A couple of years ago, the Cowboy and the Bag Lady were sitting around, having a beer with friends, when the Cowboy suddenly piped up that he needed to go to the Big City. Now the Bag Lady is accustomed to, if nothing else, being occasionally surprised by her cowboy, so she asked why he needed to go to the Big City.
“I want to be in a movie.”
“Don’t we all…but why do you need to go to the Big City?”
“So I can be in a movie.”
And on it went, until finally the Cowboy confessed he had been watching the news one night and they had a story about a Western being shot in the city, and that there was a casting call for extras the next day.
So, off they went the next day. The casting call was on all day, and when they arrived at around 4 in the afternoon, the 4-person deep line-up snaked through the lobby of the huge hotel, out the door and almost the entire city block around the building! The Cowboy, needless to say, was slightly taken aback, and immediately discouraged.
The Bag Lady, on the other hand, after sitting in a vehicle for almost 5 hours, really needed to use the privy! She had no experience in the movie business, but she did have some experience with casting calls, so she marched up to the person holding a clipboard in front of the door and asked what the procedure was. She was told that even the casting company was surprised at the turn-out and had just then decided that they were going to have to hand out sheets to be filled out and mailed in.
So the Bag Lady found the woman handing out the sheets, got the instructions (used the privy!) and away the two of them went, off home again. They were in the Big City approximately 20 minutes! (On the road 9 hours, mind you!)
Once home, they took some photos, filled out the sheet and mailed it in. Eventually, the casting call and the Cowboy’s desire to be in a movie slipped to the backs of their minds.
Many months later, while sitting around drinking beer with (different) neighbours, the phone rang. The fellow nearest to the phone snatched it up and answered with some smart-ass remark. The smile on his face quickly turned into amazement, and he handed the phone to the cowboy, saying “It’s the movie company…”
Turns out the Cowboy had been chosen as an extra for the movie! Out of the 30-some-thousand people who had shown up for the casting call! Away he went to the Big City for a costume fitting, and was told to expect a call sometime soon. In due time, the call came and away he went. They were filming a night shot, on a train. As is often the case in the movie business (apparently), the extras spent a lot of time sitting around, waiting. They were finally called to the train, and the cowboy ambled along whilst other, more experienced extras raced past him. In the mad rush, a little old lady was knocked off her feet, so the cowboy stopped and helped her up, retrieved her cane, dusted her off and ushered her to the train.
Unbeknownst to the cowboy, this act of common courtesy was to be his undoing. There were far too many extras for the scene being shot, so the cowboy lost out on being in the scene.
When he finally arrived home at 6 in the morning, after driving all night, he told the Bag Lady that he was thoroughly disgusted with the “movie business” and especially the crass behavior of the other extras. He wasn’t raised that way, and couldn’t believe they would treat a little old lady with such disrespect. Off to bed he went.
A couple hours later, the phone rang and the Bag Lady answered it. It was the casting company, asking if the cowboy could return to the set that night for another segment they were shooting. The Bag Lady told the woman she would pass along the message. When the Cowboy woke up, he was duly informed, and after a little prodding and some consideration, decided that, okay, he would try again. So back to the city he drove (remember, this was a 4 and a half hour drive, one way).
The Bag Lady was quite relieved when the Cowboy arrived home in a euphoric mood the next day. This had been a totally different experience. There were only a few extras because they were shooting exteriors of the train. They just needed a few faces at the windows.
The best part of the night, he explained had come after the shoot. The entire cast was fed in a mess tent, and when he entered the tent, one of the costume ladies brought him his rather distinctive cowboy hat, with some line about how the bowler hat they had given him to wear for the scene didn’t suit him and he should have his own hat. A few minutes later, he realized why they had given him his own hat when one of the stars of the movie approached him and told him he wanted to shake the hand of the man who lost his place on the train because he stopped to help a little old lady! To this day, the cowboy doesn’t really know how Sam Sheppard learned of the event, but it was pretty cool that he acknowledged the Cowboy's actions. And yes, ladies, he met Brad Pitt, too!
The Bag Lady really is about to make a point here…the movie finally came out, and it was showing in town, so the Bag Lady and the Cowboy and several members of their extended family attended the movie the other night. We’ll have to buy the DVD in order to be certain, but the Bag Lady was pretty positive that she saw a newspaper being held in one of the windows of the train, and the Cowboy was the only one with a newspaper for a prop.
As far as a review of the movie goes, you’ll have to get that from somewhere else. The Bag Lady is no movie critic, and she isn’t about to ruin it for anyone else. Suffice it to say that by half-way through the movie, the Bag Lady was ready to shoot him herself, just to get to get the damned thing over with! YAWN!