Last fall I went to work one day, only to leave a few hours later no longer employed.
Laid off ... after almost 10yrs with the same organization.
I have a post coming up soon, my latest column for The Laker, which describes how I handled this, and life after the layoff.
That's not what today's post is about, though.
Today is about an adventure I went on BECAUSE of that layoff.
Those of you who know me personally, especially since childhood, may remember my love of being on stage.
|7-8 yrs old|
|Sometime in my 30's|
Yeah, the little girl who loved to write, and act, ended up Ms. Corporate Professional, working in IT and training.
One thing the layoff did provide, was a bit of time to explore my options.
Did i want to go right back to work, doing what I was doing? Or did I want to try something new? Something totally different.
Then I saw the casting call, looking for background actors for the taping of a new season of a well known TV series being filmed here in Nova Scotia.
I had signed up with Hennessey Casting awhile back.
I filled in a profile. I sent the required pictures. Nothing professional, just 'regular' recent shots, because that was all I had.
And then I did nothing.
I didn't apply for anything for a long time, partly because I couldn't exactly take time off from my 'real' job, to 'have fun' for a day as a background actor, and partly because I didn't really think I'd get picked for anything, as I have no professional acting experience.
A few weeks ago though, I saw that call, for a show that my younger boy absolutely LOVES.
Holy Crap! I've done some pretty interesting things over the years in my career, but if I was picked for this ... the boy would LOSE HIS MIND!
I went to the casting website, read the requirements, took a deep breath, and clicked ... APPLY.
And then I waited. And didn't say a word. To anyone.
I didn't want to even say I had applied for anything, so I wouldn't have to hear the 'Ohhh sorry you didn't get it', if nothing happened.
So I waited. In silence.
And then, a few days later, the email came.
"Congratulations, you are now BOOKED as a background actor on Trailer Park Boys"
Holy Crap! I was picked!
Yes, the boy lost his mind.
Now ... what was I going to wear? ACK!
The night before I was due to be on set, I got another surprise.
I would be in the same scene as guest stars Snoop Dogg, and Tom Arnold.
Um ... WHAT?!?!?!? And once again, HOLY CRAP!
Much of Nova Scotia was abuzz about the fact that Snoop was in town to be on the show.
People were stalking the set most of the week, hoping to get an autograph or at least catch a glimpse of the famous rapper.
And then came the Buzzfeed headline, 'Snoop Dogg Is In Small Town Nova Scotia, And Everyone Is Offering Him Weed!'
Alright, so everyone knows the man likes his herb. But ... really?
Come on, 'Scotians! Be a bit more original!
I decided that if I happened to get the chance to talk to him, that's exactly what I'd be!
So the day came, and off I went to Truro, the location of the fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park.
The biggest thing I think I learned about background acting that day is, it's A LOT of waiting around.
After we signed the paperwork and met with wardrobe ... we waited.
Because I had an afternoon call time, (thank you casting Gods!) we waited for the cast to finish the morning shoot.
There was waiting for everyone to have lunch. Myself included.
It was catered and really good, but I could hardly eat. I didn't want to be on camera with food in my teeth, and no dental floss!
There was waiting once we got to the specific location where we were shooting with Snoop, Tom Arnold and the rest of the TPB crew.
This was also the time you were assessed by the hair and makeup people and given your prop and instructions.
And then you waited some more.
And then they said ... 'OK Background, you're up!'
I can't tell you what we did, or what, exactly, the scene entailed because of non-disclosure agreements, and well ... I don't want to spill secrets and piss off Ricky, Julian and Bubbles! Or Snoop! Or Hennessey Casting!
You'll just have to watch Season 10 when it comes out on Netflix.
But I CAN tell you ... it was a pretty awesome experience, and a great day overall!
And yes, I did meet Ricky, Julian, and Snoop Dogg. And chatted with 'T' out in the parking lot when we were finished.
You think I'd leave there without at least meeting a couple of my boy's favourites, if at all possible?
Let me be clear in stating that I did NOT bug the cast during taping.
I didn't go near them.
And yes, the majority of them were there. And this close!
But just because I had never done anything like this before, didn't mean I didn't recognize the importance of professionalism on set.
And we had been specifically warned by the casting company, 'NO PICTURES' on set unless we were given permission!
Since I want to work with this organization again, I followed the rules.
I took no pictures.
That's not to say others didn't snap a picture of me. With friends.
I waited until we were completely finished for the day and when I saw some of the cast hanging around, casually talking to people in the room, I went over.
I spoke to 'Ricky' (Robb Wells) about going to school with his brother many years ago.
I spoke to 'Julian' (John Paul Tremblay) about what is REALLY in that glass.
And then I approached Snoop.
He had been there for awhile, but I could see him slowly making his way towards the door, and I knew my boys would never forgive me if I let him go without at least saying hello, so it was now or never.
I waked over and said, 'Hi!'.
Then, because the dude is REALLY tall, I stood up on tiptoe, and whispered in his ear, 'I hear everyone in Nova Scotia has been offering you their weed. Well, I'm going to offer you something different!'
Oh get your minds out of the gutter, people! It wasn't anything inappropriate!
Although I'm sure he also had no idea what I was about to say next.
Since I was no longer at his ear, he looked down at me through his shades and asked, 'What's that?'
I said, 'I'm offering you a home cooked meal.'
He looked surprised and said, 'Ohhhh I haven't had THAT!'
'I figured you hadn't!', I replied. Then continued on ...
'Just think... home cooked beef and broccoli stir-fry ... or tavern style ribs in the slow cooker aallllll day, covered in BBQ sauce ... so much better than take out!'
I could almost see his mouth watering through the smile when he said, 'That sounds GOOD!'
'I know it does. Now ... those casting people have my information ... you want that home cooked meal ... you find me. I'll make you dinner.'
And then we took a picture together and I walked away.
Everyone was offering Snoop Dogg weed ... So I offered to cook him dinner.
The man was offered weed by every Tom (not Arnold), Dick, Harry AND Jane in town. He's not going to remember any of those people.
But ... guaranteed nobody else offered him a home cooked meal while he was here (unless, perhaps, a cast member who lives here full time).
THAT he'll remember!
Of course, I can't tell you if he took me up on my offer. Because I did promise him 'NO PAPARAZZI!' Nobody would even know he was here.
And that was it. That was a wrap. I waited for my paperwork to be complete, and then left.
As I was heading to my car, I was introduced to and had the pleasure of chatting with 'T' (Tyrone Parsons) for a few minutes. What a nice guy!
All very nice people, including the rest of the background cast and crew.
Overall, it was a great experience. Something I would most definitely do again.
And as luck would have it ... I DID!
I was back on set at the Trailer Park for a another day the following week!
Don't bother looking for me in the Snoop episode, though.
I haven't seen the finished product, but I was at the back of a crowded room, so chances are you won't see me.
But keep an eye out for the chick in the red shirt ... just in case!
Oh, and Snoop ... you missed out on the ribs, Dude. We had them this week.
But the offer still stands, next time you're in town.
P.S. Thank you to 'the powers that be' for giving me the go-ahead to publish this post!