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9:28 p.m. - 2001-05-17
\"Frank McKlusky\"
( Sort of been watching "Will and Grace". It's the second or third time I've seen it, and it just doesn't do anything for me. It's not BAD, it's just not something that "speaks to me". Anyway...)

Well, my first extra gig has come and gone, along with my 40th birthday.

When I got home on Tuesday, I got on the computer, intending to do an entry in here, then Jane "messaged" me. We chatted briefly, but when she suggested we could talk on the phone if I'd like ( I've really enjoyed the last couple times we've done that ), I begged off, because I was "too tired".

And I WAS tired--When I got off the computer with Jane, after a brief chat, I just ended up watching tv all evening, skipping "Diaryland" altogether--but I think what was really the issue was that I hadn't PROCESSED the experience, and I knew Jane would be wanting a take on it that I didn't have yet.

I kind of still DON'T have a "take" on it. And that's when I have the most difficult time communicating my feelings, when it's not "the thrill of victory" or "the agony of defeat", but some place in between.

But here goes nothing...

I've often kidded about wanting to figure out some way to make money for just hanging out and doing nothing. Well, the extra gig I had yesterday and Tuesday was maybe as close as I've ever come to REALIZING that beautiful dream!

I don't know how EVERY extra gig goes, but I've gathered that there's usually a lot of hanging out, waiting for things to happen. And "Frank McKlusky" was no exception; There was lots of waiting in the "holding area", and lots more waiting after we were led into the stands at the Saugus Speedway in Santa Clarita to do our "background" thing ( No one referred to us as "extras" on the set. We were "background" ).

The movie struck me as something I would have absolutely NO interest in seeing as a moviegoer; Randy Quaid is playing "'Madman' Frank McKlusky", a very inept daredevil. Dolly Parton is his love interest--I guess--and there's a kid, played by twins, who I guess is the "Madman's" son ( In the scenes we were part of, the kid was dressed in a minature Evel Knievel-like outfit, matching his cinematic "Father" ). That's about all I know about the movie, other than the fact it's ostensibly a comedy.

I was part of the crowd at "Madman's" show. There were, I guess, about 200 of us, more the second day, so we were moved through the stands throughout the two days, to look more like a crowd ( Amazingly enough, people were bitching about having to move around, which made me want to ssy, "But that's the JOB. Don't you feel like you should have to do ANYTHING for what they're paying you?". As I told Jane this evening, a lot of my fellow extras made me feel positively PURITAN in my work ethic! ).

Most of the time, our responses to the action were pantomimed, and the "action" consisted of us looking at some fixed point where something was supposed to be going on, or else following a crew member with our eyes who was standing in for "Madman" ( It was interesting to me, how satisfying it was when we were allowed to make noise, or had something to really respond to ). At one point, the sound guy came over and asked us to cheer and make a lot of noise ( I'd say that was about the peak of the fun, in terms of "performing" ).

Dolly Parton was very nice, making a point of coming over to say hello to us ( People were much more enthused about her than Randy Quaid, which I think is to be expected ).

They fed us, which I guess they have to do when you're on location. And some people bitched about the food, but it was fine by me ( One of the advantages of not cooking--If I'm getting a free hot meal, I'm typically pretty happy about it! ).

I'm kind of stuck on my bad feelings about some of my fellow extras; I met some people who were very nice, and I saw a number of people who seemed to be making SOME effort, but I was dumbfounded by the number of people who had to be browbeaten to do anything, who couldn't be bothered to not talk while a scene was being shot--who talked CONSTANTLY, whatever was going on--and who left their cell phones on, cell phones which could have gone off any time during a scene ( One DID go off right before one scene started rolling. And it was just dumb luck that it didn't go off in the middle of a scene ). I really ended up a little bummed out by human nature; No matter how easy the work, there will always be people who just can't be bothered; I KNOW it pays for shit, but no one put a gun to their heads to do the work, work which consists mostly of hanging around, reading and playing cards ( Some people even brought their guitars ).

But anyway...

The experience wasn't terrible for me, but it was no big thrill either.

But I'm pulling a major fade here, so I'm going to have to continue this thrilling saga tomorrow...


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