Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ant Mission Accomplished

            My fear had been that the scene at the Ant Man extras casting call this morning would look like those American Idol auditions where entire stadiums are bursting with thousands of people while Randy Jackson lurks around calling people "Dog." Fortunately, that didn't come to pass. No one called me dog – not to my face, anyway – and the number of people who showed up seemed entirely manageable. Yes, there was a long line that wound through a parking lot, and we had to stand in the sun in that parking lot for over an hour, and I was wearing hot dress slacks so I'd look like a "business woman," but it was way better than it could have been, and we met some nice people.
            The hopeful extras were dressed in all sorts of different outfits. I had originally been told by an actor friend that I shouldn't dress up because it would make me look nuts. But yesterday Pinewood Studios posted a request that attendees show up dressed in a costume that reflects the character they would like to play, the "dress normal" dictate flew out the window. Hence the business suit sans suit coat that you see here. I'm the one on the left.
            The lovely lady to my right is my neighbor Wendy. She's a great neighbor because she's up for doing all sorts of goofy things with me. She was totally enthused about going to this casting call. She was also enthused about stopping at IHOP for brunch at 11 a.m. when we got done at the studio. A perfect morning, really.
            At the studio, we were ushered into the blessedly cold air conditioning once we worked our way to the front of the line, then we stopped by a table to check in. Then it was off to a photographer for three quick snapshots, then back to the parking lot. And on to IHOP. That last bit wasn't a required part of the casting call, but it really made for a nice capper on the morning. Did you know IHOP has cheese-stuffed French toast? I love this country.
            It's unclear when we'll hear anything from the studio about becoming extras. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for those lucrative movie contracts to start rolling in, but I'm not holding my breath
            Even though I'm not counting on the cash from being an extra, some folks seem to have an inflated idea of how easy it is to get one of these extras gigs and how much cash you can earn this way. One of the women I met at the casting call today said she wants to be an extra because she needs the money. She's got bills to pay, and she thinks this is a great way to pay them off. Sure, most people with financial concerns would go get a job, rather than waiting for an unlikely shot at earning $100 as an extra for a couple days. But who am I to judge? Maybe when I hunker down in my movie seat to watch Ant Man next year, that woman will be on screen, her face 10 feet wide. And maybe she'll look relieved because she's paid all her bills with easy movie money.

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