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american dreamin'


As many of you know, back when I was living in LA I worked for several seasons as an extra, or as I like to refer to the "skilled craft" as "background artist." Long days were spent waiting under a tent with the Southern California sun beating down, in the parking lots at some of Hollywood's most legendary studios. This was called "extra's holding," a place where we could rehearse our scenes of walking across the street or pantomiming a light lunch with a friend in an outdoor cafe. 

Difficult stuff here. I'm not kidding when I say that I earned my 54 dollars per day.

Some of my earlier "work" can be seen in fine films like Mr. and Mrs. Smith (between me, you and the lamppost, on the set, we all knew that there was some funny business going on. If you catch my drift...), The Aviator, several Lifetime (Television for Women) movies, as well as countless television programs that are no longer on the air.

Through this experience, I was able to deliver honest portrayals as a Newport Beach "student in hall" on The O.C., as well as a humbling personage as "girl in library" on That 70s Show, allowing myself to explore the depths and facets of this masterly craft.

For those of you who decided to stop by on this gloomy Saturday, well let's just say you're in for a little treat. I present you with a mini reel containing two of "my" scenes from American Dreams. All joking aside, this was one of my favorite jobs that I had. Work meant getting professionally dolled up Mad Men style in plaid mini skirts, cashmere sweaters, and buckled flats, while dancing for hours to the Kinks and Nancy Sinatra. Friends of mine have considered the scene in our episode of House Hunter's, where I'm swaying to the music of Les Foies Graves a reprisal of the second scene in the clip you are about to enjoy. They couldn't have been more correct - it was an homage to my high-rolling Hollywood days.

Enjoy!

Notes: Scene one is a little tough. I have on a short black wig and am wearing a light brown dress with white trimming. I could be found dancing on the left. As for the second scene, I'll just leave the handy work to you...

Bon week-end à tous!

                
(I'm actually right here to the left, behind the Brittany Snow.)

26 comments:

  1. cat-eye glasses really suit you darling! i loved it. and i think i so watched this when it aired. i was and still am a sucker for time period stuff like this!

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    1. Thanks! I actually kept the glasses. I'm wearing them on my blog roll page. Don't tell NBC. : ) !

      The 60s were awesome. Hands down my favorite fashion era, and then the 90s...

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  2. you're loving the music.

    My ex made soap operas in Hollywood but would never tell me which ones, so I've never seen them. You're lucky to have these--one day when...

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    1. JTB - I'm totally rocking out here. The funny thing is that there was no music playing because of the dialogue so I'm actually dancing to their conversation. Hence why it looks so awkward!

      You couldn't imdb your ex? I don't have any credits because I was just background, but surely your ex, if they were making (producing?) soaps, there should be some documentation out there. Or perhaps you don't really care anymore...after all, they're an ex. : )

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  3. Ahh, squirming in the background in #2 I see! We can say we knew you when... oh wait, that's the other way round now. Hmmmm...

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    1. Like I told JTB (above), there was no music playing because of the dialogue between the two girls, so I'm really jamming out to nothing. Hahaha. I am still tortured by my friends about this clip..and then in my HHI episode, I'm swaying to the music, they just lost it. I'll never live these dance sequences down!

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  4. I so watched this show when it was on! I was so sad when it ended. Look at you dancing away! So awesome!

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    1. It ended rather abruptly too, from what I remember. We were all bummed! Us extras who worked on the show really loved the show.

      The best was going to the strip mall on Sunset Blvd. on our one hour lunch break and seeing the faces of normal modern folk of 2004 looking very confused. One old man said, "What, are the Sha Na Na's in town?"

      Yes, I'm truly rocking out. Fine acting I tell you. : )

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  5. Oh God! That is so funny!:))) Especially the second one where you have pride of place so to speak!:) I love it!:)

    One day, when you're a well-known writer, you'll have such stories to tell!:) Let's just say your path was not exactly linear (neither was mine... Isn't that the best though? Who the hell dreams of being able to say that they started as a public servant when they were 22 and that was it?!;)

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    1. Aurelien made this video last year as a surprise. Until then, I hadn't seen the footage because the season 2 is not available on DVD, and I'm not savvy when it comes finding television shows on the internet. I'm so glad that I have this little clip documenting one of my favorite jobs.

