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08 August 2005 @ 11:18 pm
I did it!!! I was an extra!!  
Well, it took some time to recover, but I’m never going to regret being an extra in a movie. It was one of my goals. I so wanted to do this and the opportunity just fell into my lap. If Shelley hadn’t called me and encouraged me, I don’t know if I would have gone. The dumb excuses were playing in my head: "It’s too ho-o-o-o-t!" "I won’t get there till 6. They won’t need me." "Oh, c’mon!! Old and ugly is not for a movie screen!!" Yeah, even my internal dialogue is rather self-loathing. :PPP But I kept thinking how I would kick myself if I didn’t do this. It’s on my list and I didn’t do it?? How pathetic is that??

I’ve been looking over my list for a while and to have something that I could actually cross off and not do it was really a shitty way to act. So I went for it. And I was lucky enough to get it!

So after an uncomfortable night of sleeping on curlers – ugh, I don’t know how women did it! All the female extras had to roll their hair. I had a friend do it the day before and just slept in them. Oy, my hair does not like to curl. You can almost hear it cry out when you try to fold it around a curler!!! But I did it. I even was able to sleep! :) The only unfortunate thing in the night was that Jinkies thought the curlers were pretty darn cool and he wanted to play with them. I had to be very stern with him and get him the heck off my head!!

Anyway...I had a 6am call, so I left the house nice and early. My folks and Nancy (the friend of the family who did my hair) told me to count on at least 45 minutes to get there. It only took 20 minutes!! Sheesh!! But I got there and parked, and hopped on the bus to the hotel, where our costumes were. I went through wardrobe first, slipping on my dress and carrying my shoes. Didn’t want to put them on till the last second. I hesitated for about half a heartbeat, then decided no, I wasn’t going to wear nylons. It was already too damn hot. I carried the coat they gave me and headed off to hair. Ha! Yeah! They did my hair! What a scream. It was a bit disorganized and another girl and I became irritated by the fact that people who had just come in were bullying their way to the front of the line while we were stuck waiting. She took the matter in hand since those in authority were busy and got everything right. The line started moving again. When I was at the front of the line, the guy in authority wandered over, trying to change how it was set up. He was sent packing! :) They did my hair and were quite surprised at how stubborn my hair was. It did not want to take the curl. No way! So they had to use a TON of hairspray. I swear, you could hammer a nail into my hair after it was all done.

I went upstairs for breakfast then. No soda, but good food, and plenty of it! I was really pleased. I made the unfortunate mistake of sitting at the first available chair and it turned out to be the biggest table of snobs I’d ever seen. They acted like this was their movie. After about a minute, I ignored them and ate. Dorks.

We lined up for the bus ride to the Iwo Jima Memorial. I complimented the hat of the woman in front of me, but she ignored me. At first, I was irritated that maybe I’d found another snot. But she turned around and started chatting with me. I was confused…but then realized she had a slight slur to her speech. I looked and yup, she was wearing an aid. No snottiness there. She was hearing-impaired. Bad Steff for judging when I loathe people judging me for the very same reason!!

When we got to the memorial, one of the film people directed us to chairs. There were about… 100 chairs all lined up. The back was already filled – with dummies!! :) Poor things didn’t even have any legs! Ha!! I was placed in the second row and was very pleased. Maybe I would even be on film!! After about 5 minutes, though, the girl came back and told me I’d have to move. Apparently the minor actress I was sitting next to had the same color dress I did and they just couldn’t have that. Dammit. Dammit dammit dammit!! I was really pissed, but what can you do? I was moved to the 4th row...around center. I was despairing having a second on camera and just wrapped myself up in my book. I was resentful of the actress and bitching to myself. I mean – come on!! I had the opportunity to sit directly behind Ryan Phillippe!! I was pissed, but tried to get over myself.

The guy next to me was really nice though. He made and effort to talk to me and after a few seconds, I put my book down and we chatted. It really is "hurry up and wait" on a movie, so although it was only about 4 shots being done there, it took a long time to get them set up.

Basically, it was the climax of the movie. The unveiling of the monument. A troop of Marines (who looked like fecking infants, btw!!) marched by as the camera swooped up and panned the over the stage (where Ike and Nixon sat!!) and then the crowd. They did that 3 or 4 times. Then they had the Marines march by again, but this time, right in front of the camera. They told us that after the Marines passed a few of us were to start getting up, acting like we were leaving, because that was the end of the ceremony. So when the Marines passed, I watched the production assistant, and the moment he gestured to us, I hopped up. Since I was sitting right behind the principal actors/actresses, I think I was in that shot. We did that three or four times and my "husband" (the nice guy beside me) thought that we were in the shot. :) That would really be cool. Though I know I’m going to be stunned when/if I see myself on camera. I always forget what I look like...

