Have You Had Your 15 Minutes of Fame Yet?

I’m really worried my 15 minutes of fame are up.

Last week, Peppermeister (my husband) pointed out that Comcast cable’s OnDemand feature (where you can watch movies and TV shows, well, on demand) added something called XFINITY Streampix. Under that category, they added the first two seasons of Dawson’s Creek.

Remember Dawson’s Creek? “I don’t wanna wait…”, the Joey-Dawson-Pacey love triangle, the intense vocabulary, and the dad in jail? Right. That’s the one.

When I was 16, I was obsessed with Dawson’s Creek. They filmed it in Wilmington, North Carolina, about a 12-hour drive from where I grew up in northern(ish) New Jersey. Thanks to my habit of trolling America Online chat rooms, I found out how to contact the casting agency and become an extra.

In case you don’t know – anyone can be an extra. I mean, anyone. Even nerdy 16-year-olds with zero acting experience or ability. Especially when it’s a show’s first season and they film in a quiet town in North Carolina (though it’s worth noting that Wilmington is home to Screen Gems Studios, the largest domestic television and movie production facility outside of California).

Babs (my mom), the woman who taught me everything I know about guilty pleasures, agreed to take a 5-day trip down to Wilmington in September of 1998, and I experienced life as an extra for the first time. Though it’s mostly downtime with a bizarre subculture of working ‘background actors,’ we had so much fun that we made the same trip several more times over the next two years. During what should have been my first semester of college, I worked as a full-time extra. (I was going to be a screenwriter. To heck with higher education!)

I don’t own Dawson’s Creek on DVD, so Peppermeister had never seen my network TV debut. For the first time in 10 years, thanks to Comcast, we sat down this weekend and watched my key scenes.

In the one you’re about to see, I had to diligently prepare; I had finally scored a coveted classroom seat, and would be pretending to take a driver’s permit exam. Pacey (Joshua Jackson) was on edge, having just gotten into another argument with his insensitive cop father. He’d already failed this test once. Not to mention his girlfriend, Andie, who was in the nuthouse and still hadn’t called. My character, on the other hand, felt adequately prepared for the exam, but was also preoccupied – I’d recently caught my father cheating on my mother, who certainly didn’t deserve it after 15 years of working the late shift at the Snakeskin diner. I hadn’t told anyone, not even my best friend, Ashley Katsopolis. Can you sense the angst?

Did I just blow your mind? And guess what? After carefully tallying up all of my shining onscreen moments, I still have 14 minutes and 23 seconds of fame left!

Sweet!

Have you had your 15 minutes of fame? Close encounters of the celebrity kind? I can’t wait to hear. I live for this shiz.

***WORDPRESSURE ALERT***

If you have unseen GoGuiltyPleasures slap bracelet pictures kicking around, NOW IS THE TIME to send them in! I’m getting prepped for the next installment, and I’d love to give/your blog/your pictures the loving attention they deserve.

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75 responses to “Have You Had Your 15 Minutes of Fame Yet?

  1. Damn. You just reminded me that I still have my entire 15 minutes left and I totally forgot to be a guest on Oprah.

  2. You were incredible. I was deeply moved.

    Gotchaself another follower eh.

  3. Your performance brought tears to my eyes, *sniffle*… Bravo!

    • *brushes off compliment in humble manner*

      …You bought that ‘humble’ part, didn’t you? ‘Cause I’m such a good actress.

      • Hollywood, are you watching?? Someone, give her an Oscar! *finding tissues…*

      • *Brushes off the compliment with a toss of her mane, says:*

        “Instead of Somersaulting Through Life, why don’t you go get me a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, will you?”

        Seriously speaking, though, at a Holiday Inn where I used to bartended, I served Joshua Jackson once, a big schooner of beer. I didn’t recognize him. I carded him. He, at the ripe old age of 25, was quite disgusted by this. “Whatever,” I said. “I need your ID, pal.” He acquiesced.

        He’s a hockey fan, did you know?

        This, incidentally, was the same night as the infamous Janeane Garofalo incident (as I’ve come to think of it), about which I’ve written before.

