An advertisement for a trip to Yellowstone National Park

By John Pierce

“Do it again. And again.”My daughter Abigail and I were caught in a rain delay during the Braves-Marlins game at Turner Field today. Yes, today. Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010.

We were “extras,” seated seven rows behind actors Ryan Reynolds and Olivia Wilde in section 113 behind the first-base dugout. Universal Pictures was filming an upcoming movie titled “The Change-Up.”

Along with the stars, we were directed to cheer for the hometown Braves without showing anticipation of the “rain” that would be dropped on this cold sunny afternoon. On the first take, we rushed for cover a little too quickly, the director said.

So we were directed back to our wet seats — while Ryan and Olivia were given dry shirts and touch-ups from the makeup artist.

The behind-the-scenes perspective was interesting although moviemaking is very, very slow. We were compensated handsomely for our time and talents with a Hebrew National hot dog and a donation made in our names to the Atlanta Braves Foundation.

Actor Ryan ReynoldsWe were headed to Atlanta anyway today, where the more dedicated actor in our family represented her school in the regional one-act play competition. So why not take a shot at being in a movie?

The call was for people to be cheering on the Atlanta Braves. So it was a role I’d been preparing for all my life. Well, not really; only since age 10.

Ab switched to her baseball cap and revealed her Braves shirt when the cameras were rolling.Costuming at home was no problem. Abigail and I have plenty of Braves-wear.  So we showed up ready for the shoot.

My foray into films likely began and ended today. Writing in coffee shops is more my style. And I kept reminding my daughter that very little film makes it to the big screen.

Our expectations are low, but we had fun together. And the assignment was no challenge at all. As the late Johnny Russell penned in a song that became hits for Buck Owens and Ringo Starr, “All I had to do was — act naturally.”

A few observations:

One, making a cameo appearance in a Braves uniform, John Smoltz looked like he could still get out a batter or two.

Two, surely some of Hollywood’s glamour gets washed away when stars must stay cold and wet for take-after-take of the same scene.

Three, and most importantly, from God’s perspective there are no extras; everyone gets equal billing. 

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