Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Vicarious Living

Sometimes in life, lots of stuff happens, and by default, there's lots to write about. More often, NOTHING happens for days at a time, and there is therefore absolutely NOTHING to write about. The latter has been the case this past week, which explains, but perhaps doesn't excuse, my unintended, extended absence.

I've got a major case of writer's block here, I think mainly because I am paralyzed while I try to land my next gig for work. I've got three or four balls in the air, and am waiting to find out which one will land first. The waiting is killing me, and keeps me frozen, and my mind stays blank. I can't even knit when it's like this. Sigh....

And so, I must live vicariously through others.

My sister, for instance.

A couple weeks ago, she sent me this email:

----- Original Message -----
From: Terry
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2007 11:12 AM
Subject: for Richard Gere fans and Hollywood wannabes

Alright girls,

There is a casting call Friday and Saturday for extras in the movie "Nights in Rodanthe", starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, filmed in part on the Outer Banks. (It is a Nicholas Sparks book, if you are not familiar). Who's up for it?


I would have jumped all over that, had it not been the same weekend as MS&W. You see, back in high school, I was in love with Richard Gere, during his Officer & Gentleman heyday. My senior year, we had a Christmas locker decorating contest, and my friend Lynn and I won first place for our "Santa Dick" decoration.

Here's a picture of me in the back seat of Lynn's car, puckering up with Dick after we'd taken down the locker decoration and pasted it to the car window:

His word balloon says, "What do YOU want for Christmas, little girl?"

Don't judge me. I was a teenager inappropriately in love with a movie star. I've grown out of my unhealthy Richard Gere obsession. He's since been replaced by a more "healthy" admiration of all things George Clooney. Mmmmm.... The Clooney.....

But I digress.

Anyway, about a week after her first email, I got this follow-up from Terry:

----- Original Message -----
From: Terry
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 8:37 PM
Subject: richard gere sightings . . .

...have been happening all over the place! He is staying in Manteo, at the Tranquil House. (Hollywood comes to the Outer Banks for the filming of "Nights in Rodanthe", from the book by Nicholas Sparks). I haven't been so lucky, but talk it that he is real nice! Leah and I went to the extras casting call, but haven't received a call yet, and probably won't. I think I'm too tall! (I heard that they don't want extras to be taller than the stars!) Anyway, everyone is abuzz with the movie biz. Monday we had a storm so bad that school was cancelled (Saturday school again this week), roads were closed, you name it. (it is now tropical storm Andrea). I mean the wind was blowing so hard you didn't want to step outside, but damn if they didn't spend 4 hours on the beach filming! (If I recall the book correctly, there is a storm in it, so I guess it is fitting).

And that is all of the celebrity gossip for today.


Fun times! For those folks who live in L.A. and see celebs all the time, this is not a big deal. For those of us on the east coast who only see celebs in movies, magazines and on tv, this is news!

A couple days later I received another follow-up email from Terry:

----- Original Message -----
From: Terry
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 8:29 PM
Subject: OMG

So, I am sitting in the orthodontist's waiting room today, minding my own business, when my phone rings, and it is someone from the "Nights in Rodanthe" movie, telling me that I have been hand selected by the director to be an extra in a scene, now get this, dancing on the Rodanthe Pier. The girls had tears in their eyes from the laughter induced by the thought of my dancing publicly. I'll probably look like Elaine on Seinfeld and get kicked off the pier and into the drink. Both Richard Gere and Diane Lane are in the scene!!!!!!!!!! I have to go to a rehearsal tomorrow and the filming is Wednesday. Wish me luck! They will probably take one look at me and realize that they have made a huge mistake, so don't buy your movie tickets yet.
We were beside ourselves after that little bombshell was dropped! My sister gets to breathe the same air as Richard Gere! Holy-freakin'-moly!

I waited with baited breath to hear how rehearsal and shooting went. Terry did not disappoint.

