A Moment of Jen
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Saturday, April 10, 2004
posted by Jen at 4/10/2004 10:09:00 PM

Nanna is IN!

Over the years, my Nanna, who lives in Florida, has always been supportive of, if slightly bewildered by, my writing life.

"You get paid to do this?" I remember her asking on more than one occasion when I tried to explain that yes, indeed, the newspaper that employed me paid for a ticket, and a hotel room in Florida, so that I could interview one starlet or another.

But Nanna was always game. When GOOD IN BED was first published, my mother made tee shirts with the cover on the front that read I GOT GOOD IN BED, DID YOU? Nanna wore hers proudly on the beach.

Whenever she's in the library, Nanna makes a point of recommending my books. Whenever she's in a bookstore, Nanna asks if they've got any copies, and patiently explains to her fellow Century Villagers that GOOD IN BED is not as racy as it sounds.

And whenever I visit her house, she happily offers up her pullout couch and only calls me "stinker" if I really deserve it.

So when Nanna called me up to say that there was a big article in the free weekly talking about how IN HER SHOES and its star (who Nanna identified as Shirley Maclaine and "Carmen Diaz") was coming to her neighborhood, there was only one thing to do.

"Hey, Nanna, do you want to see if you can be an extra?"

Nanna demurred. "Oh, no, I couldn't."

Sure you could!

Nanna worried. "Well, I could drive there in the daytime, but you know I don't drive at night."

No problem! We'll come down and drive you!

Nanna was falsely modest.

"I'm not an actress, you know."

You won't have to say anything!

Nanna was coy.

"Let me get back to you," she said.

Meanwhile, I scored an invite to the Philadelphia Film Office's annual cocktail soiree on Saturday night. Curtis Hanson and his producing partner Carol Fenelon were there.

"Can I ask you for a favor?" I began. "My Nanna lives in Florida, right near Delray Beach where you're filming the senior citizen stuff, and she's a wonderful dancer. Is there any way that she could be an extra?"

Curtis Hanson looked puzzled. "What's a Nanna?"

"A grandmother," Carol said. "How old is she? Can she dance?"

I told her Nanna's age, which I will not be printing here, and said that Nanna is marvelously light on her feet. And just like that -- Nanna was in!

I only hope that the shooting schedule gives me time to go down there and see it. Meanwhile, I'm getting ready -- without Lucy, alas -- for my stint as an extra on Monday. I'll post about it soon as I'm home.

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