Thursday, October 8, 2009

Star Trek

A few posts back I told you all when I have some down time I was going to write about my past experiences. Well, this could be the best.

One afternoon my phone rings and I pick it up. "Hello." I said. "Hey bro, what you doing?" It was my roommate on the other line. "Not much." "You should go to this open call I just heard about for the new 'Star Trek' film." I was excited. "Yea? What's it for?" "Not sure but you should check it out. It's out in the Valley around 9 this weekend." So I hang up the phone and find out all the information for it.

I head to the open call not knowing what to expect. Is it an extra call? Is it for featured extras? Is it for speaking roles? I didn't know what to think, so I stood in the line of thousands with my headshot in hand. Now I've always hated "Cattle Calls." I don't do them. But for this particular one, it was worth the wait. I go in with my group still not knowing what's going on. Are we auditioning? What's the deal?! I hand in the form they had me fill out and my headshot/resume. They take a picture of me and say, "thanks for coming in." I was like, "That's it?" Now I knew it was an extra call.

I had done extra work once before and that was on Spider-Man 3. It was a fun experience and I met some cool people on set. Plus it was the first time I was ever in New York...God I love that town. So when I thought about Star Trek I thought why not, another big movie. I got the call and I was excepted to be an extra in the film. I was happy because I didn't know what this meant because unlike Spider-Man 3...they were in the future. They didn't look...human. Well, most of them. So I started getting excited not knowing what was going to happen! The day I was called in, it was a 4am call time. UGG! Could you make it any earlier? I got to bed pretty early that night, around 10pm. The drive was pretty long too. When I arrived on set they had breakfast waiting. Now anybody that knows me knows...I can eat like a PIG. Even the last short I shot the director goes, "Geez...you sure do eat a lot." haha. So I had plate, after plate, after plate of food. I started thinking, "What if this is how I make it. The casting directors notice me eating all their food and are like, 'wow...this kid is the real deal!" haha. So I'm sitting there when someone asks me to come with them. Oh shit...did I just get busted for eating too much?! I get up and follow her. She takes me to the hair/make up area. They sit me down and give me a hair cut. I needed one too! Then they comb it the way they want. Then they take me to makeup and the guy does my makeup, camera ready. While i was sitting there, I have a cousin wanting to become a makeup artist in the industry, so I used this time to ask questions for her. The makeup artist was awesome and gave me some good points to share with her. She's doing great now going to school for hair/makeup.

After the hair and makeup they take me to wardrobe. I find out I'm going to be a "Starfleet Cadet." Which is a student at the Starfleet Academy. They find me an uniform and I try it on. It's a bit too big. They have a tailor come in and custom tailor it to my body. By this time everyone is already on set doing their thing. I'm sitting back there with one of the AD's or he could've just been an extras director, who knows, but as I'm with him I might as well make conversation. So we start talking about what I do and what he does. Where we both want to end up and all that jazz. This is when I wished I had a business card. Anyway, they come back with the new and improved uniform. I put it on and it fits like a glove. Myself and the AD start walking to set. The AD gets on the walkie talkie and says, "He's ready. Are you guys ready for him?" I start thinking, 'is that for me? am I him?' The person on the other end says, "give us a second." So we stop walking. I'm really stoked to get out on set! It's almost like a glimpse into the future. This is what it will be like for me with stand ins and what not. Who knows the possibilities. I snap out of my daydream when he tells me, "Ok...they're ready for you." He walks me out and they bring me to position. They have aliens walking around. A futuristic car driving around and a bunch of other cadets. Then I see Captain James Kirk and Doctor Bones rehearsing their lines. J.J. Abrams is calling "action." So we all start walking around. Despite it just being extra work I got into it. There was this cute girl walking around and so I did what i would normally do walking to class, turn and look and let her know I think she's cute. She played off of me. It's like we made our own little story in the background.

After a long day the sun was beating in my face they call Lunch. I go grab my lunch (I was starving! Despite the 3 breakfasts) and sit alone and eat. While I'm eating I notice this guy staring at me. Did I have something on my face? He walks over to me and says, "I'm a big fan..." holding out his hand. Then he pauses..."Wait...you're not Karl Urban." i said, "Who?" and he said, "The guys that's playing Bones." I said, "Nope...not him." and he says, "Geez...from a distance you look a lot like him." I said, "Cool." He walked away a little embarrassed. I could've played with the guy and been like, "Actually I am Karl Urban." but I didn't. After lunch we went back out to set and that's when I decided, "I should take something." So the girl and I noticed a piece was missing off the wall. A Star Trek room number. I found it on the ground and was like, "umm...how could I take this?" Then I decided to throw it on the ground and just come back after everything is wrapped and take it home. Well, it didn't even make it past one take. An AD or set designer noticed it missing and found it on the ground and put it back up. DAMN! Well I was finally cut at 8pm. We took a group photo but that photo is long gone. Maybe it's up in JJ Abrams house somewhere. That would be cool. I would love to see it someday.

All in all it was a day too remember. Oh and when I got home I looked up Karl Urban. Yea I don't see it AT ALL. The guy is much older than me. I think it's cause he has tanner skin and dark hair. Oh well. I had a blast either way and am proud to be apart of that film. Hence why there is a credit for it on my IMDb page.

Cheers,
Jonathan Baca

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