----- Original Message -----
From: Terry
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:53 AM
Subject: Re: OMG
OK, so here's the scoop so far:

Drove down to Rodanthe yesterday afternoon. A big tow truck slammed into me as I was waiting to turn into the place where we were rehearsing, but that's a different story, different hassle. (my poor, beautiful new car). So anyway, about 18 of us rehearsed a scene where the locals have come out after the hurricane to celebrate survival with their community. We will be dancing with a band on the pier, while others are nearby having some sort of feast. Richard and Diane were not there last night, but are in the scene, so hopefully I will get to schmooze with them today!! They flew in a choreographer from LA to show us regular people how to dance in a way that doesn't look choreographed, though it is - it's a mixed group, agewise. The song is a minute and a half long, but who knows how much of that will make it into the movie. The choreographer and director were really nice. The choreographer was the choreographer for the movie Dreamgirls, and used to be a dancer with J. Lo, Will Smith,etc. so he is big time. We were there for about 3 1/2 hours last night (but get paid for 8 hours - gotta love that union!), and will probably do 10 or 12 hours today/tonight. It's going to be really hard getting up for work tomorrow - don't anticipate more than a few hours of sleep. I was going to work this morning, but instead am hanging out at home to try and take care of insurance stuff, with the car.

More details to come.


Terry is fine, thank God. Her car will need some work. But back to our story. I had to wait until Thursday to get details about how the actual shooting went. Again, she did not disappoint:

----- Original Message -----
From: Terry
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2007 7:52 PM
Subject: Re: OMG

I'm back!!!!!!!!!!!! And Richard Gere is hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, here is the scoop in a nutshell. We got there around 2pm yesterday, and basically waited around for hours until we were called to "the set" which is the Rodanthe Pier. We did not mind the waiting too much (the other "dancers" and I) because they were paying us $15 an hour, plus overtime! Anyway, in our scene, which we did repeatedly throughout the night (I got home at 4 a.m and had to work this morning - yuk!), Diane Lane is dancing RIGHT BESIDE ME, like inches away, with the old man from Talladega Nights, while her man, Richard Gere, gazes at her (he was sitting at a picnic table about 5 feet away from me!!!!!!). He basically had to look through me to see her!! It was so cool!! The other cool thing was, I guess due to union rules, "dancers" are treated way better than your average extra - better pay, better bathrooms, more access, you name it. We dancers cracked up about that, because we were all just regular people, pretending to have rhythm. The wind was howling last night on the pier, so we were quite cold, and I'm sure looked horrible, but it was very interesting, exhilarating, exhausting . . .

Gotta run.


Every time Terry wrote, I replied with, TAKE PICTURES! Or, SEND PICTURES! She told me that they were told that they were not allowed to take pictures on the set. (And I'm thinking, since when has she been so obedient?) Fortunately, someone else she knows was less rule-abiding, and sent her a couple of pictures they took, which I include below:

I'm gathering that they were taken somewhat on the sly, which explains that second one that's particularly blurry. I'm not even sure if the girl in the dress is Diane Lane.

But still -- candid Richard Gere pictures! Rockin'!

Sometimes life, lived vicariously through others, is definitely worth the livin'!


Nikki said...

That's SO dern cool!!!!!

I've got my fingers crossed for you for the whole job thing too...

lmilla said...

Oh my gosh! That is amazing! What an awesome Gere-experience!!!!

I'm sending good job thoughts your way. and thank you for letting us live vicariously, too!

emmy said...

I was wondering how things were going with your sister and Richard Gere- now this "inquiring mind" has the SCOOP!! Thanks for letting me be a part of the excitement. Afterall I have met Terry!!

Best of everything on the job opportunities.

Bess said...

What a treat! and thank you to both you and your sister for sharing.

sending white light about the job stuff. missed you a lot.

Anonymous said...

That is definately DIANE LANE.

She is such an awesome talent and a beautiful lady.

Gere is cool but do tell us more about DIANE LANE too please. She is soooo cool and has starred with Richard Gere twice before!
In "COTTON CLUB" and "UNFAITFUL" for which she won a Best ACtress Oscar!

kendra said...

Hi I run www.diane-lane.org-can I get an interview from your sister? I would love to post to my site!! In regards to Diane and Richard!! please email me at thepollardgrlzx9@yahoo.com I am Kendra -great pics!!! If ok i will post to your credit!!