Hi from Hollywood!

Mr. Hollywood,

It’s been mostly a medical kind of week for me. On Monday I scheduled the day off in order to marathon through all my annual  medical must-haves.  I started the day nervously at nine bells when I arrived for my  forever-feared physical. The seemingly endless exam consisted of a shot in my left arm, a blood-draw from my right, a stick stuck down my throat . . . and, well, I promise to not  pass along any particulars of the final probing. Butt l  will tell you I did need a mandatory massage after twisting a twitching neck tendon during that awakening attack from behind. As if all that hadn’t been enough, I next headed to the Doctor of Big Buzz Kills, the dentist. It was there that I was to be honored by not one, but two incredible coronations. It all sounded simply spectacular to me. However, my feelings of appreciation were quickly quelled after the dental doc came at me with what appeared as another nine-inch needle, my third in the last thirty-three minutes. The next two ominous hours of drilling were jaw-dropping. But I finally fled for home following my two morning rounds of medical review. . . and feeling especially grateful that, for another year, an exam of the rear was behind me.

Yesterday, my medical state of mind fortunately continued, as it was now my turn to spend the day on-set depicting a doctor. Again I worked on the show Masters of Sex, which premieres this fall on Showtime. It’s the same show I was very apprehensive about appearing on a month or so ago, due to it’s smutty storyline centered around the sexual research spearheaded by well-known sex scientists Masters and Johnson. Any feared indecency turned out innocent enough last time, so I returned without a heck of a lot of hesitation. At precisely 7 am I arrived at our set which was on-location in an early Twentieth Century women’s club, a wonderful castle-like place prominently located just off Wilshire.

women's club

I first headed to wardrobe, and again got into pants almost up to my armpits and a suit coat long enough to cover my knee caps. Then on to hair and makeup, where I was greeted by one of my sensational stylists, Sharilandra . . . but she let’s me call her Cher for short.

mos MAKEUP

She again gave my scant silver locks a a good slicking down and a side part, and viola . . . I was, for all intensive purposes, from  the Fifties.

MOS hair

Next, to the prop department. Once again, they grabbed away my glasses and gave me a mock martini to sip practically sightless, without my spectacles.  The scene was held in a small auditorium where doctors and hospital staff were first hearing the provocative particulars of the studies done by the M and J research renegades. All of us background actors filed into the small auditorium which seated about fifty of us. For some reason beyond my realm, I was once again selected to be seated by one of the principal actors – not Beau Bridges this time (although he sat two rows in front of me),

beau bridges - 5-21-13

but rather, Teddy Sears who plays “Thomas Gilpatrick” on the show I soon found out to be surely shameful. You may have seen Sears charismatically portray characters on Mad Men, Harry’s Law, One Life To Live, and a few other television series and movies.

M of S star Teddy Sears, honored to be seated next to background actor Chuck Swenson.

Great guy and fun to share those marvelous mock martini’s with for the next fourteen hours and forty-four minutes - but who was counting. Well, when the scene began and Dr. Masters - played by Michael Sheen, star of Amadeus - began his Definitely-More-Than-You-Care-To-Hear description of how every body part works during whoopie, I realized quickly that my sacredness was on a steep, slippery slope in the Hollywood Hills. I think my Minnesota mentality may have made me mouth-out an unrelenting “Uffffda” once or twice during the first take. And, I was ever so relieved not to snap the stem of my martini glass while clutching it to0 tightly during the clinical account. “Do I dare walk out,” I asked myself. To avoid that ensuing embarrassment, I decided to listen to the more decent, words-to-live-by lyrics of “I Love Lucy” over and over in my mortified mind. Finally,  the directory yelled “wrap” after the final tawdry take was complete. I must say, my method acting had been magnificent.. Little did the somewhat dim-witted director know that the accepting smile on my face came not from the salacious script, but from my favorite red-head . . . a talented comedian who became a classic for being wholesome, big-hearted, and historically hysterical.

Lucille Ball - April, 1989

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