As an Extra for “Beyond the Mask” ~Part 2

*Continued from the previous post*

There was a merchant to my left with a lady customer at his table. To my right there were three men “working” on a scaffolding, and a “soldier” asleep on the sidewalk. Then there was the porter to my slight right. I casually turned around to look at the street of people getting instructions. My dad and my brothers, Jordan and Aidan, were way down the other end of the street. Someone from the crew carried a big trunk and set it down a few feet away from where  I was “shopping”. I looked at it. It was a sturdy looking trunk and dark  gray-brown in color. Two more crew members walked right by us, carrying lit torches. Thankfully, we saw them coming, moved out of the way, and didn’t light our costumes on fire. I turned and watched the camera crew changing lenses, and setting up the camera and lighting filters for the shoot. Someone else turned on a “smoke” machine, shooting “smoke” into the street. I turned back to look at the table filled with books, spices, mugs, and pots and pans.

The sun began to shine brightly, promising a good day of filming ahead. So brightly, that at the end of the day, I even got a sunburn. No problem. I really didn’t care in the least.

I heard some voices behind me, so I turned back to look, and then! I was standing a few feet away from Andrew Cheney! He was getting instructions from the director. I was next to a movie star! That was big stuff. After rehearsing the scene a few times, the cameras rolled! It was amazing – I was suddenly transported hundreds of years ago, looking at the wares the merchant was selling. My older sister and I were wishing our family had enough money to buy those books.

Just as suddenly as the director said “action,” he said, “cut!” I was back in modern times. During the middle of a few of the takes, I could see out of the corner of my eye that Andrew Cheney was watching me and my “sister,” and I suddenly became nervous —  I was certain I’d trip, or do some other equally embarassing thing to ruin the take — right in front of the star of the show! Much to my relief, I didn’t trip, or look at the camera, or any other mistake like that, and I was able to go on living normally – then everyone reset, and we did it again. I got more comfortable in my “acting” and got so engrossed in it, that I didn’t even notice anyone watching me a few times. Then we did it again. And again. I lost count how many times we did it.

AmaraInBTMCropped

I’m the short one to the far left, the girl next to me is my “sister,” and the man in the foreground is none other than Andrew Cheney!! This is not the actual take. The cameras are framing the scene.

 

At the end of one take, I heard Andrew say, with a smile, “Good acting, ladies!” I froze. Was I counted as part of the three ladies? I didn’t want to say anything if it wasn’t to me. I looked up, and saw him glance at me and the girl I was shopping with. I was able to choke out a small, but genuine, “thank you!” I saw him smile as he turned to reset for the next take. I breathed a sigh of relief. “I suppose I was part of the ladies after all,” I thought.

We did many more takes of the same scene. All of a sudden: “Cut!” shouted the director, and the whole crew burst into shouts of cheer and applause. It appeared they finally had a take they liked.

All the crew and actors filed into line for lunch, then the extras. I didn’t know man had the capability to eat so rapidly! In what appeared like 5 bites, the crew had eaten big bowlfuls of chili, and platefuls of salad and brownies, and were on to the next job. We extras had plenty of time to slowly eat our food, which was worth eating slow. Everything tasted so wonderful. As we ate, someone began playing bagpipes in the background. Someone else sang. The younger girls danced. It seemed everyone was enjoying the day. But the day for the extras was far from being over, even at 4:00. After lunch, I had my hair adjusted a little, since some pieces were falling down.

Then we waited again. Thankfully, it wasn’t as long as the first time. The next scene was also a ton of fun. This time I was standing on the street as Andrew Cheney comes running past. We did that scene many, many times. This time I was holding a small basket with a book inside. After that take, they immediately set up for the next one, which didn’t take as long. I wasn’t to be in this one, but I could watch. Then I saw her! Charlotte walked by. I thought her the prettiest 24-year-old I’d ever seen. Her costume was lovely, her hair enviable, at least, to me.

After that scene, there was another. And after that one, we waited again. But, the time of doom had come. We were told we could head home, since most of the extras weren’t needed now. I got undressed and dressed back into my modern-day clothes. Yes, it was disappointing to be done, what felt like, so soon. As if the sky knew my sorrow, it began to rain. It came down heavily, the wind moaning, trees shaking–but only for a short time. As we left, the sun burst out, shining one last time on the mistily drenched world. It seemed to give me a strange sort of hope — that maybe — just maybe — I’d be in another movie?

 

~Amara

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14 thoughts on “As an Extra for “Beyond the Mask” ~Part 2

  1. Whoa that’s so cool you got to “meet” Andrew Cheney! 😀 I’m guessing you didn’t get to meet Kara Killmer or you would have said so, right?

    Liked by 2 people

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