Awaiting our arrival in the beach parking lot were, at least, a hundred film crew members surrounded by block-long trailers and lighting trucks. This was trueHollywoodexcitement. All of the extras gaped as the actress, Scarlett Johansson, cast to play the Nanny, was positioned in a rickety phone booth near a snack stand. Suddenly the long wait seemed worth every minute.
Next, each of us were led by the director and placed on our camera marks. That’s when I knew− knew that the perky seagull bopping at the water’s edge had a much better chance of being in the shot than me, and what became my “movie husband,” a well-dressed, fast-talking gentleman named Joel, who the director paired alongside me, way down by the seashore, far from the others. Very, very far. He left Joel and me shivering in the wind, saying, “Hey, you two, try to look busy.” Then, with busy seeming a slim possibility, he added, “Spread out your towels, sit down, relax.” But Joel nailed our coffins as soon as he yelled back: “Hey, who do I have to schmear around here to get a better spot? I told Joel to forget about it; this was not The Palm, obviously his favorite haunt.
Joel and I, who became fast friends that afternoon, might have been better off burying each other in the sand to keep warm. Instead, every time the director shouted, “ACTION!” we rose to our feet whining about sore backs, achy knees and the sandy gusts that brought back memories of that famous box office failure: Ishtar.
There we were…two authenticHamptontypes, elegantly senior, and thrilled to be chosen, if only for what was considered “background,” or that one wide angle shot that might be digitally deleted. Or, as in the age of film editing: land on the cutting room floor. When I returned home, hours later, I scrubbed the sticky sand from my cheeks and made myself a pot of Chamomile tea. I sat down at my desk and turned on my computer. Finally I knew exactly where I belonged.
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