Sunday, August 4, 2013

goal 16 || meet bill murray.

some days you just have to say 'fuck it' and get out of dodge for a few. this summer has been pretty taxing on me and i haven't been able to put my finger on why. i mean, it could be a number of things, i'm unemployed come fall, my job where i felt valued and appreciated for the past 6 years is over, i don't know what i want to do next and even if i did, i don't know where to even start etc etc etc. normally with the summers off i plan at least one trip away or i host a friend from away. this summer i've had nothing planned and it left me itching. with a savings account that'll quickly vanish once my summer job is up, i knew traveling far wasn't really an option. traveling near though, didn't sound that exciting. enter twitter, my bill murray obsession and a few rewritten 30 before 30 goals.

bill is filming a movie in brooklyn. everyone was instagramming their photos taken with him under the hashtag #billmurray. i text messaged my friend sarah, one of the greatest believers in the crazy, and said "so call me fucking crazy but i'm really trying to work this brooklyn thing out. if not to see my 'husband' then to just get away." her response "do it." and so i got to work rearranging my schedule here at home to accommodate a few days alone in a place where i knew nobody. motels were too expensive so i resorted to the site airbnb to find a place to crash and in a few days i had booked a fantastic room and started planning the bus trip there. and then 2 days before my departure my airbnb host canceled on me.... chalking it up to the ever classic "figures, why would anything ever work out for me..." whine whine whine, my search started over with at least 10 new emails to potential crash pads, feeling defeated i went to bed with sarah assuring me via text that i would wake up and have responses. and i did. i was booked by the next night and ready to head out in just a few days. all this while i was following along with where bill was filming but everyday it was in a different location in brooklyn and usually i didn't find out where until late afternoon. i realized my chances of finding him were slim so i tried not to get my hopes up and focused on other things to do in brooklyn.

i arrived in brooklyn early on a wednesday afternoon. it was hot and humid, and i was exhausted having been up since 4am and spending 6 hours on a bus. but, the city was at my feet, i was there, i did it. there was no time for sleep. i dropped my bags off at the crash pad and walked 4 miles to the marine park area to scope out the quieter area of brooklyn. oh, and coincidentally the movie was being filmed there that day:) i arrived on set to find that only melissa mccarthy was on set, bust. with 5 blisters forming on my flip flop covered feet i hailed a $20 cab 3 hours after arriving in marine park and headed back to the crash pad. i went to bed with sarah assuring me that "tomorrow is your day!!" 

i like to think i'm sporadic. i like to tell myself that. i strive to be that girl who gets an idea to do something or go somewhere and just does it. stories like that are exhilarating, empowering and inspiring. with my self esteem quickly dwindling this summer, i knew that doing something bad ass would be the only way to redeem myself. i had to go away, be alone, and do something really far fetched and perhaps even a bit crazy. going to brooklyn where i knew no one, staying in an apartment with complete strangers, navigating the 2nd biggest borough on my own and trying to find bill murray was it.

i woke up the next morning, showered and headed out. today was my day. i arrived on set around 2pm and watched the crew set up. they were filming on a quiet residential street that day and so i walked around chatting with strangers and just taking it all in and at 6:43pm i texted messaged sarah "omg, he just rode by me on a scooter." followed by this photo....

and her response was "holy shit abbie, you did it!!" getting a photo taken with him was a bit more difficult because he had 2 huge body guards with him at all times but, sarah told me she had a good feeling about it so i stayed longer... everyone went to lunch at 7:30 so i knew that was my chance, i had to catch him going to or from his trailer on his razor scooter. i missed him going to so i hung out and waited for his return. at this time the quiet one way street was filling up with on lookers and residents who were getting home from work. there were lawn chairs set up along the street where people that lived in the neighboring houses visited with each other and crew members while drinking. it was perfect but i knew no one so i kept to myself until a little boy zoomed by me on his razor scooter and told me he was waiting to race bill murray on his scooter. his mother greeted me from the opposite side of the street and just like that, i met the sweetest woman in all of brooklyn. i told my new friend lillian all about my trip to brooklyn and she immediately wanted to introduce me to her friends as "this tiny girl came to brooklyn all by herself and is staying on church ave with complete strangers" and before i knew it i was sitting on the curb with 10 new friends, eating food from craft service and just hanging out. one of lillian's friends was the woman whose house they were filming in so it was cool to hear all about how the production team moved in and completely redid her house to fit bill's character. 

darkness was moving in and i was getting nervous about my trip back to the crash pad which i now knew was not in a "little white girl" friendly area. lillian and her husband assured me they'd drop me off at the train station a mile away so i wouldn't have to walk after dark, (they ended up driving me all the way home and waiting on the curb til i got in the crash pad safely, god bless that family.) around 10:30pm everyone was heading back to set from lunch so we knew it was now or never and lillian's 8 year old son was more excited than i was. hard to believe, i know. after hearing contradicting reports as to whether or not bill had returned to set from his trailer, we decided to walk a block to the trailer and see. his 2 body guards were standing outside and within 10 minutes bam! bill fucking murray emerged. 

text response from sarah at 11:07pm: 
HOLY. SHIT. you fucking did it...seriously amazing. like, you just went for it.

so, you know that absurd, crazy stupid thing you want to do? you should go do it. i'll be amazing, i promise.

many thanks to the website on location vacations for making stalking a bit easier and for putting bill and i on your blog post.