The Lowest Rung On the Hollywood Ladder, Part 1
Yes, here's our Production Assistant in charge of background talent. Her name is, and I shit you not, Inga. She's at least 6 feet tall, on the wrong side of 40, and built like a bulldog. Large jowls, bandy legs, and a flea collar. She gives a holler to gather together all the background talent. Which is SOP.
What is not SOP is the decibel level. This woman doesn't need a bullhorn. She IS a bullhorn. (Or a bulldyke. Couldn't ever decide which.) She begins yelling in a thick accent our instructions for the day. I could only make out every third word. I snuck a quick look at the other talent, who were doing one of two looks: 1) Total fear and intimidation, and 2) bored cynicism. I guess the bored guys had been there before. I was wavering somewhere between the two, at this point. On the one hand, I was having a decidedly shitty morning. On the other hand, my dad's a former Navy SEAL. I'm not easily intimidated. Right.
So the day drags on, and other than the burnt hair, lack of smokes and Crazy German Inga, this day isn't too horrible. It's an easy day, with one or two take scenes. Lots of breaks. Lots of snacks. Everybody was in a good mood. Ok.
Then, it got better.
I managed to hold onto my last smoke for the whole day, and then decided I needed it right then. I snuck out back, onto the outdoor street set. Where the coffee shop, magic shop and the Bronze facades were. Fun to wander thru there by myself at night. I could pretend I was Willow. I'm so cute and cool and redheaded and dating Seth Green... oh hey.
Hi Seth. Sup?
"You found the sweet spot." He grins at me.
"The..." OMG you so did not just say that to me you hot hot short little cute hunk of man you.
"We all hang back here when we're not needed. It's kind of a thing."
"No worries. Got an extra smoke?"
"Last one." Shit. Oh man. Sigh.
"Oh. Follow me."
He leads me to the front of the stage, where there's a large, well lit prop truck parked. Seth hellos the prop master and says, "Got an extra pack for my new friend here?"
The prop guy chuckles, and opens up a drawer. A drawer full of packs of cigarettes. Any name brand you care to mention. "What's your poison?"
He tosses me a pack of Camels, then a second for good measure. He tossed another brand to Seth, and we wander on back to the street set, smoking and chatting all the way. I mention that Nick bummed one off of me. Seth laughs and says that he does that to all the good looking girls.
I feel a bit better now, having been classified, by Seth Green no less, as a good looking girl and not a hideous butter troll.
The evening progresses. Sarah Michelle and Alyson Hannigan join Seth and I outside, and we all smoke and chat. It comes out that I'm a former child star, and all of a sudden, hey boy howdy, I'm in the ok cool kidís fort! For the rest of the shoot, I'm introduced around. To the director, to the other actors, to the camera men, everybody. Sadly, Joss was not on the set that night. I wonder if I missed out on a golden opportunity by him not being there. Oh well.
Sadly, the next time I was back on the set, seasons later, Seth was off the show, and nobody remembered me. But for that one evening, I got included with the popular kids. Which was a rare gem of a treasure for me, pasty, greasy, dirty nerd that I am.
Thanks again to OnYourRight, and we'll see you next week for more of the same. See ya!