  4. Amazing! You and me…let’s be extras. I’ll let you set it up since you have all the connections. Just tell me when to meet you and where.

    PS: Do you tutor people on how not to be stagefright? I’ll pay you. What’s your rate?

    • Yes, let’s do it! We’ll hang out by craft services (catering truck) all day. We’ve gotta crash the set of Glee. Then we’d be hanging outside a certain trailor door all day…

      I could ACT like I don’t get stagefright, so you’ll pay me… LOL I’m actually a really nervous public speaker, but there were no lines in this gig!

  5. I didn’t know there was any other reason people watched the show. “Dawson’s Creek. You know, the show about the girl taking the drivers’ permit test.”

  6. I can’t believe I’m best, best friends with someone who has enjoyed 37 seconds of fame! Your angst poured off you – that was the rawest emotion I’ve ever had the priviledge of watching for 37 seconds. Inconceivable that you didn’t even get NOMINATED for an Emmy that year. You were robbed.

    • Peg, I was thinking about your daughter when I wrote this (The Glee Project). I really do live for this shiz, LOL

      I think my Emmy recognition will finally come when I do the sequel to Why Polygamy is the Right Choice for You. I’m going live-action with that one.

  7. Aww, you were adorable. And highly skilled, obviously. I haven’t seen that type of extremely talented extraing since “boy walking down the hall” in the 3rd season of 91210. Bravo to you!

    And since you have all those connections . . . . can you introduce me to some of your famous friends? Maybe get me a bit part on The B in Apt 23? I’m only about 8 hours away from NC if that helps! Have your people call my people (my little people, natch) and we’ll do lunch. Love ya babe!! MWAH.

    • I’ll get my people right on it, Misty. As soon as they stop licking their hindquarters*.

      *Uncle Jesse is my people. He’s ruthless when it comes to getting me auditions. (“It’s ruff out there,” he always likes to say.)

  8. You were amazing and extremely convincing as “girl taking test!” That was so sweet of your mom to make your teenage dreams come true! :) I think I’ve told you about my 15 minutes. I was in a PBS film, as an extra, called “The Tragedy of Puddin’ Head Wilson.” It was part of a Mark Twain series. Imagine trying to brag to your friends about being in a movie with the words “Puddin’ Head” in the title. It’s so not cool!! But, you, Jules, are extremely cool!

    • hahahaha Yes, I remember that, Sprinkles! I would give anything to be associated with something by that title. Can we swap stories?

      P.S. – The Gypsy episode is coming up!!!

  9. I unfortunately, had 15 one-minutes of fame. Not quite the same.

  10. I knew you were big, I just didn’t know how big! I got nothing, but I will now live vicariously through you. But not in a stalkerish sort of way just in case you were thought about banning me. :)

  11. I neeed to be an extra (or regular character, it’s Ryan Murphy’s choice) on Glee

  12. Your experience is so cool! I’m jealous, although I have to admit that I never really liked Dawson’s Creek. My college roommates watched is religiously, but I just couldn’t get into it. I do adore Joshua Jackson, though. Great post!

    • Thanks so much, Emily! I had a hard time watching these episodes again – let’s just say the show doesn’t hold quite the charm for me that it used to! Joshua (or as we, his besties, call him, Josh…HA!) was nice. Hyper and very tall (about 6’2″) – which you can probably see in that one picture (I think I was 5’6″ at that age; I’m taller now)! He always had his dog on set, a rhodesian ridgeback.

  13. I could definitely see that internalized monologue flickering across your face as you passed the paper. Great bangs, by the way! Fringe films next to my apartment building all of the time. I’m sure Joshua remembers you fondly ;)

    • Thanks, Rian! I was worried the bangs might hide my intense, furrowed brow. Please give Josh my love. Or, you know, the love I’m not saving for Second Husband, Darren Criss ;)

  14. that’s outstanding!! I used to LOOOOOVVVEEE Dawson’s Creek, but I think I was the only one who watched it and hated Dawson!!! Him and Joey worked my nerves!!! Really!

