New Orleans

Sticky: Susie Sunshine of Hollywood South

New Orleans

As some of you may know, I recently entered into the burgeoning Louisiana film industry.  One of the first people I met on a New Orleans set was Susie Labry, or as I like to call her, “Susie Sunshine” .  An amazing ambassador for Hollywood South she was quick to offer a welcome, a smile and a crash course on Extras 101.  When it comes to mentoring in the biz, Susie is the Yoda of the background extra  galaxy.  A recently written article about Susie was something I wanted to share.  Heres to you Susie Sunshine!           

Sharon Denise Talbot 

The extra mile

By Jeff Roedel | Also by this reporter

Friday, October 1, 2010

Susie Labry has appeared as an extra in nearly 250 movies and TV shows and is getting more work now than ever.

The closet is a tiny time machine. Inside, vintage dresses, hats, purses, eyeglasses and shoes document familiar fashion trends going back 75 years. The cat-eye glasses and pillbox hats—these are not just Susie Labry’s clothes. This is her wardrobe.

In 2004, the 56-year-old reached into her historical collection and dressed in mid-century threads her mother probably wore. She arrived an hour before call time on the New Orleans set of Taylor Hackford’s Ray Charles biopic, Ray, looking for work. Luckily, the production was in the middle of a major wardrobe shortage, and Labry was whisked swiftly to a production assistant and prepped for the cameras.

“That’s my job,” Labry says, her Yat accent bread-pudding thick. “Got to be ready-ready.”

From actors and crew technicians to legislators, a lot of people are taking the Louisiana film industry more seriously of late, but few have taken it more seriously—and for as long—as Susie Labry. Since her first appearance on the steps of the State Capitol to mourn Huey Long in 1975’s The Life and Assassination of the Kingfish, Labry has worked as an extra in nearly 250 movies and TV shows. What once was a passion—before it became trendy—she has now turned into her profession.

The life of an extra can mean long hours and little recognition for precious seconds of screen time. But the day is structured, the meals are hot and the paychecks arrive two to three weeks later like clockwork. Extras can earn $56 for every eight-hour shift, even if they aren’t needed the full eight hours. They earn $10.50 for every hour after the eighth. Lunch is 30 minutes, catered and free.

The rules are simple. Quiet on the set. No autographs or photos with the stars. No red, white or black clothes unless instructed. Basically, Labry says, follow the casting director’s instructions exactly.

Patient and even-keeled, Labry makes a dependable extra, says Brinkley Maginnis, a local casting director. Labry has met Paul Newman, Dolly Parton, Farrah Fawcett and others, but has never once been star-struck. “Stars are like co-workers to me,” Labry says.

Above all, being an extra gives her the chance to be someone, somewhere, sometime else. And it all starts with her character’s clothes. “It’s like going on a trip when you know you’re on the road and out of Louisiana,” she says. “But that’s a horizontal thing. Putting on a new wardrobe is vertical.”

Labry grew up in New Orleans daydreaming of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and the high-stakes dramas in other politically-themed movies of the silver screen era of Hollywood. In 1973 she was elected as a delegate to the state Democratic Convention, and four years later she graduated from LSU with a political science degree. After LSU, she drifted a bit, she says, taking odd job after odd job. Labry wanted to run for office, or at the very least, remake herself into a political insider with real pull. But with a quirky personality and little means, she wasn’t sure exactly where she fit. “I’m a conservative Jeffersonian Democrat,” she says. “I don’t ride with ideologues. I take one issue at a time.”

Labry remains politically active and is seen here at a rally for U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Labry is, admittedly, no policy wonk. What attracted her to politics was the same thing that had drawn her to acting: the glitz and glamour, the pageantry of it all.

“I don’t care for the debates and controversy and all that,” she says. “I like the promotional aspects of it. It’s the people I like. I’m a people person.”

