I’m all about people fawning all over me in public and telling me I’m pretty.
I can sign a mean autograph.
And, while I’ve never personally experienced the lap of luxury, I’m pretty sure I’d be a natural at sitting in it.
Despite my obvious calling, I have yet to get my big break. Probably because you actually need ambition or visible ankles to make it in the entertainment world these days.
Sadly, I have neither.I did have one brief brush with fame while I was working as an intern at Saturday Night Live during my junior year of college. One of the perks of being an intern there, aside from finding out what famous people like Kevin Spacey eat for lunch (Chinese chicken salad, by the way), was that you got to be an extra on the show once during your internship.
I had high hopes for my brief stint on the small screen. Maybe this was finally it – my chance to be discovered!
When I showed up on set for the rehearsal of the scene I was in, the person directing the extras pointed at me and said, “You, behind the door.”
I stared dumbstruck at the man.
Behind the what-what?
Surely they weren’t going to hide this light behind that bushel!
After the initial shock wore off, I scurried off to take my place behind the door.
Because, as they say, opportunity only knocks once. And, heck, if opportunity is going to come around knocking, you might as well be standing behind a door. You know, so you can open the door really quickly and trap opportunity before it runs away.Given the fact that my big chance at American fame was spent standing behind a large piece of plywood, it’s no wonder that I enjoy being treated like a minor celebrity here in China.
Sure, it can be annoying having people stare at you all the time, but, for the most part, I really don’t mind being the center of attention.
In fact, I kind of like it.
Besides, Fate owes me one. I mean, aren’t we all supposed to get fifteen minutes of fame? Surely, fifteen minutes behind a door doesn’t count.My favorite part about being a minor celebrity in Asia is being asked to do fun, minor celebrity-type things – things I would never get asked to do in the States.
In Japan, I marched in parades and made an appearance on a local game show. I even had a brief stint as a brochure model.
Let’s just say, stuff like that doesn’t really happen to me in the States. Because, apparently, in the States, models are expected to have ankles.Then last week, opportunity knocked again.
Or called. Because, really, who knocks on doors anymore?
On Friday, a colleague of mine called to ask me if I wanted to be in a film with her. She said that she had been approached by a guy in a bar claiming to be a film producer. He said he was looking for two foreign women to be in a movie that was being filmed in the area, and he wanted to know if she and a friend could do it.
Okay, so, you know, now that I wrote that all out, I do have to admit that the situation totally sounds major sketchy.
But any amount of healthy skepticism I should really have about this sort of thing is instantly drowned out by the voice in my head that shouts, “Movie? I want to be in a movie!”Luckily, the film ended up being legit.
Well, as legit as things can get in China.
My friend and I were picked up in a van along with a German guy and an Australian girl who had also been asked to be in the movie. We arrived on set to find lots of old-timey buildings (and you know how I love me some old timey buildings!). There were tons of Chinese people milling around in old timey costumes and even an old timey car. And, then there was the director who chain-smoked and barked orders at his staff.
It was all very Hollywood. Well, the B-movie version of Hollywood where the sets all look like this:
Then, he pointed at me. “You, no action.”
Umm, what the what-what?
Didn’t this guy know who I was?
I was practically Japan’s Next Top Brochure Model!
If anyone was cut out for a life of Chinese celebrity, it was totally me!
My friend and her new acting buddies were ushered off to the costume truck, where they were decked out in their own old-timey costumes, while I milled around the set waiting to see if I would eventually be called into the action.
Maybe they just wanted to give me some time to get into character.
Or maybe they were looking for a super awesome old timey costume for me. Or at least one that would fit.
Or maybe they had recognized me from my work from behind the door while on Saturday Night Live, and they knew an actress of my caliber was meant for better things than a measly role as an extra. It’s possible their scriptwriters were hurriedly writing up a whole new character just for me.So while I milled around and waited for opportunity to knock on my door (or at least tap me on the shoulder or something), I took lots of pictures of the old-timey buildings.
And of the director and his crew.
And of the extras doing their extra thang.
And of a random goat that just happened to be around. Because every movie set should really have a goat.
I also struck up a conversation with a cute, French actor who had a speaking role in the film. He seemed confused as to why I was wandering around the set for no apparent reason. I’d like to think his confusion lent me a certain je ne sais quoi.Unfortunately, for the three hours that I spent on the set, I never did get my chance to be on film.
But I haven’t given up all hope that I may get my big break in China one day.
After all, I did give the producer my phone number.
You know, just in case opportunity wants to send me a text message sometime.Have you ever been almost famous? Tell me about it. And then send me your autograph.