Monday, March 31, 2008

Change of Season

On this first gray and dreary Opening Day in Chicago, I think it’s safe to assume I’m finally hockeyed out for the next several months – especially after last night’s game at the UC between the Blackhawks and Columbus.

Although the home folk climbed out of a 3-1 deficit to win in an OT shoot-out, the game was almost painful to watch. Once again, the Hawks proved the embodiment of a hot-and-cold team, with three games left to cover a three-point gap for the post-season.

We’ll see what happens, of course.

But on the upside, at the stadium I fulfilled a minor dream by scoring a, yes, a tee styled after Stan Mikita’s Donuts: the fantasy munch-post from “Wayne’s World” allegedly located in my hometown of Aurora, Illinois (the one without the palm trees and mountains in the background).

Sadly, there’s nothing remotely as slick as Mikita’s (and its excellent sugar pucks) or Gasworks in our fair corner of sprawl.

Yet rumor has it Johnny Depp will be around this weekend shooting “Public Enemies,” a biopic based (loosely, I’m sure) on the life of bank robber John Dillinger, shot down in 1934 by The Man beside Chicago’s Biograph Theatre (the Aurora shoot is at the refurbished Paramount Theatre, which I assume is standing in for the actual Biograph).

A casting call for the two-day shoot has gone out for local extras, which had me intrigued. However, males are required to be less than 6”2 tall (which excludes me at 6”3), plus my hair is too short.

Oh, well. I wasn’t relishing the thought of sitting this weekend out anyhow.

If you’ve never been an extra in a film or TV show, it’s an interesting one-time experience, but incredibly dull.

A few years back, I was an extra for a day on the TV series “Early Edition” (CBS) for a bar scene. I got to the set (in Chicago) at 5AM, but did not make it on stage for six more hours. This is par for the course on film and TV sets (e.g. hurry up and wait), which makes me marvel that anything gets done at all. Anyhow, as personal gratuity for my lost time, I stole a prop—a ballcap—from a mock display case.

I also learned that Hollywood union boys have it sweet on set, enjoying tables piled up with snacks, and eating before any extra, who must sit and wait (again) for the crew to finish before stepping up to the Craft truck themselves. Yet not all was so bad: both the crew and stage manager were nice. Plus, it was fun to see the inner workings of TV production, and Kyle Chandler spectacularly flub his lines.

That is all.

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