In the early 1980s, she worked as an extra when she could, though the industry was not nearly as active as it is today. To pay the bills, she worked as a typist for the state. It was an easy job that allowed her plenty of time to do movies and to throw herself into politics as a campaign volunteer in dozens of races, including campaigns for Mayor David Treen, Lt. Governor Fox McKeithen and earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Labry became an enthusiastic extra in the political arena, too. Catch news footage from campaign rallies and victory speeches throughout the years, and chances are Labry will be there, somewhere in the background, her pinched smile and large eyes angling to the camera.

“I’ve always liked being in front of cameras and on TV,” Labry says. “I like the vibe of it. Being connected with history in some way always appealed to me.”

Steady work in Everybody’s All-American, Blaze and The Pistol in the late 1980s was a turning point for Labry’s filmography, and she began thinking of it as a career.

By 2004, Labry was making more money from her roles as an extra than she was working the cash register at Calandro’s. Less than two years after the state’s film incentives program passed the Legislature, Labry took a chance on the movie industry and left the grocery store for good. She didn’t leave just to put her passion for acting into practice, but she used her political bent to lobby for the film industry. Soon she was campaigning again—this time for her fellow actors. Taking a cue from a similar industry network based in New Orleans, Labry began developing and organizing a grassroots, web-based group of extras; ordinary people like her who wanted to make a decent wage in background roles. Part workshop, part social networking group, Labry’s “Baton Rouge Meetup” group disseminates news of casting calls, film screenings and professional development opportunities to locals in the industry.

“Susie is more than just your typical extra,” says Wayne Douglas Morgan, a New Orleans-based actor and producer. “She is quick to help people wanting to get involved into the industry, and her hard work and sheer dedication are infectious.”

Labry with former governor Jimmie Davis in 1982.

In July, Labry shot scenes in Jason Lee’s new detective series Memphis Beat. That followed her appearances in HBO’s post-Katrina hit Treme, the upcoming alien invasion flick Battle: Los Angeles and the Jennifer Garner and Hugh Jackman comedy Butter. Meanwhile, she has a battalion of actors in her group getting work and gaining experience in one of Louisiana’s fastest-growing industries. “Right now at my fingertips I have 100 extras ready to work tomorrow,” Labry says, snapping her fingers.

More significantly, Labry’s long-sought-after political influence finally blossomed last year when her group joined hundreds of other industry professionals and made enough noise to prove to the state Legislature that an indigenous industry, now supported by the state’s film incentives program, was growing. In the face of picket signs and rallies of actors and crew members on the Capitol steps where Labry had made her first TV appearance 25 years earlier, legislators voted to expand the state’s tax credits for film production from 25% to 30% and erased the law’s sunset clause.

It was a huge political win not lost on Labry. She sees the effects of the state’s incentives every day when she slips into character and goes to work on productions across Louisiana. “This is my vacation,” she says. “I’d rather spend it on a film set than laid out on a sun-baked beach.”

New Orleans


New Orleans Weather 10 day forecast 05 09 11

New Orleans Weather 10 day forecast

New Orleans Weather 10 day forecast New Orleans weather 10 day forecast

Welcome to the Who Dat? Do Dat! New Orleans weather 10 day forecast! This is your New Orleans weather 10 day forecast. It will be updated daily. The New Orleans weather 10 day forecast is a valuable tool for planning all of your New Orleans outings. While you are here in NOLA there are plenty of people to see, places to go and things to do and the New Orleans weather 10 day forecast will come in very handy. The weather in New Orleans changes day to day. This is because of the city’s proximity to water. This is one of the reasons the New Orleans weather 10 day forecast is so valuable if you are traveling to New Orleans. Don’t miss any of them. Make sure you are not caught unawares. Be prepared for the Louisiana weather changes. Quick and convenient, just check here before you make your plans for the day!

