Tag Archives: extras

In writing

For those of you who watched the season premiere of Saturday Night Live this past weekend, the big question wasn’t:

What will Alec Baldwin do next?

No, the big question surfaced on Twitter moments after the show went off the air.  (Yes, I stayed up that late; I really did.)

Alec Baldwin had said his thank you’s.  The audience was cheering.  The group hugs were just about to commence.  And then Alec held up a sign made out of cue card board that read:

Oh, how Twitter caught fire! Who is this mystery women? Who could she be?

Who is Carla?

Before anyone else says a thing, I claim the cue card. I’ve got your Carla right here.

Yep, it’s me.

You see, I met Alec Baldwin a couple of years ago on the set of 30 Rock.  We spent two days together at a country club outside Tarreytown, New York.  Sure, I was just an extra, but he noticed me…especially when I was pulled forward with two other women to do a scene with Tracey Morgan.

For the next 13 takes, Tracey ad-libbed silly compliments about the three of us. Our job? Laugh at whatever he said. And Alec kept stepping forward to offer ideas for Tracy’s lines.

The important part of this story?  Alec Baldwin spoke to me at one point.  Oh yes, he did.

And here’s the proof in writing — he’s never forgotten either.

Going native

Ever since I moved to New York City, I have prided myself on being ‘one of the nice ones.’

You know — the type of New Yorker who will gladly help out a tourist who needs directions or has a question…because it wasn’t that long ago that I was was of them.

But yesterday?  Things took a turn.  Because I was hanging out with a native New Yorker who has no such compulsion to play nice-nice.

I was doing some extra work on a new television show called “Lights Out” on FX Network.  We were filming outside the Pierre Hotel on the Upper East Side near Central Park.

Myself and Herbert — I’ve changed his name because I’m nicer than he is — were portraying press photographers outside the hotel, attempting to get pics of two heavyweight fighters as they entered the venue for a championship bout.

We were standing on the sidewalk for quite a while — one shot took most of the afternoon — so lots of tourists walking by asked us what we were filming.

My response?  “The show’s called ‘Lights Out.’  It’s new on FX Network.”

Herbert’s response?  “Lindsay Lohan’s rumored to be meeting her lawyers here.  We’re trying to catch her coming out for ‘Inside Edition.'”

OR

“Queen Elizabeth has made an unannounced visit to the United States.  Rumor has it she’s inside.”

Evil.  But pretty darn funny.

But the time we had finished, I had joined in the fun, telling every tourist who walked by a different story.  I figured it wasn’t really lying; it was adding another layer to their vacation…and would make a great story when they got home.

That sounds like something a New Yorker would say.

Yes!

Celebrity sighting

I do extra work from time to time.  Walk from point A to point B in a commercial or television show.  I’m in the back, behind the main action, adding to the ambience but not the narrative.

Thursday I was an extra in a PSA for the Travel Channel.  I had the rare opportunity to showcase skills honed as a frequent flier: I walked across a hotel lobby, roller bag in hand, and checked in at the reservation desk.

You just can’t teach that.

It was an easy shoot.  The cast and crew were great, the day was short. But the moment of the afternoon — my moment — occurred when a hotel guest pulled me aside and said, “I know you, right?  You’re someone.”

Now, we had a crowd gathered rubbernecking most of the day.  The principles were only on set sporadically, so it was hard for folks to figure out what the spot was for or who the ‘stars’ were.

The Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown — the star — was standing mere feet from me, but this woman did not appear to recognize her.  I smiled.  “Trust me.  I’m no one you’ve heard of.”

She was not deterred.  “No.  You’re that comedienne…the one with the show.”

I get this about once a day. “You mean Kathy Griffin.”

“Yes.  You’re Kathy Griffin.”

“No.  But I hear that a lot.”

“You look just like her.”

And she smiled and walked over to her friends, telling them that, sadly, I was not on the ‘D List’ like they thought.

But I stood up a little straighter, and walked a bit jauntier, and checked into — in my backstory, at least — the presidential suite, my entourage at the ready.