BWW Blog: Natalie Toro - Never Yell 'CUT!'
So, Mondays Blog went over well. Phew! It could have been an all out Cyber-War! Thank you for commenting and sharing it.
And speaking of sharing, I thought why not share with you what happens when a musical theater actor, me, gets her first break and gets cast in one of the most famous television shows. This would be a good read if you ever wonder what happens on set, cause everybody's experience is different and for those especially who are in show business or plan to be in it someday. God bless your soul!
If you are an actor who lives here in NYC, there is a good chance that you had an audition for one of the Law and Orders. It's fun to tune in and see your friends either playing the co-star acting their butt off or one of the informants who have fewer than 5 lines. I have had the fortune of playing the informants. Y'know, you give the lines and then the screen goes to black and you hear music that follows, those two chords that sound like kung-kung...
Well, girlfriend had never taken a film class. I mean why? I've worked on Broadway. It's all the same right? I didn't know the first thing about auditioning for the camera let alone knowing what to do if I book it. And I booked it. The role was an immigrant with a very thick Spanish accent. The shoot took place in Riverside Park on a cold day but we had to pretend it was Spring. Since I have never been on set before, I was a deer in headlights. No clue ladies and gentlemen. But hey, I'm young and uninhibited and fearless, so bring it on!
"ACTION" - The people start to move, the cameras are on their mark, and there is Natalie with Jerry and Chris Doing the scene, over and over again.
All I know, I was acting. And I was mad too. Telling them about this girl Maria and how she stole my boyfriend. I knew where she was. Ha!
You gotta know that every time we did a take, I did it so different from the last. The Director kept coming over to me and gave me a very calm, "smaller". I was like smaller? I'm acting! How can it be smaller? (This dialogue, of course, was only in my head.) Okay...I'll make it smaller.
But it continues every take: She kept coming over..."Even smaller", "Can you be smaller for the camera", "Just a wee-bit smaller". For crying out loud! How much smaller did she want me to go? Then Chris Noth whispered in my ear to try to do it the same way ever time or the Editor would have a fit, and that the small red X on the grass was where I was supposed to stop every time I start to say my line. Oh, man...I felt so stupid! He was so nice to help the new girl. After watching the episode I thought, thank God the Director made me smaller cause even small I still looked like a freakin' chicken running a muck.
Years later came Law and Order SVU. The scene was with Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni. Y'know, now I got me some experience. I'm a pro! I got this! Take a deep breath now cause ya'll know what's coming right?
I was playing the maid. This time we were shooting in the summer, pretending to be Fall, so I had a coat on. On location is funny. I had to make an entrance from a really spooky dark basement. I couldn't even imagine what was in there for real. It was hard to hear the Director yell "action" thru the heavy metal closed door. But I was determined not to screw this one up. In between takes, I was commenting on why my make-up was almost non-existent. I mean... I wanted to look good for TV. I was telling everyone that next time, I am going to play someone glamorous, someone who wears lots of mascara. Sometimes, I amaze myself when I look back at some of my really dumb comments.
Before we started, Meloni looked very melancholy over in a corner. I had the urge to say hi and to see if he was all right. With gentleness, I asked if he was okay. He smirked and said that he had just come from shooting an episode on "OZ" and he had to make out with a man all morning. All I could say was "yikes." Then I walked away. I gave him his privacy.
Anyway, all was going so good. Even Mariska was happy and gave me the title, "Two Take Toro". I was happy as a clam. I got it right! Yay!!!!! So I started to walk back to the trailers when we were finished with Mariska. I was in heaven. Here I was strolling back in my wool jacket in the dead of summer talking with HER!