  15. That was so awesome! Love this, and that you headed down and were an extra for the show. What a great story. You were a FANTASTIC performer. And I do in fact have a 15 minutes of fame story myself, also as an extra. This preview features me as the long ponytailed pink scrubbed nurse behind the desk at 1:19 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKtrLiQTSM8 and also my church, a few blocks from my house, at 1:14. I totally looooooved being an extra. What a fun experience, which is not going to be a part of my life any time soon while raising infants. -kate

  16. Bwahaha! It makes me so freakin’ happy to read this! I often think about writing a post saying, “No, seriously, it is not hard to be an extra. Or time-consuming. Or anything at all that you think it is.”

    I believe you know that my primary “job” in law school was “background actor.” I signed up because I wanted to be on Buffy (succeeded, seven times!), but I did a whole lot of other shows. The Practice got me my most screen time ever, but I had lots of seconds here and there. I suspect they’d add up to fifteen minutes, if I tallied them.

    I am SO glad that you wrote this post! I am so tickled, and further assured that when we do meet each other someday, it will be MAGIC.

    • How are you two keeping this from me? My dreams of famousness are only moments away you tell me? I can just become an extra by fluttering my eyelashes? Obviously the next step from that is meeting Ryan Gosling, falling madly in love and be rocketed to super stardom. I decided our couple name would be “Mayan” =)

    • Deb!! I’m SO glad you said that! I was honestly thinking as I wrote that paragraph, “Uh oh. Deb was an extra. I hope this doesn’t offend her!” I shoulda known better :)

      Now YOU had some serious screen time, AND a line (“Chair!!!”)! This classroom scene was my big moment, LOL Although in other scenes you probably see me for longer (but blurrier). In a later season, they did a rave, and I wore a bright green wig. That was my only ‘costume’ experience.

      I cannot wait for this magic. You must convince B.aD that that NJ/NY trip is necessary this summer!!

  17. I was on a weight loss tv show. The last 10 lbs bootcamp. Uh.. I think, 4 or 5 years ago.

    It was awful. All bs. They encouraged me to do and say certain things. I lost a lot of weight though in that month, worked out with a trainer every second day.
    Feel free to watch it if you can find it.

    I’ve also met a TON of celebrity chefs. David Rocco, Curtis Stone, Bob Blumer, Michael Smith, Lynn Crawford, Anna Olson, Anthony Sedlak, David Adjey *breathe* all because I did admin work for this Gourmet Cooking store owned by this crazy semi-celebrity chef lady.

    I also met meat loaf.

    • Oooh I knew you wouldn’t disappoint on this answer! I would LOVE to see you on that show. It sounds really similar to other shows I’ve watched, like where brides try to lose weight before their wedding, but I don’t think I’ve seen this one. How did you get hooked up with that show, out of curiosity? Did you know someone, or submit an online application through the network’s website, etc.?

      “I also met Meat Loaf” seems like a really great memoir title. I want to hear so much more about everything you’ve said in this comment, LOL

  18. OMG I can’t believe you were on Dawson’s Creek I am so jealous I can hardly contain myself. Photo with Joshua Jackson?! Be still my heart!

    • Marta, I’m going to tell you one of my most embarrassing stories/biggest regrets right now. One night (I was 16), they were filming the scene where the restaurant that Joey’s family owned burns down, and Josh and a friend came across the street to where I was watching them film with my mom (I wasn’t ‘on duty’). I had made cookies for Katie Holmes, so they were coming over to kind of kid about that and say thank you. (That’s a whole ‘nother story.) I was too naive to realize that Josh was trying to ‘introduce’ me to his friend. I was SO shy back then that I just stood there smiling and nodding with NO idea what to say. I didn’t even tell them my name when they shook my hand (not on purpose, I was just that flustered). I can still picture the amused/awkward look on Josh’s face before they skidattled because I was so hopeless. GAHHHHHHH.

  19. I am totally blown away by all of this new information. I am awestruck! That video clip was awesome. Jules!!! You think you know a person through blogging and emailing and then to hear you were hobnobbin’ with Katie Holmes?! I bow down to you!

