It was supposed to be a one time thing. Just have fun, call it a day and move on with my life.
Unfortunately it didn’t happen that way and now I’m stuck.
You may have noticed I haven’t written a column since July and you could say it was the time I was “preparing” for the new chapter of my life. Really, the older chapters were okay, but maybe I was seeking something more. Maybe more adventure, but I can truly say I’ve found excitement in the last few months.
Like most things these days it started with an email. Believe me, it was an innocent email on my part and then there was a strange phone call from someone I hadn’t given my number to. Who wouldn’t be intrigued? Anyway I had to turn down the offer which was proposed to me (although I really wanted to do it).
Then came a follow up email asking what days I would be available. I pondered over it for about an hour and said I’d be available on August 11. Before hitting the send button, I thought about it again and I closed my eyes as I hit it. Maybe it was a way of relieving my guilt or maybe it was a way to tell myself I was doing it, but didn’t want to face the reality of what I had just done.
With my date secured, it was time to get ready. I had a couple of weeks to prepare and I was also having second thoughts. I kept asking myself “why am I doing this?” and “don’t you think you’re too old?” Those questions would dance around in my mind and plague me for days.
I also had to keep it a secret since I didn’t want it to get out. If I had let it out, there would be questions to answer and I didn’t have any responses yet.
So, for the next couple of weeks I was off and running.
After work I was visiting thrift stores looking for “the perfect outfit” along with accessories to go along with it. Then there was the daily reading online and wasn’t sure if I could pull off being someone 10 or more years younger than my actual 45 years. I figured if I dyed my hair black and had gotten a couple of fake tattoos maybe I’d look younger. Surprisingly the tattoo parlors I called wouldn’t do temporary tattoos so that was causing me great concern. Remember, this was a one time wow’em thing.
I was told it was supposed to be fall in Texas and one day I went into the closet and found a gray t-shirt and green sweater vest. Somehow it worked and I didn’t have to worry about my outfit anymore. Black jeans and my tennis shoes should work.
Then there were the accessories. I figured a few rings would work, along with a studded bracelet and necklaces. My only problem was where to get them.
I didn’t want to spend the money on a wallet with a chain, so I improvised and went to the pet store. Trying to select a choker was hard (my goal was to loop it through a belt hole and then put the rest in my pocket) but after finding two I thought it would work.
With everything coming together, the clerk asked, “What kind of dogs do you have?”
“They’re not for a dog,” I replied. Her face went all white and she stepped away as I slid my debit card through the machine. I then explained to her what I was doing and after a sigh of relief she thought it was a good (and original) idea.
Then it was off to find the jewelry and luckily I found what I needed and I was set. Now I had to wait and those remaining days went by as slow as a snail race.
I was able to find an airbrush artist who did six tattoos for me. The coolest was the bar code on my neck but it smeared and I had to wash it off before I went on my rendezvous.
It was off to an abandoned warehouse in the heart of Detroit with spiked hair, darkened eyes and three days of not shaving. As I drove I was asking myself if all of this was worth it and I decided it was.
After parking and catching a shuttle bus, my heart started to pound as I again started to doubt myself. My main fear was I wasn’t able to pull off this look but after checking in I found I wasn’t the only one who looked out of place.
You may be wondering about the checking in and why would I be on a shuttle bus, but after I filled out the paperwork my affair began. It was only a matter of time before I, along with the others, would be permitted on the set of Drew Barrymore’s upcoming movie “Whip It!”
Some of the extras had been there in days past but here I was my one and only day on set to basically observe the film making process. Yet at the same time, I was being paid which meant I had to be professional.
Although I was nervous at first, I hung around with a couple of girls and what could have been a boring day really turned into a lot of fun. Of course, I did make a spectacle of myself early on when my new BFF, Misty Mills, and I went for a cigarette and I fell into a pothole right smack on my face.
What are you going to do but brush yourself off and have a cigarette!
While this turned out to be a 12 hour day for me (a short shoot by Hollywood’s standard) I had been expecting to be on set until the wee hours of the morning. Entries made at www.michiganextras.net had people leaving as late as 4:30 a.m.
I’m not sure when the movie will be coming out, but I’m predicting sometime in the summer and I don’t know if you’ll be able to see me, but it was fun to see such stars as Ellen Page, Zoe Bell, Jimmy Fallon, Kristen Wiig, Eve and of course Barrymore who does double duty as actress/director.
It was also fun knowing that I was a part of Barrymore’s history since “Whip It!” marks her directorial debut and whenever you hear stories about her being truly genuine and friendly it’s true. In fact, there were a couple of times when she had to make her way through the crowd and was always saying excusing herself and saying “Hi” to people. There were two girls there who, believe it or not, gave her a dirty look as she past them by. It wasn’t as though she trampled through them.
When filming was over for the day it was back to reality and my hum drum life. I was on such a high that it took a couple of hours to fall asleep (luckily I had taken the next day off from work but if I had more vacation time I probably would have came back the next day since they asked) and when I did wake up the following morning, I can actually say I was in a movie.
Since then I’ve done three other films and an HBO pilot (although I wasn’t used) and have submitted my information to numerous other projects which have and are currently being filmed in the area.
Years ago I wanted to be in the movies but settled for writing and now that a new door has opened it’s almost like I’m having an affair on myself (well actually on my writing) so during this down time, I better let my writing know that I still love it.