn’t seem a good idea. I think we were all so tired and then in shock that she actually seemed to be talking to us.

Meanwhile, a man on the crew said he had lost his diamond ring and we all started searching for it, looking under the seats, etc.
One of the cameramen, the one who owns the dogs, told us,
“Julie is so tired, but she’s very healthy. She doesn’t eat greasy food, but cooks…”
He went on to describe how she cooks, but I was watching Julie so I really didn’t hear what he said. He told us that every day now she asks,
“Is your puppy as big as Crystal Klutz?”
A short time later, Julie had to go change her costume again. While she changed, I went outside to see if the sun was rising yet. It was almost five am
When I came back, Keith Michel was lying on the floor with a blanket.  He was doing that for the scene. On the screen, it looked like he was in a bed. “We need blankets,” he said.
“I have a beautiful blanket,” said Julie. That was the blanket Elizabeth had given her.

The camera men complimented us on our staying power. 


If you would like to see The Julie Andrews Hour back on television and released on DVD, along with music releases of Julie and her guests, please e-mail a polite request: dan.gopal@itv.com
If you prefer, you may look up ITV in London or Los Angeles, and send a letter there. 

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