Recently, there was a solicitation in Gringo Tree (an expat communication forum) for 'Extras' to play a part in a video being produced and, hopefully, submitted to a film festival. They wanted someone over 50 (dammit), preferrably blond (check), and stunningly good looks (check, and double check check). OK OK!!...so I made up the last part!!! I thought, what the heck, something different to do, another adventure, and I had been an Extra before, back in my Hollywood days in the mid-80's.
Five of us were selected. We showed up at the appointed time of 9:30am on Saturday, at the Cuenca municipal cemetery. We hadn't a clue what the storyline was and why it involved a cemetery. We waited, and waited, and waited until a few were threatening to leave because the crew hadn't shown up. After all, as non-Ecuadorians, we are used to showing up on time and consider it rude to be late and keep others waiting. On top of that, no one had bothered to call to inform us why they were late or when they might arrive. But, EC'rs are known not to be punctual. In fact, it's almost opposite in that it is considered rude if you are told to come to someone's house at 7pm for dinner and you show up at 7pm. It is common to be 'late' as much as an hour. Go figure.
After 45 minutes of waiting and chatting amongst us ex-pats and sharing our stories, I decided to call the lead person's cell phone but only got voicemail and left a message. About 15 minutes later Hernan returned the call and said they were running late (DUH) and would be there in 10.
A bunch of people showed up with many of them dressed in whacky costumes and makeup. The brief synopsis of the scene to be shot was....a family of clowns and magicians are at the cemetery carrying the casket of their father. One of the sons, who the family tried and tried to teach him how to be a clown but he failed miserably, is also carrying the casket but he's dressed in a suit as he eventually became a bank teller. As they are gaily carrying the casket through the cemetery grounds, a group of tourists (enter us) notices them and is intrigued by their uniqueness and starts taking photos of them. The clowns love the camea so they start showing off for the tourists which causes more camera clicking. I leap into the scene and get a fellow tourist to take a picture of me hamming it up with one of the sons/clowns...all with the casket and mourning widow behind us. Yeah, yeah, weird, I know. It's ART!!!
A few takes and retakes and CUT!! THAT'S A WRAP!! That was it. Back home by 1pm.
|The backdrop of the scene. These graves obviously are for the more wealthy as they occupy the ground and are quite large.|
|An antique Hearse.|
|Hernan, the director, and some of the cast.|
|She is the wife of one of the Extra's. I swear she looks like Carol Burnett (tho not so much in this pic) and I felt like I was talking TO CB. I finally asked her, and she had never heard of looking like CB. WHA????|
|The grieving widow.|
|More of the cemetery. Some of these actually house a casket, whereas other structures are only deep enough for urns. Most have lockable glass doors that family can open and put flowers, trinkets, photos, etc inside.|