High /
Low (°F)
Precip. %
Today
May 09
Partly Cloudy 88°/71° 10 %
Tue
May 10
Mostly Sunny 90°/70° 10 %
Wed
May 11
Mostly Sunny 88°/72° 10 %
Thu
May 12
Mostly Cloudy 86°/73° 10 %
Fri
May 13
Scattered T-Storms 87°/70° 60 %
Sat
May 14
Isolated T-Storms 88°/71° 30 %
Sun
May 15
Partly Cloudy 85°/67° 0 %
Mon
May 16
Partly Cloudy 85°/68° 10 %
Tue
May 17
Sunny 86°/69° 0 %
Wed
May 18
Sunny 87°/70° 0 %

 

Good Morning NOLA!  It’s Monday again.  Through 7pm tonight it is mostly sunny with temperatures steady or falling to near 84F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Sunshine and clouds mixed today Our high is 88F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Our chance of rain in the Crescent City area is only ten percent.  Like I always say, it never hurts to keep the umbrella handy just in case.   There is still lots going on in the city as usual.  Jazz Fest is done but this city never sleeps. Don’t miss out . I hope your  plans include music.  It is good for the soul. The weather should cooperate so get out and enjoy.  The week ahead looks pretty good. Don’t worry about those scattered showers over the week ahead but all in all looks great. I will  be at the 1850’s House Store sigining books next weekend. It will be a double header book signing both Saturday and Sunday, May 14th and 15th. So make plans to come out a get your personalized copies of “I Love You Bigger Than The Sky!” and “IF I Were A French Quarter Rat”.  Whatever you decide to do today, enjoy! See y’all in NOLA!

Sharon Denise Talbot

Don’ t forget to check back tomorrow for your New Orleans weather 10 day forecast.

New Orleans Weather 10 day forecast


French Quarter Dancers

Break dancers perform show in the French Quarter in New Orleans, La. Nalts could do better. Really.

Duration : 0:1:41

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New Orleans: Taste the French Quarter

Join us in New Orleans, where there’s music everywhere you stroll and one of America’s most extraordinary local cuisines is better than ever. Wine Spectator associate editor Mitch Frank is your guide.

Duration : 0:3:5

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Sticky: Mr. Carriere and Knucklehead

New Orleans

When you come to the New Orleans French Quarter you can’t help but notice the colorful mule drawn carriages throughout the Quarter streets. A relaxing buggy ride is often just the thing for foot weary sight seers, history buffs or romantic couples who want to snuggle a little closer than walking will allow.

These rides also include a narrated tour of the historic French Quarter and the renowned “Cities of the Dead”. No matter how much I think I know about New Orleans there is always more I don’t know. I love visiting with a particular buggy driver and his sidekick, Knucklehead. A virtual walking history book this guy knows his stuff. With thirty-five years of being a NOLA tour guide under his belt Mr. Carriere is as much a Big Easy attraction as the landmarks people flock to the Crescent City to see.

Twelve bucks for a thirty minute ride with someone who knows the streets and the stories as well as Mr. Carriere and Knucklehead is a hell of a deal. If you have never done the buggy ride thing or even if you have, treat yourself to a half hour with a favorite French Quarter fixture. Let Mr. Carriere take you on a scenic ride and regale you with NOLA tales of the past and present. Look for the lavender colored buggy parked in front of Jackson Square, feed Knucklehead a carrot and take in the sights and sounds of the historic Vieux Carre’ with a master storyteller.

The cadence of Knucklehead’s hoofs and timbre of Mr. Carriere’s voice are perfect compliments to the cacophony of sounds that resonant through the French Quarter. With plenty of tours to choose from this one covers all the bases. Informative but interesting, entertaining and amusing this is definitely one for your New Orleans “To Do” list. Enjoy the ride!

By Sharon Denise Talbot

New Orleans


New Orleans Electrician

New Orleans Electrician brought to you by Trinity Electric, visit us on the web at http://www.trinityelecticllc.com

Duration : 1 min 10 sec

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New Orleans BootCamp

http://www.Nolabootcamp.com New Orleans Bootcamp and fitness Boot Camp fat loss methode

Duration : 4 min 5 sec

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Drew Brees: “New Orleans Saved Me”

About winning the Super Bowl, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees thinks there’s “no other city or community or people that deserve it more than New Orleans.”

