Casting call on the second day of shooting was a much more normal 12pm. I can do noon. What nobody quite knew at that point was that shooting would end up going until 4am Wednesday. Luckily for me, I was done just past 6pm.
So day two…Well it started with work. I got dressed and ate breakfast as normal and went into work until about 11:55. I actually got a lot done, so it was a good day.
After leaving the pressbox I proceeded out to the tents in the parking lot and back to wardrobe. I got my uniform back sans socks. They were still in the process of washing our red leggings, so I kept my black dress socks on, dressed and headed to the dugout. My team started trickling in and were all settled by about 12:45. Then the waiting game began. Well, waiting and sock hunting.
As my team began arriving in the dugout I noticed some of them began to have socks on. Me, being the guy wearing high socks for maximum TV visibility, needed to find out where they got those socks from. Turns out the laundry was done, so I trekked out to the back parking lot to pick up the final piece of my costume. This, by the way, was about a 5-7 minute walk. The wardrobe area was a long ways away from the visiting dugout.
Here’s where it gets fun. If I walk all the way out to get my socks, conventional wisdom says what? You guessed it…somebody else had walked the socks to the dugout. So I went back to the dugout, only to find the socks had been walked back out to wardrobe. So back to wardrobe I went, this time in receipt of socks…20 minutes later.
Shooting didn’t start until at least 1:30 and involved scenes at home plate. It was mostly about getting different shots and angles on Kenny Powers pitching to various members of our team in a climactic moment of the show. I was not a hitter or a baserunner in the scene, so I was in the dugout. I’m also pretty sure they didn’t shoot the dugout, so I don’t think I made the cut for this part.
What was outstanding about this part of filming was that the crew and cameras lined the infield from about shortstop to first base. Keep in mind they were shooting a hitter…who would be hitting the ball right back at them. The goal here was to hit the ball to an opening or at a guy with a glove placed around the infield. But there were still holes. Needless to say, the first hitter hit a absolute missile down the first base line and right over the top of what I presume is expensive equipment…but as NBC’s Len Berman says, “Nobody got hurt.”
Now, just because they didn’t explicitly shoot the dugout during all this didn’t mean some of us in the dugout didn’t do our best to get in front of the camera. One of our team’s “coaches” and I stood all the way to the right of the dugout (by the stairs). We began watching our “teammates” batting, and we did it very intently. I even shook my cap back and forth in front of the dugout netting like I was hoping for a rally. Our goal here was two-fold: 1) we were bored and this gave us something to do and 2) maybe our antics would get picked up in the corner of a wide shot.
Eventually we gave up our pursuits to capture the camera’s eye and the waiting game picked up again. There was some friendly chatter in the dugout. Some of us walked out to the concourse to ravage the food table (thank goodness for Otis Spunkmeyer). Then we started posing for pictures in the dugout (we may as well have some memories of our TV stardom) and we also watched paint dry. That is not a sarcastic comment. We actually watched paint dry.
While the shoot was going on out on the field, some members of the crew began preparing the dugout for the night’s shoot when the ballpark would be converted into another stadium. In order to create a change of scenery without actually changing venue, paint became involved. The crew rolled out a type of contact paper along the back wall of the dugout and painted it green. So yeah, we actually did watch paint dry.
So day two was not as exciting as day one, kind of anticlimactic actually, but it was still a fun experience altogether. When push comes to shove I was still an extra in a major television show and I still got a free ticket to have access to the set, see the stars of the show up close, and watch the magic of Hollywood take place before my eyes. If you told me to do it again would mean 16 hours of standing around and two hours of actual activity, I’d still probably jump at the chance. How many opportunities could I possibly have to be a part of something like that? Now comes the fun part — watching TV and looking for myself!