I answered a post on facebook to be an extra for a day, it was actually a few hours. It was a very simple shot where myself and two others were looking at a paper and being shocked at the headlines. While we were doing it, a man came over to tell us what to do and he had a cigarette in one hand and a lighter in the other. I asked him if that was for me, since I was just leaning up against the machine on a corner. He gave it to me and lighted it and we did two takes and that was over. Not knowing who he was, I went over to thank him for the smoke. We started talking for a couple of seconds and he told extras casting director to bring me back the next day for a birthday party scene. We talked for a few minutes and found we had a few things in common and clicked instantly.
Still not knowing who he was when I showed the next day on set, I walked right up to him and started talking to him saying thank you for bringing me back. We talked for a few minutes, then it was time to get busy. I found out a little later on, he was Rutiger Von Spies, the Director. The scene was for an Ambassador’s birthday party so we were all dressed to the nines. The other extras, who came on for the day were really wonderful people. When we all showed up at basecamp that morning, we all got to know each other a little bit. This is one of my favorite parts of doing these. Whether they be SCAD films or being an extra in a feature film, you always get to meet all kinds of interesting and wonderful people. With any luck, you also get to maintain friendships with them. I have been fortunate enough to have been able to do that with several of the people I have met.
We were in the backyard of this beautiful house filming nice party scene and Rusty Joiner was going around greeting everyone. One of the extras, Abbie, and I were “just married” and I was introducing her to Rusty’s character. Between shots, he was just a cool guy talking with everyone on a one on one basis. He told me his favorite quote for my next project I am doing- “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice” He didn’t know who said it, but with a little help from Dorothy(another extra) we discovered it was Zig Ziglar. In fact, I got a lot of quotes from my new friends, and I am looking forward to making that next project. I am grateful for all of the quotes I got that day! But that is another story. When we moved out to the front porch of the house, Pete Kasper was there as well as Patrick Bauchau and some actors from Savannah who are doing quite well- Jackson Morgan and Anthony Paderewski. All of them were just super cool! Pete Kasper’s first words to me were “I love that suit!” Then he introduced himself. Later on he was telling me and Pepi (another extra) jokes and stories. He also walked around greeted and talk to everyone else. Patrick Bauchau introduced himself and we talked for a few minutes. He also commented on my suit and while we were talking he mentioned Sonny Rollins. I told him how I met Sonny Rollins in that suit. During the shooting of this front porch scene Rusty is bringing his girlfriend to meet his father, Patrick. I am talking to (I think, one of his ex-girlfriends) played by Lidia Pearl, and then she goes over to talk to Rusty. There is a little confrontation between Pete and some other guests and he asked to leave. I don’t want to give too much away so I will stop there.
During lunch, I was getting coffee at the same time Rutiger was and we went back to his table. He started talking about the day before to the other two ladies at the table. He is quite an interesting gentleman. His German accent is very thick, so one really has to pay attention when he is talking. He, like everyone else in the cast that I met, had no problem taking pictures and just sitting back talking with everyone. He brought up learning Italian, (because of my last name) and later on the set, came over and gave me advice on how to learn it. It sounds daunting, but I would like to give it a try.
The atmosphere on this entire set was so laid back. I must say the actors and actresses (at least the one I met) were all very cool and sweet, as were the crew. It was really cool to see my friend Nikita on the crew. He was DP on the first SCAD film I did, where I met him. They weren’t all about them, they wanted to know about you and what you do. There were a few of them that went to a play Pepi, was talking about. Pete and Patrick told me they heard me playing in the Square a few nights before. I saw Pete several days later on the town. He remembered who I was and after a few minutes of conversation, said “I don’t have a quote yet, but I will.” This experience was just awesome all the way around. I want to say a huge thank you to Rebecca, the extras casting agent, for bringing me in on this project. I met some awesome people and had a wonderful time!