My favorite photo from my pirates experience. Me at the helm of the Black Pearl, and some great friends behind me (Ray & Jason) :~)
In the Winter of 2006 I achieved one of my ultimate goals. To be in a movie!!! And not just any movie, but one of the most successful film franchises in movie history. The Pirates of the Caribbean. AAAHHH!!!!
Now this whole experience actually started in Nov of 2005. When I first heard about an open call for clean cut caucasian men to portray British Soldiers in the new Pirates sequels. It just so happened that the cattle call was going to be in my hometown of Orlando, FL on the ONE day off I had that week. So I figured what the heck, I should go. Now, before I go any further let me just say I have been to a couple of these cattle calls in the past for films and such, and nothing EVER came out of them for me. But I thought maybe 3rd times a charm.
Yep that's me as a BAD ASS pirate!!! (make-up by Beth Newcomb)
So when Saturday rolled around I woke up early that morning......early for me anyway (10:00am, haha). Again this was my one day off and I had been in the middle of EXHAUSTING rehearsals for the Christmas parade at Walt Disney World all week long. So when I woke up, I thought "why am I doing this?" I was SO tired from my rehearsals and again I have never been offered anything from a cattle call in the past....... but I dragged myself out of bed, got cleaned up, and sleepily drove myself downtown.
Once I got there I saw there was already over a thousand guys in line, CRAP!!!! To be honest I almost just turned around. Agian this was my one day off, and I was gonna have to be at work again early the next day, for more Christmas rehearsals.
Me as an EITC British Soldier
But I figured I'm already here, I should just park my car and do it anyway. So after finding a place to park I got in line, and man what a line it was. Do people NOT read the bios of what the casting directors are looking for? The description said they wanted clean cut guys. Oh my CRAP!!! There were people in this line dressed in all kinds of CRAZY costumes from pirates to.... who knows what some of them were. I felt like I was in line for an American Idol audition, haha.
So anyways, again they were looking for guys to play British soldiers. As I stood in line I started to question what the heck I was doing there. I mean after all I'm not exactly the "soldier" type. I'm only about 5'7" and 136lbs. Not exactly the body type I think of when I see soldiers in the movies.
Me as a British Sailor
Plus there were these 2 guys in front of me in line who were about 6'2" and probably 190lbs of pure muscle......... I had no chance. Well after about 20 min in line I finally got to the front. The 2 guys in front of me gave there applications to the casting director, and after looking at them he told them to go inside....... of course, haha. Then I gave him my headshot & application, he looked at my photo, looked at me, looked back at my headshot and just said, "Thanks." Haha, that was it, not even 5 seconds with him and I was done, haha. "Oh well," I thought. At least I tried. And I still had the rest of the day to relax and recoup from my rehearsals.
Well flash forward to January 8th 2006. I was driving home from work and my cell phone started to ring.
Me in my pirate garb :~)
I didn't recognize the number so I just sent it to voicemail. After a couple minutes I noticed I had a message. So, I checked my mail and it was from a lady.... "Hi, my name is Jennifer and I'm calling from Pirates of the Caribbean........" Now being the dorky Disney World cast member that I was I thought to myself....... "Who the heck is Jennifer, and why is she calling me from the ride. I haven't been on that thing in like 3 years." (STUPID ME) Anyways, she continued to say she was helping cast the new sequels and she wanted to offer me a role in the 3rd film as an EITC British Soldier and to give her a call back ASAP. "WHAT!!!!!!!!!" I almost drove off of I-4 in shock. I couldn't believe it!!!! Was this a joke!?!
Well needless to say I INSTANTLY called her back and again she told me what she wanted to offer me.
Don't mess with me
And she asked if I could be in the Bahamas in 8 DAYS? Well, I told her I had to check with my manager at work. She understood completely and said to give her a call back tomorrow. Well the next day I went back into work and told my manager what had happened. She was almost more excited than I was (if you can believe that) and said she would take care of everything, so that I could have the time off I needed.
So, a very short 8 days later I was on a plane and on my way to 6 AMAZING (all expense paid) weeks in the Bahamas, WOO HOO!!! The next 6 weeks were incredible. I started off as the EITC British Soldier I was originally offered, but then I also became a British Sailor, and ultimately I was asked if I would like to be a Black Pearl Pirate.
The pirate crew
WOULD I? Of course I would!!! Who wouldn't want to be a Black Pearl Pirate in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, haha?
Well throughout the 6 weeks I was fortunate enough to meet & work with all of the stars of the films. Jonny, Kiera, Orlando, Bill Nighy (not the Science Guy), and everyone else. They were all great to work with, but the 2 nicest people on set were definitely Jonny Depp & Bill Nighy (Davey Jones). They went out of there way to talk to, and thank almost everyone for their work, even the extras. They were both AMAZING!!!! And of course after the 6 weeks at sea, it was time for the inevitable Cast & Crew Wrap party. And what a party it was. Almost all the stars were there, the director, Producer, everyone. It was such a great night, and a fantastic end to an incredible experience.
Thanks for reading. :~)
P.S. By the way, those 2 tall muscle dudes that were in front of me in line? Were not working on the film, haha. Actually most of the guys they hired were similar in height and size to me. GO SHORT PEOPLE!!!! :~)