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Gonzai Gallery

When Artists Invade the Internet

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Gonzai Goes to NYC
In a fit of insanity, I decided to go up to NYC, just an up-and-back on the MegaBus, to meet up with some Twitter pals and set off in search of the Daredevil film set and, hopefully, Charlie Cox. Which reminds me, I didn't post the drawing of Charlie I finished Monday night.

Of course my money is just about gone (unemployment, it sucks) so it was superbudget time, although I should have bought the MegaBus ticket sooner, that would have saved me plenty. I figure if I finally get a job, it'll be a long time before I can finagle the time for a venture like this, so why not?  I had a midnight trip; the bus started late, but actually dropped us off in the Fashion District in less than 3 hours. Only problem with the trip was the woman in front of me who talked on her phone for two hours straight. Forget sleeping on the bus.

I knew better than to put all the eggs in the Daredevil basket; I had stuff with me for Person of Interest, Gotham, aka Jessica Jones & Billions as well. But the only show where I knew where the shoot was was Person of Interest, at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City. So I went there, at 3:30 in the morning. I figured surely there'd be a Starbucks or something along those lines where I could hang, caffeinate and wait for OLV to put up shooting locations for the day. Uh, no. Not a coffee place or other overnight location to be found. Also, no open Wi-Fi. This would be an issue for the entire day; even when I found an open Wi-Fi, I couldn't connect. So I wound up wandering LIC until 5:30 when some bodegas opened, and I was able to get breakfast. Still no word on any other shoots. Hung around on a bench and watched the POI gang build their set until Shelby & Rhiannon got there around 9.

We talked, they got breakfast, we walked around the studio and Shelby pondered parkouring things, but we still didn't know where DD was shooting if they weren't at Silvercup, and Shelby hadn't been to NYC before, so Rhi took Shelby to Manhattan and I was on my own again. Still walking around, now trying to find shade as much as Wi-Fi. In a brief moment of connection, someone noted there were signs for DD around Broadway Studios. I decided to give it a try. It turned out it was only 2 subway stops from LIC, but the stop was nowhere near the studio. Time to hike. I stopped at a mini-mart on the way for a break, and on the way out my phone rings. It's the nursing home. My mother is freaking out and demanding to speak to me, RIGHT NOW, so they called. But I'm at the intersection of two very busy roads and can't hear a dang thing, and she can't hear, and she's getting more & more upset, and then she hangs up on me. Great. Aggravated, I head onwards towards the studios. On the way, I pass a guy who doesn't look much happier than I am. He's wearing sunglasses, and it's not until I pass him that I think, 'hey, that looks like Damian Lewis'. I turn & look back and crap, it IS Damian Lewis. Billions must have been filming around there somewhere. But he didn't look happy, so I let him go.

Finally found the studio (I had a remarkable capacity all day for going the wrong direction, esp. coming out of the subway) and the whole block (a VERY big block) is covered with no parking signs for DD...but for Monday. Crap again. I queried an attendant, he said DD wasn't there today, would be there Friday but hadn't requested parking. OK, I figure, worst case, I can steer Shelby & Rhi to the right place tomorrow. By now I'm sunburned (remembered to bring everything but sunblock), my feet are blistered, I'm exhausted (haven't slept since 8am the day before), sweaty and frustrated. I conked out on a bench under a tree and resumed searching for Wi-Fi and DD. Finally, got connected long enough to see OLV has some posts, one saying DD is in Greenwich Village and one saying DD has been sighted at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Time to hike all the way back to the subway. Brilliant.

The cemetery entrance is, once again, not particularly close to the subway, and worse, at the top of the hill. And I'm out of drinks, and blisters are now forming on top of blisters. The cemetery guys tell me DD is shooting right now at the opposite end of the grounds, almost a mile away, but there will be another shoot by the gates around 5. It's 2:30 and there's no way I make it to the far end shoot, so I drank a ton of water from the bathroom sink and collapsed onto a hill under a tree to wait. (If you ever get a chance, I only saw the entranceway to the cemetery and it is gorgeous. Perfect landscaping, great architecture, tons of history. Beautiful place to conk out and wait a couple hours. Of course, I wound up dusty & dirty & practically taking a bath in the bathroom sink, but a great place.)
The cemetery's front gate.
The view from my tree. (Those grave markers are circa the Revolutionary War.)

Problem: whatever they were doing on the far side, it was taking way longer than scheduled. The crew by the gate was told to start work by 4; then told to wait...and wait...and wait, before finally getting the goahead at 6:30. About the time security tells me the cemetery closes at 7 and I have to leave then, period. I waited until 7; nothing. I was about ready to cry at that point. I wobbled down to the gate (the feet were getting worse & worse) but paused to talk to another security guy; he turned out to be 80 (!) and from Baltimore. So we chatted. And while we chatted, a parade of vans came down the hill and scooted out the gate before it was locked. Charlie was in the second one. I waved, he didn't see me. A crew guy came by, I asked if that was it, he said no, everyone was going to lunch, they'd be back. I thought about waiting to see if I could call over a van on the way back in, but then I saw a sign that said 'Catering' and decided what the heck.