Duration : 0:2:0

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New Orleans Weather 10 Day Forecast 01 12 11

New Orleans weather 10 day forecast

New Orleans weather 10 day forecast

New Orleans Weather 10 Day Forecast 

Welcome to Who Dat? Do Dat! New Orleans weather 10 day forecast!  This is your New Orleans weather 10 day forecast. It will be updated daily. The New Orleans weather 10 day forecast is a valuable tool for planning all of your New Orleans outings.    While you are here in NOLA there are plenty of people to see, places to go and things to do.  Don’t miss any of them. Make sure you are not caught unawares. Be prepared for the Louisiana weather changes. Quick and convenient, just check here before you make your plans for the day!

High /
Low (°F)
Precip. %
Today
Jan 12
Sunny 43°/28° 0 %
Thu
Jan 13
Partly Cloudy 46°/30° 10 %
Fri
Jan 14
Sunny 52°/36° 0 %
Sat
Jan 15
Mostly Sunny 58°/42° 0 %
Sun
Jan 16
Few Showers 62°/51° 30 %
Mon
Jan 17
Scattered T-Storms 67°/54° 40 %
Tue
Jan 18
Few Showers 65°/45° 30 %
Wed
Jan 19
Sunny 58°/40° 0 %
Thu
Jan 20
Sunny 58°/46° 0 %
Fri
Jan 21
Partly Cloudy 59°/48° 20 %

 Good Morning NOLA!  Here comes the sun!   But don’t let it fool you, the high for today is only 43.  Brrrr!  Tomorrow won’t get us out of the forties either with lows below freezing tonight and tomorrow.  Take the necessary precautions.  remember the three “P’s” .Be sure to protect plants, pets, and pipes! Bundle up if you are heading out doors.  There are people to see, places to go and things to do.  For you home bodies planning on stayng in, go ahead and get that soup or big pot of gumbo going.  You will be glad to have when the temperature starts dropping tonight. While you are stirring the pot at least open the blinds at let some of that beautiiful sunshine in. Soak it up while we have it.  My plan is to start that soup, but I’m not staying in today.  The beginning of next week brings showers and scattered thunderstorms, but the upside is it also brings a little bit warmer temps our way.   Have a great day!  I’ll see you in NOLA!

New Orleans Weather 10 Day Forecast 

New Orleans Weather 10 Day Forecast 


Swing Back In New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina Tribute)

UPDATE:You can now download the free mp3 at mikegreca.com. I will be recording a studio version next week for iTunes.
I wrote this for the people of New Orleans shortly after Katrina hit. Now as the five year anniversary approaches, I would like to share it with them. If anyone knows Harry Connick Jr. I would love to pitch this to him!!!! Just imagine him on keys :)

Lyrics:
And now we all know what it means
to miss New Orleans
especially if you called it home
Lake Pontchartrain went and flooded them streets
of Louis Armstrong’s town
We’ll build it brighter than it’s ever been
Well I swear we’re gonna get the swing back in New Orleans again

Mardi Gras, she’ll be boppin real soon
and crooners crooning to that creole moon
Street cats playin them old Orleans tunes
So hard to not sing along
We’ll build it brighter than it’s ever been
Well I swear we’re gonna get the swing back in New Orleans again

No storm ain’t ever gonna keep
them horns from blowin, people tappin their feet
I bet if old Satchmo were here he’d sing
“Oh, what a wonderful world”
So now we all know what it means
to miss New Orleans
Some how it just feels like home
We’ll build it brighter than it’s ever been
Well I swear were gonna get everyone to sing
“We’ll bring that swing back in New Orleans”

Duration : 0:3:55

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