My day as a Spin City extra
I was sitting at my desk when I got "the call" from Time Warner Cable. "You've won a walk-on on Spin City!" I didn't even remember entering. I did remember sending numerous emails to firstname.lastname@example.org complaining about Roadrunner not being available in Park Slope. But a contest...didn't ring a bell.
Nevertheless, two weeks later I was flown to L.A. on JetBlue Airways. I also got a free car and room at the snazzy Ramada Inn in West Hollywood. "Elton John's favorite" the brochure read. My boyfriend and I checked out the local scene but passed up wetting our whistles at Trunks.
Friday was the big day. My chance at stardom! My chance to meet...Heather Locklear!
Heather...your start as Sammy Jo on "Dynasty"...officer Stacy Sheridan on "TJ Hooker".... and Alex Burton on the oft-forgotten "Going Places." But who can forget the role you were born to play - Amanda Woodward! So many a Wednesday, and then Monday night when the schedule changed, I followed your story. When you bought the building and proceeded to sleep with everyone there! When you told off Kimberly (and Brooke, and Jane, and Billy, and...)! When you were struck down with cancer but came back stronger than ever! Your no-nonsense gruff ad agency exterior couldn't hide the temptress beneath, and the fragile soul beneath that. You were so much more than a guest star. You were Amanda Woodward.
But I digress.
I will spare you the detailed account of the six hours that followed, which consisted entirely of my walking in and out of scenes holding a stack of files. Basically, being an extra sucks. With a big S. You're corralled in the "holding pen" until you're needed in a scene. You're not allowed to talk to the stars, and you're lucky if you don't get cut out of the episode. All this for a measly sixty bucks.
Fast forward to the end of the night. After we wrapped, it was meet and greet on the set. Stupid me didn't know I could bring a camera, so I don't have any shots of me with the cast. I got some of them to sign my script, including Heather Locklear.
Our conversation went something like this:
As the words came out of my mouth, Heather looked at me, tilted her head, and for a split second I could swear I saw a look of sadness pass over her face as she said..."Me too."
Me too. These words of confession rose up as if freed from deep within. She quickly looked around to see if anyone had overheard her. The sad look vanished as quickly as it had appeared. As if to exorcise the demons of Melrose Place she threw up her hands and exclaimed...
"But this is great, too!"
I smiled and nodded, and agreed along, though we both knew the truth had been spoken. For a passing moment, Heather Locklear and I bonded over Melrose Place.
It's a moment I will treasure forever.