surfing the net one day, I happened to stumble upon beinamovie.com,
which offered an opportunity to be an extra in the Adam Sandler and
Jack Nicholson film, Anger Management at Yankee Stadium. Since I am
an amateur filmmaker and actor (currently in a film called Fight
to Dawn), I decided that this would be an enlightening experience
for me and my filmmaking comrades.
13 spots for June 21st, the first day of shooting. The day after I reserved
my spot, I made sure to ask everyone (twelve people) in Fight
to Dawn if they were down for the 21st. I got a lot of replies
like, Hey Mike thats sounds cool, count me in and
Yo Mike, are you serious? and Mike, I guess Ill
go if everyone else is. So naturally, on the evening of the 21st,
I only got two other people (my friends Terrence and Kyle) to come with
The e-mails sent to me from beinamovie.com hyped this shoot up to the
max. I was told many things. Upon arrival, I was promised a Snack
Pack, consisting of a fruit, a pastry, a bag of chips, a piece
of candy, and a refreshing beverage. While reading this I thought, hey
this does not sound half bad. But wait, there was more! I would
also get an unlimited amount of stadium food. I was also guaranteed
that a Be an Extra table would be set up for people interested
in the Star Life. I was also told to print out (using my
expensive laser printer ink) 10 pages of confirmations and affidavits.
So I was ready on the 21st.
The evening finally arrived and all three of us were set to go. I persuaded
Kyle to drive because his car was much crappier than mine (well, my
mothers car but that isnt the point) was and we were
going to the Bronx. He agreed and his father, who is a fire marshal
at the fire house nearest to Yankee Stadium, let us park the car at
the firehouse and had a friend drive us to the stadium.
We arrived about 15 minutes late, and I was nervous as hell because
on of those confirmation papers told us that we may not get in 15 minutes
after the scheduled time. Well when we got there, there was a line that
made us question whether it is we really wanted to be here. Ten minutes
later, we got to the desk and were asked for the signed affidavit. While
walking through the door, everyone got a wrist band. Some guy named
Manwell, who thought he was a real comedian, fastened our wristbands.
He seemed to have a crack for everyone, because when I got up there
he told me to close my mouth because my braces might shine too much
light into the camera. Yo, what kind of crap is that? I almost gave
Manwell a damn Dentene Ice before he killed all the damn extras. (trust
me, his breath was critical and dangerous). When he got to Kyle, all
Kyle got was a What kind of parents would name their kid Kyle?
Hardy Har Har - I hope this guy had no part in the Anger Management
script. Of course, he put the wristband on so that the tape would rip
about 10 strands of hair off your arm when you take it off.
Well we got to the door and all I could think was Snack Pack
(we decided not to go to McDonalds that night because we were going
to be fed). Boy, I couldnt wait to rip into that pastry. I was
handed a damn plastic bag with a warm Capri sun, a tiny pack of two
hard cookies, a fully bruised banana, and a Hersheys Kiss. It
was an outrage. I drank the Capri sun, ate the Kiss, and gave the rest
to Terrence (who decided to give me back the empty plastic bag to throw
So then we were lead to the bleachers of Yankee Stadium and thought,
ok now we are in action. Since we were late, we were led into the emptiest
part of Yankee Stadium, far from civilization. Our group leader (who
we were supposed to be with the entire night), Danny, spoke to us for
10 minutes about nothing important (except for the fact that he would
make sure we got our dinner pack), and led us to the action. Once we
were situated with the other extras, I never saw Danny again. Now we
were on one side, and the cameras were way on the other side. Kyle,
Terrence, and I were having a hard time trying to see Woody Harrelson
and Adam Sandler as they walked in and, of course, the tallest guy in
creation (whom I properly dubbed, Big Country) decided to
stand on a freaking chair in front of us. This too, was an outrage.
We decided that we were not going to get anything out of sitting so
far, so we decided to make our move towards the cameras gradually. We
moved a couple sections over and were lucky enough to get to sit behind
a group of water throwing college students. One girl poured two bottles
of water on some guys lap. Well, as long as I did not get wet,
I was happy. Five minutes later, some guy named Dante, who was supposed
to entertain the crowd, came around with his comedy routine. It seemed
like nothing he said was funny. However, the insults from the crowd
had me dying of laughter. Five minutes after that, I watched one of
the college students take a swig of water and decide to throw the quarter
filled bottle onto the field. What prompted him to do that? I dont
know. However, a Production Assistant saw the bottle fly and told him
to get out. Being the brave guy he was, he proceeded to try to persuade
the P.A. that he did not do it and, when asked who did it, turned around
and began to point at us, until he saw Terrence who is a big
guy. He and his college friends were escorted out of the building and
all of a sudden, the noise level went down tremendously.
At about 11 P.M., we decided to make another move towards the camera.
We got close enough to possibly be in the shot. Unfortunately, the director
decided to call that scene a wrap and moved to another section, which
OF COURSE was the section that we just moved from. We
decided to try and get back to our seats, when a little lady, another
PA (who I dubbed Mini Ally McBeal), went psycho on us and gave us a
little interrogation: What are you guys doing? You must get to
your seats or we will have you removed! This isnt a place for
tomfoolery! I mean, her frail little nervous 5-foot body yelling
at us? Terrence and I are both 63. It was a sight
that made even us laugh. Therefore, very politely I told her to calm
down and explained what we were doing. She eventually allowed us pass.