    • Darla, I could tell you stories… Not really. LOL But Katie Holmes did call me once to ask me to make her cookies (I made cookies for the crew with a note to call if they wanted more, ha!)! She was sweet. And TALL (at least 5’9″).

      It is WILD to me where she and Michelle WIlliams have gone since then (and BTW I am totally in love with Michelle Williams; she was my favorite cast member – SO SO SO awesome and nice to talk to, and tiny and gorgeous) – I guess I always thought the guys would be the big stars?

  20. i am awestruck, too! wow – what a fun opportunity. how cute were those guys close up? tell me everything!

    • Ha! I love that you asked… James, Josh and Kerr Smith (“Jack”) were all really tall, and Kerr was the best-looking. And DEFINITELY not gay like his character! He was a ladies man. I had SUCH a crush on Micheal Pitt, who played Henry (Michelle Williams’ character’s boyfriend for one season). They wore a lot of make-up for filming, which was kind of off-putting. Everyone I’ve seen in person that’s on TV/film is SO much skinnier and better-looking in real life, and has a giant head. Literally. Sometimes figuratively in James’ case. LOL

  21. This is where I hide my head in shame as I admit I have never watched Dawson’s Creek. But the story is cool!

  22. It seems to neat to be an extra in a film like that, but I don’t think I could do it. I’m weird about my image in general and would probably spaz if I realized it might possibly be seen on national teleivion. I remember Dawson’s Creek being on the air, but I never got to watch it. Was never much of a TV junkie, which is probably a sin of some sort. Whelp, guess I’m going to Hell. :)

    • ha! Oh Rosie, I think I’m the one who’s going to hell for watching SO MUCH TV. (And maybe also for all the gluttony in general. ;))

      I have a fear of public speaking, and CANNOT act, but being an extra is soooo easy, and you’re really just a blur in the back that no one notices. It is kind of awkward though, when you have to pantomime conversations with a total stranger. (You have to be totally quiet on set, so you can’t actually talk, and you even have to wear rubber-soled shoes!)

  23. Last year, I found all the seasons of Dawson’s Creek at Target. Yes, I purchased all of them and set up an air matress in my living room and watched them every day after work until I had finished them all. It was all I did. Best. Show. Ever. I am so jealous of your 15 minutes of fame.

    • Get out, Erica! That’s awesome. Were they a good price since it’s an older show? I feel like I should own it on DVD! If you have any questions about the experience, feel free to fire away here or email me anytime! :)

  24. I’m so jealous! I was in love with Pacy. A few years ago I saw him on the subway. He was only two feet away but I couldn’t say anything to him I was so nervous :( This was definitely a guilty pleasure worth indulging. And by the way, your performance was brilliant and beautifully understated!

    • Tracy, that’s wild! I probably wouldn’t have said anything either. I’ve seen a few people in NYC and never said anything. Oh and once I saw Stephen Colbert dining outside in Monclair, NJ. My brother wanted to go over, but I convinced him not to, because he was eating.

      And thank you so much for recognizing what top-notch acting really looks like ;)

  25. How awesome! I’m adding “Extra” to my bucket list. I’ve met a number of celebs thanks to stalking (Nsync) and lately due to visitng various Comic Conventions!

    • Oooh, I used to stalk ‘NSync, too! But I never met them. If you ever want to share more about that (or your Comic Convention experiences), I’d LOVE to hear it! :)

      And you can definintely make ‘extra’ a reality – I recommend finding out who casts for shows you like, and contacting them. If you’re not near a major city, they still may have local opportunities!

  26. Impressed! :-)

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  29. Holy crap–just reading this for the first time. I have seen every episode of The Creek at least four times. AT LEAST. I got newly obsessed years later when it was on in syndication–though I’d watched them all from the get go too. Love that you were an extra.

  30. Also love the millisecond of fame clip you showed. HELLO WORLD!

  31. i am just in love with this post!

    i loved, loved, LOVED dawson’s creek! whenever i hear that song starting up, my youth comes flooding back to me.

    i could relate so much, even though i was just an afrikaans girl living in south africa 4 years after apartheid ended.

    and i am still a dawson girl all the way!

    love your blog, jules ;-)
    jana

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