Hello everyone, everywhere,

Everything is going well, so let’s get on to what I really want to talk about. You know, I thought Michelle couldn’t outdo her LA story, but barely two weeks later, in the middle of the night on a Friday, Michelle woke up when she thought she heard something out front. She looked out the window and her eyes opened wide. She was looking at a movie being filmed on her street and on her lawn. Now Dean’s a pretty good sleeper but Michelle made sure she prodded him enough to get him up and told him, “They’re shooting a movie in front of our house!”

No kidding, it was a movie. The star of the show was Sean Penn’s son Hopper. After two hours of setup, the scene started.  A car is parked at an angle on the road right in front of Michelle and Dean’s house. A guy gets out of the car to look for what he’s hit. It’s a porcupine. So they hold a camera on him while he pets the porcupine. They go over this scene about five times and then finally the guy brings out his laptop from his car, walks to the porcupine, and hits it on the head with it to make sure it’s dead. Then he drags the porcupine across the street and buries it. Cut, print, and it’s over. It took half the night and they filmed him for about five minutes.

This is why I called the story this week The Extra.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts, if only for a moment, and rest.


They were shooting a movie in town and the movie people asked us if we could get people from around the area to work as extras. The Wives’ Club started phoning, and one thing to another, we were in. The scene was supposed to be at a fair. Well, people here know how to put on a fair, believe me.

Eleven-year-old Bobby Hansen was one of the three hundred extras–farmers most of them. He had the big lights of the city on his mind. If I pull this off, I’ll change my name to Bobby Handsome. Yes, that’s a splendid idea. Yes, splendid. I have rehearsed until my toes hurt. Gotta get it right. One shot. Come on Bobby, you can do it!

It was on. Three hundred people at a fair. “Action!” the director called. “Two minutes, camera’s rolling.”

Bobby thought, Now get into your role. Kid at the water fountain.

The director yelled, “Cut! Print! Thanks, folks”. And it was over.

Bobby was stumped. But he figured it like this. Sure, doing movies is a great life. I think I might just stay where I am though. You see, it’s hard to stay on top when you’re an extra.

That’s all.


By jamesghutcheson

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