Patterson, viewers bid adieu to ‘Mad Men’

For Camden native and Caesar Rodney High School graduate Marcy Patterson, leaving behind seven seasons of working on the acclaimed drama “Mad Men” was much like graduating high school.

“I had yearbooks made for everyone. I contacted Jostens and used my old CR yearbook as a template. I had my mom send me her old Dover Air Force Base yearbook from the ’70s to get some idea of the period and we did it in that style,” said Ms. Patterson, who ended the show as one of its co-producers. Her name appears fourth in the billing at the end of every recent episode.

Camden native and Caesar Rodney High School graduate Marcy Patterson stands in front of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in March with her fiance Nick Shah prior to the final season premiere party of the television series “Mad Men”. A co-producer on the show, Ms. Patterson will also attend a series-ending party this weekend in Los Angeles.  (Submitted photo)

Camden native and Caesar Rodney High School graduate Marcy Patterson stands in front of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in March with her fiance Nick Shah prior to the final season premiere party of the television series “Mad Men”. A co-producer on the show, Ms. Patterson will also attend a series-ending party this weekend in Los Angeles. (Submitted photo)

The Emmy-winning program, set in the New York advertising world of the 1960s and in this last season, 1970, airs its much-anticipated final episode Sunday night.

“It was completely like school,” Ms. Patterson said. “You have your best friends that you know you’re going to stay close to. But you never know how it’s going to shake out — how often you’re going to see everyone. But at the same time, you’re excited for what the future will bring.

“We’ve all had this safety net for so long and you hope to get to work on other great projects but the future is unknown. It was a little bit sad to be sure.”

As filming on the final episodes wrapped up last June, Ms. Patterson received a graduation gift of sorts when she was briefly featured on last Sunday’s episode jumping out of a makeshift cake during a scene that took place in an American Legion hall in Oklahoma. She was later seen in the background slow dancing in a green robe with one of the drunken members.

She said it was a dream come true. But not for the reasons you might think.

“For some strange reason I’ve always wanted to jump out of a cake,” she said Monday night after a day of hearing from about 150 friends and family members from Delaware and beyond who spotted her on the show.

“From the first season, I’ve been bugging (executive producer and creator) Matt (Weiner) saying ‘If you ever have a scene where you need someone to jump out of a cake, please find a way to put me in it. And of course the years passed and nothing like that ever came up. Finally, he came to me and said ‘This is your chance.’

“In anything I’ve ever worked on, I’ve never wanted to be an extra. I was never the person who wanted to find a place on camera. I just thought this sounded super fun and it really was.”

She filmed the scene in mid-June and was not allowed to tell anyone of her appearance on the show.

“I did break the rules and tell my fiance (Nick Shah) and swore him to secrecy,” she said.

Best Bets logo CLEAR copyAs soon as the scene aired, she was deluged with calls, texts, emails and Facebook messages.

“I was waiting and watching my phone. I honestly didn’t know if anyone would recognize me. My first text was from Bryan Batt, who played Salvatore Romano on the show. He asked ‘Was that you?’ My hair was so different and the whole character was just so goofy,” she said.

She said it helped take some of the sting out of filming the next-to-last episode of the season.

“It felt great. All of the actors were so excited for me. They all knew I wanted to do this silly thing for so long,” she said.

After filming the season wrapped in late June, she stayed on the job until September to tie up loose ends and clear away years of memories.

“I spent a while just cleaning out the office. It was all sad. You’d start to get nostalgic when you see something that we used in Season 2,” she said.

Ms. Patterson started on the series as a producer’s assistant, rising through the ranks to be a co-producer, dealing with everything from scheduling and budgets to costumes and props.

The experience of working on a show that won multiple Emmys and bore a lasting impression on the television

Camden native and Caesar Rodney High graduate Marcy Patterson, a co-producer on the hit drama "Mad Men," jumps from a cake during a scene from Sunday's episode. (Submitted photo)

Ms. Patterson jumps from a cake during a scene from Sunday’s episode of “Mad Men”.. (AMC photo by Justina Mintz)

landscape is hard to describe, she said.

