Big Question Marks

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Flexing Those Acting Muscles: Part II

And oh yes, there is more. We're not sure why our acting skills are in such high demand (although our asking price is pretty low...).

This time, the organization Dayle was working for in Surfers was filming a TV ad for an upcoming event, and the colleague organizing the PR was desperately in need of extras on short notice. All we had to do was show up at Benihana, the Japanese restaurant in the Marriott Hotel, for about 45 minutes on a Thursday morning and look amazed by a teppanyaki chef working his cooking magic. Sure, why not?

Since we were both free that day, we arrived at the very fancy lobby of the Marriott that rainy morning in our snazzy clothes (having been asked to dress as though we were "going 5-star dining"). We had pictured a full restaurant of people, but the setting was a little more intimate than that: it was actually just us and five others, seated around a wide table with a hot grill in the middle of it, huddled around a chef.

Our little nook was gorgeous, we must note, and looked out onto a Japanese garden quite reminiscent of that final dramatic scene from Kill Bill. We only hoped that some samurais would get out there and do a little battle in the rain for us. Or better yet, Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu! And yes, and the restaurant itself was pretty impressive, too.

Unlike us extras, the chef seemed quite comfortable in front of the camera, being used to putting on a show for restaurant patrons every evening with his big teppanyaki blades and forks. He made a steaming volcano out of onion rings, he flipped prawns into his hat, drummed complicated rhythms with his spice canisters, and lit things on fire as we oohed and aahhed and clapped (no acting skills needed there). Then he tossed food at us — and seeing as we hadn't thought to practice catching rice and prawns with our mouths, most of us ended up with foodstuffs all over our fancy clothing. *Le sigh.* In no time at all, the cameraman had tons of footage and told our chef it was cool to stop cooking — but he was intent on making us a full dinner at 10:30am! Finally, we convinced him that he'd done a great job and he could leave his grill behind, and what else could we do? We all pigged out on delicious Japanese grilled dinner and wine (a prop that definitely could not go to waste) not two hours after we'd eaten breakfast. Ah well, the life of an extra!

Even though Adrian was much more keen to be on camera (and got covered with a lot more flying food) Dayle ended up with a foreground spot in the commercial... which was a little hilarious to see on our television, playing in a commercial break during Law and Order. So apparently Dayle's stint on Romper Room wasn't the last of her TV career....

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