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The Laughing Academy
A Life of Noisy Desperation
On cleavage, Charlie Chaplin, and "White Collar" 
30th-Jul-2010 10:08 pm
Steeplechase
I was — jogging? Let's say trotting — down Sixth Avenue on Thursday, frowning at the neckline of my dress and wondering if I should have worn a bra after all, when I stubbed my left foot on an uneven seam in the sidewalk and almost went ass over teakettle. How embarrassing would it have been if I'd wiped out because I was distracted by my own (nonexistent) cleavage? Suave, me.

I was hurrying because I wanted to catch the Film Forum's 1 p.m. screening of Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush. It was a print of a later release, in which Chaplin had replaced the intertitles with narration. It's still a successful movie — set pieces like the tipping house and the dancing dinner rolls are funny no matter what — but it's disconcerting to hear this very brisk, authoritative, ach-tor-ly voice and try to connect it with the baggy-pantsed antihero scrambling on the screen.

After the movie, I wandered around Soho for a bit and found myself picking my way through a crowd of extras emerging from a gallery like clowns vacating a Volkswagen Beetle. It was a location shoot for White Collar, and I'd run across them just as they were breaking for lunch. I caught a glimpse of Sharif Atkins; apparently Agent Clinton Jones was either off duty or undercover in this scene, since instead of the usual tie he was wearing an open collared shirt and a natty brown-and-white-striped scarf. Alas, I did not see Tim DeKay or Matt Bomer, but I did walk past a trailer with doors labeled "Peter" and "Neal," so presumably they were around somewhere.

Okay, back to work — proofreading landscape tables set in 6-point font. Nights like this, life as a reformed con artist/forger sounds pretty good, even if I would have to wear a tracking anklet.
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