I considered it super lucky when a coworker of my friend told us that the movie “My Name is Khan” was shooting in Sonoma County, California and needed extras. All we had to do was send a photo to the casting agent and being a movie extra would become a reality. The scene they were going to be filming was an outdoor memorial scene, so we were told to wear dull, muted clothing that would be appropriate for spring.
Here’s the rundown of our Being a Movie Extra adventure:
6:00PM – Call time. Meet at the Healdsburg High School gym & check in. Sit & wait.
8:30pm – We are shuttled in buses to the set (about 100 people). Stand & wait. Being a movie extra is a lot about waiting.
10:00pm – They start picking out extras from the crowd and randomly placing them in scenes. My friends and I were given candles (I got a flag too!) and put in the middle of a huge group of people. I was excited that at least I was going to be an extra, but a little disappointed that I would never be seen on the big screen in the mist of this crowd. But then, a Christmas miracle happened, the two main stars of the film (Shahrukh Khan & Kajol) were put right in front of me! I was actually afraid I might burn Kajol’s (the leading lady) hair with my candle. They shot a short scene where they were praying as we all watched the memorial. This 30 minutes was the highlight of the whole experience & my only hope of being seen in the movie.
12:30am – By this time everyone was close to frozen, I swear my toes were going to fall off. But, “lunch” was served & I was hoping warm food would warm my tootsies. They had two stations setup for food, one was American & the other Indian. I headed for the American station first; bland broccoli, over peppered mashed potatoes & overcooked chicken…mmmm! Have no clue what the Indian food was, but it was much tastier. I tried to stand in line to get some hot tea, but lost interest after 15 minutes.
1:30am – Cold, tired & crabby, this is way past my bedtime! Sitting & waiting. Being a Movie extra is tiring.
2:00 am – Another scene in a crowd with candles, but no movie stars next to us!
2:30 am – “It’s a Wrap”, YEA!!!
2:45am – Shuttled back the the gym for check out.
3:15am – Leave for home
4:00am – Arrive home after a long night of being a movie extra. Sleepy time.
February 2010 – My movie debut…get your autographs now!
Boy, this being a movie extra experience would have been a whole lot better if it ended about 4 hours earlier!