So I was recently accepted as an extra for a cannibalism comedy, which is awesome.
We all got paid ($20) and fed (East Indian food, yum), which is doubly awesome.
I got some decent screen time for an extra (you know, unless they cut me – but that’s okay, it is what it is) and got to go home early, which – since this was a ten-hour overnight shoot – is triply awesome.
Quadruply awesome is the fact that I met some very cool people and got to listen to some very funny jokes, mixed liberally with a number of stories which were so astonishingly entertaining that it truly didn’t matter that they were almost certainly utter crap.
Less awesome? The two hours spent listening to a young man mangle the same eight or nine Onion headlines over and over and over, and then tell anyone who was still paying attention that these headlines were a comedy monologue he had developed in acting class and is now working up for a one-man show.
Hm. You might want to hold onto the day job.
Don’t get me wrong: normally, the sit-and-wait bonding is what makes being an extra in a zombie flick or a cannibalism comedy one of the best things ever. It’s even more gratifying than the instant respect and admiration you gain by having your name attached to zombie flicks and cannibalism comedies.
-You get lots, by the way. Seriously. Really.
Naturally, one of the best parts of sit-and-wait bonding is re-enactment of classic comedy scenes, slapstick one-upmanship, and, yes, incessant quoting of The Onion.
Normally I love listening to people quote The Onion. Honestly, I truly do.
However, three things about this pissed me off:
1) Dude. Don’t steal material. Let’s be clear: If you repeat verbatim – or as close as a person with your apparent aphasia can get to verbatim – several jokes that someone else managed to get into print while you were still screwing up the square knots for your Webelos badge, and then you try to tell everybody in the room that you yourself wrote that joke in a workshop – dude, that is stealing the fucking material. Stop it.
1-a) If you are selfish enough to steal material, don’t steal it from a publication with the amazingly huge readership of The Onion.
1-b) If you are moronic enough to steal material from a publication with the amazingly huge readership of The Onion, then don’t steal their A-list material. Their amazingly huge number of fans have not only read it themselves but also had it memorized before your parents realized that your ADHD meant you would never be an Eagle Scout. We can also recite it better than you.
1-b-i) Yes we can. Suck on it, accept it, and move on. Idjit.
2) Obviously, the person who knows that you are stealing material is a bitch.
2-a) Don’t worry: she is already seeking treatment for her compulsion to, after sitting through two hours of utter horseshit, quietly take material-stealing bobbleheads aside and tell them how much she also enjoys The Onion.
2-b) Listen, Bobblehead: she only did this because, by all that’s holy, it needed to stop.
2-c) Walking around for the rest of the night giving her the Evil Eye and muttering under your breath is probably just giving her something new to talk about in Bitch Group. Or in her own, original comedy act.
3) Dude. If you’re going to steal material, get that shit right.
3-a) Really. Why? I’m glad you asked.
– Every time you can’t properly recite the Pope Condemns Three More Glands headline, demonic mechanical spiders go to Pet Heaven and rip the legs off of the cute little kitten who you let become a smear-kitty because you were so focused on your knots that you didn’t see her run out into the street; then they use poor ol’ Fluffy’s legs to beat into fish paste every goldfish you ever flushed.
– Plus it makes the Baby Jesus cry.
– -Yes, it does.
– The word is glands. Glands, glands, GLANDS – not ‘endocrine squirter’ or whatever you were trying to say.
Bobblehead: if you have even one-twentieth of the resumé you claim, you don’t have to resort to that crap to get anyone’s attention. I promise: you made it. You’re cool. I really enjoyed your company for, like, four hours or so. That’s pretty rare for me on such short acquaintance. It was apparent that most of the room felt the same way. So relax.
If people aren’t laughing hysterically any more, it’s probably because seven of the nine of us have day jobs and the other two had to get up at 6 a.m. for family obligations and it is now 4 a.m. of the following day. We’re tired, and any minute now at least one of us probably has to go back to Makeup and then sprint again. Please, man, relax.
Seriously. Y’all who weren’t there, listen: I could have held it together if this hadn’t continued for two damn hours. There were only nine of us in the room…did he think that we didn’t hear him the first umptyjillion times?
Being an extra is a blast, though. Y’all should all try it at least once.