The Untitled and Confidential Project: Exposed OR My Life Shooting a Lifetime Movie (Blogisode Two)

The one and only Carole King is in the house.

The one and only Carole King is in the house.

I know. It’s a total miracle, it’s the second day in a row of a blog post. I think I am feeling so secluded and out of my element in Cincinnati that I want to write blogs to keep something creative going on. I mean….I’m only sleeping in my childhood bed and driving my father to podiatrist appointments and roasting pork for my mother’s new meat and veggies only diet. Not so unusual (it’s totally weird). To top off the weirdness it is 70 degrees outside and it is December 3rd, but honestly that is a weirdness I encourage.

While I am trying to navigate roads I haven’t been on in 25 years, Rob and Charlotte are in LA where Rob is working on a benefit for a famous kids camp and the benefit features the music of Carole King. And by features, I mean it is her playing it. We put Charlotte on a Carole King only music diet before she left, so she is ready to feel the earth move and be awed by her, but, to add to the cool factor, in addition to Carole King, they’ve brought in other famous people who are doing Carol King songs. And by other famous people I mean Katy Perry and Alecia Keys and John Legend and other fancy people but let’s just get back to Katy Perry because that is where Charlotte’s head exploded. So, to clarify, as we speak, Charlotte is NOT in school in New York, but IS in a rehearsal with Katy Perry in LA.

If there is a God, photos with Charlotte and Katy Perry will follow. Rob just sent me a picture of Carol King, which is super cool (I love her) but believe me when I say that Charlotte’s sole goal in life is to get a picture of her with Katy Perry for her Facebook page. Wish her luck. Start a prayer circle. This is big.


This is not Katy Perry, this is Brynn O'Malley.  But she could pass for Katy Perry in a pinch.

This is not Katy Perry, this is Brynn O’Malley. But she could pass for Katy Perry in a pinch.

If  a photo doesn’t happen, I do have a backup plan. We can just take a picture of Charlotte with my friend Brynn O’Malley, who looks remarkably like Katy Perry, and then lie to all of Charlotte’s friends.

I just got a text from Charlotte and all it says is, “This. Is. So. Cool.” Okay, and now another text that says, “Carole King is playing and the entire room, which is about the size of our apartment, is shaking with her music and her voice. It’s magical.”

But now let’s get back to My Life Shooting A Lifetime Movie, which is probably a better name for this blog series than Untitled and Confidential: Exposed but I didn’t think of it until this very second. I hate it when my clever is on a 12 hour delay. Rats.

Okay, so a few days after the callback, I got an e-mail that started with “Congratulations!” and that’s how I knew I’d booked the job.  I was excited, but seeing that it was untitled and a new TV series, but called a “docudrama”, I had every reason to be completely confused.  I called other friends who’d done TV shows, but no one had ever done anything quite like this.  Somethings were similar–for example–I got a call from the wardrobe department asking sizes and all of that good stuff–normal for TV and film, but I was also asked to bring a lot of my own clothes–which maybe isn’t totally normal, but seemed pretty easy.  I’d rather wear my own clothes than be stuffed into something that looked awful.

I was put “on hold” for 2 weeks (meaning don’t take other work or schedule anything because these were potential shoot dates), and the hold dates were the last week in June and the first week of July.  Which….was a problem.  We had a family vacation planned for the first week in July and it was to Quisisana, which all you long term readers know is our one BIG vacation in a year, and I didn’t want to ruin it.  Not even to shoot my first TV show.  I understand that any actor would jump at the chance to do this.  But, for me, for real, it was a deal breaker.  I had to be with my kids in Maine, and in addition, I had sublettors scheduled to come into our apartment on July 1st–so we would have no where to sleep.  Lo and behold, the word came back that “they really wanted me” and they were moving around the shoot schedule if possible to accommodate me.  Final result–three days of shooting in the last week of June–ending on July 1st–and we would miss only one day of Quisisana. Perfect!

I agreed and we signed the deal.  I encouraged Rob and the kids to go on to Quisisana without me, but they decided to stay and we would leave directly after shooting on the last day.

After a day of shooting.  Such a funny phrase.  That’s for people who do things like–shoot a TV show.  Which apparently I was doing.  Hilarious.  For Lifetime TV.  Even funnier.

I was a nervous wreck.

Let me tell you that my experience on a TV set is pretty extensive.  My mother worked for Public Television when I was young and they served free all-you-can-eat LaRosa’s pizza and I was a master at sneaking food while my mother was busy.  So I knew I’d be good at getting food from catering and chewing quietly on set.  I also did numerous TV interviews when my book came out, so I am very good at sitting in a chair and talking to a local anchor about being an overweight kid (see above story about endless pizza). Other than that, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.

You can see why I was nervous.

One thing I was worried about was that I was told I was the “lead” of the episode, but they still hadn’t sent me a script.  Remember that the audition and callback were improvised, but certainly there had to be a script.  Right?  I mean everything has a script.  I’d have lines.  Something.  I needed it as soon as possible so I could be properly memorized on set.  Right?  Of course right.


The word came back.  No script.  Everything would be improvised.

What was this, a Woody Allen movie?

Still wanting something to worry about, I started to obsess about how I should look when I got to set.  Would there be

Get in this van, young lady, and we will take you to an undisclosed location to shoot a show with no name and no script.  Please wash your face, do your hair, and bring your clothes.

Get in this van, young lady, and we will take you to an undisclosed location to shoot a show with no name and no script. Please wash your face, do your hair, and bring your clothes.  Just trust us and tell no one.

hair and makeup people there?  I mean–if there is no script, what else was missing?  At some point I got a call from a PA (production assistant) about what time to meet the van for the first shoot day, and I decided to just ask.  I’d rather look stupid asking a question that look stupid onset by not knowing.

So here’s the word (listen up all you actors who have not dome TV).  Come to set with clean hair and a clean face.  For me clean hair that is unstyled looks like a puff ball, so I went ahead and styled it in a very basic way.  And by basic I mean I spent an hour on it.  And then I tweezed every hair off of my face because all I could thing about was my face in high def TV.

And I took my suitcase full of clothes and I left to go to set.

Which was in an undisclosed location.

And is confidential.

But I will totally tell you all about it.


(To read the next post in this series, go here)

Thanks to all of you for welcoming me back.  I’ve missed you, too, and I really appreciate all your kind words. xoxo



About Sharon Wheatley

I'm a mother, an actress and a writer. I'm glad you're here.
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8 Responses to The Untitled and Confidential Project: Exposed OR My Life Shooting a Lifetime Movie (Blogisode Two)

  1. Susannah says:

    This made me think of the episode of 30 Rock where they shoot with an HD camera and when Tina Fey goes behind it she has hairy warts and minor deformities…Not that you're going to look like that! It's hilarious, though. I can't wait to see the show!

  2. Cindi says:

    Mmmm, LaRosa's pizza.. YUM!!! That makes the boring drive on US 32 worth it

  3. Tracy says:

    Yay! You're back! Morning coffee just got better.

  4. Linda S in PA says:

    Hooray ~ I have missed your wonderful, hilarious stories!!! Welcome back Sharon!

  5. Chris says:

    I'm with both Susannah and Linda above. Totally reminds me of the 30 Rock episode- very funny. So glad you're back!! And with such cool dish!

  6. Barbara Bayliff says:

    I was missing you Sharon! Glad you are back.

  7. Myra says:

    Do you have "writing cliffhangers" listed as one of your special skills? Well, you should!

  8. Jenny Aleson says:

    Please let us know when the movie is on… gotta set the DVR!! :)

Comments are closed.