Sunday, August 16, 2015

What I Did on Summer Vacation: Being an Extra in a Movie

In honor of school starting next week, I am writing an essay on what I did on summer vacation and I am doing it kid style...low effort on editing.

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

The most unusual thing I did on my summer vacation was be an extra in a movie.  My friend Lisa is my daughter's former drama teacher.  She invited me and my daughter to be extras in a movie that her friend was directing.  We love watching extras in the background of TV shows and movies.  Our favorite extras to watch are in Gilmore Girls.  Try watching them sometime, it is very entertaining!  Being weird extra watchers, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to be extras ourselves!  

In preparation, I read acting websites that gave do's and don't's for extras.  Pretty much an extra's job is to be a prop and not bother the real actors.  Sometimes extras get to do a little reacting to the main scene.  

We had to bring extra clothes in case we needed to film different days during that one day of shooting.  During that week of shooting, we each got to be in two scenes.  My daughter got to sit in a restaurant setting with her teacher while the main character was arrested.  It took several hours for that scene to be filmed and they did get to react to the drama taking place.  We, along with my son, got to be in a crowd scene during a very emotional scene between the main characters.  We were in the front row right by the action.  The actors were so convincing that I literally got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes on the first take.  Amazingly, the actors were able to emote like that over and over for hours.  I, on the other hand, wasn't that amazing.  I am hoping that the camera wasn't really on me!  It was outdoors and I was hot and my feet hurt.  I don't know how they were able to keep it so fresh and real.  Lisa and I, along with two of her family members, were also customers in a liquor store scene.  We had to react to the main character and clerk having a very tense exchange.  Because it was an escalated situation, it wasn't too difficult to react/act...or at least I think I was acting.  I hope it wasn't all in my head and I wasn't just standing there not doing anything!  I have no idea what I looked like but thankfully, this movie isn't about me.  Either way, I had a great time and can see why some people love acting.  

The movie is called 2nd Greatest and is based on real people and events.  You can see the real life people that inspired the movie in the trailer at  I believe it is coming out in December 2015.  

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Body Story

About 8 years ago, I had an spontaneous thought to go to Walmart and buy school supplies.  At that time, I lived about 13 miles away from the city so usually I planned these trips with other stops.  I had no previous plans to go and no supply lists.  Also it was 7:00 on a Saturday night which was not a normal errand running time for me.  I just decided to go.  It was unusual.  Also unusual, my husband didn't question it.

So as illogical as it appeared that night, I just knew I needed to go to Walmart.  So I went and I bought some school supplies that were in the "back to school" sale.  On my way out, I stopped in front of the Missing Person Board that was in the entryway of the store.  I had a habit of silently praying for the missing people in the photos.  As usual, I prayed for them but then followed it by the thought, "I don't know why I bother.  No one ever gets found."  From there, I walked out into the parking lot.  While I was inside, the sun had gone down and it was now night.  I loaded my bags in my van and went on my way.

The ramp onto the highway that would take me home was newly constructed.  There were no light poles erected yet leaving my van's headlights to illuminate the road.  Half way along this very long on ramp, I noticed something on the right side of the road.  For a moment I thought it was a body.  No, I thought, I am sure my mind was just making shapes out of trash on the side of the road.  As I got closer and my headlights could fully light the object, I saw that, yes, it was indeed a body.  My mind was not playing tricks on me!  I pulled over quickly and left my lights aimed on the person crumpled on the shoulder.  I immediately called 911.  The operator told me she would send someone but that I could leave the scene.  I was appalled. I told her that I didn't think that was right and that I was staying.  It was dark!  What if someone ran over the person?  What if the police never came?  The operator said she would send someone and hung up with me.  It was pitch dark, on a highway ramp and I didn't know if the person was dead or injured.  Maybe they were just faking and waiting for an innocent victim?!  So I sat tight with my headlights shining on them so as to alert other cars if they were to come by.

After a few minutes, the body sat up.  The person was alive!  He move over to the guard rail and sat down on it.  Then he flipped over it backwards and disappeared down into the ditch below!  I was justified in my decision to stay.  No one would have know where he was at all now except for me.  I was anxious for the police to come.  After a few more minutes, the man climbed up out of the ditch and somehow over the guard rail.  He staggered in the direction of my van.  He was walking unevenly into my headlights. I knew he couldn't see who or what he was walking towards.  Even so,  I was afraid to deal with him on my own.  I slowly backed away as he got closer.  I think he realized he wasn't closing the gap and just decided to have a seat on the ground.  Whew!

After a few more seemingly long minutes, a police car pulled up behind me.  Both officers stopped to talk to me through my window.  I quickly explained what happened.  One stayed with me while the other walked ahead to talk to the man.  We watched him talk to him as stayed seated on the ground.  It didn't take long for him to come back to tell his partner, "He is the man missing from (name withheld)."  The officers offered me no explination.  They thanked me for helping and immediately drove their car up to the man and helped him inside.  Just like that, he was gone and I was free to go.

I was charged up with adrenaline and slow to process what had happened.  I didn't recognize the name of the place from which they said the man was missing.  It slowly dawned on me as I drove the 13 miles home that someone missing had been found.  God had heard my prayers and my cynical comment.  I was wrong that no one was ever found.   I had witnessed someone being found!  I even got to help!  God had heard my prayers and they mattered.  Praying was not a waste of time.  Missing people matter to Him.

 Later I looked up the name of the place that the officer had mentioned.  It was a nursing and assisted living home.  I am so glad he was found.