Behind-the-Scenes: My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours!

When I heard Marlene (“Myra”) Rhein from My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours (MPACTY) was turning her blog into a web series, I knew I needed to get involved. Stat.

I emailed Marlene on the off-chance she’d need volunteers during filming. Though hers was one of the first blogs I followed, we’d never corresponded outside of her blog. I tried to sell myself.

I may have used bullet points. And mentioned my days with Dawson’s Creek.

After all, Marlene’s directed music videos for the likes of Amy Winehouse and Tupac.

To my delight, she took me up on the offer, and for two days in October, I got to call myself a Production Assistant. Shortly before the shoot, Marlene sent the script for the pilot episode. Reading it, I got chills.

For those of you unfamiliar with MPACTY, Marlene lost her job a while ago and had to move back in with -you guessed it- her parents. At 40. Feeling hopeless, she turned to blogging, and captivated readers with hilariously horrifying tales of her misfortune.

Her pilot webisode takes us back to where it all started.

Mom? Dad? …F my life.

My main job was handling the canine talent, “Vito.”


The days were very long, took us all over Manhattan and to Long Island, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. The whole crew was lovely and beyond professional.

Right now they’re in the editing stage, but it’ll take some doing to get the webisode out for public consumption. If you’d like to help fund the project, you can buy one of these rad t-shirts:

Thanks, Marlene, for letting me crash the set. I’m happy to say I not only had the experience of a lifetime, but meeting you once again proved that bloggy friends are some of the best you can make.

If you could work with any actor or director, who would it be and why?

***Hurricane Sandy update: I still don’t have power, but have taken refuge at my parents’ house, and they finally have internet! Thank baby chipmunks. And thank you for all of your well wishes.***

82 thoughts on “Behind-the-Scenes: My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours!”

    1. You have a thing for Diego. I just know it. And she keeps a lot of secrets in that backpack. Just sayin’.

      P.S. – Any ‘stache glasses yet? They told me on Saturday that they’d get there on Monday, but I felt they were a) full of lies and b) vengeful because I used the wrong last name… Ack!

    1. This answer completely fascinates me. I’ve decided you get to work with all of them, but it has to be all at once, in the same movie.

      Hmm. That could work, actually. If Lindsay shows up.

      1. Ok, so I’m a HUGE fan of Nora Ephron. I just watched Julie and Julia last night for the third time. And I cried, wept is more like it. I even watched all the extras. Next I’m putting on the Nora Ephron commentary and grabbing a box of tissues.

  1. I’m sorry . . . what was the question again? I’m too distracted by the adorableness that is your charge. What a good doggy he is! Who’s a good boy? Yes you are, you’re a good boy!!

    Wait, what were we talking about?

  2. Ron Howard after he chooses one of my photos for Project Imagination.
    I am glad you are with your parents. The Colorado invitation stands!
    The set looks like a blast! Do they need a make up artist for future episodes? I have become a whiz at caulk and spackle as I have gotten older. 🙂

    1. Ooh, that’s a great pick, Susie! I’m definitely a Ron Howard fan, too.

      I am still salivating over the idea of your stew and baked apple-y goodness. You’re a good woman.

      Ha! Well it would appear Marlene’s screening process is a little shoddy, given that I got through the door, so I say you’re good to go! 🙂

  3. so fun!!! i don’t know her blog, i’m going over to check it out. thanks… i need all the distraction i need.. since i’ve been at my mom and mil for the week plus without power – i probably could write an episode!!

    1. Oooh, I really think you’ll like her blog a LOT, actually. (No B.S. I can see you liking her style of humor.)

      And I’m so sorry to hear you still don’t have power! (Isn’t it funny how almost anything is worth it if we can get a story / post out of it? …Or is that just me? ;)) We’re hoping to get it back this weekend.

    1. LOL Thoughtsy, the first draft of this post actually started with, “In October, I did something I am so not cool enough for.”

      Thank you! I hope so, too. Our neighbor just texted that they ACTUALLY cleared the trees on our street. OMG.

    1. I really got so lucky – between getting the opportunity, and then having everything go so awesome-tastically!

      I have no idea what you mean about Chris Evans and the wrong reasons. Obviously, you wish to learn from his abs, I mean, absolutely amazing acting talent.

  4. So cool! Looks like a good time. Handling the canine talent? Yes please! 😉
    Sorry you still don’t have power but at least your parents do…and surely yours will be back soon. Jeez, they’re taking forever. 😦

    1. How lucky did I get with THAT job?! Seriously.

      I know. But we just heard from our neighbor that they cleared the trees on our street… there’s a light at the end of the tunnel (yes, pun so intended)!!!

