For example, the New York Bar Association on West 44th Street. According to its website, the Bar's mission "is to equip and mobilize the legal profession with excellence, promote reform of the law and access to justice in support of a fair society and the public interest in our community, our nation, and throughout the world."
|I, too, have walked these hallowed halls... mainly in search of the|
craft services table.
The Bar Association was where I would make my final appearance on Madam Secretary. My role was that of a spectator at the impeachment hearing of Elizabeth McCord, the Secretary of State-turned-President. Man, what's with all the presidential impeachments lately?
OK, so it's not the greatest shot, but I had to put
The area that we used appeared to be a permanent mock-up of the kind of Congressional hearing room we were filming. A search of the Bar's website turned up only a tiny photo, and nothing about its name (all the Bar's rooms have names) or what it's usually used for.
In fact, it's so small that, upon blowing it up for a better look, I can't swear it's even the same room. I'd make a great witness at a life-or-death trial, wouldn't I?
Due to the gravity of impeachment, a suit was required. But because I was merely a spectator and not a senator, liberties could be taken. Thus, a pink shirt and dark brown tie. Consider it a minor theory of gravity.
As usual with a scene this big, we were brought to the set in different groups -- reporters, photographers and senators first, followed by the rest of us. We spectators initially waited by a wall before the a.d. told us to sit where wanted. And for me, that meant the first row, nearest to the principal actors as possible. The better to get into character, of course.
We shot two scenes, fairly quickly as I recall. As it aired, it began with a wide shot as Pres. McCord made her entrance. You can see me on the screenshot (left) even if you think you can't.
See Tea Leonie sitting at the desk? OK, if she's the middle of a clock, I'm sitting at 10:00.
If that's not clear enough, try this shot taken at a closer angle. The guy with the folded hands, fourth from the left in the first row.
Now, as I've admitted in the past, part of the fun -- maybe the part of the fun -- of this job (for me, anyway) is being close to the action. To put it another way, I have no objection being close to the camera. The better to get into character, remember?!
Initially, I was disappointed that the guy second from the left in that row was not only that much closer to Leonie, but was also sitting directly to the left of one of Madam Secretary's regular characters.
And the guy I was jealous of, sitting that much closer? Completely hidden. Thank you, Tea, for doing me one last solid.
I appeared on and off throughout the entire scene, looking intently at the historic incident unfolding before me (the impeachment, not the penultimate episode of Madam Secretary's final season). We were all switched around for the second scene, but that time I was out of camera range.
And so ended my three year occasional "career" on Madam Secretary, one of my top 5 background experiences. Classy series, classy star, and the chance to be, among other things, a reporter, NATO aide, State Department worker, and Pentagon official. All on TV, of course -- making me fully qualified to work for the current president. Come to think of it, more qualified than the current president.
My swan song on Madam Secretary: