Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Little Hollywood in Visalia, CA

On this Wild Ride Wednesday—a little taste of Hollywood.

In November 1992 my sister, Tina and I both got to be extras in the Touchstone movie, “The Son In-Law” starring comedian Pauly Shore. I’ve worked as an extra in several movies and television shows. It’s a fairly easy gig to get, actually.

Anyway, the silly movie was about a young girl who leaves the farm and goes away to California for college. Some of the scenes were shot at a ranch in Visalia, California—just a few miles from my home.

Tina and I showed up to the movie set at around 7:am. The set was a huge old barn that had been decorated for an old fashioned barn dance. There were about 75 extras all dressed in varying degrees of cowboy chic.

We had a blast during the two-day shoot. We had several lovely conversations with some of the stars. Tiffani Amber Thiessen and Dan Gauthier were smart, personable, and approachable. We especially loved hanging out with the musicians on the set. We had mutual friends and shared many laughs. You can even see Tina and me in the movie, and Tina got a close-up.

At the end of two long 14-hour days the shoot was finally wrapped. The actual scene in the movie is only about seven minutes long. Everyone was tired, but Tina and I were invited to hang out with some of the cast members at their hotel.

We sat down at the bar and chatted briefly with Pauly Shore and then with another actor (who will remain nameless). We’d been hanging out with him for two days and felt very comfortable. He offered me a drink. In fact, he offered me his drink.

After just a few sips of the white wine my head was spinning. How could so little wine have this effect on me? He invited Tina and I up to his room to get an autographed photo. Listen, this guy had been married for 25 years. We had no reason to suspect that he had nefarious plans for us.

We got in the elevator and the actor touched me in an inappropriate manner—with Tina standing right next to me! I grabbed his hand and said, “If you ever do that again, I will break your fingers!”

We got the autographed photo without ever going into the guy’s room. It took several hours for the effects of whatever I drank to wear off.

The next day Tina got a call from the handsy actor who invited her to spend the day in Sequoia with him. She said “no!”

I still love to watch “The Son-In-Law” whenever it shows up on TV. It’s fun to remember those two good days on the set of a silly movie with a group of really talented people—with the one exception of course.

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