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While On Set...

life and times of a background extra

You just got the call from the agency. It's your first foray in front of the camera. While on the phone call you suddenly begin to have an out of body experience observing yourself speak on the phone and then react to 'your' own reactions. Weird? I know. You watch yourself laugh, cry, and breathe as if in the last trimester of a prolonged pregnancy to the sweet words blurting out on speaker phone, 'Hey Jess, Its Lydia from Blazay Blazay Casting. You're on for Tuesday! Call is at 5am wardrobe 630. You'll be background prostitute for the police station scene. Congrats!'. Phewww. Back in your body yet? It's exhilarating and nerve racking all at the same time. Eyes closed, your imagination begins to wander and give a glimpse of what Tuesday may hold.

This is What Happens When Your Imagination Runs Wild...

Ohhhh yeah. So, when you share the news with family over the weekend - what do you say? I would just go with "got a gig on the hottest TV show in town and their going for a very visually exotic feel" - boom nuff said. They will spy for details, but just hold your ground and go FULL DIVA on them lol. Just say you signed a confidentiality agreement with your reps and can't divulge too much lol.

Guess What? It's Tuesday...

Only one thing - it's 2 o'clock in the morning and you're wide awake. The anxiety and anticipation is killing you. You even check the alarm for 907th time and then logically set up a backup just in case the volume '10' ringtone doesn't budge you any. Okay. Gotta make sure the directions you wrote down 17 times are actually accurate, as well as, the directions bookmarked in your cell phone. Meditation. Yep, that always works in these times except you really have to pee at this point and just 'Ommmmmm' it out on the toilet. Then the scariest thought races across your conscience. What if your family happens to catch the show and Tivos it? What about old professors? How will you deal with that creepy uncle that always looked at you funny? See your creepy uncle below...

You made call! Just arrived and signed in. A very tall woman wearing dark sunglasses walks you down a dim hallway to a door with a sign that reads' Green Room'. She knocks twice then taps her foot once to complete the secret 'passcode' for entry. The door opens to a room full of...

To Be Continued...

..great looking people. It's just not humanly possible to be this stunning this early is it? Wow, these people are gorgeous and it's not even 6am yet. I made a frivolous assumption due to our hallway walk that my green room experience would be somewhat connected to waterboarding to somehow extract exclusive casting info. 'Good morning, sunny sunny sunshine! How's it going?", said a burly man with oddly shaped teeth that I concluded was his unique calling card in life. 'I'm into S.M.', he blurted out. 'I'm sorry' I replied with a wry smile. What the hec kind of set is this? Suspiciously happy people before the crack of dawn, dark dank hallways, and some guy testing my sensationalism by casually admitting his fetish can be a tad bit overwhelming. 'S.M' he once again replied. 'Okay..' I uttered. 'STAGE MANAGER BABY' he belted out with a laugh to follow. He's obviously done this before as those standing around the room gave out a very staged reaction of shock and amusement. Just as I was getting a bit comfortable with the corkiness that randomly ensued a voice from the loud speaker rang out almost inaudibly '2-minute call set seven now, now, now'! What?! It takes me two minutes to just use the bathroom! Our completely cooky green room had quickly turned into a holding pen for stampeding background talent and some guy that broke the ice with the letters 'S.M' on one too many occasions.

Moral of the story - ask your agent or manager more questions, stay away from dark dank hallways, and the next time you hear the letters 'S.M.' - RUN! 

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