      Thanks Duchesse. You are certainly right when you say our paths were not linear, but that's what makes life so much fun! Here's to the next phase!

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  6. Love it! Huge fan of that era of music...and this was one of my favorite shows ever.

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    1. Thank you Amy! So many people loved this show yet it got pulled! Why does that always happen?! Oh well, I'm glad that these two girls are still working and this show launched their careers. They were actually very sweet girls. I hope they still are!

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  7. I've never seen American Dreams but would love to! Looks right up my alley. You look fab in both scenes! I'd love to be dressed up like that (well, who wouldn't)! My grandma used to wear those cat-eye glasses. :) I wish I could see you in all of the other programs/movies you talked about (Mr. And Mrs. Smith.. hummmm!). Thanks for the treat! You really stole the end of the second scene with your groove!

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    1. Thanks Dana! I had like a gallon of hairspray in my hair when I was worked on this show. It usually took two days to get all of the gunk out! We used to go out for drinks after work and it was so much fun. Total hipster!

      In Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I'm in the carnival scene right after Brad is playing the shooting ducks or was it cans (?) game. You can see a pile of hair shuffle by...and that's me! Good stuff. Hahaha.

      My groove! LOL! I was feelin' it. I am such a dork.

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    1. Thank you Betsey! It was a great experience, even if I was paid in peanuts. : )

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  9. Oh you big celeb you...we want more brad and angie stories.....hee hee

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    1. Hahaha celeb. Riiiiiiiight!

      I don't have anything too juicy but there were a few things that seemed a bit off, a little inappropriate. So much that when all of the news broke, none of us were one drop surprised.

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  10. Omg!!! You're So pretty! Who can resist your eyes?
    Where can We watch the full HHI episode?

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    1. Thank you Gabe. Did you really just write "Who can resist your eyes?". LOL. You knew I was going to give you a hard time with that one. : )

      Once I receive the DVD I'll see how I can email it to you guys. The second generation copy I have takes forever to download and it freezes up my computer. Sorry! Thank you for wanting to see it. : )

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  11. What a great experience to have had and be able to have something to show for it!
    When I was around 20, I shot a couple of tv commercials and I've looked everywhere on YouTube but I guess not everything is uploaded as we think.

    Having worked in production for a very long time, I know how badly extras are treated and paid! Considering the long hours you have them standing by.
    I'm happy to say though, that I always appreciated and treated them with consideration and respect. Maybe because I have two actresses in my family and know how brutal this business can be, but mainly because anybody's work to me, is as important and respectable as any.

    You look adorable!

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    1. Hi Sylvia!

      Oh that's too bad that you can't find your commercials. Isn't it strange when we can't find something online? I too assume that everything has been downloaded and am shocked when I can't find something, regardless of how obscure it is. What was our job on the set? If you don't mind sharing... :)

      I must say, I don't have any absolute horror stories. The ADs were all generally nice guys and we were paid OT, so it wasn't too bad. I guess the torture was more internal because I knew that I could be doing so much more with my time...I just didn't know what yet.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the clip!

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    2. Yeah, networks (signatories) had to abide to rules that indies or commercial production didn't when it came to background talentlike paying overtime; we only paid OT if you were coming through SEG(Screen Extras Guild)which I think disappeared into a part of SAG? SEG talent was treated differently :(
      I worked as a Producer. Fun times! (mostly)

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  12. I've been watching The OC (again!) because my mother has a big ol' crush on Seth and I still haven't found you... I need to take a closer look. x.

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  13. Ahh! That's one of my fave shows! I can't imagine how fun that must have been to get all dressed up and dance. :)

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  14. UM can I get your autograph please?
    I hadn't heard of this show until now but what a wonderful experience it must have been..the outfits alone look fab!

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