I’d always wanted to be in a movie, so when I heard Disney was doing a remake of That Darn Cat forty-five minutes from my town in SC, I decided to do what I could to be involved. There was a casting call in Edgefield, where most of the movie was shot, so I drove over there, along with hundreds of other hopefuls. After finally finding the gymnasium, I stood in a line an hour and a half. I heard it was extremely important for extras to be available, so I wrote on my application that I’d be free any day but Sundays.
I also mailed in an application and photo, and I attended another casting call. I guess my persistence and availability paid off, because I received a phone call for a fitting. It was a strange situation in which a French woman with red-on-black hair spoke in fast, incomprehensible sentences. Someone wanted me to wear a thin, hideous dress in the freezing temperatures that were coming, and I was told the plaid pants I had on would be good for the movie, but not the boots, tailored jacket, and other items I brought, because they were too formal.
When I learned my report time was six-thirty, I thought, A.M.? I needed to get ready, pile my “extra” clothes in the car and allow an hour for the forty-five minute drive to Edgefield, so I woke up at 4:15. I’d slept little before heading into the frosty darkness which cloaked the coldest morning of the season.
The drive was the easy part of the day, since I was relatively warm, and I knew where I was going. My problems started when I reached the little town, which seemed to be deserted, except for a contraption moving back and forth over the road that led to the town square where someone was supposed to meet me. I was twenty minutes early, but I felt trapped and lost. After waiting for perhaps ten minutes, I finally zoomed across the road when the machine paused for a few moments, then I parked on the square, which was completely dark and empty. Venturing out with my armful of clothes and a tote bag, I wandered around aimlessly until spotting a faint light coming from a little yellow building at the bottom of a hill.
Hoping I’d found my destination, I moved through the frozen air to the driveway, where people stood around a long table laden with breakfast items. Breathless, I asked a young lady, “Do you know where the extras are?”
“No,” came her apathetic answer, and I continued toward the back of the building.
“Are the extras in here?” I asked a man near the door.
“They sure are–come on in,” he said in a cheerful voice.
I really liked him, and I loved the warmth that enveloped me as I stepped into the room filled with a variety of people. Spotting a large table where bewildered faces stared at the surroundings, I realized I’d finally found my group. How they managed to get there without my noticing them, I’ll never know, but I was thankful to unload my belongings and sit down. Then I felt like I was in Hollywood when a handsome young man wearing a cowboy hat and a fringed jacket appeared and handed me some papers to fill out. I’d barely finished when a man with a blond ponytail came into the room, looking around until his eyes rested on me. He hurried over.
“You need to come with me now,” he said. “Are your papers signed?” He checked with Dallas, who handled the paperwork, then he pulled me outside. It was getting light, but the cold morning chill persisted. Ponytail handed a phone to me, saying, “When we get to the set, hand this to a guy named Rick.”
He told me to sit on the back of something that looked like a golf cart, and I faced back- wards as we started up the hill I’d just come down. I was just beginning to relax when we stopped at the top of the hill, then took off suddenly. The plastic seat was slippery, and I started sliding toward the road!