FBI Action on “White Collar”

As many actors in NYC can tell you, things in the city are currently slow. Most television series are on hiatus right now, and the stalled tax break situation has stalled many movies from starting production on time. Usually NYC actors can count on big blockbusters filming in the city and keeping us employed and happy during the summer months. This year is an exception.

I have luckily been able to stay a float due to the hit USA Network show “White Collar,” which is currently filming its 2nd season. The show, which  is all about white-collar crimes in NYC, has an all-star cast, humorous writing and relationships, and lots of gun action and chase downs.

While this may surprise you as much as it surprised me when I received the call, I play a FBI Agent! Yes, I chase down guys while wearing heels, pulling a gun out of its holster, and acting tough. Personally, I find the whole concept amusing, as I don’t look like a believable authority figure. However, that’s television for you. I am fortunate to be core background, meaning that whenever there are scenes with FBI Agents (either in the office or on location), I’m probably there. I feel extremely lucky to have steady work right now.

The biggest challenge with playing one of the few female FBI Agents on the show isn’t the running in heels part, its learning how to look like I know what I am doing with a gun! I have never shot a hand gun before, and my first day on set I was handed one with very little instruction. Not wanting to look like a schmuck, and for fear of never being brought back for work for looking like a mumbling fool, I asked a cop (yes, we often have real NYPD on set to help with authenticity) to give me a quick lesson in gun handling.

I realized then and there during my brief crash course in gun handling, that there is no class, training or meeting held on set to inform the actors how to handle a gun! Also, I quickly found that “tv gun style” is different from what a cop would actually do. Also, different cops have different preferences in how to hold a gun, making lots of gray areas regarding what style is right for each director.

As a female, I realized that I need to make myself look stronger than the male FBI Agents. Let’s face it, a female agent in heels has to be bad ass to stand her ground. Advice from a fellow female FBI Agent was this: When in doubt, think strong and sexy. That’s what Hollywood wants.

Okay Hollywood, I’m bringing it!


~ by Elizabeth on June 30, 2010.

2 Responses to “FBI Action on “White Collar””

  1. I love this show. So you’ve been on before? I’ll have to look for you. It really is a fun show, slick, smart, and funny.
    It really is slow right now. The filming tips website I follow has had very few locations for the last few weeks. I know a lot of the series will be starting in the next few weeks. I’m glad you’ve been able to keep working.

  2. So proud of you! I will be setting my DVR, and pointing out my best friend to everyone I can.

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