I was asked recently what career paths I considered prior to radio and if I weren't doing radio now, what would I want to do?
I have always wanted to work in the tv/film industry. Most of my childhood I thought I wanted to be an actress, but the older I got I realized that I loved being behind the camera. Writing, producing, casting..all of those things fascinate me more than you could know. In 2001 a giant book arrived in the mail (that I'd secretly ordered offline) for New York Film Academy. I thought that maybe I'd run away to NY and learn to hone a craft of some sort whether that be my dramatic/comedic sides or the production side of film making.
My parents flipped a little bit. Their small-town baby girl gone to NY to chase a 1 in a million crazy wild-haired dream? Nope. Not gonna happen. So I stayed home, did some local theatre (WHICH I LOVE) and jumped on the opportunity to be an extra when movies filmed on the Gulf Coast, which happens more than you know.
My first job as an extra was interesting. All I knew was that I was going to be filming a scene in the middle of the night and that I would be playing the role of an EMT. Low and behold, it was with one of my FAVORITE actresses, who turned out to be genuinely kind to everyone on set as well (that's definitely not always the case), Karen Gillan. She was "Amy Pond", The Doctor's companion on Doctor Who for a while. Loved loved loved meeting her. She later went on to star in a tiny movie called "Guardians Of the Galaxy". Maybe you've heard of it?
That very long night turned out to be one of the most fun experiences of my life! Yes, there's a lot of sitting around and waiting when you work as an extra because you're not always allowed to view scenes except for the ones you're in. People like to spoil the plot so they keep most extras in a holding tent until time. This is why we can't have nice things. However, the tent is filled with some of the most interesting strangers, lots of yummy treats and usually board games. I ate a ton of pizza and kicked lots of Jenga butt that night. I followed around grips and crew asking questions about how they got into the business, and left feeling VERY inspired.
The movie is called "Oculus". Look, not everyone loved it, BUT, locals need to watch it at least once. Most of it was filmed around Mobile but my scene as a gurney pushing EMT (which we filmed 32 times to get the take right) was filmed in a neighborhood in Fairhope, AL. For the record, that gurney had a life-like fake corpse zipped up in a body bag on it, and it was really heavy. Found out just how out of shape I really was that night.
Another big movie you may or may not have heard of was filmed in both cities as well, "Get Out". That movie is one of the best movies I've ever seen...ever. Now, Back to my big screen debut...see below.
Halloween is coming up. Do yourself a favor and watch "Oculus" just once. If you hate it you can yell at me later. Also, in case you HAVEN'T see it, here's the 2 seconds of fame. Feel free to watch the clip, I'm at 2:54, but ONLY IF YOU'VE ALREADY SEEN THE MOVIE! MAJOR SPOILERS IN THAT CLIP!