When I came to live near the town of Mt Shasta for a year in the mid-1970s, I had no idea that I would end up on the silver screen.
Our household responded to a local casting call, launching short-lived but glorious stints as extras. The star-studded cast of Baby Blue Marine included Jan Michael Vincent, Glynnis O’Connor, Richard Gere, and Katherine Helmond. I was cast for several roles: a moviegoer sitting in a dark theater; a pedestrian in the street after the movie; a guy sitting in the stands at a football game; a uniformed football player sitting on the bench; a guy milling around in the crowd at the same football game; one of several people riding in the back of a truck. No speaking parts, but oh, the memories!
Because I’m tall and easy to spot in a crowd, I’m actually recognizable several times in the movie.
Things I remember most clearly:
- The catered meals were good.
- We got paid $25 a day.
- A guy showed me how to use a cup of warm water with some little bits of cooked pasta in it to simulate a sneeze onto the back of someone’s neck. We did it several times – to good effect – while standing in line for lunch.
- One of the men in our household played a minister greeting his flock following a Sunday service. As the principal actors walked away after shaking his hand, one remarked, “That was the worst sermon I’ve ever heard.”
- The movie actually ran in theaters, and I saw it several times, including once with my parents and once with a good friend.
For some reason Baby Blue Marine has yet to be released on video or DVD – probably waiting for assurances that production will be able to keep up with demand. If you hear about it coming out before I do, please be sure to let me know.