CSI: 100

My big scene, ha ha.
My big scene, ha ha.

* Well, I had pretty much decided that the episode of CSI was not meant to be, but then I started getting calls earlier this week from the show asking if I would at least be able to come in and do a non speaking role. Since some words had been whited out on the script I read and I wasn’t sure of the storyline, I had a lot of misgivings, but it was pretty much a moot point in any case since my car was dead and the show shoots an hour away in Santa Clarita, CA. I regretfully told them I had no way out there, so I wouldn’t be able to participate, but after several more calls from the show we had finally worked out that they would send a ride for me and take me back home, plus I would be doing an interview with Entertainment Tonight as an actress (not as a “Soldier’s Girl” subject), which I really wanted to do.

* I got up early today and the director’s assistant picked me up. She was a delightful, pretty young woman and we chatted about transgender participation in television and life in general over the course of the hour long ride to the studios.

* Once on set I went through the typical wardrobe and makeup routine, pillaged the very nice craft services table (an espresso/latte machine was put to the test) and then hung out with the other actors. Dr. Marci Bowers (a star of our VDay production) was a consultant on the episode and was playing a clinic counselor, and there were a few other women in the community who I had ran into in some way or other since I’ve been here.

* I met the director of this episode, Richard Lewis. He was very kind, professional and intense, as a director should be. He made me feel at home before going back to the business at hand. Most of the day was spent setting up the lighting for the scenes (every time they switch to a different shot, the huge and complicated lighting equipment has to be moved out of the frame and readjusted to make everything look right again) and rehearsing. Then each shot is done several times, so the director will have choices once it gets to the editing phase. Marg Helgenberger looked amazing, of course. She had such beautiful strawberry blonde haircolor, it made me think about being blonde for a second or two. The other actors were there as well, and everyone was very relaxed and professional.

* A supersweetie brunette working behind the scenes on the show came up and said hello about halfway through, mentioning that she had been at the Sundance premiere of “Soldier’s Girl”. We started chatting, and it turns out I had been at the premiere of her Sundance movie, too! She played an ultrasexy Latina vixen in the jungles of South America. She introduced me to other people on set, and soon I was bonding with a cool crew of new friends.

* Then it was lunch time! It turns out that this was the 100th episode of CSI, which is a big deal (few shows make it past 15-20 episodes), so they were throwing an enormous lunch for the cast and crew, with all-I-could-eat hand-cut steak, Maine lobster with drawn butter, and stacks and stacks of SUSHI! I love sushi! (and steak and Maine lobster with drawn butter). I ate as much food as I could possibly cram into my craw, but didn’t have any of the champagne that was at every table. After the food had been pretty well decimated, a few people came up to speak at a big platform, including Les Moonves and Jerry Bruckheimer!!

* After lunch, we shot the scene I was in. I am a participant in a group session at a clinic for transwomen, and I don’t have any lines. I’m wearing a brown and pink striped top and brown skirt, holler if you see me! Ha ha. Afterwards I talked to Marg a little and she asked me to send her a copy of “Soldier’s Girl”.

* Overall it was a nice, long day and I was glad to get back home and soak in a hot bath when it was over. I’ll be looking forward to seeing the episode, although I’m not sure exactly how it’s all going to come down in trans-political terms. Everyone seemed to have the best of intentions, so I will hope for the best.

(Click the “More” link below for an episode spoiler from a fan site… I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information and it may change as things progress)

Quoted from a CSI Fansite:

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’s one hundredth episode will reportedly offer up a case that will challenge the prejudices of Gil Grissom and his team as they delve into Las Vegas’ transgender community.

Reportedly entitled “Ch-Ch-Changes”, the November sweeps instalment is set to revolve around a transgendered woman, Wendy Clancy, found brutally murdered in her car by the side of the highway, according to CSI Files sources. Wendy’s throat has been slashed, and her genital area mutilated. Her shoes are covered in blood. The last person to see her alive was a police office who was intending to book her for speeding, but let her off with a warning. One thing stands out in his mind: she was definitely in a hurry.

Wendy Clancy, a showgirl at the Tropicana Club, was engaged to marry Aaron Laner, who doesn’t know that his wife-to-be used to be a man. Grissom, Brass and Sara turn up at his house to break the news. He tells the CSIs he thought Wendy was spending the night at a friend’s place. While Brass and Grissom question Aaron, Sara sets about investigating the house the couple shared. In the bathroom, Sara finds sanitary pads with blood on them, which is a biological impossibility, since Wendy was born a man. It turns out she was drawing blood from other parts of her body then placing them on her pads to prove to herself (and her fiance) that she was a woman.

Next stop is the Tropicana Club. Catherine and Grissom break the news of Wendy’s death to her fellow showgirls, who are devastated. They tell the CSIs that Wendy’s sex change was performed by a certain Dr. Bower, who is well known as the go-to guy for this sort of thing. Dr. Bower says he turned Wendy down as a candidate for gender re-assignment surgery, saying that she was after a quick-fix without the necessary hormone therapy and adjustment period.

Wendy was having difficulty adjusting to her new life, hence the faking of her periods. One of Wendy’s closest friends, Mimosa, reveals that she was seeing a therapist, Dr. Mona Lavelle. When Grissom visits her clinic, Dr. Lavelle tells him that she saw Wendy for an individual session on the night that she died. She says Wendy was anxious about having sex as a woman for the first time and was concerned about her fiance finding out that she was born a man.

Mia, Greg’s replacement in the lab, comes through with the results of the blood found on Wendy’s shoes the night she was stabbed. The blood was definitely not Wendy’s, nor did it belong to the police officer who stopped her that night. One thing is certain, however — if the blood belongs to the killer, then the attacker is a man. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he still looks like one…