Wednesday, April 6, 2016


On the Edge
There was an advertising campaign some years back about which applauded risk. My favorite t-shirt they generated boasted the slogan: If you are not living life on the edge you are taking up too much room. 

Playing it safe is not exactly an established life style for me but from time to time I find myself inching away from the risky in life and being careful. It is probably something which I am more exposed to with my current set of older friends (my age) and a health issue or two to deal with. Yes, I probably should not attempt to trim the blue spruce in the front yard by standing on the roof of the pickup. But I didn't see signing up for all night movie shoot in Las Vegas as risky until after listening to the reactions of some friends. The town has hotels I could stay at if I got too tired to drive home. And I threw in my bedroll and an extra blanket in case I wanted to pull over at one of two state parks in root.

And yes I was walking down dark alleys in the not best parts of Las Vegas and with strange people I barely knew. But movie people are the best of strangers. And on another level they are soul mates. It was nice being with a group of people you had an instant rapport with. And yet I almost called up the casting agency and cancelled. I was concerned about doing an all nighter at my age. But getting sleepy did not even occur. Too many things to talk about and do and study.

I have been wanting to get inside of the Castaneda Hotel before the renovations began in earnest and I did. Yes, I would have loved to wander all the halls with my camera but we were restricted and I opted to not bring my camera because it was a night shoot. And I have not been on a movie set for several decades. I figured I would limit complexities to some degree. 

I am so thrilled I did not let the naysayers get to me. I had a grand time even though being background talent relies heavily on not my best of all traits - patience. But that was balanced by studying all the people pretending to be other people in front of complex technology for sound, lights and image. I love watching the key grips with all their robotic camera toys. If I was not on my best behavior I would have loved to make a pest of myself. And the craft crew had the absolutely best ladders. 

As I drove home, still surprised with myself being wide awake, I ran over some of the moments of the 16 hour cast call. I think Reset, was my favorite word until "It's a wrap." The concept of going back to a point in the scene or action or life itself and beginning again: "Once more with feeling," has a nice ring to it. So end of this last period of playing it safe again. Reset.

Hoping for more opportunities to play behind the scenes of movies. New Mexico has a full slate of films on schedule this summer. If you are not living life on the edge you are taking up too much room.

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