“I feel like we’re all getting asked that question and it sounds cheesy. But it’s almost too special to put into words,” she said.

“If I work 50 years in this business and work on 10 other shows, I doubt I’ll every be able to match the quality and the cast and crew of ‘Mad Men.’

“All of the pieces won’t line up the way they did on this show ever again. This show has changed all of our lives for sure. Most of the actors weren’t nearly as well-known as they are now and we’re all a little marketable then we were when the show first started. We really became a family.”

Currently, Ms. Patterson has traded the big city of Los Angeles for the tiny town of McClellanville, South Carolina, where she is a member of the production team on the independent film “Sophie and the Rising Sun.”

The romance movie is another period piece for Ms. Patterson, set in the South in the days before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“The town makes Camden-Wyoming look huge,” she joked.

“It has one restaurant, no cell service and a small grocery store. But it’s perfect for the film. It’s a great love story.”

She has another independent film that she will be working on after “Sophie.” But her biggest production comes in October when she marries her longtime boyfriend Mr. Shah in a ceremony in the wine country of Southern California.

They have known each other 10 years, having met on the dance floor of a nightclub in Washington, D.C.

“One of my friends from CR just pushed me out there and said ‘You should talk to this guy,’” she recalled.

They had a long-distance relationship for 7 1/2 years as he worked in his family’s business. He finally made the move to Los Angeles to be with Ms. Patterson a little more than two years ago.

She will fly back to Los Angeles this weekend to attend a party celebrating the end of “Mad Men.”

Although she won’t reveal details on what’s going to happen, she hopes longtime fans will be satisfied with the ending.

“No one is ever going to be completely happy with the ending of a show. But that’s mostly because they are bummed because it’s over,” she said.

“But hopefully they leave it happy that they’ve invested so much time with it and they’ve grown right along with the characters.”

The final episode, entitled “Person to Person” airs Sunday night at 10 on AMC.

Twinbill in Smyrna

Two shows are on the schedule at the Smyrna Opera House this weekend.

Tonight, the improvisational troupes Better Than Bacon from Philadelphia and Wilmington’s Fearless Improv will headline an evening of comedy at 8.

Tickets are $10 and the show is recommended for mature audiences.

On Saturday, the Capital Ringers, a community handbell ensemble, presents its spring concert tour “Broadway To Hollywood”. The concert includes arrangements from favorite movies and shows like “The Lion King,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Star Wars,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Miserables” and others.

The evening starts with a silent auction at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 per person, or $25 per family.

Tickets for both nights are available at the box office or online at www.smyrnaoperahouse.org. The Smyrna Opera House is at 7 W. South St.

‘Frozen’ in Harrington

The Centre Ice Rink at Delaware State Fair in Harrington will bring a host of favorite fairy tale characters to life this weekend as The Bay Country Figure Skating Club presents its spring show, “Frozen: Once Upon a Time,” at 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Choreographed by the rink’s coaching staff, the show tells an original story of good versus evil, featuring music from the film phenomenon “Frozen” including “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” “Love Is an Open Door,” “Let it Go” and other familiar songs.

The show will also feature previews of 1st State Ice Theatre’s competitive programs for the 2014-2015 season, which will culminate in competing at Theatre on Ice Nationals in Cape Cod in June. Coached by Jerry Santoferrara and

Tom Harrison, 1st State Ice Theatre has an adult team and an open team.

1st State Ice Theatre’s adult team will perform their “Flintstones” freestyle program. The open team will perform their freestyle program, “Alice in Wonderland.”

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for children, with free admission for children under 2. Groups of 10 or more receive $2 off each ticket if purchased in advance. Tickets also will be available at the door.

For more information, call Bay Country Figure Skating Club at 302-398-5900, ext. 218.

Now showing

New in theaters this weekend is Tom Hardy in “Mad Max: Fury Road 3D” and the sequel “Pitch Perfect 2”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is “American Sniper” with Bradley Cooper, the animated “Strange Magic” and the comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine 2”

 

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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