Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First New Year's Post

January 3rd, 2006

Well, kids, I'm back in the saddle again. Here we are in sunny California (Pacoima, to be exact), and back in the extras life (on "Commander In Chief," to be exact). I got the call to do this show on my vacation a few days ago (the first one longer than a week I've taken in three years), and was delighted to hear that I'd be playing a sniper. The other two times I'd done the show, I was a White House Press Corps reporter. But now I'm at the Pacoima Airport (who knew they even had an airport?), dressed in the most extensive costume I've ever had the pleasure to wear.

I've got black boots, t-shirt, jacket, flack vest, belt, elbowpads, kneepads, gloves, ski mask, and helmet (where's the pink neckerchief, though?), but unlike some of the other outfits I've worn (like World War II-era soldier uniforms), this one is pretty darn comfortable. Even the boots are nice and padded. I was about to say, "I could sit in this one all day long"--and then I realized I most likely will.

In a getup like this, even I look cool. Maybe I should've asked for a digital camera for Christmas so I could stick pictures of myself in my wardrobe on the blog. Ah well.

There's apparently a bomb aboard Air Force One (or right below it) and we briefly shot a scene where we four snipers rushed to the base of the plane and accompanied a suited man and a amazingly busty babe reporter to safety. The two attractive civilians were descending the plane's stairs, but Air Force One itself (herself?) will be digitally added later. We were given rifles, belts, holsters, walkie talkies, pistols, and microphones with earpieces, but almost no direction. They basically said, "Get in formation, run over there, then quickly walk back," and that was it. We rehearsed it once, shot it twice, and then broke for lunch.

Since that time, the sun has gone down, the temperature dropped, a bunch of extras have gone home, and I've begun to dislike my knee and elbow pads (they cut off my circulation). Perhaps the uniform is not as comfortable as I'd originally proclaimed it. But I'm still being paid mostly to sit here, writing, reading, eating Oreos, and even sleeping.

There's a fair chance I'll be recalled on Thursday and Friday. I wonder how I'll feel about that then.

After night fell, we worked in two more shots. In one, we stood beside police cars and trained our weapons on the general area of the bomber. It is the first time I've ever seen a human being through a rifle scope, and I have to admit that it was an appealing sensation. Still, it reminded me of childhood Lazer Tag battles rather than genuine potential bloodletting, so I suppose that makes it okay.

The other scene was when the bomber finally gives himself up. We and the Bomb Squad foursome rush at him, surround the man, and then take him into custody. This scene we rehearsed a few times, then shot maybe four takes of before hearing the blessed words "That's a wrap!" from the First A.D..

I was second-to-last getting changed and checked out, mostly because the darn wardrobe took so long to get off and hung up. There was a fat German sniper named George who finished after me, but he was so friendly that no one gave him a hard time. Hard to believe, I know.

I've gotten quite weak in my old age, because it sure seemed cold out there tonight. Except for the Bomb Squad guys (who were bundled up in so much gear you'd think they were giving a vaginal exam to Fairuza Balk), we snipers had the most layers of clothes on, and I was still shivering.

Wasn't it the late, great Fred Rogers who said, "Light a man a fire, and keep him warm for a night. But light a man ON FIRE and keep him warm for the rest of his life?"

It was good to come home, where it's still cold, but I've the unhealthy glow of my computer screen to keep me warm.

Rish "Happy New Year" Outfield

1 comment:

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