Shooting day! The first crew members from Law & Order arrived by 6:30 a.m.; soon they had rigged up their generator and started flinging cables and lights around.
The Child left for school toting her science-fair project past this array.
The scene, for an episode to be broadcast in mid-May, consisted of the two intrepid detectives entering our downstairs hallway and following Carl the Skanky Suspect upstairs to our kitchen, while grilling him on a murder case. Here are the stars in the stairwell: Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson. Both are apparently new to the series (Anthony's first episode hasn't even aired yet), and new to me; Jeremy was on Six Feet Under, I'm told, and Anthony has mostly done comedy flicks. (He was immediately recognized with delight by the school guards across the street as he left the house.) If either of them wondered why our stairs and bannisters are red, they didn't say so. (Answer: The CrazyStable was a Chinese boarding house, and red is a lucky color in China.)
This gives some idea of just how crowded the landing was outside the kitchen. The living room was also piled with gear.
The director and his assistants holed up in the cat-clutter of the Child's room to watch the monitors and chat between takes. "Jerry Orbach would've hated this scene, he hated doing stairs," one assistant recalled with obvious affection. "He used to do the 'over/under' number, betting how many takes they'd have to do. Over his number, he won, and under it, the house won." The show's crew, many back at our house for the second time, does seem like an extended family, one in which everybody drinks a lot of bottled water and coffee and knows just what to do with rolls of tape and tripods.
The smell of frying bacon filled the house; the Carl character was supposed to be cooking it while talking to the NYPD (although the sound man made them turn off the heat while shooting to reduce bacon noise). They went through numerous batches. I got hungry but couldn't get to my fridge (under a bank of lights, left); so the location guy let me pick snacks from the set catering buffet! I ate half a Law & Order danish and a bag of authentic Law & Order Doritos. This made me insanely happy.
Everybody was gone by 1 p.m., although the set dressing guys will return tomorrow to replace the furniture and haul off their props. "We have 3 pounds of bacon still in your fridge," a crew lady said as she washed down the counter. "Would you like to keep it?"
Guess what we had for dinner? NBC BLTs!