Several blocks later and dying of thirst, I found where catering had set up shop. The PA posted at the gate thought I was an extra; I should have said yes & gotten myself a free meal, or at least a bottle of water, but I'm too honest for my own good. (Should have tried for the water anyway.) Explained that I'd come to NYC looking for them, that I'd walked all over Queens & Brooklyn and waited in the cemetery over 4 hours, had to be back on the bus home in 3, take pity on me please? The PA said OK, but don't take photos, because Charlie was in costume and Jon Bernthal was in makeup. (Boy was he.) This was fine with me, I feel about having my photo taken about the same as Charlie apparently feels about singing in public and I'm good with an excuse to NOT get my picture with people. About this time the last van arrives, with just one passenger and his handler. It's Chris Brewster, awesomesauce stunt guy, and the guy Rhi, Shelby & I were most interested in seeing other than Charlie. So I said Hi, I follow you on Twitter, he perked up, and the handler started to half-drag him indoors. But at least we met, so to speak.

So hung around, chit-chatted with some of the crew, recognized but couldn't place some people (my guess is character actors, someone I've seen on TV but never caught a name), & waited. Around 7:30 Charlie comes out with Jon Bernthal, I called Charlie and he came right over. Showed him the art, he really liked it, said I did a great likeness, asked if I wanted them signed, etc, asked my name, spelled it right. He was wearing the red suit but only the bottom half, top half was a very tight Underarmour shirt (shoutout to the home team!) and it was hard to figure out whether to look at his face, look at the things I'm holding and handing to him, listen to that lovely voice or...wow, that shirt was tight. Anyways, told him Daredevil had dragged me kicking & screaming back into fandom after a 10 year break and this was my first art in 5 years, because of him and DD. He seemed pleased. By now he was being herded towards the van, plus I was gathering a mini-crowd of people who wanted to see the art. It was 30 seconds, but they were great seconds. I turned towards the guys who were checking out the art and, sure enough, Chris was one of them. We all chatted about the art, about the show, one guy asks my fave ep and I say 'Speak of the Devil' which I might maybe have watched frame-by-frame. This cracks them all up. He asks if I can tell Chris & Charlie apart, I told them sure I can, I stare at Charlie a lot & held up the art. He asked if I saw the switches, well, I'm not THAT good, I say, but I see one spot where the hair coming out of DD's bandana is blond & curly and definitely not Charlie. Chris blushes, the other guys looked really surprised. Apparently only I've ever caught that. Anyway, the other guys introduce themselves and they turned out to be stunt coordinator Phil Silvera (who I also follow on Twitter) and another stunt crew guy, Roberto. We exchanged handshakes and 'great to meet yous' and then they were shipped back to the set.

I stayed a while longer to relax a bit, then back to the subway again, stopping for a couple bottles of soda. On the subway, I decided to go back to Silvercup & see if POI was still filming, maybe I could catch someone there. Got there around 9, and...14 hours after they started setting up, they still weren't set up. The DD set guys can feel a little better now. I asked a guy I'd seen earlier, he said they hoped to start at 1:30am and the actors still weren't there. Sheesh. I still had time before catching the bus, but nothing else to do, so I set off back to the subway. I opened the second soda and it exploded on me :(  Didn't get it on the bag, but I was covered in it. Great. Got on the subway, went to my stop and headed the wrong way again. It turned out even the MegaBus stop was a lot further from the subway than I would have thought. I got there at 9:45 (for a 11pm bus) and there were already 30 people in line...for the 11pm bus. Yikes. Also, nowhere to sit, and the ground was filthy. Now my back hurt almost as much as my feet, and my knees were also killing me from favoring the blisters. The bus didn't show up until 11:30, I went upstairs hoping for a window seat (got it) but this time the guy behind me talked for 2 hours straight. And the guy in front of me was watching Mr Robot, and I hadn't seen the new ep yet so I was trying to sleep and not listen and not look in front of me. I didn't sleep. We got to Baltimore just before 3, and I was so stiff and so hurting I needed a couple minutes and both grab bars to get down from the bus. When I got out of the car at home, I fell over and banged my hip on the car door, then fell up my porch stairs. And of course CJ was hysterical and underfoot, so I nearly fell in the house a half dozen times. I was in bed by 3:30 and unconscious until 11:30. Today, it's even harder to walk. Blisters, split big toenail, back & shoulders hurt along with legs & feet, just miserable. I called the nursing home, whatever was wrong with Mom yesterday is apparently over and forgotten, phew, and the dogs have forgiven me. Total tab for the trip? $94, half of it the bus fare. Not bad costs for a day in NYC. I think I lost 10 pounds or so, of course, I have those to spare.

And that was my adventure.

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Squee! Love the fanart! I'm adding you to my flist because DD fan aaaand an artist, too? Awesome. :)

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