As an Extra for “Beyond the Mask” ~Part 1

It was September 8, 2012, 6:00 a.m….

I rolled over, and rubbed my eyes. I stumbled out of bed, forgetting what day it was. Then it hit me like an electric shock–I was going to be in a real movie! Like lightning, I dressed. It was dark outside, an eerie, deliciously chilled morning, somewhat aloof from those that might step in it. I joined my family for a quick breakfast before my dad and two brothers, Jordan and Aidan, left for the set. Eating was difficult – the excitement was too great. It felt like hours, though it was only minutes, before we left for our 45 minute drive. The sun began to rise, casting its rays through the window – all shades of yellows and oranges as if the world began to wake. It woke drearily, and with rather dusky light.

I felt like I could hardly contain myself, and when we arrived, security checked us in. We were told where to park and where to get in line for our costumes. The morning was a frosty, crisp, misty, but demurely welcoming morning. Though I noticed it, I didn’t give it too much thought. Who really cares about weather if you’re going to be in a movie? I didn’t.

“Here’s yours!” smiled the young lady passing out costumes. “I’ll help you get dressed.” I followed her into the small house, and got dressed in my 1770’s period costume. I noticed it look like a poor girl’s garb, but still smiled at the appearance…any costume to me looked wonderful. I walked back outside to the hair station and my hair was put up in a bun and a mob cap placed on top. I’m not sure how it stayed on – no pins were used, and there was a lot of wind, but it didn’t ever move. I then got my apron, which was purposely soiled in some areas, making it look like I’d been working.

Amara at BTM 1

I’m not sure what’s with my expression…I’m not mad, just concentrating on doing a good job!

I saw my brothers and dad – they all had rich outfits. I obviously wasn’t going to be “related” to them during filming…”would I be ‘related’ to anyone?”

Breakfast was next. Though again, I had a hard time eating. I could barely wait for my time on camera…of course, it was a wild dream, but…what if…I…could just stand by Will or Charlotte? No, that would be too good to be true, I thought. Of course, they’re just normal people too, but to me then, that would be the memory of a lifetime. The set was filled with extras and crew. Horses were in the stable nearby, some standing quietly, others making such a racket by banging their hooves on the wall and neighing for all their worth, that it gave me a start.

Then – then I saw him – the star – Andrew Cheney! He smiled at the first person he saw, and began chatting and laughing with the extras nearby. We were given strict instructions not to talk to the actors, unless they talked to us. “Andrew’s talking to my dad!” I thought to myself. Then he turned to my brother. “Oh, how exciting!” I wasn’t jealous – I was far too excited for that. “I’m sister to the guy who shook the hand of Andrew Cheney!”

Once I had my costume and hair completed, I waited…and waited…at about the 2nd hour, I began to get a little bored. Peanut butter and jelly and bread for sandwiches lay on a table nearby. One of the crew ran in, grabbed two pieces of bread, slapped peanut butter on one slice, and smashed jelly on the other. Slamming them together, he had the sandwich down in about three bites, while running to the next task. I saw him with wide eyes. Can people really eat that fast? It looked like he couldn’t have even tasted it, he ate so fast.

I didn’t really mind waiting, but…when will the first scene be ready for filming?

Finally, a crew member told all the extras to follow him to the set, which was a stone’s throw away from where we sat. In the big mass of people, I lost my dad and brothers, and somehow got pushed to the front of the crowd, and then got paired-up with a girl, maybe about 19. We were going to be sisters for that day. The two of us had two choices of props – a bucket or a basket. Being the youngest of the two of us, she let me pick first, and I chose the bucket, which was heavier than it looked. She took the basket (which was also heavy), and the AD (Assistant Director) told us where to stand, and loose instructions on what to do. As I waited for all the extras to get their instructions, I looked at people around around me…

 

*To be continued…*

 

~Amara

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