My First Movie Role

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Living in the greater Southern California area for much of my life, and with Hollywood being so close by, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that I've done movie work. No speaking parts of course, and certainly never within squeezing and grabbing range of any luscious starlets, but as an extra, or as my last pay stub stated, "Non-Talent Performer Payment Voucher". My first "appearance" was in the 1985 film Radioactive Dreams, where, much like all of the other productions I've "starred" in, I saw the top of my head for approx. 50 milliseconds near the end of the movie. It was fun, as we basically got paid $40 a night to hang out and party, and many even got laid.

 

The set was inside a huge and cavernous old tire factory that I believe now houses a huge and cavernous shopping mall filled mostly with people who have huge and cavernous spaces between their ears. The scene was taking place in a post-nuclear-apocalypse town called Edge City, which should have been called Mutant City to more accurately reflect its primary residents. Every genre and sub-genre of cultural and musical mutation that existed in Los Angeles County at that time (1984) was present: Punkers, Metalheads, New Wavers, Greasers, Homies, Gangsters, Gangstas, Skinheads, Hippies, Deadheads, Shit-Kickers, UFO Worshippers, Religious Nuts, Rappers, Break Dancers, Hare Krishnas, Homeless Transients, Yuppies, Yuppie Larvae, Drunks, Drug Addicts, Manson Family members; you name it, it was there in strength.

 

I had a buzzed head and was wearing a black trenchcoat with a machine-gun cartridge belt and had the "Tuco joins the Gestapo" look going. An assistant director who was kind of hot grabbed me and several other big and tall dudes, gave us blue coveralls and prop shotguns, and made us part of the Edge City Police Department. I wound up slamming a Punker who was fucking with me against a (prop) wall that also went down with the punk, but that part didn't make it into the movie. It seems that all the parts I was in were cut, as per usual.

 

Something I noticed early into the first of three nights, and has been part of every movie or TV show that I've been an extra in, is the hurry-up-and-wait factor. When you're an extra, at least 90% of the time spent on a movie set is waiting around. However, it's not the time to schmooze with the movie folks or get autographs. The movie people are usually assholes who don't want anything to do with you, and don't want you anywhere else except right where they want you to be. To be fair, they're usually on a tight schedule and even tighter budget, so they simply don't have time to fuck around. Yeah, fine, I'll be the clay in the hands of a bunch of self-important dicks and cunts.

 

Another factor that became immediately obvious was the strict hierarchy and pecking order. There's a scene in the classic 1950 Hollywood-skewering and savaging movie Sunset Boulevard that illustrates this very well, showing the chain of people leading all the way up to Cecil B. DeMille, only to deliver a simple message. The directors and their assistants have absolute authority on the set. The extras are really nothing more than animated props that have to be paid and fed. The hierarchy extends to the food as well. "The actors eats first, then the crew, and then the extras." They really do make you feel right at home. On the second night’s dinner, I accidentally started a fight by throwing a paper airplane that flew into a Metalhead’s mile-high hair-do. He shrugged it off, but then another Metalhead got the cue and launched another paper airplane, this one poking Mile-High Hair Metalhead in the eye; Mile-High Hair Metalhead  proceeded to attack Missile-Launching Metalhead, which for some reason triggered an Animal House-like food fight. Most of the offenders were kicked off the set.

 

Moviemaking also has to be one of the most inefficient undertakings on the planet. As stated earlier, huge amounts of time are wasted for any number of reasons. For something taking place during the Civil War, airplanes and helicopters are obviously a huge problem. Hint to the producers; don't film near a fucking airport. There are takes after takes after takes after takes. On another shoot, we did a scene in the hot sun 16 times before they were satisfied. The "talent" themselves are also the cause of much delays; John Belushi was infamous for being out of it for days and weeks at a time. They also spend millions of dollars and considerable time on a certain scene, only to cut it from the final product. In Radioactive Dreams, there were several of these, once again denying me a chance at super-stardom. They obviously had a bigger budget than I thought.

 

The last production I was in was called Family Tree, which was a very short-lived and very dumb-ass series on HBO, created by Christopher Guest of all people. I was within spitting distance of Sir Christopher, and couldn't help but to think of Spinal Tap, as recently at work I had been turning things up to 11. When I saw Jamie Lee Curtis make an appearance, I asked someone if she was starring in this, but was told that she was married to Sir Guest had had been so for many years. Hmmmm, didn't know that, but why would I give a fuck? It was pretty typical for a movie shoot; hurry up and wait, you need to get back in position, where the fuck are those stupid fucking asshole extras, etc, etc. I've taken a break, and don't plan on returning, unless the chances are good that I can get a least a sniff of a A-list starlet's crotch.