About the production:

Pro: See celebrities (if you like that sort of thing). Saw Clint Eastwood, Ryan Phillippe, Adam Beach, Judith Ivey, and Melanie Lynskey.

Clint was very easy-going and quiet. He did everything very quickly with only a few shots of each scene. The guy beside me told he he’d worked on Mars Attacks! and he wanted to kill Tim Burton, because he’d do about 20 takes for each scene!!

Ryan Phillippe...well, he was cute. Nice eye-candy. :) I really noticed him in Playing By Heart and have quietly followed his movies since. :)

Adam Beach – he was in Windtalkers. I thought at first it was Eric Schweig. But he was quiet and handsome. He plays Ira Hayes.

Judith Ivey. She’s a character actress that has been in millions of movies!! I remembered her from "Rose Red" right off.

Melanie Lynskey was in Sweet Home Alabama as Lurlynn ("You have a baby! In a bar!") :)

Con: It was supposed to be November so we all had coats, gloves, etc. We BAKED in the heat. It was enough to give me a headache.

That was the one really bad thing. It was so fecking hot and we had to wear coats and gloves. Production assistants came around with little cups of water and Gatorade, thank goodness. My "husband" and another guy were both really kind and got me liquid. :) Very nice of them. I still got dehydrated as hell and had one moment where I thought I would pass out. I fought it off though and refused to give in.

It started to rain around 1:30 and we wrapped it up. Thank goodness! Who wants to sit outside in wet wool?? Bleagh!! So we trooped out, picked up our things (where someone had been guarding it) and went to the buses. It poured on us and the bus drivers insisted that we climb this nasty hill to get to them. I was nearly to the top and felt my shoes sliding down. These were two inch high heels, remember. So I looked up at the first person I saw and asked him to give me his hand or I’d go back down the hill. He was very nice and helped me up. The bus filled up and we were left waiting. To my utter disgust, another bus appeared at the bottom of the hill!! Dammit!! So we all started down again. I took two steps and realized this was a bad situation and taking a header looked very likely. I put out my arm to try to get my balance (I was scared!!!) and a guy came down and basically grabbed me. I was so relieved he helped me. I thanked him profusely and he smiled and went to help another lady. Whew!! Chivalry is not dead!! Otherwise I would be!!

Finally got back to the hotel (and out of those shoes!!), changed, packed up our stuff and split. It took about 20 minutes to get home, too. I stood in the cold shower for about 15 minutes, trying to cool off. I immediately went for food and drink, too. I hadn’t had caffeine the whole day, so I drank some soda and lots of water. After I ate, my head informed me it would not be forgiving me and rewarded me with a killer migraine. So I had to rest for a while. Wowzers. When I get a headache, I never fool around!!

So that was my experience. And I’m happy as hell I went for it!!
Feeling?: excitedexcited
Singing?: The Crawl
(Anonymous) on August 9th, 2005 10:20 am (UTC)
I am proud of you!!! You had a fabulous adventure and a wonderful story to tell!!

Fangirl moment: ADAM BEACH!!

Ok, be happy:-)

Wonderland's Girlbenkenobigal on August 9th, 2005 12:39 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, I was definitely in fangirl heaven. :) I was so pissed I was moved, because I could have sat right behind Ryan Phillippe. Grrrr...but it turned out for the best and I'm really happy I did it. :D Got a sunburn on my chest, too. Ouch!!
(Anonymous) on August 9th, 2005 05:58 pm (UTC)
Good On Ya!
That sounds like a great, if not exhausting time! I'll be sure to check this movie out when it comes to the theaters, just so I can say I saw my friend in a movie. :)

Wonderland's Girlbenkenobigal on August 9th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Good On Ya!
Thanks! If I'm in the film at all, I'm in the very last scene. It's the unveiling of the monument. :)
Johnjarlsberg71 on August 10th, 2005 04:21 am (UTC)
Re: Good On Ya!
I was thinking the same! I'd love to see ya!
Wonderland's Girlbenkenobigal on August 11th, 2005 05:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Good On Ya!
The movie won't be out until next year. So I guess we'll have to be patient!! :)