ever had one of those days? the ones that take a funny turn? 

i picked up a movie from the library recently, ‘the five year engagement,’ and when i saw the cover, i remembered that i had almost been in it. by accident. really. 

it was a couple of summers ago, and i’d walked downtown to meet my date. when i got to one of my favorite local townie spots where we’d planned to meet, i noticed there was a barricade, some roadie types, a sound system and all sorts of equipment, set up outside.  having lived here for more than a decade, i knew there was always a festival, parade or protest popping up, so none of this surprised me. it  could easily have been for a street dance, a car show, or god knows what else, so i simply stepped over and around everything, and walked on in. 

once inside, i looked around, it was a bit dark and hazy and didn’t see him there yet, so i sat down at an open table. while waiting, i noticed that something about the place looked different than it normally did, but i couldn’t quite put my finger on it. i then got a phone call from my date, asking where i was, and when i told him i was already where we’d planned to meet, he said he’d arrived, but couldn’t get in because it was closed off to the public, as they were shooting a movie there. and he wondered how i had gotten in.

ah – that’s when it all made sense and it dawned on me. i had unwittingly walked right into the middle of a movie set. i thought it was awfully dark for being the daytime, and things were moved around, and i heard someone yelling out something, but figured it was a bartender, and thought maybe they’d redone the place, trying to go a bit more upscale. i loved it just the way it had been though, a cozy, casual, old-school, welcoming place. all this went through my mind quickly and then i remembered, they’d been shooting in various locations around town for some weeks now, but it never occurred to me that i had crashed their party. i was suddenly an accidental extra. 

i’m sure the only reason they let me on set in the first place, was because i’d ambled on into it like i was supposed to be there, (and i thought i was), so no one stopped me. and i was dressed like a townie, (since i was a real one), so i fit right in. 

we laughed out loud on each end of the phone as i shared my revalation, and i casually got up and walked off the set and into the daylight once more, as if i was walking to my personal production trailer, only to find my date waiting in another location. where they were NOT in the middle of shooting a scene for a movie.

when i picked up the dvd at the library, a part of me somehow hoped to see myself in that scene, but not surprisingly, i was nowhere to be found, other than somewhere on the cutting room floor, perhaps. 


Acting in’Star Wars’ I felt like a raisin in a giant fruit salad, and I didn’t even know who the cantaloupes were. – Mark Hamill


image credits: universal studios, old town bar





73 responses »

  1. Incredible post. Well written. I don’t come by them often. Of course, it’s my opinion..So here’s the highest award I give anybody – “Good Stuff.”


    • thanks barb. well, it was cute and it was fun seeing some of the familiar spots around town (filmed here and in san fran too), but i’d give it a 7. real life adventure – a 10.


  2. Your crazy life is more hilarious than any movie, Beth! Slipping on ice during dates, under car with daughter filming it, now on a movie set. You are a ‘star’ in our eyes!


  3. Awesome! I’ve never crashed a movie shoot! The closest I got was a private party at a restaurant. I was offered beer and food and a tour of the kitchen before I realized maybe it wasn’t open to the public. When they asked me who in the party I was related to, I knew for sure haha.


  4. Brilliant Beth – well you have been told you look like a celebrity so I don’t see why they would have cut you out 🙂 How cool though, you owned it (for those moments) and you wrote about it so well, thank you. 🙂


  5. Pingback: This Blog and Me are Three | Fannie Cranium's

  6. So awesome! I went out for a cattle call just for the heck of it once in Newport, RI…turns out I wasn’t exactly what they were looking for in the film Amistad…how cool it would have been to see then up and coming Matt M. Or the amazing Anthony Hopkins??? Great post!


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