I took this acting class in college


From my extracurricular activities, one would assume I’m a Hollywood starlet in waiting. I’ve been in “Big Fish” as an extra, albeit one so well hidden even I can’t find me on the DVD.

I’ll be in “Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby,” opening Aug. 4. That is, if my hard work isn’t relegated to the cutting room floor. I left it all on the track, baby.

And I’ll be appearing Thursday on the Sci Fi Channel. As a zombie. And a supermarket patron. Which is like a zombie, only with coupons.


The movie is called “Hide and Creep,” shot in and around Birmingham back in 2003. One Sunday morning in December of that year, BJ and I drove 40 miles to be unpaid extras at a small-town grocery store. (Nowadays, I do some PR work for the film.)

Easy stuff really. Just walk there, push this cart here, stand there. No lines, no heavy lifting.

Chuck and Chance, the co-producers and co-directors, had fun writing the screenplay, shooting their first feature and putting it all together. They had some headaches in figuring out how to budget all of the shoots, wrangling extras to get up early on a Sunday morning and drive who-knows-where to do who-knows-what.

But they kept it fun. BJ and I were zombie extras on a different weekend shoot (mostly weekends — these guys had days jobs to manage, too), and many people I know were involved in some way.

That second shoot was more complicated. Take, for instance, makeup. In this case, fake blood. After coating it on our faces and necks, we stumbled around inside a gazebo at night, being filmed from various angles. At least in the grocery store we didn’t have to explain what we were doing to passersby. Come to think of it, no one seemed to care that weirdos covered in blood were shooting some sort of devil video in their park.

Many weekends of shooting were followed by many weekends of editing and scoring. The movie debuted in September 2004 to a huge hometown crowd at the annual film festival, complete with zombies roaming among the VIP tents.

In summer 2005, the movie was available for sale in the popular DVD format. This year, it’s on Netflix. And this week, it’s on TV.

Sci Fi is home to some of my favorites: “Battlestar Galactica,” “Farscape” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”?! And since the movie has to be cut for cable broadcast (no nudity, no very naughty words), I’m sure to be seen.

Chance and Chuck are doing a great job, and I can’t wait to see what they’re cooking up next. Meanwhile, they’ve been promoting the heck out of the movie’s recent good fortune, doing a radio interview and appearing on the local NBC affiliate’s 11 a.m. newscast Wednesday. And putting on a viewing party at a bar called Base Camp on Southside.

Thanks to them, I can relive a fun time with friends and film geeks once again. It’s not every day you can show off your homegrown talents to the world (not counting our Courteney Coxes and our Taylor Hickses).

Did I mention I was also in a play in high school?

“Hide and Creep” airs 7 p.m. EDT Thursday on Sci Fi, repeating 11 p.m. EDT June 20.


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