I thought today was going to be one of the most exciting days of my life—and it turned out to be the most boring. I responded to a friend of a friend's Facebook post looking for extras to be in a funeral scene in Angelina Jolie's new movie (Hollywood, here I come!). The idea of being on a movie set and catching a glimpse of Angelina seemed pretty cool, and it wasn't like I had anything else going on.
I suppose I should have seen the red flags right away–the 7:15 am call time, a ten-hour minimum day and a meager eighty bucks for all my hard work, which would be taxed and mailed to me two weeks later. I arrived at the Marriott Hotel on Lexington Avenue at 7 o'clock on the dot, and was immediately thrown into a sea of black suits (530 people wearing black suits, to be precise), all hoping to get SAG vouchers and some time on the big screen. Clearly, I had no idea what I was in for.
A tiny, curt woman wearing headphones ushered me into a casting room, where I was labeled "Extra #514," and told to go to wardrobe. Another tiny, curt woman (I can only assume this is a prerequisite for movie crew members) told me the black frock and blazer I was wearing was "acceptable," and that I should go get some breakfast before we went to the church, where the scene would be shot. One small scoop of cold oatmeal later, me and another 530 extras were led down 50th street like cattle. When we reached the church, I was given a pew to sit in and told to be quiet. I expected to feel intrigued, even excited to be on a movie set. Instead, I felt punished. What had I been thinking? I ended up sticking it out for about 50 takes of the most monotonous eulogy I have ever heard until we broke for lunch, which we had to buy ourselves, at 2:30. I grabbed my stuff, found the nearest hotdog stand, and literally ran home, skipping the rest of the day's filming. Angelina never showed up and I guess being an extra isn't going to be my ticket to Hollywood.
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