This shoot couldn’t have been made any easier for me in terms of the circumstances that were set up:
– As mentioned before, I already knew my “Sylvia” (Lynn) for 6 years in real life.
– The director, Rich Wong shot 90% of the movie in chronological order to help us logically build towards the end (sometimes the ending is shot first for logistical reasons).
– Learning the dialogue was a cinch (even the 5-page monologues!) because of writer, HP Mendoza‘s talents as a wordsmith.
But the final piece came together when Sheetal Sheth came in as “Elena” after Lynn and I had been shooting for a week.
(Let’s pause here for an informational sidebar):
I first saw Sheetal 10 years ago on stage co-presenting an award at the 2001 Asian Excellence Awards with former MTV VJ, Ray Munns.
Now, Ray was being kind of a wise-ass on stage. His humor to win over the crowd was to sort of throw Sheetal under the bus (ie: inappropriate flirting, cutting her off, etc).
Finally Sheetal just blurted out, “Why are you even here?!“
Which promptly shut Ray up and brought the house down because we were ALL thinking the same thing –“This guy is Asian?” (And btw, yes — 1/2 Korean).
I instantly fell in love with this mysterious gal’s spunk. And for the next decade she was always on my radar being the fearless actress.
Then all of a sudden, she appeared on the YWO set — and that apprehension of kinda knowing someone, but not really — was all there (which worked in the confines of the script to a tee).
It was like Betty and Veronica.
Or Mary Ann and Ginger.
Where you know you’ve already got the perfect girl in Sylvia (Betty/Mary Ann) but then a minx like Elena (Veronica/Ginger) shows up and throws everything out of whack for Luke (Archie/Gilligan).
What a horrible gig, right?
(Btw that’s Surrogate Valentine director, Dave Boyle who I’ve got my large noggin pasted over – who is also in the film and steals the show. “SV”, my first appearance with Lynn in a project, will be playing at BAM in NYC on June 23 & 24.)