JC spent November 16 on the set of Murdoch Mysteries, now in its seventh season and on CBC. Having ‘won’ the walk-on role in an auction that raised funds for Reach Canada, JC stayed on the set from 6:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.in the garb of a respectable ‘churchwoman’ circa 1900.
In full make-up, wig and velvet cape, JC stood and interacted with around 50 actors who provided ‘background’ in the one scene that was the subject of that day’s shooting, which took place in a quadrangle on the campus of the University of Toronto.
“It was wonderful, though the too-thin clothing for a November day without much sun made for some shivering, and my hat weighed a ton!” JC observed. “I really am pleased NOT to have been a woman in those times, so physically constrained by fashion. The long skirt made it far too easy for me to trip, which I did, frequently!
What struck JC were the number of actors and crew involved in capturing just one scene for the hour-long program and how there was constant movement that looked chaotic but actually was the result of real choreography on the part of the director and the many assistant directors who were all linked by earphones.
JC had the chance between takes to meet both Yannick Bisson, who plays Detective Murdoch, and Jonny Harris, Constable Crabtree on the show. “Both actors were courteous and welcoming. It was a pleasure to speak with them and made for a memorable experience.”
JC left souvenir bookmarks from Reach Canada with key crew members and actors to express the organization’s gratitude to Shaftesbury Films for donating the walk-on opportunity as a way to support the fine work Reach does in Ottawa in the service of access to justice for persons with disabilities and community education.