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I originally thought I was posting this blog on New England Actors when I was actually posting it on Our Film Space. The two sites look the same to me (not so tecno savvy here). So I copied the blog from one site to paste on this one. Anyway, here's my experience as a Dread on Surrogates:

This was without a doubt the most ruggedly dangerous set I have ever experienced. I worked on action films in the past, but never been a part of the action scenes. We, Dreads ( background actors ), spent several days running on rugged uneven surfaces of bricks, rocks and debris. It was great to show up to set in comfortable, baggy clothes, no make up, hair a wreck and get the approval ( would that I could go around this sloppy all of the time). Many of us laughed at going from the glamourous, gorgeous SAG Party formal gowns and tuxes with perfect hair, make-up and nails to the grunge look of Dreads. By day five they had added so much dirt to our outfits with the added dust on our faces and the change of color from five days in the sun that many folks were unrecognizable.

This set was all about conquering my fears unintentionally. The previous week I was close to a fire (never my choice). This week I was on a 20 foot pile of unstable bricks and instructed to run down quickly with 8 stunt people and other background actors. I had thought we were just going to stand on top of the hill of bricks and shout or watch or something. I never imagined our action would be to run down an unstable mountain of bricks. After this shoot, Fear Factor should be a breeze. Actually after this I hope it's back to Chick Flicks and Musicals (much more my cup of tea). Thank goodness for Liz Eng. She was the one other person on Brick Mountain who was hesitant to go straight into danger zone. We found a way to do it all cautiously. We were comrades in safety, watching out for each other.

It was a fun and exciting film with a wonderful group of people. The food was excellent for the most part. The crew was marvelous. Some nice "eye candy" (the look-but-don't-touch-handsome-crew members you find on sets). There were some whiners, complainers and crazies that you find on every set with a large number of background actors, but the vast majority were an amazingly eclectic and fun group. I had a marvelous time in holding with them. Lots of laughs and stories and one fun game of finding songs with a woman's name in the title for each letter of the alphabet. The two men that began the game didn't realize how many musical theatre performers we had in the group and were surprised at how quickly we went through to the end (even "Q" "Queenie was a Blonde" from WILD PARTY). Later folks went through the alphabet of songs in other categories.

If you are strong and in excellent physical condition and fearless about danger then I highly recommend to answer the call if they ask you to work as a Dread on Surrogates. If you are timid, don't like dirt, have any physical challenges (asthma, weak legs, hate dirt under your nails, sun sensitivity) then just say no thank you.

This was also a shoot all about the smoke. Whew, cough, cough, wheeze. That smoke machine just loved me. Twice my "back-to-one" was right next to the actual machine and still the traveling smoke folks would spray my area. We all began laughing about it. Thank goodness I don't have another singing gig until mid July. Poor Jody had one this weekend. Yikes!

That's my story and I'm glad I did the shoot. Hello to all my fellow Dreads, hope to see you again.

Views: 17

Tags: actor, background, dread, film, food, musical, surrogates

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Posted by Bradley J. Van Dussen on August 2, 2008 at 4:25pm
Wow! So Andrea, what was the original date of this shooting day, June? sounds like a blast! Glad you got through it in one piece.

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