04 December 2006

I'm ready for my yellow blob close-up, Mr. DeMille

Okay, very limited time tonight as a migraine has set in and, in true Southern fashion, 'I am retiring to my chambers'.

The Mama Drama has temporarily halted itself, and any future moving won't be until February (as some sort of birthday reward for me, I surmise). Negotiations, bribery, and compromise apparently can win the day still...maybe we need to this show on the road from the Ozarks to the Middle East. Don't know how that twice a week vacuuming concession will work among the sand dunes, though. Mama is now warm, dry, and relatively happy driving the church bus once again. Amen.

Secondly, for those of you who have cable and watch USA Network, "Patch Adams" will be airing tomorrow (December 5 in the US, 9pm US EST). So for those of you who know of my adventures as an movie extra (which actually is pretty fun to sit on your ass, eat, and get paid maybe minimum wage), you can search me out again in The Graduation Scene (SPOILER: when Robin Williams moons everyone). I'm on the right, in a God-awful yellow and white polyester number that only fat female extras are given to wear. (But, on the positive, that hair on the blob was my own, and was that naturally curly...once.) I suppose I should be thankful that I was not credited or anything, or else I would be 'Yellow Polyester Blob'. Anyway, depending on how they cut it for broadcast, I'm either in there for about 3 seconds to none at all. That may be my 'contribution' to Hollywood, folks, especially as my Crowd Scene Member from "Kiss the Girls" is gone from all US broadcasts and disks (although I'm in the European/UK version for about 2 seconds!...little victories when you can get them, I say).

I still remember Robin Williams fondly from the limited shooting of "Patch" in Chapel Hill, on the UNC-Chapel Hill main campus and along Franklin Street. Actually, in between stealing a few bites of food from Hector's between takes and makeup towel pat-downs (we filmed in July, never a good time for a sweaty actor in NC), he struck me as quite shy...not quite the manic 'on' comedian we are all so used to seeing on the TV and late night talk shows. While I didn't feel the director of "Patch Adams", Tom Shadyac, had a good 'feel' for the film and the extras he was forever wrangling, in contrast Mr. Williams seemed genuinely humbled and adaptive to his environs...and was always imploring the onlookers to get back to studying, or doing laundry, or doing something other than fawn over him as he was just a 'regular guy'. He made jokes, yes, but he also gave a great deal of inspiration to some hopeful actors and writers who watched at 3am in awe. And he was nothing short of fantastic to the kids who came for an autograph. He never glamourized himself nor the job, though. And he made damn sure to come and talk to the extras and the assembled students and townspeople alike...in actions and not by ego, he came across as not above anybody else in attendance. Humility goes a long way, and even when he's in rehab or been in a film 'bomb', that humility is what I remember, and it's what makes me pull for him, too. I'd endure the polyester blob-suit in an heartbeat to experience that professionalism and compassion with him once more.

Well, maybe not in yellow the next time. And, with no disrespect to Mr. Williams, I've seen enough of his ass.

1 comment:

Liz said...

It DOES sound fun to be an extra! 8 years in Hollywood and I've never done it.