Monday, May 30, 2005

Ah, the Smell of the Greasepaint

I had a thrilling day, by my standards anyway. It seems that someone besides my new employer has discovered my gift of indispensibility, and put me to good use as a movie extra for the better part of the day.

A friend is filming a short for submission to a movie festival this fall, so my best bud Kat and I drove to Oregon City-- or "location" as in filmed on location, to play the part of women milling about at a garage sale. Kat will be listed in the credits as "Woman who paid too much for a crappy lamp," and I'll be credited as "Woman who obsessively smelled the insides of Christmas tins, totebags, and a coffee pot."
And you'll need to look for my real name once those credits start rolling: Cindy St. Onge Mellencamp.

They set everything up like a real movie set (like I'd know). They had a sound guy with a boom mic, a wardrobe lady-who doubled as the caterer, a makeup artist, and a cooler with bottled water and other beverages. The actors--even us extras--were referred to as "talent."
Industry lingo such as, "wide-shot" and "roll sound" gave the ordinary driveway-turned-garage sale a real Hollywood lot feel.

The only thing missing were little, teeny rat doggies cradled in the arms of the talent.

Scenes were shot and re-shot, the director seeking low-budget perfection amid the droning of overhead aircraft, chainsaw motor cycles, and actual chainsaws, fickle clouds and changing light.

It was tedious and boring and there was a lot of standing around and waiting. Just like a real movie. Well, it was a real movie, but you know what I mean. It felt like it could have been a movie set with actual dogs in purses. That kind of real.

Can't say that I've been bitten by the acting bug. I act all the time. I act like I'm listening. I can mimick concern, interest, shock, and indignation. And I don't do it for the camera, or extravagant sums of money, or for awards or praise. I do it for the love of self-preservation.
Ok, and sometimes, a modest stipend.

Fake kisses,



Blogger Rhein said...

ah, sounds kinda fun. actually, my son makes movies, at his age they are like 20-30 minute productions, an OMG, the work involved for 20 minutes of good footage- eek!

i posted a little story, please read, if you get a chance.

6:18 AM  

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