Monday, July 21, 2008

It's a Tough Job, But Somebody Has To Do It

Sorry I haven't written, but I've been busy. . .
Last week, I worked on a commercial as an extra. It is under a contract called an "Extra Buyout". It pays more than just being an extra but you do don't get residuals because it is a commercial. It is set to air during the Olympics.
I worked all day at my regular job and then I drove out to Lancaster Massachusetts , to the fair grounds, where half a fair was set up . In the parking lot , my old friend Michelle Proud had just pulled in , so we were able to walk to set together. She had actually worked on it the night before. Because I was a little early , my call time was 7PM and I left Boston at 5:10, we where there about 6:40. They wouldn't sign us in a minute sooner. The food was pretty good . It wasn't "breakfast" in the usual sense of the word. There was something called "bermuda clam Chowder" almost like a Manhattan clam chowder. I asked the woman what the difference was and she said it was the type of clam they used. It was delicious. They also had chicken and green salad and fruit salad . I think there was some other entre, but I didn't have any . I didn't have any dessert , either. And then we waited. My buddy Jimmy Saya was working on this one , too. It was nice to see him and hang around with him.
We were out in the middle of a field. A typical fairgrounds situation. We were under some sort of animal shelter. There were 3 next to each other . I guess you would call it a paddock. I don't know, just someplace to keep the animals(actors) from getting rained on or burned by the sun. There was hay on the ground. They had done a pretty good job of spraying the place so the bugs weren't too bad. After dinner ( breakfast) they checked us for wardrobe. They asked us to bring 2 sets of clothes. I tried , but I ended up bringing more options than I really needed. It was warm early in the evening but you would want something that would keep you warmer when it got chillier. I wore a pair of jeans I got from my friend Julie Perkin's sister, a gray t-shirt, a shirt I got from my friend Betsey's Mom's beach house when she was going through her divorce. Anything that had bleonged to him was fair game and I got a great Neiman Marcus sort of plaid shirt. It 's the right combination of blue, gray & brown. Colorful but not too showy. I've worn that on a number of movies and it gets used a lot . Then over those 2 shirts I put on a green cradigan sweater with brown leaves apliqued onto it. Again, colorful, but stil the right level of muted. And then I was good to go for the evening. Shortly after my wardrobe approval, we went to set.
It was like any travelling fair I would have rushed to when I was a kid. There was a Ferris wheel , bumper cars, scrambler ride, tilt-a-whirl, tea cups, swing ride and a carousel. I ended up on the carousel for the first part of the evening. I was on my little pony for about 3 hours. I got saddle sores, it was just like being on a horse. We went around and around and around. Even when they would shout "Back to one" (meaning to the original place where you started when they started filming) there was nothing I could do because it would take too long to shut it down and start it up again, so it kept going. It was really quite fun except for the saddle sores. I had a bit where I would wave to everybody standing by the ride. Jimmy and Michelle where pared up , so I would wave to them like they were my parents and Forey Buckmisnter was there and he would slap me 5 when I swung by. I have no idea what was going on in front of the camera, I was so far away . There is no way you'll be able to tell it's me in the background. I'm pretty sure I'm not even going to be able to tell where I am in the shot. The primary action seemed to be happening on the bumper car ride.
There was action happening at the balloon game. You know where you throw a dart at the balloons to win prizes. So, I was watching that. The main guy had long hair and droopy mustache. A real carny looking guy. I would watch their action. At first , the carny was replacing the balloons when they got hit. Eventually, they just kep throwing the darts in the same spot where all the balloons had already been hit.
Then we broke for lunch . There were hamburgerss and hot dogs and macaroni salad and baked macaroni and cheese. It was real good. I expect something a little fancier on these types of shoots, but it was really good , none the less.
Then we were back in . Because of union rules they had to release everybody under 18 by 1 AM. So those little bastards got to leave ! The second half of the shoot they asked for volunteers to go on different rides. They asked for volunteers for the swing ride and my arm shot right up . I wasn't really thinking. I just knew I wanted to go on the swing ride. We sat there, motionless, while they set up the shot. It felt like we were sitting there for an hour. Then when the ride started going, it didn't stop for an hour. Everytime they would stop and shout "back to one" I was , once again helpless to do anything. I was laughing and giggling the whole time. Some people on the ride were getting a little sick. Not me, I was laughing the whole time. It was like some wish I made as a 10 year old had come true and I was appreciating it for what it was. What better way to spend a beautiful summer evening ? Oh, and the moon was full. It was so great to just be going around and around, head thrown back , cackling at the moon. I loved it . I can't believe I'm gonna get paid for that !
They still had some shots left , so they released everybody who wasn't union and then asked for union people if they would volunteer to leave becasue they only needed like 10 more people. We'd all still get the same pay , even if you left volunarily, but I thought there might still be another ride I could get on. No way was I going to miss out on that ! No dice- we did walking behind the primary action . My buddy Jimmy got picked to go inside the food truck like he was selling food to the principals. Unfortunately, it did not get him an upgrade. It just got him closer to the center of the action. Michelle and I were at the candy apple stand in the background trying to decide which kind of apple to get .
They wrapped us at 4. I got lost on the way home, but I was still able to get home and take a little nap and a shower and then went back into town to open the booth. The boss had a dentist appointment and I promised her I would be there. I was. She let me go home after lunches, around 1 PM.
All in all, it was a great way to make a buck. I had a great time.


Blogger Dee-Rob said...

All I can say is:


Wednesday, July 23, 2008 2:37:00 AM  

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