Extra! Extra! (As Promised to Vijay and jenn)

English: The food court of the Palisades Cente...

English: The food court of the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack. Taken on September 6, 2007 by Nightscream. Category:Images of Rockland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few years ago, I was affiliated with a film production company that made commercials, infomercials, and corporate films.  I was on their list of extras.  They’d pay between $50 and $100 for a few hours of “work”.  I never had any speaking roles, it was just extra work.

It was a pretty good gig, for a few years.  I’d get 2 or 3 jobs a year.  The funny thing was they seldom told us what the filming was for, and I never saw anything that I was part of, on television.  They would usually just give you what industry it was for, but not the specific company.  No one seemed to mind.

On one occasion they filmed us at the Palisades Center Mall, at the food court.  Another time it was at a little strip mall by the water below Nyack, NY.  I was a businessman in that one.  Another time it was at some huge church hall.  That was for an audience scene for some kind of infomercial.  A lot of clapping, and smiling, and trying to look impressed with whatever they were hawking.  Simple stuff.

But, the last one I was involved with was the killer.  It was being shot on the streets of White Plains, NY.  I believe it was for some kind of health care insurer.  Anyway, they were filming a lot of scenes where they didn’t need me, so I manly spent time in the trailer, flirting with the makeup girl, and eating whatever they had at the canteen.  There was always plenty to eat.  But, this has nothing to do with the flirting, nor the food.

My scene was the final one of the day, and we were starting to lose the sun.  They paired me with a lady about my age, and put us in these tee shirts with the health care company name on them, and all we were supposed to do was walk from a bout half a block away, right up to the camera.  Sounded simple enough.  Right?  Well, here’s where it got hinky for me.  The Assistant Director said that we were a *vibrant* couple taking a walk, blah, blah, blah.  Well, you know me and words.  I latched on to the word *vibrant* and I decided we were going to go at a brisk pace.  The Director says to do it again, but slower.  He just didn’t say how much slower, and I was still going by the Assistant Director’s *vibrant*.  So, we did it again, but still too fast.  I think my co-star realized what the Director wanted before me, but I was in the *vibrant* zone!  We did it I think two more times, before I realized that the Assistant Director either didn’t know what the word *vibrant* meant, or he didn’t know what the Director wanted.  Finally, we did it at a nice leisurely stroll – nothing *vibrant* about it – and the director was all smiles.  But, for some strange reason, right as we ended that nice leisurely stroll, I looked . . . straight into the camera.  That is a huge no-no, and I generally know better than to do that.  I think I was just tired.  Well, I think that the Director took that as some kind of an F U on my part, and that was it.  I got paid . . . but they never called me back for another gig.

I think he went to his producers and said I was a wise guy, or I couldn’t take direction, or something, and not to call me again.  So, yer good old uncle is on their blacklist!  Just don’t expect to see me with James Spader anytime soon!


5 Responses to “Extra! Extra! (As Promised to Vijay and jenn)”

  1. 1 Colltales May 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Sorry about your woes, Uncle. It was their loss (and ours), I’m sure.

  2. 2 vnatraj1 May 13, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    What a heartwarming story. 😛 Thanks a lot, UR, for sharing. Had fun reading it.

  3. 3 jenn May 13, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Oh wow, that is super interesting! You know, it is never to late to get back in the acting/extra game! …and ditto, thanks much for sharing!

  4. 4 unclerave May 13, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    I figured I owed you. Thanks for taking an interest, guys. — YUR

  5. 5 Anonymous June 2, 2016 at 7:57 am

    UNC! Vera interesting!!!! Thank you so much for sharing. LL

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