Finally, we made it into a section where we were sure to be in a shot.
It was about 12 A.M. when the cameras were finally positioned properly
and I saw many people with the coveted dinner packs. Now, I was about
to get up when a PA (who I suitably dubbed Baldy) instructed us to sit
down and promised that our dinner packs would be brought to us. A half
hour passed and I still did not get my dinner pack. I called the guy
over and politely asked about it. He told me to be patient and that
I would eventually get mine. I trusted this guy, I really did. Another
half hour passed and it seemed like everyone around us were eating.
Now I was getting angry. Kyle was telling me that I should make a run
for it and go get our own dinner pack. I refused Baldy promised
me my damn dinner pack and I want him to run his self in back and get
me one. Kyle proceeded to explain that Baldy did not give a damn about
me. I waited about 15 minutes and started to complain: Listen
man I did not come here and wait 4 damn hours for free for a
damn banana and Hidden Spring water you told my friends and I
that we would be served dinner packs, and I would like it Now!
He finally agreed and brought us our dinner packs. Unfortunately, the
meal was awful a tortilla filled with lettuce, tofu, and melted
cheese. I took one bite and threw the rest out. At least I got potato
chips and another Capri Sun. That was our unlimited stadium food
There was an unlimited amount of uneaten tortillas throughout the stadium.
It was an outrage.
Now the acting began. The director instructed the crowd to pretend that
the teams were on the field warming up before the game and that the
audience was just arriving. Sandler was supposed to go down one of the
aisles onto the field. Our job was not to pay much attention to Sandler
but to find our seats and the players on the field. I thought that these
people were competent enough to understand that. As soon as the director
called Action people went mad. The stood on the seats, waved
their caps, yelled to Adam, etc. Yeah, as if they actually thought they
would get on film like that. So, the director explained to them the
deal and, after about 100 takes (ok about 95), the people finally understood.
At about 2:30, Terrence started getting terrified, because his curfew
was at 2:00. He kept telling us that we had to go but didnt tell
us before we went that he had to get back to a certain time. We were
not about to leave. His parents are very strict and he kept talking
about his mother putting him over his knee which is highly impossible
(trust me). I gave him a dollar in change to call his mother. He woke
her up and she told him, in a cold voice, to get home within an hour.
Again, we were not about to leave. I could not conceive how an 18-year-old
man has a damn curfew on a Friday night. I mean, it is not as if he
had anything important to do at 4:30 in the morning. So, for the rest
of the night
I mean morning, he was in a nervous, jumpy,
agitated, and angry mood.
The last scene (and the simplest) was shot in the distance at 4:45 and
it took place in the far bleachers. It called for many real people to
be mixed in with cardboard people, which when shot from a distance,
would look real. Now the three of us knew that we would not get our
close-up, but we chose our location carefully we sat on the top
row right in front of the yellow Snapple sign. The director told the
three of us to stand up and walk around. Kyle and I walked and talked
realistically, while Terrence (still nervous) paced briskly back and
forth in front of the Snapple sign. It isnt as boring as it sounds.
Kyle and I were cracking up at the acting of people who thought that
the camera would pick up on it. One man, an above middle aged black
man with a tacky suit, decided that it was necessary to walk all the
way up from the second row, look at the Snapple sign, put his hands
up, say Ah hah, turn around like Michael Jackson, jook and
jive his way over to us, shake both of our hands while briskly nodding
his head, tell us hi and call us youngsters, lean on the Snapple sign,
pretend to drink something, and then stride on back down to the second
row. I appropriately dubbed that man Slim Shady Grady. Now,
of course, the director wanted that scene to be perfect so he shot it
about 94 more times (as usual) and every time that man got up, Kyle
and I began to crack up.
Now it was 5:30 and the director called the shoot a wrap. Terrence was
more nervous than I had ever seen him before. As we were walking out,
we noticed packs upon packs of Capri Sun drinks (obviously for the other
days of shooting). A little kid, about 14 years old went to take some
but his mother called him back. What do you know? Ol Slim Shady
Grady turned the corner and eyed the drinks. When I looked back,
I saw him struggling to rip the bag open. Kyle and I were in hysterics.
He had to be the sleaziest man we have ever met.
then realized that we would not have a ride back to the Fire House.
So we had to walk about 10 blocks to get back. About half way, Terrence
asked me for the time. I told him it was 6:07 and spontaneously jumped
up and kicked the gate. I proceeded to explain to him that he wasnt
late anymore, he was early so his parents cannot really get mad
He wasnt buying all that jazz. We were clear of traffic on the
way back, but took a wrong turn and accidentally went into JFK airport.
JFK airport, unfortunately, makes you go through the whole airport before
it lets you out. We got back on the Van Wyck expressway and hit traffic.
Terrence did not get home until 7:15. We both felt guilty, but the guilt
was overpowered by the humorous situation.
Well, I learned a valuable lesson; do not expect the red carpet treatment
as an extra, especiall y if you are a free extra. The whole evening
was full of misfortune and stress. I guess it is ironic that the movie
is rightfully dubbed, Anger Management.