Archive for Celebrities
Apparently, the television show ‘The Mentalist’ is “set” in Sacramento. Naturally, most of it is filmed in Los Angeles. But just this past week, Sacramento saw it’s ‘own’ series come to life in its own backyard, when The Mentalist and its stars came to town on Thursday and Friday. As I was fortunate enough to be cast as an Extra, I can shed a little inside light on what this was actually like…
The morning was rather cool and breezy for August, I noted as I walked past the Star Waggons lined along N Street. On the way, ‘Starsky’ passed us on the sidewalk and spouted a hearty ‘hello’. I know I was smiling at him, but think I was too stunned to respond. (Now I feel bad). Anyway, after signing in, warbrobe checks and some general instructions (and gentle warnings), wee extras took a seat in the holding area and prepared to be ignored for much of the day.
But this did not end up being the case. In fact, I haven’t worked that hard since I attempted Yosemite’s Half Dome in college. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Because sometimes, there’s just nothing like being in the midst of all the lights, camera, action. But moreso, because the degree of separation significantly narrows when one is allowed a literal glimpse into something normally so far removed from us.
I mean, there I was ~ getting to know my fellow extras while trying to keep in step with instructions, while trying not to trip over my high heels, while baking in the afternoon sun, while trying to be as natural as can be… as veteran directors and high-profile actors worked their magic right before my eyes ~ in some cases, just 2 feet from me.
If you’re the type to get star-struck, there’s just very little time to languish in your titilation. Because show biz is a serious business after all. And if you’re going to be even a fraction of a part of it, you’d better do your job well – even it’s just walking in a straight line from point A to point B.
Oh, the pressure – It very well could make or break you. Most importantly, just keep breathing (passing out on set is not the kind of attention you want to bring to yourself). And remember not to think you’re better than anyone else.
But don’t think you’re any less than, either.
P.S. The Mentalist was filmed on and around the Capitol grounds
[photo courtesy: http://www.thrfeed.com
As I looked around the room at all these officers in uniform, I was reminded they are also regular people – regular people who put their fear (emotion) aside in place of courage (action) every single day of their lives. And at this thoughtful, compassionate ode to law enforcement and public safety, we were all asked to look out for one another in our everyday lives, hopefully willing to walk through our fears and help a stranger in need if and when the ocassion arises.
In a world so full of tragic consequences, we seem more likely these days to shy away from stepping in when help is needed. But I think that’s just what we need to do ~ Be willing to get involved. Because it truly makes a difference – and not just in one person’s life. We all learn by observing those around us… And we either see heroes. Or we don’t.
Armed with camera dangling from my wrist, I head out during the lunch hour on a fine spring day, and immediately see something abstract I’d like to capture. I begin heading toward it when I notice Sacramento’s former mayor (Heather Fargo) exiting Lucca Restaurant from the direction in which I’m heading. Not wanting to be mistaken for the paparazzi and out of respect for the privacy I imagine she might desire, I shift courses and take the long way around.
It seems there’s always someone locally, regionally or even globally-famous heading into or out of Lucca on J Street (Esquire Grill on 13th, Faces on K, The Park UltraLounge on 15th, etc.). And yet, it might be of little surprise that the Midtown/Downtown vortex attracts big and plenty players since it’s so centrally located, so full of good restaurants, so near the Capitol and so loaded with charm.
To me, the 6 degrees of separation between us regular folks and those more blatantly recognizable are closing in. Blame it on the internet, reality TV, the widening of the “celebrity” umbrella… As the world gets more cramped, we’re naturally going to bump up against one another all the more.
What I like about this phenomenon happening in Sacramento is this: It makes everyone and everything seem that much more accessible. It doesn’t discriminate. And instead of feeling like we’re robots walking amongst a bunch of strangers, familiarity is a welcome feeling in a world I had feared was losing its personal touch.
As I head back to the office – my memory card (and belly) full – I coincidentally converge at the corner of 16th and J with someone very well known in my social circle, my friend and co-worker Dawn Brown. We walk back to the office together, chatting about the warm weather and how much easier it will be to get together with friends now that spring has sprung.