    1. Isn’t her blog so great?! I would NOT have done this for just anyone making a web series – I really, really think this is going to be amazing, and am so excited that I got to help out and meet Marlene! She’s the real deal.

  5. You ROCK, Jules!

    I’m going to be very specific here and say that I would like to work with Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life, replacing Donna Reed in the role of Mary Bailey.

    1. YOU ahhhhh! (…That only makes sense if you picture Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch making out in that old “Boston Teens” SNL sketch.)

      Oooh. I can see you’ve never thought about this. Very nice.

  6. That’s amazing! Can’t wait for the webseries!

    I recently moved back home and… well, it’s getting bleak.

  7. Thank Baby Bejeebers you’re BACK. And good going, sucking up to people with practically real careers. One day you’ll outshine that crazy blond guy who lived over OJ Simpsons’ garage.

    Just kidding, you’re WAY famouser than that weirdo and you’re prettier. I mean, dude. Uncle Jesse hangs with you. You have to be the coolest kid ever.

    1. Ha! Is it weird that I’m totally fine with people liking Uncle Jesse more than me? He is prettier, after all. You see, I try suck up to / associate with people and dogs cooler than me in the hopes that it’ll rub off on me.

    1. There was a moment, when we were filming the ‘cab’ scene, where the props guy (who was from out-of-town) just kind of looked around and said, “I can’t believe we’re filming in New York City.”

      I’m from the area, but that was definitely a ‘moment’ for me, too! 🙂

  8. I would like to watch this show, but I’m a little afraid that it would be less entertainment and more a funny/horrifying preview of my future. Dun dun duuuuun.

  9. I obviously want to work with Leo DiCaprio. And by work with, I want it to be clear that I mean sleep with.

    I’m super jealous of your work as a PA. That sounds like soooo much fun.

  10. Yay for you! Glad to hear you’re doing okay and surviving!
    And yes, I would still in a red hot minute love to work with George Lucas. Alas, looks like it’s going to be all House of Mouse from here on out. Sigh. It’s probably for the best, because I’d be totally worthless and just spend hours staring at him adoringly in true fangirl fashion.

    1. Thanks so much! We got power back Sunday night and lost it again this morning, but hopefully this time is temporary… Le sigh!

      I honestly think us Fan Girls should get paid for our undying devotion. Don’t be fooled. It’s a very important job.

  11. I have no desire to do anything anywhere near a video camera. That sounded really really prudish, but there it is…

    Glad to hear you’re safe and warm at your mom’s house. Say hi for all of us, and hope you get your power back soon!

    1. Ha! Not at all! Despite my video blogs, I actually hate being on camera, too. (Pictures I’ve gotten used to, thanks to Babs.) I may have gotten roped into an ‘extra’ role in MPACTY, though… (Shhh.)

      We just lost power again this morning after a blissful 36 hours, LOL Argh!

  12. I’ve got a brain freeze. I’m trying to think of who I’d most want to work with but then a clog of names come to mind. Probably George Clooney and Bill Murray, because they’re the two people I’d most like to go out for drinks with after the shooting day was over.

    1. I was wondering how you were going to narrow this down, B!

      That’s a fair point. They seem like a good time. Matt ‘n Ben seem fun, too. Or they did. Before they had kids. 😉

  13. Aw, Jules…your update makes me sad for not reaching out to check on you. I’ve been so selfish and self-absorbed as of late. Am I kicked out of the stache-glasses-of-the-month club?

  14. I’m glad your ok and your driveway is now clear. I hope you have electricity by now and I’m looking forward to reading more soon.

    The web series sounds super awesome, and when I get my student loan (in about 2 weeks) I’m gonna get a tshirt!
    Hey,,,how about a episode from the Great White North,,,,I could of course be the star,,,and my bf would be the crazy black guy that is whiter than the average white Canadian!!???

    1. Thanks so nice of you, Nikki (re: the shirt)! I think you’ve got the perfect part for your BF, ha! Actually, Marlene was offering walk-on roles and characters that are named after you/someone you know if you donated a certain amount via Kickstarter!

  15. Wow, wow, wow! Jules, is there one, damn thing that you cannot do?

    Props to Marlene for her fab blog – I’ve checked it out and it’s great – and her new venture. How exciting!

    1. Well I can’t flush the toilet or take a shower at my house, does that count?

      And thanks so much for checking out Marlene’s blog! I’m so glad you like it (though can’t say I’m surprised since we all know you have wonderful taste in blogs) – I cannot WAIT to see this pilot!!!

  16. Aww what a great job that would be, that pup looks just precious! They have one similar at the store I buy my dog food and he is just the biggest suck, I adore him. As for working with an actor or director, good question! I probably own way too many Tim Burton movies to answer that question without looking biased.

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