I am married to a guy who wears shorts year round. Have you ever met anyone like this? Summer, winter, fall, spring, sleet, hail, snow… They are always wearing one of the two pairs (khaki or gray) of well worn cargo shorts that never make it into a drawer but are rather in constant rotation from washer to dryer to snowy December morning gear. For Casey, there are levels of dressing your shorts up.. A normal day would be an off brand t-shirt (Nautica) and shorts (think park, grocery store, hiking, oil change at a quick lube.). Then you have your more formal (movie, bbq, department store) day with the same shorts and a better brand t-shirt (Tommy Bahama or Recesstime kickball championship tee) If we are leaving the state to shop in Oregon, or maybe heading to the zoo, you might get a polo with the same shorts (probably the gray pair as they are considered more formal due to their darker color.) Now, if it’s a special occasion like Easter, an Anniversary or you are going to a social function after 7pm, you’ll get the crumpled pair of Kirkland signature denim or Levi’s from the bottom of the drawer. The highest level (and only slacks worthy) occasion would be a wedding or funeral or work.
On my way to work this morning, somewhere on a Vancouver Plain, as I sat deep in thought over the impending day and all the things I’d rather be doing, I came to a blinding realization. Looking down at the interior of my gold 1997 Honda Accord LX as it ticked and hummed along determined to double it’s current 185,000 miles (it’s all about the timing belt, am I right?) I look at the gaping steering wheel hole full of wires where my airbags used to be (stolen) and extra filing compartment that leads right to the engine where my stereo used to be (stolen) I took a moment to look at the vehicle through the eyes of my former “charmed life self” circa 2004. Then I laughed out loud. Yes, I am wearing $260 jeans and can only put $8.00 of gas in my car at a time. I am wearing $260 jeans and it would make more sense to insure them against loss or theft than my vehicle. I am wearing $260 jeans and when I park at Safeway…I’m afraid my vehicle might be mistaken for an abandoned car.
On the bright side, I have a great place to put my smart phone while I watch youtube in traffic and I look damn good walking through the mall on my way to the library.
As most people in the Portland/Vancouver area know, the Northwest is quickly becoming quite the backdrop for various ongoing television shows, movies, commercials, etc..
Leverage, a show on TNT starring Timothy Hutton has been filming in our metro area now for several years and if you’d like to be an extra on one of their episodes.. it doesn’t take much besides an ability to speak English (not even that really..) and showing up on set in the morning in your assigned clothing genre (with alternatives in tow, pressed, on hangers, and in a garment bag.) As an extra on a number of Leverage episodes, educational videos, and commercials, ( I know, I know you just knew you recognized me from somewhere!) I can give you a quick and accurate rundown of what it really takes to be the partygoer/Nascar fan/clubber/basketball cheering section/lecture note-taker/etc.. that we’ve all dreamed (?) of being at one time or another as we watched our favorite Friends in Central Perk or chuckled at a Capitol One commercial (What’s in your wallet?!)
Points of (passerby #2) interests:
1. Sign up with a reputable casting company.. in Portland if you want to work and work often.. go online to www.extrasonly.com. They will charge a nominal yearly fee to upload your photos and be a part of their database but it’s the least you can do to come face to face with John Schneider
(yep, from the Dukes of Hazzard.. I know, you are just so jealous that he said “excuse me” as I stood between him and the restroom) or other various lower echelon celebs.
2. Answer the call. When you receive an email that you are being considered for a role, answer it and answer it quickly! They won’t tolerate your clicking in and checking out the details without replying on your availability either… big brother is watching and if you go to the availability page three times without answering… well you may as well paint a scarlet “U” on your chest because darlin’ you aren’t available.
3. Be flexible, this isn’t 9 to 5.. In fact, it isn’t usually less than 9-9 or maybe 5-9… get used to it and be flexible because once you are on set you aren’t leaving!
4. Wait, wait, and wait some more, the underling assigned to “watch” the extras is going to have you in a “holding area” sometimes outside on a cold day or perhaps even in a posh meeting room inside The Governer Hotel downtown. But don’t worry they will feed you and keep you well caffeinated, you’ll chat with interesting folks, and probably beat every level of Angry Birds with three stars as you wait and wait and wait.
5. Don’t expect glamour. Sometimes you will get a glimpse of it but certainly don’t count on it. The shooting of the scene itself could take 5 minutes without a star “principal” even present or you could be pretending to chat at a table (out of the scene) in the back holding the same sticky, warm champagne glass full of apple juice (trust me, don’t drink it) for hours and hours and hours. Just listen and act when asked and you might just be rewarded with .0000125 of a second of face time on camera
6. Last step, most important. Don’t do it for the money because you’ll usually make minimum wage (with more after you hit the specified overtime parameters) and you probably won’t even cover the expenses you incurred buying clothing “suitable for a Republican luncheon” than you will pocket.
However, if you keep these steps in mind and smile, smile, smile you might impress someone and get pulled out of line for a “bigger extra part..” or more. It happens, sometimes… but don’t even think of counting on it. Just enjoy the ride, mask any obvious ogling of the celebs in arm’s reach and invest in a “Slow Forward” feature for your Panisonic at home. Your friends and family will be impressed, you’ll network with some cool folks, and you’ll never again take for granted those poor schmucks roller blading past Meg Ryan in the park…
Gray: “Mom, are we gonna eat icecream?”
Me: “No Gray, you ordered a blue raspberry Italian soda, remember? (Thus this immediate trip to the bathroom..”)
Gray: “Well then why does it smell like icecream in here?”
Me: ”Hmm.. You know what? It does smell like ice cream in here!”
This is the glowing review from the restroom of Twilight Pizza in downtown Camas from my four year old son. And now for my own:
Celebrating their 4th Anniversary as a bonafide Camas hotspot, Twilight Pizza made for a fun (and thirst quenching) visit during a special extended happy hour event yesterday night. While I wouldn’t say their happy hour is an “over-the-top deal” with $1.00 off beer pints and wine by the glass, and $2.00 off appetizers. I would say they make up for lesser savings with delicious food, quick and friendly service, and a low-key, pleasing atmosphere.
Total bill: 10.74 (Two pints of Blue Moon and the afore mentioned Italian soda.)
Total Happy Hour Value: 4.5 out of 5 (extra half point for being family friendly while still maintaining the “cool” factor.)
Special Mention: Twilight offers gluten-free options as well as some great vegetarian items (see the Tree Hugger Pizza.)
Oh Vancouver how you are oft neglected for the behemoth to your south… Portland with it’s self important weirdness and kitschy neighborhoods…
Here in Clark County we may watch Portland’s news, cheer for their teams, and visit their museums on our school field trips… but as we grow older we get tired of living in the shadow. It’s time for us to announce ourselves as our own destination Clark County! Between the downtown boutiques of Camas, to the fantastic Farmer’s Market and summer fountains in Esther Short, to our own blackjack tables in La Center, we have so much to offer! Join me as I highlight the happy hours of neighborhood restaurants and give honest reviews of value and beer temperature! Let’s show our “over the river” friends that they don’t need a passport or to learn a new dialect to eat, drink, and be merry on the Washington side!