Friday, July 9, 2010

face time

I worked in a kitchen all day. Hot greasy place, stained and nasty apron, cops hassling me. Ironically when I moved to NOLA most of the job applications I filled out was for dishwasher at the fancy restaurants in town. Ok, and strip joints. The irony is today that I worked as one as a background extra. I'm just working as an actor until I can find full time work as a waiter.

I was lucky to have a 1:00 PM report time, some had 5:00 AM. Wardrobe gave me a new apron and proceeded to splatter it with various kitchen stains. A Pollock masterpiece of berries, melons and chicken grease. Then a make up artist gave me some gel to smear on my skin for a look of sweat. "Be careful not to get any on your wardrobe." But the other lady just smeared...never mind.

They filmed Memphis Beat at a posh hotel in NOLA, my third time working the show. After lunch the crew, actors and background proceeded to the kitchen for filming, I was singled out. "What's your name?" the director asked. I instantly thought "Damn, they recognize me from the other two episodes I did and are going to send me home." They don't like to keep using the same extras if they can help it. There is a shortage of dependable background at times in New Orleans. Right now the film the Green Lantern is tying up a lot of background actors. So I guess I'm the best they can get. "Your name?" "Uhm...Styles?" "STYLES! We got something for you to do...."

When we took positions in the kitchen and Jason Lee and Sam Hennings walked in. I'm not sure but I might have gotten the "Oh no, not this asshole again." look from Jason. I'm familiar with the look. I shot back a "I'd rather be working background on Green Lantern right now" look. The best face time I've gotten so far as a background actor and I had to be wearing a damn hairnet.

I've been a background extra on the show so many times,
I could become a drinking game.

I had a featured extra part as a minimum wage earner getting questioned by cops. Not a real stretch for me as an actor. But I did have a lot of experience to draw from. At first Sam Henning was improvising some questions. "Did you see anything, what time did you come in?" The director stepped in, "Just ask yes or no questions so he can just nod." If I even mumbled an answer it would've been a couple hundred more in my paycheck. Just nod, we have a budget. "Did you see anything?" I looked at the ceiling and nodded no.I walked away with my meat.

Check out Sam Hennings IMDB page. This man has an amazing history of working in television. It was a privilege to be on screen with him.


  1. That's so neat! Wish they would've let you answer him! SAG you would come! lol

  2. Awesome! I'll have to come watch you work! Think Sean will "float" me the ride? Lol!