I’m in love with Philadelphia! I got to the Philly Amtrak station without incident, and got a cab to 200 Chestnut Street, home to the Passport Office. After going through airport-style security, I had my documents in hand and nervously waited in line.
Nervously? Oh yeah! Why? Because I wasn’t sure they’d let me through. On the passport website, it states that in order to have an appointment at the office for an expedited passport, you need proof of international travel occurring within the next two weeks. There are three types of acceptable documents: an airline ticket, an official airline itinerary, or a letter from your employer stating international travel for business. Well, I had none of those. I had debated writing a fake letter from either the casting director, or from Kayak, but after thinking about it, you could kind of call that government fraud. While a night in prison is on my bucket list, these circumstances might have more severe consequences. So I went took the high road, for the most part.
I printed the casting notice, and circled the shoot dates and shoot locations. I also printed my audition ticket, confirming that I had an audition, and then I hoped they didn’t look too closely. I was all set to try and explain the situation, saying ” but you don’t understand. Here’s how it works: I won’t know if I got the job until a few days before. Help a guy out?” And I would have probably developed a stutter in the process, so luckily the receptionist just looked at the documents, and wrote “Uruguay” on my application.
They gave me my ticket and I sat down, still a little nervous, wondering if the clerk who would process the application would be able to veto the receptionists decision. My number was called–my lucky number 17–and I was greeted by a wonderful woman. She was all smiles and glad to help out. I slid my papers under the window and she started typing into her computer. She looked at my “letter from employer” and said “Oh, you’re shooting a Kayak commercial?” I responded with a high-pitched “Mm hhmm.”
“Oh, great. Just write Kayak.com under Employer and you’ll be all set.” So now I’m on record with the government as an employee of Kayak. If there’s any truth to The Secret, then I have definitely put it out there in the universe!
What’s more amazing is the fact that my passport will be ready in 3 hours! Can you believe that? I was in shock. Turns out, anytime you mail in a passport application, it goes to Philly; they make it there, and then ship it back. So when you apply in Philly, they just send your info to the printer, and away you go! And she even put me in for a free upgrade to the 58 page book, after seeing the number of stamps I had in my expired one. I just logged onto the Amtrak website to move my train back to NYC an hour later, and I’ll be arriving with passport in hand! Who knew?
So I’ll get back to Penn Station at 2:30, then I’ve got to catch a train at 3:58 from Grand Central to Westchester (Mamaroneck) to run a music rehearsal for “The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White.” I’ll be there form 5-6:30, then catch a 6:57 train back to Grand Central, getting in at 7:40. Then I haul tush to a student film audition at the School of Visual Arts at 8, and hopefully make it to another student film audition at 8:45 at the New York Film Academy. And then if I don’t fall asleep on the subway and wake up in the Bronx (it happens), I’ll be home and in bed before 11!
I heart Philly!