We also fretted about our clothes. We were supposed to bring three or four choices for the wardrobe people. We were given no direction except that we couldn’t wear red, white, or logos. The morning of the filming we bucked up, picked out some clothes, loaded our instruments, and set out north for Guthrie.
We checked in and both received a clipboard full of papers to sign. It was surprising to be assigned dressing rooms. On two doors, black stars were emblazoned with the words ‘Violinist’ and ‘Bass Player.’
Wasting no time, a young woman from wardrobe rummaged through our clothes, and settled on what we would wear. She commanded Casey to roll up his sleeves and tuck in his shirt, something I had never seen him do before.
Next we visited the hair and makeup trailer, a sweet blonde woman fixed up Casey, and went to work on me. It felt soothing. Cool fragrant creams and powders were rubbed into my face. On a wall, a sequence of pictures showed Billy Crudup with a blackeye healing over time. Each picture had a description of the makeup used, like a recipe of how to achieve each look. It was called a makeup continuity sheet. A tiny sign on a mirror read, “It’s makeup, not a magic wand.” Soon my hair was braided, and my face looked fresh. Casey said cheerfully, “You look like a Disney princess!”
Outside, in the bright sunlight, we exchanged happy greetings with Chelsey Cope. She was heading over to the set for lunch with the crew. Casey looked up to see a scraggly face studying us from a van pulling into the Rudderless camp. Casey acknowledged him with a wave. He exclaimed, “Great Purina! That was Billy Crudup lookin’ at us.”
We had lots of time to kill, and decided to step over to a rundown bar we had noticed across the railroad tracks. Doors were open on both ends, dimly lighting the long room.
The building was in rough shape. We asked about the upstairs, which had a sizable tree growing out of the roof, crumbling brick, and a twisted, dislocated metal fire escape. “Nobody’s been up there in years. There’s not even a way to get up there. It’s condemned,” the bartender explained. From the back patio we looked up to the splintered wooden door. We could see the murky, moldering interior. Pieces of the sky shone through the fractured ceiling. It was a mystery how the downstairs could be considered habitable, while the upstairs rotted unhindered.
After a relaxing break on the back patio, we said goodbye to our new well-wishers. They urged us to come back Saturday to play music for them at the bar’s grand reopening. The bartender hollered as we left, “Remember, all the free beer and BBQ you can hold! Plus a horse-shoe tournament!”
Back at camp we were informed that filming was hours behind schedule. We could wait in the trailer or on the set. We loaded our instruments in a van and were chauffeured to the Trill Tavern five blocks away. Historic well-kept brick buildings lined the classic, old-timey main street. An enormous black tarp and scaffolding covered the front windows of the fictitious tavern, creating night inside. Thick bundles of electrical cords snaked everywhere. It was a beehive, buzzing with people and gear.
The driver wished us good luck and drove away. We stood on the sidewalk soaking it all in. After auditions, callbacks, rehearsals, recordings and emotions, we had finally arrived. Let the cameras roll!
Thanks for reading Chapter Three. We recommend all the Rudderless blogs!