Make way for Tita Myrna!
NEW YORK—As has been revealed in my colleague Ruben V. Nepales’ April 3 interview with Rachel Bloom, the creator and star of the hit CW show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” I shall be making an appearance on the said musical comedy as Josh Chan’s aunt, Myrna. The episode will air this coming Monday, April 18.
The timing of the episode’s filming couldn’t have been more perfect. I was about to schedule a few days off from “Allegiance” to make time for the shoot (filming would be the week of Feb. 15), when our closing date was announced on Feb. 14.
As sad as I was about the Broadway show ending its run, I went right to my happy place knowing that there was this new endeavor.
As my mother often tells me, “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” And my window was Rachel and company’s invitation to come and play.
There wasn’t much time for rest after our final curtain call … there was a closing night party at Southern Hospitality restaurant, after which I headed home and cleaned my apartment, did a couple of loads of laundry, and finished packing my suitcases. There was no sleep to be had, unfortunately, but that’s OK. I could sleep on the flight to LA.
Once I landed in LA, I hit the ground running. After my aunt picked me up at the airport, I drove to a fitting at the “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s” wardrobe department in North Hollywood.
Wardrobe supervisor Melina Root had clothing options all prepared, hanging in rows on clothing racks. There were suits for Myrna’s daytime look, and gowns for the more formal evening look.
After all was said and done, a black Escada jacket and skirt with printed flowers, and a wine red Reem Acra ball gown with lace top and full skirt were selected.
Once I was done, I headed to the hair department. My long hair needed to make a comeback, so I was fitted for wigs. Once we were all done, I made the long drive to my cousin Lou’s house, which would be my home for the week.
My first day on the job would begin at a relatively humane hour: I was scheduled to be on the lot at 10 a.m., to record my song.
In the studio was Adam Schlesinger (songwriter and producer), who told me what I needed to do.
I’m not going to spill the beans further, except to say that I broke out in laughter while I was recording.
Right after I was done, it was time to head to hair and makeup where makeup artist Kim and hairdresser Robert were ready to begin.
Actual filming for my scenes wouldn’t begin until after lunch. My lunch was taken care of by leading man Vincent Rodriguez III! He had longanisa and tocino for me, which made me feel like I was home.
We ate at the mess hall, where I met costars, Pete Gardner (Darryl) and Donna Lynne Champlin (Paula).
My first scene to be filmed was with a large group of cast members. Aside from Vince, there were Amy Hill (Josh’s mom Lourdes, who’s Myrna’s older sister), Alberto Isaac (Joseph Chan, Josh’s dad), Coryn Mabalot (Jastenity Chan) and Gabrielle Ruiz (Josh’s girlfriend Valencia).
Aline Brosh McKenna, one of the show’s creators, would be directing. Rene Gube wrote the season finale, so he was on the set. He also plays Father Brah.
Day One went quickly, and I headed home around 6 p.m. The next day would be a day off from filming, but I had a session with choreographer Kathryn Burns on Myrna’s movements for her big song.
My next shoot day would include even more cast members in addition to those from the previous days: Pete and Rachel, Santino Fontana (Greg), David Hull (White Josh), Tess Paras (Jayma Chan), Cody Green (Jayma’s fiancé Phillip) and a team of groomsmen clad in barong rolling on the dance floor on hoverboards that look like magic carpets.
Yes, there were opportunities for selfies and lots of laughter. “So many Asians on the set today! We gotta take a pic!”
My final day was just with Amy and Rachel at the fictional boba stand. Because my feet wouldn’t be seen, I wore a pair of comfy slippers everywhere I went. I was called in only for the morning, and headed back to my cousin’s in the afternoon.
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is a show unlike any other on television right now. Its heroine is flawed, as is everyone else. Which makes them all very human. And because there are characters exploring the sides of them that they didn’t know existed (just check out Darryl’s emergence as a bisexual man), we feel for them.
To Rachel, Aline and your entire “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” family, thank you for asking me to come play with you for a few days! I absolutely had the most wonderful time. My family and I shall be sitting in front of the TV this Monday on the east coast, laughing out loud with everything.
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” airs every Monday night at 8 p.m. on CW Network. It also airs on Star World in Asia (www.starworldasia.tv).
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