Chapter 9: LA part 2 – The Movie Taxi

Monday 27th of October 2003.
I called the Jeff Olan hotline at 5 pm and heard over the hotline that they had work on a movie called Taxi, so I called in and left my name and phone number. Within 20 minutes Jeff called and suddenly I was booked for working the next day. I was to become an informant and he gave me another number to call after 7 pm. I called and received meeting time – call time and directions to Downey Studios where the filming of a New York Precinct was to take place.

I left early around 5 am on Tuesday morning to be sure that I would be at Downey Studios before my call time at 6.30am. The drive took me 40 minutes. I was the first person to arrive on set. I stood waiting outside in the parking lot until they opened the doors.
As I stood in line for my work voucher which is always filled out with name, address, phone number, social security so that I can get paid I spoke with the blond girl in front of me. I heard an accent and asked where she was from, and her reply made me grin. “I am from Norway,” she said. So we spent time together during the day to get to know each other. I spoke Norwegian to her and often times she automatically replied in English.

The first scene I was dressed in a layered look, leather coat, blue sweat shirt green Hawaiian style t-shirt as an informant and I sat in an office chair in the busy precinct next to a heavy black guy playing a FBI agent. The scene started with the main lead walking right by me, so the camera began with me and the FBI agent in focus and the main lead walking from outside camera range passing in front of the camera having it follow him as he walked into the middle of the room to a desk where the book “Driving for Dummies” lay for him to discover. During another take later he jumped onto the desk yelling something holding the book in his hands.

A clip from the movie Taxi produced in 2003-2004.

We sat for a long time and waited and then we had lunch. We changed our wardrobe and I went and got a stripped white and grey rough shirt. I dropped by wardrobe and they loaned me a blue vest that fit in nicely with the stripped shirt. I became an undercover Narcotics officer this time, and was instructed to walk across the room and say bla-bla to people and just do something, so I did. During the scene I walked from my corner office to the first desk and briefly talked with two girls, and then moving to the middle of the room looking in a pile of papers as if trying to find something I needed. I then continued to walk over to the corner and looked into a folder on the wall. A moment later I walked slowly back in a different route to my office. The focus of the scene was in a corner office with windows, so we are a part of the busy precinct background.  

When we had lunch I sat by myself to have some time alone. Kenneth Walker, a black man who is the make-up artist and hair stylist on set came over and sat down close to where I was. We had connected earlier in the day. He introduced himself and then he told me that he knew that he was to walk over and have lunch with me. Kenneth told me not to give my power away but to keep it in me. Giving it away I will feel exhausted and powerless. I told him that I was afraid of taking the next step, but he told me not to be afraid as there is nothing to be afraid of as everything is fine. I knew he was right. I felt blessed for having him walk over. Our path had crossed earlier in the day and our eyes met, and as he said “we both knew.” Yes we both knew that the other was also connected to Christ.

As I changed from the informant to the undercover police I felt so much more powerful as the strength of God was so strongly in me. I was noticed during the scene and I stood out. Being in God’s strength makes anyone stand out. Kenneth also told me that I will do well in the path that I choose. I do know, but am still a bit hesitant of the major changes that will begin to happen in my life. But then again I have already gone through major changes moving to Los Angeles to become an actor. This is the next step I am moving into, and I am to stay in the Christ power I feel moving inside as I continue to walk my path and become even more noticed when I am in the presence.

Wednesday 29th of October.
Another day on set. Experiencing the good warm humor that exists in this group. It was good to talk with Kenneth again, as well as be around Tone.

Kenneth asked one of the crew to take a picture of us sitting in the makeup chairs just next to the set while we sat there and talked. We spoke briefly on who was to have the picture and I let Kenneth have it even though I also wanted a copy.

It felt truly great meeting Kenneth.



Edit 14 July 2019:
I found this article about Kenneth https://lasentinel.net/legendary-tv-film-hairstylist-kenneth-walker-shows-no-signs-of-stopping.html

Kenneth Walker at IMDB:
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0907938/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr28

Kenneth Walker and Julia Lallas talk Loving the film:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SToVstSSO7A

During the day I mentioned for Tone that I hoped to go to the premiere of 21 Grams as I had worked as a Photo Double for Sean Penn. But I had no idea where it was going to be held.

I had finished filming and stuck around to watch other scenes take place. The person who took care of the extras asked me to leave as I was in the way. I knew that he did not like the job that he had and the extras around him got to feel some of that. I also knew that the crew liked having me there. Kenneth was not around, so I wondered what to do. I stuck around a little longer and then left without having a chance to say good bye to Kenneth.

Later in the evening I dropped by Kinkos to check my e-mail and met Scott a friend of Christine who I have been getting to know better as well. One of my e-mails were from SAG Conversations. They send out e-mails for various events that they hold. Some are screenings of movies that have been or will be released, and some are lectures with actors. One of the movies listed in the e-mail was 21 Grams. On 7th of November SAG will screen the movie and have a Q&A afterward with various people from in front and behind the camera. Perhaps I will be able to say a few things about my own experiences working on the movie to the audience. I felt great. I had earlier in the day wondered how I would be able to go to the premiere of 21 Grams and later in the day the answer came.