I got an urgent call from a buddy of mine on the set of a new movie getting shot here in Chicago Wednesday night. He left me an urgent message saying something to the effect of "Nelson, I need you to get back to me, like, 5 minutes ago. There's part in this movie that we need you for and it's specific thing we're looking for, and, like, get back to me. Bye!"
So, I text back Homie and he calls me back and offers me a featured extra role with a good possibility of upgrade to an actual line. I had made a promise to myself that I wouldn't do anymore extra work for films unless this exact situation came up. Since the circumstances lived up to my threshold, I agreed to show up this morning.
I kept my options open. Based on my experience with Quebec, I knew that a lot could change between Wednesday and Sunday. Everything could even change during the shoot as well, so, I didn't want to tell everyone that I got lines in a movie and then get disappointed. However, I kept my optimism in check through the week.
I got here this morning at 6:30 AM along with 4 other extras and we sat for the wardrobe department to come and grba us and dress us up. They took us out to the directors trailer and we were then given our roles. I was given a completely different role than what was described to me by the casting director that he felt I fit better. OK. Well, I was ready for this change. No problem. I am sure there is a good reason why I got switched out. So, we headed back to wardrobe, got fitted and we were whisked away to the first set of the day.
I did get to experience the fun of having tons of makeup put on me and getting my beard hacked off! It only took me a week to grow it to where it was so, no biggie. So, that was fun. I got a lot of compliments regarding my looks like "Wow, we need to rough him up a bit because he's too good looking to play this part." So, my ego was stroked quite a bit by the statements.
So, as usual, filming is a lot of hurry-up-and-wait. I stood, sat, and slept on 4 different locations today. The other extras were very nice and amicable. As the day went on, they got to go home while I stook around...with no real idea of whether or not I was going to get used. I was placed in a scene but apparently it wasn't the right scene for my character.
So, I am still here now. I have to come to grips with the idea that I may be payed $100 pre-tax to have sat around a movie set for 14-16 hours (so, basically earning minimum wage) and have make-up put on me with no time to actually be shot. I am struggling a lot with my current disappointment. I am trying to be as positive as I can that I will get used for the "night" scene, but I cannot shake these feelings of anger, resentment, envy, and fear that this was all for naught at the moment. I know it's nobody's fault really but, oh, am I looking for someone to blame right now. The only finger I can point at is one at myself . I made the decision to come here knowing full and well it can happen the way it has thus far, therefore, I bear all responsibility .
Let's just hope for a night scene. Big props to the casting director and personal PA for attempting to keep my spirits up throughout the shoot.
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Biz Markie - Greatest Hits
By Biz Markie
Release date: 21 May, 2002