How I Learned Not To Fry Bacon Naked
By Tracey Gudwin, Fixer/Veteran No Res Producer
Cold, dark and snowy…just like home, just like Berlin, except it´s not. It´s another other German speaking country…AUSTRIA! The land of Tafelspitz, Kaiserschmarrn and all things tasty.
The kids from ABNR have summoned our help to fix the Vienna, Austria shoot. When I say our help, I mean the new team…..Stefan Zanev, you may remember him as the Location Producer/ Fixer from such fabulous episodes as the BERLIN SHOW, and our 4 month old son Gabriel, whom you probably have not yet met. I assure you he´s an excellent traveller with already quite a few passport stamps.
We meet up with the crew in Vienna to fix and location coordinate the shoot. This time I am on the other side of things. I am not carrying a camera or a lighting kit, this time I´m holding a baby and Stefan is doing most of the location work. And It´s weird, seeing the crew all together, setting up lights, doing the shoot rundown, mikeing all the characters on set…..and well I´m not really part of it. I mean sure there´s the location contacts, the paperwork, coordinating people and vehicles, but Stefan, an excellent Producer, has just about all of it covered. So when I pop by on the first night to see what the kids are up to, Tony immediately drags Stefan and I into the scene. Here we go again. I hate being on camera, it´s like asking me to put on a Big Bird costume and then asking me to “act“ normal. I come off like a freak show, only way less intelligent. But that´s what the boss asks, so off we go.
Next thing I know, we are miked up and shoved heaping portions of Austrian Beisl food before us. This beisl, or small diner-like greasy spoon is called Wratschko. And it´s really good, despite the reputation that beisls can be questionable. I get a goose leg and a bunch of greens and Tony has been served a hefty helping of the “old Brain and scrambled egg”combo. I basically dig in and try and save myself from having to talk, but as usual I am dragged in by Tony to the conversation………..and then it leads to this……..a little piece of advice from Herr Bourdain, bet you hadn´t thought of this one before.
As we all know, Tony likes his Pig…or Schwein in these parts. But did you know he also likes to fry his bacon naked. Or at least he has the wisdom and experience to know that these kind of casual Saturday morning breakfasts can lead to disaster and mayhem. Apparently such carelessness can lead to fried b*lls, which is another delicacy, but one probably better suited for other TV hosts. So, just goes to show you, you learn something new on every shoot. And by the way, if you need a hot dog with molten hot cheese in the middle and a can of beer in Austria, you just have to say (In German, not English), “Give me a puss stick and a tin can”. Always follow the locals.