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"You work in Hollywood? That must be so glamorous."

  • Writer's pictureDonna


Updated: Sep 14, 2017

Dean Norris, now a well known actor from Breaking Bad, was day-playing on a show called, Without a Trace, when I asked him about his worst day in Hollywood. He described being handcuffed to a desk for some cop show. The A.D. called lunch, which on most sets is pretty similar to when they open the doors at Best Buy on Black Friday.

Everyone scattered, and he had to shout after the fast fleeing hordes for someone to let him loose. Except the prop guys—the only ones with the keys—had scooted off campus to some restaurant for lunch instead of eating the provided catering. So poor Dean Norris had to eat his lunch with one hand while the other stayed chained to the desk.

A similar thing happened on the show House to the genuinely lovely and talented, Elizabeth Mitchell. We were shooting a scene where her nun character was suffering from stigmata, so both her ‘bleeding’ palms were wrapped in huge gauze bandages.

When they called lunch, again the entire crew fled. However, nobody considered the plight of Elizabeth.

I just happened to be walking by as she was attempting to open her trailer door with two comically bandaged hands. She looked like a puppy trying to get out of a kennel, batting at the small metal handle.

Being a pro, she didn't want to take the bandages off and have to waste time reapplying them, since we were behind schedule, so I spoon fed her her lunch.

One side note--

I have to credit House with being the reason I started to write.

It had the worst hours of any TV show, period. I worked 18 hours nearly every day, starting at 5AM on Monday, finishing at 2PM on Saturday afternoon. Then back at 5AM the following Monday.

As you can imagine, this took a toll. After 3 months, I found myself at the doctor's with a bug and casually mentioned that my hands were shaking sometimes. She sent me to a neurologist who thought it was Parkinsons.

Luckily, a month of sleep was all I needed. But, in that month, I decided that one thing I really wanted to do before I died was to write a novel.

Turns out that's not so hard. What's tough is writing a decent novel.

Anyway, thanks to House for the valuable life lesson.

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