 

Comments

The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 10, 2019 - 7:07pm
Michael -  You more than anyone else here understand my overall "ethic". Because you have lived it :)
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 10, 2019 - 7:10pm
Old Punkers never die....they just find a new kink :)
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 10, 2019 - 7:26pm
@ TBH - Yes, you are a familiar soul indeed, lol.
Bill H. Added Mar 10, 2019 - 10:13pm
Back in 1959, I was in the background in a scene on a pier in California when they were filming a movie called On the Beach while holding a fishing rod. My only moment on-screen
You have resurrected the great Reverend Tyrone Messano for sure!
Classic indeed!
Next suggestion would be the world famous Sushi Chef, Hiro Messano.
Domo arigato! (どうもありがとう)
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 10, 2019 - 10:33pm
@ Bill H. - So you also got your 15 milliseconds of fame too, lol. Regarding my next artistic expression, if you want a Japanese theme, I think a kamikaze pilot would be better, due to the fanaticism, lol.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 11, 2019 - 4:50am
The Failing Actors' Club Member
 
Good read, fun and out-of-life. That's the things I like, and we should write more stuff like this instead of blathering out ideologies and god stuff :-)
Dino Manalis Added Mar 11, 2019 - 8:42am
 Congratulations!  All the Best!
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 11, 2019 - 10:32am
@ Stone - Yes, I also prefer material of yours that doesn't insult my country and my people, but those don't seem to come around very much, as you never seem to pass up an opportunity to bash America and Americans, but that's just you, lol.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 11, 2019 - 10:34am
@ Dino - Thanks Dino, but I think you should be saving that for the Golden Raspberry Awards, lol. "And the winner of the best Extra Punk-Rock Dystopian Future City Cop award goes to...."
 
lol
Bill H. Added Mar 11, 2019 - 11:59am
I always find Stone's input enlightening and informative. We should always try to view ourselves as others see us. I have relatives in several other countries, and always have interesting discussions with them, while seeing the real "truths", rather that the "truths" that we are all told to believe.
If we become a Nationalistic, self-serving country, then we become a Fascist Dictatorship, it's that simple.
Yes, a Kamikaze pilot would be a fitting and appropriate representation.
I might also hint at something like maybe Ayatollah Messano, which you have come close to with your present depiction.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 11, 2019 - 12:11pm
Mike Likes To Strike
 
Well...I emphasize that I mostly don't blame the regular Joe but the irregular Corpomilitarygovernment LOL
Stone-Eater Added Mar 11, 2019 - 12:12pm
Bill
 
Thanks. Messie seems to have been arrested or put into a mental ward. He seems to have gone. Maybe it's just become too difficult for him to handle the restricted WB LOL
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 11, 2019 - 12:13pm
@ Bill H. - Yes, as much as he pisses me off sometimes, I still enjoy his take on things. And I totally agree with you in that it's good to see things from another's perspective.
 
Next stop - Kamikaze!!!! LOL
Bill H. Added Mar 11, 2019 - 1:07pm
I am not sure Messie would be able to figure out how to get to the postings with the present situation.
wsucram15 Added Mar 11, 2019 - 8:59pm
BillH..lol. I had to get a hold of SEF to figure out what was up.
Good to see everyone still here.
MB..good article as always, would really miss this.
Bill H. Added Mar 11, 2019 - 10:14pm
Jeanne-
Glad you found the secret!
At least we can have some fun with the Mess while he has no clue what is happening.
Actually, this is kind of cool because it pretty much eliminates the "Hit and Run" posters, and those who have no clue on how to find the niche.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 12, 2019 - 12:08am
@ Bill H. - LOL, say what you want, but I think Ryan is actually a smart motherfucker; in any case, I've seen him snipe at numerous posts before they got a "like", so when he's on WB, he actively scans around for people to damn or praise as only he can, lol.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 12, 2019 - 12:09am
Hi Jeanne!!! Nice to hear from you! I hope all is well! I actually featured you and Janie in my recent sendup of Easy Rider....and yes, both of you are sluts, lol. : )
Stone-Eater Added Mar 12, 2019 - 5:36am
Jeanne
 
Aha, there you are :)
wsucram15 Added Mar 12, 2019 - 11:32am
OMG..really?  Most ppl now call me a stick in the mud.  Ahhhhh SEF, there you are..:)  Easy Rider and you put me in it...lol.
wsucram15 Added Mar 12, 2019 - 11:34am
BTW..your pics of ryan are hilarious.
Bill H. Added Mar 12, 2019 - 11:45am
You pictah may me wah to go ouh an odah prateroads of sashimi, or maybe fry jap zewo pwane foh finah missun of rife!
You ahh cwazy man foh shuu!
Domo arigato! (どうもありがとう)  
Bill H. Added Mar 12, 2019 - 11:54am
Maybe next I might suggest a depiction of "Moon Unit" Messano during his attendance at Woodstock.
Far Out!
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 12, 2019 - 12:27pm
@ Jeanne - Yes, I've been having fun jacking up various WB mugs lately, even causing at least one dildonic dickhead to quit, lol. Ryan's semi-hairless noggin lends itself well to artistic expression, lol.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 12, 2019 - 12:29pm
@ Bill H. - Great idea! Charles Manson meets the Prophet Mohamed when both are frying on acid! Hahahahahaha!!
Bill H. Added Mar 12, 2019 - 1:31pm
 
