April 17, 2009

Celebrity Leap - Spin Cycle Style

Cool Jen over at Sprite's Keeper promotes weekly fun with the Spin Cycle. This week's topic is (straight from Jen's blog): "Do you have a celebrity story? Chance encounter? Look like a celebrity? (We want photo proof, please.) What if you have a secret, or even not so secret, crush on all things celebrity and stalk certain sites like TMZ for the deets?"

Growing up in Seattle there are random opportunities to rub elbows with celebrities every so often. Like John Ratzenberger from Cheers when he was hanging out at a bar on the Eastside. Or when I was a member of the Sports Car Club of America and had the thrill of directing the Formula One cars into the pits and getting to ride the pace car at the start of one of the races.

The Pit Pass enabled me to wander aimlessly around the race cars and drivers, and gave me the opportunity of meeting some of the race car drivers including Paul Newman and Robert Hays. I still have their photos and autographs buried somewhere in my bazillion boxes in the attic. But really, those where just fleeting encounters which also resulted in fleeting memories.

My favorite by far would have to be when my best friend conned convinced me to join her at the talent agency that also represented Heart. They were recruiting 30-something blondes in the area to perform in local commercials and work as extra's in some of the filming that took place in Seattle. We had a blast in the acting classes, and the agency was actively calling us for auditions which resulted in the opportunity to do some local commercials.

Then I had the pleasure of getting a call to be an extra on the premiere episode of a new show that was going to be part of CBS's fall lineup called "Mr. and Mrs. Smith", starring Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap) and Marie Bello as Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I know what you're thinking - no, not the blockbuster 'big-screen' version that came much later with different lead actors, but the one they were attempting to do for the small screen as a series. Obviously it was short-lived and did much better in its 'big screen' form. But I digress.

The hours for filming were scheduled in the dead of night - due to limitations for the use of prominent landmark buildings and the unused train station in Downtown Seattle. I got permission from my boss for a couple of days off, since sleep was going to be minimal at best. It was exciting seeing how everything is set up and shot scene by scene - as an extra you pretty much spend most of your time waiting around until you're told what to do and when to do it.

The biggest kick was going on the 'meal break' in the middle of the night - everyone who wasn't napping converged on the catering trucks to enjoy some great food. They had the catering trucks set up in a parking garage - with arrows and signs that were a little hard to figure out...the extra's had been instructed at the beginning that we would be in a separate area for meal breaks, so we had different catering trucks than the main actors. Another extra and myself had become fast friends in the 'hurry up and wait' mode, and we were cracking jokes and trying to decipher the signs to where we were supposed to go for our food. After a few false turns, we finally found the catering trucks.

As my new friend and I were standing in line waiting our turn to get something to eat, she nudged me and whispered "Look who you're standing behind!" I hadn't realized that I was directly behind Scott Bakula. We had apparently gone to the wrong section for our meal break. I was worried that we would get kicked off the set for disobeying instructions, but at that moment Scott Bakula must have heard the loud whisper as he turned and smiled at us. He's much shorter and cuter in person.

He smiled and asked if we were enjoying ourselves so far. My new friend mumbled something unintelligible, so I smiled and said "Yes, thank you. It appears we've stumbled into the wrong line..." He responded that it was no problem, just help ourselves and make sure we get something good to eat. Then I noticed it. His collar was sticking up funny on one side. My OCD couldn't handle it. Without thinking, I reached out and with a quick 'Excuse me a minute' I fixed his collar for him. Then I realized what I had done, and immediately turned ten shades of red, most likely with a look of horror on my face. Instead of getting upset at the close contact, he laughed and said 'Thank You'.

My new friend couldn't believe I had just done that - she kept ribbing me the rest of the night about it. What was really cool is later that night I was instructed to do a scene at the train station walking up to the ticket counter directly in front of Scott Bakula. When the director yelled 'Cut!' and I turned to return to my place in the sidelines, Scott Bakula caught my eye and pointed to his collar with a big grin on his face...so I gave him the thumbs up because it was still perfectly in place.

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16 Random Sassy Comments:

blueviolet@A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I can't believe you straightened his collar but it sure makes for a good story! :)

Hit 40 said...

Oh you touched him... nice! Is this why there is a restraining order on you?

Sprite's Keeper said...

I think I remember hearing about that pilot!
Did you ever get to see it or yourself on the screen?
Great Spin! You're linked!

Tess said...

Love your story! He is such a cutie! Shorter in person? Hmm, I'd still marry him.
Please register and vote for me!
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Robin said...

This is a fun story! I have to admit, he really is kinda sexy!

I am Harriet said...

Great story :)
The best part is that even the stars get bald and fat years later.

Hope the food was good.

Firefly@www.firefly-shop.org said...

Stopping by to see how are you :)

Kelly said...

I've always liked Scott Bakula. Cute story. I don't have any celebrity stories...it's a dull life I lead!

Mrsbear said...

What a great story. I always thought Scott Bakula was adorable, that you had the presence of mind to straighten his collar is pretty funny, I would've been a babbling bumbling mess.

Jenni Jiggety said...

I have ZERO celebrity encounters! That is very cool!

Yaya said...

As long as you haven't rendevous with my hubby George Clooney we're cool!

Banteringblonde said...

Very cool! This was a fun story - I don't think I have any celebrity encounters .. although I did meet Carrot Top at cinco de mayo in Nashville once - he was a jerk! lol

Justine/Justiney/Tiney said...

Whoa, that was a seriously cool story!!!!! You touched his shirt and you didn't get taken away in cuffs!

Justine :o )

Keely said...

Heh, that's awesome. I'd like to think he probably sees himself as a 'working' actor - he's just there doing a job.

Yes, I had a minor crush on him, why do you ask? :)

Casey said...

That dude from Quantum Leap was on Chuck tonight... I had forgotten that he existed. I used to love that show! Was this your first time spinning? I can't remember. Great spin!

Megan said...

Hahaha That's awesome! And even better that it all took place in Seattle. ;0)