Thursday, February 19, 2009

Almost Famous

Here's a random Wayback Wednesday factoid about me. (I intended to post it yesterday.) I may just be a small town housewife now, but I have a had a few brushes with fame. (Said lightheartedly and dripping with sarcasm:-)

I loved musical theater as a tween and was in a dozen productions at the community theater in Columbus, GA between 1985-1989. In 1986 my Mom read about a movie audition taking place 100 miles away in Montgomery, AL. I went and stood in a huge cattle call line outside an auditorium for the casting of The Long Walk Home starring Whoopi Goldberg and Sissy Spacek. Unbelievably, I got a 'call back' a couple of days later to come to a hotel and read for the part of Sissy Spacek's daughter. I don't remember much about it except that the casting agent kept reminding me I was not on stage and could, therefore, really whisper instead of using a stage whisper. I think she reminded me several times and I never quite mastered the switch from stage to screen acting. Oh, well.

In 2003, while living in Charlottesville, VA I sat at a table adjacent to Sissy Spacek (she lives in Charlottesville). I wanted so badly to tell her that I was almost her fake daughter in a movie 17 years prior. I resisted the urge.

In the Summer of 1996 I worked as an Intern (80+ hours a week for free) for Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics. It was a fabulous experience as I was truly on the field during both events and had all access to the the Olympic Stadium with credentials, a golf cart and a walkie talkie. If you remember anything about the wacky ceremonies (which were choreographed by Kenny Ortega, the same man who is behind High School Musical) there were lots of massive puppets from Trinidad. I was part of the team that built those and was responsible for getting performers in and out of them during rehearsals and performances. The 550 high school girls in 10-12 foot butterfly wings were my primary responsibility.

I stood very close to Faith Hill, Gloria Estafan, Celine Dion, Evander Holyfield and Little Richard and several Secret Service men as President Clinton entered and left the building. Watching their security detail was impressive. The coolest part, however, was getting to know the teams of production people who literally travel from city to city putting on these major events.

I stayed in contact with one guy in particular for a few years after the Olympics. In 2000 he was working for the Oscars and offered me a spot as a seat filler. I did not even know such a position existed, but apparently, there is a team of people who dress formally and 'fill in' seats for the stars while they go to the restroom, present awards, perform or whatever. The producers do not want empty seats when they pan the crowd.

I selected a a fabulous garnet red, floor-length dress and was looking forward to attending, but bailed a few weeks before when I discovered I couldn't take a friend. Even as a fairly adventurous, single 25 year old I couldn't imagine taking on an experience like that alone.

So, here I sit recounting the 'could haves' and 'almosts' --thankfully full of much more amusement than regret!


Tonya Ingram said...

My hometown... Montgomery, Alabama... and still my place of residence. I remember when they made that movie, and every time I see it I see places I know very well. I wish you would have gotten it so I could say I know a star!!! But of course you are the small town suburban wife/mother star... you will always be a star to K, P & R!

Seat Filler???!!! LOL... that's insane and funny.

Jamie said...

If I remember correctly you was Violet in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in 1987???? You bought packs of blue bubble gum to hand out to your co stars LOL! Your Mom, Jenie, Denise and me watched you opening night! What fun we had!

Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light said...

See...these are the kind of posts I love! Thank you so much for that!!!

JMom said...

Jamie- You are right! I forgot about the bubble gum. I actually have an old VHS of that play. I tried to show it to my children recently--they were not impressed. They just wanted to know if I really turned into a blueberry!

Mickie McGee said...

My daughter-in-law, Amy, was one of the "butterfly girls!" An only child, she danced her way through her entire childhood and teens.
Her greatest accomplishment, to me anyway, is that she just gave birth February 6 to the most perfect little girl in the universe! Having two sons only, I am in heaven planning all the fun things I can do with my granddaughter.
God is good!