It reminds me of painting lightbulbs when I was a kid!
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 12, 2019 - 6:51pm
Or.....what if he is the cause of this? Nah! Couldn't be. Hes too vain and stupid to not pop his head in here and boast of it
Bill H. Added Mar 12, 2019 - 7:34pm
 
Are you saying that there may have been a mega-merger between Writer Beat and Messano News?
I'm sure Trump wouldn't go on a tweet rampage about that one!
Mustafa Kemal Added Mar 12, 2019 - 7:46pm
Holy Moly, you are bringing your quality avatars back!
The last one looked like
Mungo Ryan
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 12, 2019 - 8:47pm
Writer Beat and Messano News
 
Meat Beat?
Bill H. Added Mar 12, 2019 - 9:33pm
That's it!
 
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 13, 2019 - 12:53am
How about Writer Beat Up Messano News? Or Messano News Writer Beat Off? Hmm...I like the latter one, lol.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 13, 2019 - 8:21am
The inaugural edition will feature the rev's meat beat manifesto.
 
Theres one for ya Michael....
Remember that bunch?
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 13, 2019 - 12:04pm
@ TBH  - No, please refresh what remains of my memory, preferably in a non-cryptic way, lol.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 13, 2019 - 12:05pm
Unlike you, I'm slow and under-educated.
Bill H. Added Mar 13, 2019 - 4:22pm
How about Messanurbate?
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 14, 2019 - 3:35am
@ Bill H. - I guess my homie would be the equivalent of Pope-on-a-rope, lol. He does have distinctly dildonic qualities, but a Ryan dildo would be the equivalent of a douche made by Janitor in a Drum (nod to George Carlin). As AC doesn't allow porn, my next depiction of him is effectively thwarted, lol.
Bill H. Added Mar 14, 2019 - 11:43am
 
And I suspect his dildo would never be used as other than a urine expulsion member, as I believe Ryan once stated that if one "Bops the Bologna", they will instantly end up on Satan's recruitment list.
Stone-Eater Added Mar 14, 2019 - 12:17pm
http://messanonews.com/
 
Wordpress badly made. 800 visits. Wow LOL
Stone-Eater Added Mar 14, 2019 - 12:19pm
BTW: Ryanna sings better I guess. Actually I miss him. I don't have a punching ball at home.
John Minehan Added Mar 16, 2019 - 7:43am
Is this the movie you talk about?
 
George Kennedy was in it.  He got into show business when he was an Army Captain who was about to be medically retired due to a back injury, who had been assigned to be technical advisor on SGT Bilko (You Will Never Get Rich)
John Minehan Added Mar 16, 2019 - 7:58am
The Sportscaster, Warner Wolfe, in addition to having speaking roles in films like Rocky IV, apparently used to like to be an extra in movies made in NYC when he wasn't working.
 
I've read that Walter Brennan may have won his early Academy Awards because he had started out as an extra and extras originally could vote on the acting awards and a lot of people knew him.  (Brennan was also a WWI Artilleryman [5th FA] who got his distinctive voice from being gassed.)
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 16, 2019 - 8:16am
@ John M. - Yes, that is it. I don't remember seeing anyone of any fame on the set, except for someone named Chris D., who was a singer/songwriter for a band called The Flesheaters; like me, he also wound up on the cutting room floor, lol. He made a brief appearance in the 1987 movie No Way Out as an evil government agent of some sort chasing Kevin Costner, however, I remember him most as being the recipient of a severe trashing at the hands and feet of a 6-foot tall woman who was drunk, betrayed, mad as hell, and armed with a brace of 16 oz. Budweisers, spiked gauntlets, and a freshly-ripped rose bush, lol.
John Minehan Added Mar 16, 2019 - 11:07am
It comes to mind of No Way Out,  that as the accusations against Trump got worse, I often ideally wondered if anyone was checking on Sean Young to see if anyone had thrown her out a window.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 17, 2019 - 11:01am
@ John M. - LOL, that's how it often works, huh? False-flags and distractions, as stated by Gust Avrakotos in Charlie Wilson's War
 
Gust Avrakotos: As long as the press sees sex and drugs behind the left hand, you can park a battle carrier behind the right hand and no one's gonna fucking notice. 
John Minehan Added Mar 17, 2019 - 1:47pm
You know No Way Out was fiction, an O-4 had something important to do in The Building . . . .
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 17, 2019 - 2:04pm
@ John M. - Yeah, but look what an O-5 named Oliver North pulled off, lol.
 
I remember reading something about the Pentagon being filled with nerdy-looking budget analysts and self-important colonels, lol.